The local beauty entrepreneur reveals her best beauty tips, including why it's important to understand what your skin truly needs

Charlene Sim grew up with the most sensitive and acne-prone skin in her family, having battled eczema since she was a child and later on suffered from acne during her teenage years. So who would have thought that she would go on to create her own skincare line in the future? 

The former Singapore Airlines stewardess was inspired to research non-toxic skincare ingredients that were gentle yet efficacious and soothing for Singapore’s climate as well as suitable for her mother who was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer. With that, Glowfully was born in 2018.

Formulated with naturally derived, harsh-free ingredients that are safe for everyone in the family, Sim’s skincare line does not contain paraben, phthalates, sulfates and formadelhyde. 

We spoke with the local beauty entrepreneur to discover more about her skincare habits and how she overcame her skin troubles during her early years. 

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How long do you typically spend on your skincare routine?

Charlene Sim (CS): I typically spend less than 10 minutes on my skincare routine unless I’m applying a mask, then around 20 minutes.

What is your skincare routine like for the day?

CS: In the AM, I first cleanse my face with the Glowfully Charcoal Beads Gel Cleanser followed by the Hydrating Mist Toner. This instantly helps me feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. I then apply the Deep Sea Glow Serum and Healing Elixir, followed by sunscreen.

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What is your skincare routine for the night?

CS: Every night, I start my skincare routine with a double cleanse, using a milk cleanser to get rid of any residue, followed by the Charcoal Beads Gel Cleanser for a more thorough cleanse. After cleansing, I go in with the same toner and serum, followed by the Advanced Healing Elixir.

What was the last skincare product that you bought?

CS: Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay. I’ve heard so much about it and finally caved in and decided to give it a try.

Are there any new skincare trends that you’re excited to try?

CS: Vitamin C is definitely one of the trending skincare ingredients of 2021 that I have been eager to incorporate into my routine. However, for someone with sensitive and reactive skin like me, it can be challenging to find a Vitamin C serum that is gentle and non-irritating. I am still on the lookout for one!

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When did you start paying extra attention to your skin?

CS: As someone who grew up with eczema and acne-prone skin, I have been pretty conscious about my skin since I was young. In my 20s, I paid even closer attention to my skin when I was working for Singapore Airlines as an air stewardess. As we all know, there are high expectations surrounding the physical appearance of the cabin crew, and my skin was closely analysed by my colleagues, superiors and customers. I received unwanted comments and questions about my skin, which made me even more conscious about it.

What’s one skincare must-have you’ve “influenced” others to purchase?

CS: I would have to say the Glowfully Charcoal Beads Gel Cleanser. It is a product that I truly believe in and worked really hard for. It is also our best-selling item to date and we have received lots of positive feedback from the Glowfully community.

What’s a skincare product you can’t live without?

CS: Something I can’t live without now is our Advanced Healing Elixir, which is the latest addition to Glowfully’s collection. It works as a soothing gel moisturiser for my sensitive skin, and when I’m facing any major skin irritations, it doubles up as a skin-calming mask. It has definitely saved my skin on multiple occasions, especially since I am testing out new formulas and products every week!

What’s the most important skincare step to you?

CS: Personally, I find cleansing to be the most important step because it lays the foundation for other skincare products. Cleansing is crucial for removing excess oil, dirt, impurities and pollutants that accumulate on our skin surface throughout the day. Without a clean canvas to work with, the rest of your skincare routine may not be as effective.

Where and what is your go-to facial?

CS: I’m not someone who goes for facials regularly and I mostly do my skincare at home. I am currently still looking for one that would best fit my skin needs.

Is skincare the new self-care? What are your thoughts on this?

CS: I think that skincare is a wonderful way to practise self-care. Having a skincare routine creates a safe space for us to destress, unwind and relax. During this short period of time, we are able to put a pause on a hectic day and focus solely on ourselves. I believe that skincare is also about embracing real skin: acne, pores, blemishes, freckles and all. Taking care of your skin empowers you to love your authentic self and the skin you wear. The ultimate goal is not ‘perfect’ skin, but finding the right products for your skin that can keep your skin healthy.

What is one piece of skincare advice that you live by?

CS: My number one advice for anyone, skincare enthusiast or not, is to understand your skin and find the right products for your skin needs. Everyone’s skin is unique. Something that works for one person might not work for another! 

What is your beauty tool of choice?

CS: I have used a facial steamer for a long time. It is a great addition to my skincare routine for a spa-like experience in the comfort of my own bathroom. It is really relaxing and I personally feel that it helps treatments absorb better into my skin.

What is the most unique beauty treatment you tried overseas?

CS: Honestly speaking, I have not tried any overseas beauty treatments (other than a manicure and pedicure). I guess my priorities are more focused on shopping when I am on a holiday.

Have you tried out aesthetic treatments? Why or why not?

CS: Yes, I have tried a couple of aesthetic treatments such as laser treatments and skin boosters. Personally, I follow the beauty industry quite closely as it is part of my job. With all the beauty trends these days, I am often curious about them and I'm open to trying them as long as they are not too invasive. 

I also have a few customers who have approached me to ask if Glowfully products are suitable to apply post-treatment. Trying out these treatments for myself gives me a better understanding and helps me to answer any potential questions that customers may have. 

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