Q&A with Jean Seo

My name is Jean Seo, and I am the creator of Evolue and Lue Skincare.

People often ask me…

Q: What possessed me to start a Skincare brand?

When I opened the first eco-chic beauty store in 2007, I carried the best natural beauty brands around the world. But even then, many of my clients expressed that they needed higher performing natural products for anti-aging.

Determined to solve this for my clients – and armed by my Library Science degree - I researched what makes human skin age. I discovered that our skin ages due to a depletion of “Natural Moisturizing Factors”, we droop because we lose collagen and elastin, we wrinkle because we lose sodium hyaluronate or Sodium-PCA. I also learned that skin will thin and become irritated because most products and procedures designed to get rid of dead and damaged skin cells are too harsh for our skin. 

With this research, I went on a mission to source the best ingredients around the world that replace fatty acids, moisture, oils, collagen, and elastin that we lose with age.

Q: What is the difference between Evolue and Lue?

Due to the scarcity of the ingredients I source, I can only produce a limited amount of Evolue Skincare. So, I created Lue for the world. Lue harnesses the same formulations as Evolue using more widely-available and affordable ingredients. For example, Evolue Resurfacing Grains is made with the best crème-de-la-creme milk powder from New Zealand that is freeze dried to maintain all of its nutrients and fats that nourish skin. It is best for anti-aging. Lue's Erase is made with organic non-fat milk that is best for everyday use, yet not as nourishing as Resurfacing Grains.

Q: What makes Evolue skincare brands unique?

  1. INGREDIENTS: I am immensely critical about the quality of my ingredients and thoughtfully source from farmers who put real care into their small farms and crops. In fact, many farmers I source from practice better farming techniques than organically certified ones (since they are not huge corporations, they do not have the funds to buy the organic certification).
  2. SUPPORT: I support these small farmers them because the "organic certified" label doesn't mean as much to me as supporting real farmers. In this respect, I am grateful to be a small business, which allows me to be more aligned with my choices.
  3. I FOLLOW MY HEART and do what feels right – not what excel formulas and statistics dictate me to do. I can be creative. I can be free. Unlike larger companies whose goal is to make profit for shareholders through making women insecure to buy more products, I can actually focus on what heals and maintains women's beauty as well as making them feel good about themselves with or without my products.

Q: Where (and how) do I source my ingredients from?

The collagen and elastin in Evolue Skincare are sourced from Madrid. Since it must be refrigerated, I fly overnight to Madrid and back to ensure freshness and quality. We use soluble collagen that is small enough to be more easily utilized by our skin (it's also paired with our low molecular weight sodium hyaluronate which functions as a great carrier molecule to deliver other ingredients deep into the skin). I negotiate with farms to gather early harvest first cold pressed jojoba oil. I go to Switzerland to gather the best lipids. I buy milk from New Zealand that is only auctioned off twice a year. Because I use only the best, I can only make small quantities of Evolue Skincare. For this reason, I only partner with honest and authentic partners who share my passion for excellence. 

I go to the ends of the Earth to source the highest quality ingredients, to create the skincare line I can be proud of. 

Q: Where does Evolue ship to?

Evolue ships internationally.

Q: What is my return policy?

I will accept any product you are unsatisfied with and provide a full refund, minus shipping.

Q: Why do I use animal-derived ingredients?

Let me begin by assuring you that we go above and beyond to ensure that ALL ingredients, plant or animal based, are cruelty-free and sustainably sourced. We co-exist in a society that openly demonizes animal-based products. However, my mission is to bring you the best skincare possible, and at the end of the day, we humans have skin most similar to animals, not plants. Most plant-based 'Natural Moisturizing Factor' alternatives simply cannot measure up to the efficacy of their animal-based counterparts. 

Q: What is my approach to sustainability?

One of the greatest issues of our century is the environmental and economic damage from un-sustainable production practices of animal-based products. That being said, the solution is not to indiscriminately cut out the use of animal-based ingredients altogether - rather, we have to thoughtfully partner with the businesses we choose to support based on their ability to produce a sustainable and generally superior product. I refuse to shy away from the issue and pretend like it isn't a problem. Supporting small scale-businesses with sustainable practices is part of the solution. 

I know that while I may not be able to move the world quite yet, I can at the very least support fellow businesses that have the same values as I do.