Let’s Talk Skincare with Rickie Ashman of EVENPRIME
Dec 20, 2019
Let’s Talk Skincare with Rickie Ashman of EVENPRIME
WORDS: JASON STEWART
We learn about the ever-growing world of natural skincare and beauty products, and share some philosophies about why we’re so obsessed with it. We’ll even share a list of some of our favorite products, hand-picked by our friend, Rickie Ashman, the co-founder & creative director of vegan skincare line EVENPRIME. They make skincare products that are actually backed by science, formulated by one of Korea’s leading female chemist, and have branding influence from the throwback era of 90’s sci-fi and anime.
With basically zero updates to cosmetic regulations in America since the 1940’s, the claims “Natural” or “Clean” mean about as much, or as little, as saying that ice cream is good for you because it’s full of calcium. The skincare and beauty market has been dominated by Europe for decades, with the epicenter being in France, but thanks to the popularization of Asian culture across the world, and their innovation and emphasis on quality skincare, Asia is now in the driver’s seat when it comes to innovation and quality. Even legacy lines like Chanel and Dior have switched their formulation headquarters to Korea. Gen Z spends more money on skincare than fashion now, and thanks to smaller-but-progressive companies disrupting the market, we’re starting to see a lot more people care about ingredients lists.
The US has only banned a total of 12 harmful ingredients from use incosmetics and personal care products, whereas countries like Korea
have banned over 1400. But bloggers, YouTubers, and Reddit users have helped push the demand forward for safer, quality skincare in America. Our collective ability to sniff out the difference between a sustainable brand and one just simply “greenwashing” has improved greatly. (Greenwashing is the practice of a brand presenting themselves as environmentally conscious to appeal more to the public, when in fact they are not.)
However, though K-beauty brands are pioneering skincare in Asia and other parts of the world, they’re still facing challenges when it comes to breaking into the American market. In part, because of a lack of vocalized understanding Western consumers and certain branding language being lost in translation stateside. For example, the term “whitening” is often misused in association with Korean skincare products that promote brighter skin. Of course, while the term “whitening”raises our serum soaked eyebrows in the West, in the context of Asian beauty, it’s just a rather awkward synonym for “brightening” and not “skin bleaching.” A word like “whitening” is often used when selling Korean skincare products to promote a brighter skin tone more desirable to the Asian market, but in America, a word like that can raise some serum soaked eyebrows.
If you’re not able to find an independent boutique full of knowledgeable staff to guide you along your skincare journey, or your boutique spends more time shilling the cosmic benefits of rubbing crushed up amethyst on your face, you’re in luck. Here is a run-through of Rickie’s actual skincare routine:
Gentle pH-balanced facial cleanser with Yuzu citrus scent that cleans skin without stripping or over-drying. Protects and fortifies the skin barrier, which helps reduce the appearance of blemishes.
Fragrance-free, alcohol-free face mist that functions as both toner and essence. Formulated with some of the most coveted ingredients in Asian beauty like Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate (the same key ingredient used in SK-II) and Centella Asiatica Extract. Helps balance skin tone, reduce pore size, and overall improve the look and feel of skin. Think of this product like a vitamin-pack for the face.
I’m of the camp that believes under-eye creams are a huge industry scam. However, caffeine is shown to temporarily reduce the appearance of under-eye bags, so I use this inexpensive tincture from The Ordinary. Just dab a little on and go.
Super lightweight, fragrance-free daily moisturizer (can be used as a primer – works great under makeup or SPF). A good product for guys if they’re afraid of the “greasy” feeling of traditional moisturizers. Also rich in ingredients like Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate and Centella Asiatica Extract.
As a redhead, SPF is basically a necessity. Unfortunately, I have super sensitive skin and get a burning-sensation from sunblock that contains avobenzone, which is found in most U.S. sunblock. I love that KRAVE’s Beet Shield is coral-reef-friendly and mineral-based (with no “white cast”). SPF 50+ PA++++
Discovered this product last year during a trip to Seoul. It’s said that a tub is sold every 3 seconds, so naturally was curious to try…honestly, I fell in love with it. Typically, I use this cleanser at night, since it’s an oil-based, buttery cleanser (and should be used as part of a two-step cleansing routine). It’s formulated with Ginseng Berry and Royal Jelly.
I find that mineral sunblock sticks to skin, and can clog pores, so I use Micellar Water as a second cleanse to remove any extra particles. I’ve been using BIODERMA for years, so though there are many dupes these days (*cough* Garnier), I remain a brand loyalist.
Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate was discovered in the 1970s when Japanese scientists studied the extraordinarily youthful hands of elderly saké brewers, leading them to isolate this particular yeast strain. Because this is the type of ingredient you really want to drench your face in, I find it best to use the EP Face Mist 2x a day for great results.
MANYO Factory is one of my favorite K-Beauty brands. Though their packaging may not be the most exciting, they have excellent formulations and ingredient lists. Their Bifida Ferment Complex is a good dupe of Estee Lauder’s “Advanced Night Repair” ampoule ($70) – and contains ingredients like Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Bifida Ferment Lysate (another probiotic yeast ingredient), and fermented Pumpkin extract.
I used to use SK-II’s RNA Night Cream, which was what first got me into Galactomyces (suddenly I started getting compliments from strangers about my skin). I’ve since switched to Manyo Factory’s more affordable Galactomyces Essence Cream (I use a heavier moisturizer at night because that’s when skin does most of its healing).
LANEIGE is typically known as the entry-level K-Beauty brand, because it’s sold at SEPHORA. I love their packaging, but their formulas never really worked for my skin. That is until I tried their Lip Sleeping Mask. My lips look so plump and healthy after using it.