Kiehl’s Asia Symposium @ Seoul

Comments (3) Beauty

* written by SweetEe *

I was flown to Seoul by Kiehl’s last year as a representative of KinkyBlueFairy for a 2-day symposium in conjunction with Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solution 10th year anniversary celebration.

It was my first time visiting the city, and I was excited for weeks prior to the trip because Seoul is the title holder of World Design Capital in 2010. Along with all the stories I’ve heard from Joyce along with some tour books I got, I couldn’t wait to see what the city had to offer.


The view from my room overlooking N Seoul tower. We were checked into Hotel Grand Ambassador, which was conveniently located near popular areas such as MyeongDong and HongDae.

Waking up to this view daily brightened up my mood despite the cold weather, which I wasn’t a big fan of.


I didn’t pack much skin care as winter wear took up most of my luggage space. I figured that since the country is widely famous for its skin care products (and regime: 7-steps, guys!) I could just fulfil all my skin care needs over there.

But surprise, surprise! When I entered my hotel room, I found TWO bags of Kiehl’s travel-sized skin and body care products! I was excited and a little bit relieved because I didn’t need to spend my Korean Won on skin care products anymore!

Let me list down the products that I received:

Basic Skin Care: Ultra Facial Cleanser, Ultra Facial Toner, Ultra Facial Cream (for normal and dry skin) and Ultra Tight Daily UV Defense SPF 50++ UVA.

Serums: Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution, Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate, Midnight Recovery Concentrate (this is one of their star products),  and Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream.

Hair Care: Amino Acid Shampoo and Amino Acid Conditioner.

Body Care: Bath & Shower Liquid Body Cleanser “Grapefruit”, Vetiver & Black Tea Body Lotion & Body Cleanser.

Extra: Ultimate Strength Hand Salve and Creme de Corps.

See what I mean? ALL of my skin care needs were taken care of! I feel so spoilt. THANKS, KIEHL’S!


A selfie is mandatory when you’re in a hotel room with great natural morning light. This was after 3 days of using the samples provided by Kiehl’s, the result was far better than what I expected (which explained why I’m such a BIG FAN to the brand now).

I was deeply worried that my dry skin might take a turn for the worse due to the cold and dry weather there, but I was wrong. My skin’s condition actually got so much better and my face felt more moisturised than it was in Malaysia.


Since our first day was free and easy, I joined the Malaysian media and Joy (PR representative of Kiehl’s from Malaysia) to Myeong Dong for some shopping and sight-seeing.

Myeong Dong is filled with many popular Korean skin care brands. In almost every store, at least one shop assistant standing at the entrance is able to speak in different languages – Mandarin, Cantonese, English, Japanese and Korean.


Lotte Plaza. Seoul was decked in full-fledged Christmas deco and it was magical! I forced myself not to step inside so I wouldn’t waste ALL my money on the first day. Wherever I go, I have this shopaholic urge to splurge on stationery, apparel, skin care, home decor, etc. They’re all just too cute and pretty! Thank you, self-control. Never knew I had it in me.


I ventured into the underground market near Myeong Dong after a while, because I read in a guide book that it’s the best place to experience a different feel of shopping in Seoul.

I really loved the underground market cos it was less crowded compared to the streets in MyeongDong. There were plenty of traditional items such as Hanbok (traditional Korean attire), crystals, jewelry and super cute luggage bags! Yes, luggage bags. It was one of the items I was most attracted to while I was there.

I was really tired that day as we’d only just arrived that morning, so I went back to the hotel after to catch some rest. It was also because the symposium would officially commence early the next morning, and I wanted to be fresh for it!


On the second day, we were brought to Song Eun Art Space located in Cheong Dam Dung, Gangnam.

The venue was designed to look like a modern garden with a heart-shaped sculpture welcoming all guests, and a restaurant facing the entrance. The symposium was held in a wide hall downstairs that accommodated more than 75 members of the media from eight countries in Asia.




We were first introduced to the Worldwide General Manager of Kiehl’s – Cheryl Vitali.

Before I learnt that she’s the GM, I mistook her for some celebrity as she’s drop dead gorgeous.


Dr. Geoffrey Genesky, Head of Kiehl’s Laboratory, Research and Innovation lead the presentation after.

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We learnt a few things about the progress of Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions.

What I like most about the Dermatologist Solutions range is how focus is placed on the efficacy of the product, instead of fancy packaging design.

Kiehl’s close relationship with their dermatologists allows them to foresee the latest skin concern trends of the world and develop products that are most needed by the crowd. In partnering with the dermatologists, they were able to define the effectiveness, strengths and weaknesses of its product range. Focusing on scientific facts has been their main tactic in providing truly efficient and SAFE skin care.

I emphasise safe because I’ve always had problems with dermatologist range of products as my skin gets irritated due to its dry and thin condition. But I’ve never experienced any problems with Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions products, which made me extremely happy because I can now pick a product that is suitable for my skin’s needs.


The session with the spokesperson of Kiehl’s – Ms Cammann Cannella, Vice President of Global Education Development of Kiehl’s, was my favourite part of the symposium. I was deeply enraptured by her charm and elegance, so much so that I was starstruck when she praised my then-purple hair!

