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, now a 2019 Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner. Below, 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, and plenty of other important people in the beauty community think so too. Since hitting shelves nearly one year ago, the product has racked up awards from a number of publications including Allure.
The cleansing balm is the recipient of Very Good Light’s Lightning Beauty Award for Best Oil Cleanser and the HelloGiggles 2019 Beauty Crush Award for Best Non-Drugstore Makeup Remover, and most recently, it earned a coveted 2019 Allure Best of Beauty Award.
The publication has previously called the balm “a little end-of-day indulgence” and on while discussing this year’s awards on the Today show this week, Allure editor in chief Michelle Lee called the product one of her personal favorites. “I use it every night. It takes off even the most stubborn eye makeup,” she said.
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. But even for those who don’t wear makeup, Charlotte notes, “it’s still important to use an oil cleanser to remove excess sebum, pollution and sunscreen that can cause breakouts, and premature aging.”