Laura Kennedy: The best skincare product I’ve used this year

This affordable new skincare range uses Korean ingredients

Regular skincare doesn’t work when the weather gets very hot. That sentence may read as delusionally optimistic to you, but good weather can happen in summer, if unpredictably. If you’re prone to skin irritation or heat rash, rich or oily products that sit on the skin can often just congest and irritate it, not to mention the fact that they’ll slide and drop, taking any make-up with them.

Thankfully, I have found an all-weather skincare range that is new to Ireland and works perfectly. Devoting this column to just one brand is the highest honour currently in my gift, and goodness knows that beauty writers are disloyal and easily distracted, so the fact that a single brand is the only one I feel like using at the moment is definitely unusual.

Then I Met You is a cult US K-beauty brand from aesthetician and entrepreneur Charlotte Cho. Cho synthesised the best of Korean ingredients and textures with American efficacy, aesthetics and ease of use to create this raved-about brand. It has long been one that European beauty editors bring back from trips to the US, wielding their Then I Met You Honey Dew Lip Mask (€25 at, but until recently, it hasn't been accessible to consumers in Ireland or the UK. Finally, Then I Met You's signature periwinkle blue products are available to buy here online through Cult Beauty, and I have been seriously impressed by them.

The whole currently available six product range is excellent, but the Living Cleansing Balm (€42 at lives up to every bit of hype. Korean beauty products are known for high-tech, interesting textures, but this makeup-removing cleansing balm is the single best skincare product I have tried this year. Its texture is light and buttery smooth.

The plant and fruit oil blend with Vitamin E and rosemary turns to a rich (non-staining) golden oil the instant you touch it, then emulsifies to a milk that rinses completely on contact with water, taking all makeup and SPF with it. Skin is left joyously clean and comfortable. This is a product that I will not be without from now on – it has kicked cleansers I have loved for a decade to the back of the bathroom cabinet, and works as well in hot weather as it would in cold temperatures.

Then I Met You Calming Tidal Gel Cream (€47 at is the perfect summer moisturiser, especially for hot days. It is more of a gel than a cream, and runnier than you’d expect, but skin drinks it in and is left with a non-oily, non-sticky lucent sheen that looks beautiful. The Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel has an addictive, gelatinous texture that is so enjoyable to use, and it is lovely for morning. Follow either of the cleansers with Birch Milk Refining Toner (€36 at It is a refreshingly different toner in a skincare world currently obsessed with (and generally overusing) exfoliating acids. This toner contains low levels of mild acids for effective resurfacing, but it also soothes and reinforces with squalene and glycerin, both of which skin loves.

Product of the Week

Clarins Summer 2021 Eye Palette (€40 at Brown Thomas)