Charlotte Cho credits cleansing balms for clearing up her skin and getting her hooked on double cleansing and K-beauty many years ago. After obsessively trying every formula she could get her hands on, she decided to create her own: The Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm. As she celebrates its recent HelloGiggles 2019 Beauty Crush Award win, she shares the behind-the-scenes scoop on the making of the innovative product.
The Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm has always been a winning formula in our book, but now the four-month-old product is a winner of not one, but two real life awards from the beauty community.
In December, it nabbed Very Good Light’s Lightning Beauty Award for Best Oil Cleanser, and then this week, it was crowned the Best Non-Drugstore Makeup Remover in HelloGiggles 2019 Beauty Crush Awards.
According to HelloGiggles’ senior beauty editor Marie Lodi, the balm prevailed because of the concept, the packaging, the ingredients, and of course the efficacy.
“I love how it feels against my skin and how easily it’s able to remove my eye makeup – I always wear a winged eye, so I need something strong enough to take it all off, but without irritating my lid. It’s a must-have!” Marie told us.
Developing a formula that stands out among the crowded skin care shelves and lives up to its claims required a lot of hard work, research, and many, many rounds of tests.
“The road to creating this product was extremely challenging and I’m not going to lie, I was very stressed to get the formula perfect,” says Then I Met You co-founder Charlotte Cho. “It was hard enough to find an R&D team/chemist who was willing to innovate and create a cleansing balm with this level of texture and consistency, while keeping polyethlyne, a plastic commonly used in cleansing balms, out of the formula. Many had shut me down, until I finally found a team that was up for the challenge.”
In addition to polyethlyne, it was important to Charlotte and the team that the formula be free of artificial fragrance and colorants so that it would not be irritating – even around the sensitive eye area.
If you’re wondering, the product’s vibrant orange color is completely au naturel. “It actually comes from seaberries, a very potent antioxidant and anti-aging savior! It’s high in carotenoids, which gives it its orange color. You can also credit the seaberries for being incredibly nourishing, thanks to omega 6, 7, and 8 and fatty acids which protect your skin and leaves it feeling super soft,” says Charlotte.
The brand didn’t skimp on moisturizing and anti-aging ingredients like persimmon extract and vitamin E either. “Even though you’re essentially washing off the cleanser at the end of the double cleanse, I’m a firm believer that quality of the ingredients still make a difference. I’ve had many people who’ve shared that their skin feels softer after introducing the Living Cleansing Balm into their routines, which brings music to my ears!” she says.
It was also important that the formula cleanly remove even the most stubborn impurities, including waterproof makeup.
“That’s why I was especially excited when HelloGiggles recognized it as not just a cleanser, but a makeup remover. It’s a true testament to what diligence went into it to be a truly effective cleanser,” Charlotte says, noting that even for those who don’t wear makeup, “it’s still important to use an oil cleanser to remove excess sebum, pollution and sunscreen that can cause breakouts, and premature aging.”