Find out ice dancer Maia Shibutani’s best tips for glowing, hydrated skin and discover her favorite skin care and makeup products!
If you haven’t heard the name Maia Shibutani, then let us introduce you to one of the world’s greatest skating talents. Two time US National Champion and member of the US Olympic team are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Maia’s many career achievements. Maia is also #goals when it comes to beauty and skin care so we sat down with her to find out her tips and tricks to looking rink ready.
You began skating at the early age of four. Do you remember what it was like when you were on the ice for the first time?
The first time I went skating, I was with my dad and brother, Alex. Although I don’t remember everything about that first experience, I remember having a lot of fun. Later, I began taking group lessons with a coach at our local rink. I loved being on the ice, so I asked my parents for private lessons very early on.
What has been your proudest moment?
Throughout the nineteen years I’ve been skating, I’ve experienced more than one special moment. I love my sport and it is rewarding that Alex and I can work hard and share our passion for what we do with a global audience. It was a dream come true to compete at the Olympics in 2014. I was also very proud when we won our first Senior title at the US National Championships in 2016. Currently, I am working harder than ever so that the two weeks of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics can become my proudest moment yet.
Was there ever a moment when you felt like quitting? How do you keep yourself motivated throughout any tough times?
There has never been a moment when I seriously considered quitting. I think a lot of that can be attributed to the fact that it was completely my choice to skate. My parents encouraged me to follow my dreams. Their unconditional support has allowed me to maintain my love for the sport. There are certainly tough moments, but I am motivated when I think about the Olympics. I also believe that any dream worth working towards has its challenges. Every challenge is an opportunity to learn and become stronger. Once you’ve been tested and have had to persevere, it makes the special moments even more satisfying.
What is it like working with your brother Alex?
Alex is the most creative and hard-working person I know. He is a storyteller, incredibly motivated, and multi-faceted. Alex’s strengths have pushed our skating to another level. Working together is a unique process. We have complete trust in each other and no filter when we are workshopping ideas. Our ability to be totally honest with each other allows us to push the boundaries of what is expected in our sport. It’s always challenging to work with someone at a high skill-level and intensity, especially if you don’t agree about everything. Any challenges we face are far outweighed by how much we appreciate being able to share all of these experiences together.
You’re always on the ice, and you’re always on the move. Are there any skin concerns that come from that?
With skating, training, and travel, I’m always fighting breakouts. So when I am training, I make sure to keep my skin really clean and fresh. It’s tough at competitions because we compete in arenas under bright lights, and it’s almost impossible for skin to react kindly to the combination of sweat and makeup. With long flights, I also have to combat my skin drying out. Lastly, because I spend so much time in a cold rink, chapped lips are something I try to stay on top of.
Those are quite a few concerns. How do you usually address them?
On a daily basis, I don’t wear foundation or concealer. I think with makeup, it can be a vicious cycle. When you break out, you want to cover it up, but by using more makeup, your skin can’t recover. When I do wear makeup, I am careful to take it off as soon as I can. I never go to sleep without cleaning my skin. On travel days, I am that person on the plane wearing a sheet mask. I’m always trying different masks—Missha, Nature Republic, Tony Moly, and Dr. Jart+, you name it. Luckily, I think wearing a mask on a plane is more common now and not too scary for other people. On long flights, I also like to use the travel size Missha First Treatment Essence Mist. It keeps my skin hydrated and refreshed.
Is there anything you learned from your mother about skin care?
Ever since I can remember, my mom always reminded me about the importance of sunscreen. We both have freckles, and if I didn’t wear sunscreen, I’d probably have a lot more. For my face, I use the Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector. The consistency of the sunscreen is a little thick, but it also absorbs into my skin quickly. Because it is oil-free, I hope that it reduces my chances of breaking out. For my body, I find that my skin reacts well to the Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Lotion for Face & Body. I love that it’s water-resistant. It’s easy to apply and it absorbs into my skin very quickly. I have sensitive skin and some drugstore variety sunscreens have made me break out in hives.
Also, when I was a teenager and balancing school and skating, my mother would remind me to wash my face in the morning and evening no matter how busy I was. When it comes to cleansing, I like trying different products and switching it up. Right now, I love using the Boscia Charcoal Jelly Ball Cleaner. It’s soft and squishy and I use it like a bar of soap for my face. It feels like you are literally holding a ball of jelly. It lathers up easily with water and makes my skin feel soft.
How did you first get into Korean beauty?
The first country I visited in Asia was South Korea back in 2008. We went to Seoul for a competition, and that’s when I was first exposed to the Korean beauty culture. Even then, I remember hearing about innovative and unique products. Some Korean fans gave me a variety of sheet masks to try and since then, I’ve been hooked!
What is your current favorite K-beauty product?
Right now, the Clio Kill Waterproof Pen Liner in Black is one of my favorites. If I wear eyeliner, I use that pen whether I’m on or off the ice. It is easy to apply and control. Whether I want to have a thinner line or a more dramatic cat eye, it stays really well.
What are you looking forward to the most about the PyeongChang Olympics?
I’m excited about the opportunity to compete in the biggest competition our sport has! Our first Olympics was really memorable and I know that this time we’re even stronger skaters. Earlier this year in February, we were in Korea for the pre-Olympic test event. The event was held in the Olympic venue and it was an amazing experience—the arena is beautiful and the audience was extremely supportive. After our competition, Alex and I went to Seoul to serve as US Sports Envoys for the State Department. We had the opportunity to meet and speak with students as well as work with some young up and coming Korean skaters.
This fall, we will be serving as the athlete ambassadors for the US Olympic Committee’s “Thank You PyeongChang” program where we will be video conferencing with Korean middle school students on a monthly basis before meeting them in person in February. We’re able to connect with all of these young people because the Olympics has the ability to bring the world together in a very positive way. PyeongChang 2018 is going to be the first Winter Olympics in Asia in twenty years, and it’s exciting that we can potentially inspire a whole new generation of future athletes in Asia.