Born in Seoul, in the heart of the Korean fashion industry, I learned the importance of image at a young age. My mother ran her own agency, so I was immersed early on in a world where so much hinged on maintaining one’s appearance. In 1994, my mother decided it was time for a change. My family relocated to Hawaii, and shortly thereafter I began my modeling career in earnest.
I became fascinated with the regional home remedies, treatments and natural oils used by the locals, and they quickly became the backbone of my daily skincare regimen. Tamanu, kukui, coconut oil: I was amazed by the results I saw from such simple ingredients. I was soon featured in various brand campaigns across Europe, Asia and the U.S., and felt mine was rapidly becoming the go-to face for promoting ‘perfect skin’. Then, in the prime of my mid-20s, cystic acne, blackheads and skin sensitivity issues started to flare up, threatening to derail my career just as quickly as it had taken off.
I didn’t know where to start. Having a fresh, clear complexion wasn’t just a professional asset – it gave me confidence in my everyday life. For weeks I exfoliated, scrubbed, pinched and squeezed my skin. I cancelled bookings and castings. I tried countless products, desperately searching for a miracle cure. But nothing worked. In fact, the products I was using seemed to do more damage than good—but why?
After a bit of research, I realized that the arsenal of oil-free cleansers and astringents I’d been using were completely drying out my skin, destroying my acid mantle layer and, in turn, making me even more susceptible to future breakouts. This gave me some answers, but I wanted to know more. Is oil-free really the way to go? Why does our skin react to certain products more than others? What chemicals are in the products we use every day? Are they dangerous?
Following my own curiosity, and in my mother’s footsteps, I decided to make a change and go back to school to become a licensed esthetician. I wanted solutions. And I wanted to share what I learned with others.
Years of experimenting and hundreds of client sessions later, I’ve determined some essential skincare truths:
- Authentic organic ingredients ensure health and balance for all skin types.
- As a defense against dry, sensitive skin—oil is not the enemy. It’s our ally.
- Luxe skincare products don’t always have to come with a luxe price tag.
These are the principles behind TULURA. Using high-quality, 100% organic materials in optimized combinations to soothe and enrich every type of skin.