Exactly a year ago today, Charlotte Cho launched Then I Met You, a brand she vowed would consist of only a highly selective range of game-changing products. It launched with a balm and a face wash to start — a double cleanse routine now beloved by many — and a year in the works, Then I Met You's The Birch Milk Toner & The Giving Essence are finally here. The two new products are all about getting brighter, better skin via the perfect combination of exfoliation and hydration, so if a radiant complexion is what you seek, Cho insists it's a launch you won't want to miss.
Cho, also the founder of Soko Glam, isn't the type to just release a product on a whim; in fact, the entire ethos of her brand is built on pure connection. "It's the Korean cultural concept of jeong, and that's a deep, emotional connection you can have with someone, or a place, or even a thing," she shared at a recent Then I Met You Event. Why jeong? "I wanted to infuse that positive sentiment into this line...You have to have a good skincare line that delivers results, but what other positive message can I put out in it?" Cho wondered. "That's why I created this line based on the concept of jeong, because I wanted people to be reminded and inspired to make those meaningful connections," she explained.
And just as it takes time to nourish deep connections, it takes time to achieve great skin — time spent using the right products:
Cue the brand's second drop, the Birch Milk Refining Toner and The Giving Essence. I'm pretty thrilled about both, but the Birch Milk Refining Toner is unlike any other product in my very large skincare arsenal, and for that reason, it stands out the most. "The next two products to come to Then I Met You' have to do with balance," Cho said at the event. "I really wanted to merge the perfect balance of Korean skincare, which is very deeply routed in hydration, and the American, Western aspect of skincare, which is very effective ingredients, usually from acids." The toner, which retails for $32, features a milky, hydrating base of birch juice, squalane, glycerin, and sodium hyaluronate, as well as a 1% of alpha hydroxy acids and polyhydroxy acids, including glycolic acid, lactic acid, and gluconolactone, to chemically exfoliate skin, helping with breakouts and reducing the look of pores and fine lines.
After cleansing, pour some toner onto a cotton pad (Or into your hands, as Cho does!) and pat onto the skin:
Most chemical exfoliants have a much higher percentage of acids, and therefore aren't suitable for everyday use or for sensitive skin types, but the gentle yet effective 1% of AHAs and PHAs in this formula make it a great option for almost everyone. For even more hydration, The Giving Essence is the ideal product to follow up with. Retailing for $50, the essence features 80% naturally fermented ingredients to hydrate the complexion, as well as ellagic acid to brighten, and antioxidant-rich black chokeberries and red algae.
A few drops in the hand pressed into skin is all it takes to reap this formula's hydrating, brightening benefits:
If Then I Met You's first launch was a game-changer in the world of cleansing, their second is a wake-up call for anyone overdoing (Or under-doing!) the hydrating and brightening elements of their skincare routine. To shop the new launches separately or in a $78 Skin Balancing Duo bundle, find them available exclusively on the Then I Met You website now.