Thru Ms Cannella, I learnt that the original Kiehl’s store is located at 3rd Avenue and 13th Street, New York, and was first started as a pharmacy in 1851. Known for combining science and the best possible natural remedies around the world, a patient to Kiehl’s back in the day was diagnosed by a chemist or pharmacist  wearing a white lab coat, which explains the signature skeleton model + lab coat in all Kiehl’s stores today.

Aaron Morse, son of Irving Morse (the apprentice of the original owner John Kiehl) then formulated the first Kiehl’s skin and haircare products after deciding that he didn’t want to continue the place as a pharmacy anymore. He took all the knowledge and experience the pharmacy had and developed their own range of products, some of which remain popular to date such as Ultra Facial Cream, Lip Balm #1, and Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion.

In the following years, the company funded numerous scientific studies in established educational institutions such as Harvard and Columbia University. All efforts and determination lead to a strong product development i.e. their widely success and potent Dermatologist Solutions range today.

The introduction of Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions back in 2005 included the Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate. The products were very much favoured by customers, and they started visiting dermatologists not just for medical treatments, but on a regular basis to have younger, healthier looking skin as part of their daily treatments.

Another significant breakthrough of Kiehl’s is the stabilised Vitamin C that was re-introduced in an eye treatment. It was one of the original products that are safe to use around the eye (Vitamin C was initially too harsh for the delicate eye area).


In 2011, Kiehl’s introduced the Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution – a new advanced treatment for dark spots that need to be broken down and overall skin clarity. It is believed that you can prevent 90% of premature skin-aging with it.


During lunch, we were brought to Restaurant K&R (the restaurant in the entrance) that served a fusion of Korean and Western cuisine.



I believe mushrooms must be a really popular dish in Korea, cos I had it in almost every meal. They were delicious, of course.


Entree of steamed octopus salad.

After lunch, we were brought downstairs again for an interview with the dermatologist panel from all around the world: U.S, South Korea, Switzerland, etc.


Dr Gee Young Bae (on left) from South Korea just joined Kiehl’s dermatologist panel last year; Dr Derek Jones (on right) from Los Angelas was named the ‘go-to dermatologist’ by Hollywood Reporter. He’s also the consulting dermatologist of Kiehl’s. By the way, he’s in his 50s..!

I’m just gonna list down the few important key points I learnt from the interview.

1. A suitable skin care regime is the only ultimate solution for good skin, and aesthetic procedures reach its limit by a certain point of time. It all goes back to the basics of cleansing, toning and moisturising to maintain healthier skin for a longer period.

2. Although exfoliation is necessary, cleansing has been overrated. We don’t actually need that many cleansing products for good skin.

3. Skin care has no age nor gender limits.

More to come in my next post!


In the mean time, Kiehl’s made some advancements by introducing the new Precision Lifting & Pore Tightening Concentrate this month. As we girls know, large pores are a nightmare. I hate my pores! I used to apply LAYERS of foundation on my face just to cover them up, but someone told me it would worsens the condition so I stopped, and started learning how to embrace my horrendous pores. I’m still learning now.


Did you know that enlarged pores is a key sign of aging skin? *grabs a magnifying glass to check my pores immediately, oh noes.. I knew embracement wouldn’t work!*

“To effectively address sagging skin and enlarged pores, we identified ingredients with strong dossiers to support skin’s elasticity, firmness and tonicity,” stated Dr. Geoff Genesky, Head of Kiehl’s Skincare Laboratory.

The Micro-Filtered Yeast Extract used has been purified to yield a potent, yet gentle ingredient. In in-vitro studies, this ingredient has been demonstrated to show a significant effect on markers of skin firmness and elasticity, including the stimulation of Collagen that support the skin at both a surface and pore level.

“What makes Kiehl’s Micro-Filtered Yeast Extract unique and effective is that it was derived from fresh, cultivated yeast which undergoes a multi-step micro-filtration process,” noted Dr. Genesky.

“This process yields an ultra-purified form of the ingredient, composed mostly of polysaccharides and proteins. Our formula, featuring this refined yeast, acts to visibly lift skin and tighten pores.”

Another key ingredient used is the Geranium Essential Oil which has been shown to stimulate biomarkers associated to anti-aging and anti-oxidant benefits, and to protect against the degradation of collagen and elastin. Preliminary clinical studies, have further suggested the use of Geranium Essential Oil for wrinkle reduction and for improving skin tone.

For the formula, Kiehl’s chemists chose a specific form of Geranium Essential Oil that was obtained through a steam distillation process. This minimal processing helps to preserve the ingredient’s most potent components to deliver optimal results.

Kiehl’s stores are located at major shopping malls in Malaysia.

For more information, you can also log on to their website or Facebook page!


3 Responses to Kiehl’s Asia Symposium @ Seoul

  1. […] This is Part 2 of my trip to Seoul for Kiehl’s Asia Symposium. For blogpost of Part 1, click *here*! […]

  2. […] previous posts, click the links below > Kiehl’s Asia Symposium @ Seoul Kiehl’s Asia Symposium @ Seoul: Day […]

  3. […] previous posts, click the links below > Kiehl’s Asia Symposium @ Seoul Kiehl’s Asia Symposium @ Seoul: Day […]

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