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Q&A with Charlotte Cho, Co-founder of Soko Glam

Mable Yiu

The Klog Launch Party in Soho on June 1st

The Klog Launch Party in Soho on June 1st

You've probably heard of the 10-Step Korean Skin Care Routine by now. While some people think it's a bit much, others swear by it. For me personally, I'm a bit too lazy to get all the products and then remember to use them all, but what I do like is the emphasis on taking care of your skin first.

Last week I went to an event hosted by Soko Glam, a beauty company based in NYC that helped popularize the 10-Step Korean skin care routine in the states. It was founded four years ago by wife and husband duo, Charlotte and David Cho, as a way to share their newfound knowledge of Korean skin care and make up products. Below is my interview with Charlotte, where we talk about their new digital content site, what it is like working with her husband, and what the most important steps of her skin care routine are. 

Co-founder Charlotte Cho

Co-founder Charlotte Cho

It is understood that you started Soko Glam in 2012 with your husband, after moving to Korea post-college and learning about their extensive beauty culture. Have you always been interested in beauty and skin care?

I wasn’t always so interested in Korean beauty. I grew up using American skin care products, and with the mindset that products were meant to treat problems as they came up, not realizing that they need to be prevented at the source. When I was living in Korea, I was really influenced by the Korean skin care philosophy and lifestyle. Korean women view skin care as an investment in both the current and future health of their skin. In Korea, I learned to truly appreciate the ritualistic aspect of caring for my skin and the benefits of using products that respect and balance the skin.

Congrats on officially launching a new website for The Klog! What makes The Klog different from other beauty sites?

The Klog is a digital content site for all things Korean - beauty trends, skin care tips and culture. Beauty is imbedded so deeply in culture, and we want to give Americans a window into the culture that the Korean skin care and beauty philosophy emanates from.

We’ve always believed that K-Beauty is bigger than Soko Glam and I’ve always been passionate about writing stories about the topic, so it made sense to not limit ourselves in what stories we wanted to write and separate the content from the commerce to an independent address. This will allow us to share the stories behind products and trends. Our team of editors will cover news about the cutting edge products, artist insights and product recommendations, makeup and skin care tutorials in an unbiased platform - whether Soko Glam curates it or not. 

What is it like working with your husband? Do you have any advice for couples looking to start a business together?

It's going well because we have a huge amount of respect for each other, and the way we divided our roles was to simply look at what we’re both really good at and start there. My advice for aspiring couple entrepreneurs is to make sure both of you have qualities that complement each other. It always boils down to respect and appreciation for each other. It’s not going to be a walk in the park, but communicating and listening to each other (and working on the feedback that you get) is key.

Do you actually follow the 10-step Korean skin care routine every single day? What do you think are the most essential steps in this routine?

The 10-step routine is a framework for properly caring for your skin. However, everyone’s skin is different, and it’s about finding the best combination of products for you. Layering products, from lighter to richer in order to improve absorption, is a major part of what makes the 10-step routine so beneficial.

The most essential steps of the daily routine are the double cleanse and applying an essence and a moisturizer in the morning and at night. To double cleanse, you begin by massaging an oil-based cleanser onto dry skin to break-up and remove makeup, sunscreen, and oil-based impurities. Now that you have removed obstacles on the skin, follow up with a water-based cleanser to thoroughly cleanse the skin itself. The two-step process results in much cleaner, fresher skin than traditional single step cleansing, allowing products to be absorbed more easily.

Favorite product(s) of all time?

I am currently loving Son and Park Beauty Water and the Neogen Fresh Foam Cleanser in Green Tea!

However, Korea is at the forefront of technology and innovation when it comes to skin care. I am constantly discovering - and falling in love with - new products from both trusted and emerging Korean brands.

By Mable Yiu

Photos courtesy of Soko Glam.