Talking To The Lotus's Founder, Eugene Oh, About The Magical White Lotus Flower
Today we launched The Lotus, our newest curation, which is formulated around hero ingredient—you guessed it—the white lotus flower. You can read more about the fabulous products here, and we’ll be discussing more dets on our blog soon! We wanted to get the scoop on the origins of this beautiful, natural line which is purely harvested from the Lotus Pond at the Beophwa Temple where founder Eugene Oh, actually grew up. One thing we love about the line is its rich background. Oh worked on this line with her mother, artist Kang Myung Soon whose beautiful work illustrates the company’s packaging.
Here, we talk to Eugene Oh, the (unsurprisingly) radiant founder of this beautiful line.
Why did you decide to start The Lotus?
Before I started The Lotus, I owned an advertising company. Most of the projects I worked on were Jeju-based businesses. During this time, I met the skincare professor at the Jeju techno center and he recommended that I start developing a brand and educated me about the amazing antioxidant properties of the lotus leaf flowers. Coupled with my mother’s artwork of beautiful lotus drawings, we were inspired to start our company together.
Who is The Lotus for—i.e. who is the ideal candidate for using this line? Anyone who *should not* use this line?
The initial product offerings were based on my skin type, which was dry and sensitive (and, I’m in my early 40s). Back then, as I was very busy with work, I didn’t have time for many skin care products like eye creams, essences, etc...so I decided to create a simple line of products using only the most necessary ingredients for a busy woman.
But after we launched The Lotus, women (and men!) ranging from their 20s to their 60s had such great responses. They told us they’d noticed great improvements in their skin and improved hydration.
Our products don’t contain any toxic ingredients, so they are suitable for almost all skin types and agre groups. However, for those with very sensitive and oily skin, the high concentration of Lotus leaf extract in our essence (89%) can take some getting used to, as most people are used to products that contain 90% water. If that feels too strong, I recommend using the Lotus Leaf & Aloe Calming Serum to help your skin adjust to our hero ingredient.
What is so special about the lotus flower itself?
What is most important for the Peach & Lily customer should know about your line/Jeju island?
The most important thing to know about the products in The Lotus collection is to understand the extraordinary, pure, natural White Lotus leaf itself whose extracts are highly concentrated in our collection. We extract our lotus ingredient from the pond at Jeju Beophwa Temple which is thousands of years old.
Secondly, most cosmetics contain 80-90% water so the quality of the cosmetics depends on the cleanliness and purity of the water. Jeju island takes great pride in its clean water, which is prized on a worldwide standard, and of course, again, the natural white lotus leaf.
What makes The Lotus line special?
The quality of the 1,000 year old pure white lotus flower from our pond is in a class of its own—none of the other lotus ponds can compete! We have formulated these products such that the level of antioxidant function is as high as possible.
How did you discover the benefits of the white lotus flower for skin care?
The professor I mentioned recommended it and we then requested use of the professional laboratory whose expert research showed that lotus leaves have exceptionally high levels of polyphenol and antioxidants. Since we included this ingredient in such high concentration, the benefits for the skin are increased as well.
Any special tips for using your products? Can you tell us about your own skincare regimen? What you do and use each morning and night?
In the winter, I apply The Lotus essence followed by the essence lotion and when I feel more dry that day, I simply use more amount of essence lotion to hydrate my skin. At night, of course I use a decent amount of the sleeping pack for deeper hydration.
In the summer, after I cleanse my face, the first thing I apply is The Lotus calming serum instead of The Lotus leaf 89% essence. Then I use 70% essence lotion. Even if it is really hot skin needs appropriate lotion. After sun exposure during the day, I reapply the calming serum and essence lotion as needed, though sometimes I use the sleeping pack instead of the lotion.
I don’t wear heavy make-up, but instead of spray mist onto my BB cushion puff and gently apply it to my face which helps the BB to absorb well, hydrate and last longer.
My routine is really this simple—based on mixing a few products based on the season and my needs for that day.
What do you think is the next big K-beauty trend?
Because K-beauty’s has become so popular, many brands now depend on piggybacking on trends. But these products made quickly to keep up with trends lack ‘brand story,’ exclusivity, and special, proprietary ingredients. Many foreign customers are feeling increasingly tired of these reiterations of existing products. Therefore, I think the brands that have their own story; specialties, and unique ingredients will be the next K-beauty trend—or at least, the most lasting one.
Can you tell us (here in New York City) a little bit about life on Jeju island?
Jeju island is hard to put into words. You should visit! However, I would note that from the island beautiful views include those of Halla Mountain and the sea. Nature surrounds—the clean air and water—and the authenticity of the island is a lifestyle (it is a unique experience from a city environment!) and I feel it is a blessing that I am able to live in such a beautiful place.