Writer Véronique Lo | February 22, 2016

Blending beauty philosophies from East and West, Erborian offers simple, but effective, skincare solutions to women who care about their skin but do not have time for long, elaborate beauty regimens.

“When I first travelled to Korea, I fell in love with the sophisticated beauty regimen there. But I thought it was very difficult for Parisian women because it was too long. We don’t have the time; French women want immediate results – quick beauty but perfect skin,” says French co-founder Katalin Berenyi, who, upon meeting Hojung Lee, a scientist based in Seoul, decided to develop a beauty concept that combined Korean ingredients and technology with French scientific research, design and creativity.

In 2007, the duo launched Erborian, which means ‘herbs of the orient’, with the mission to share the traditional Korean beauty secrets to women around the world. To achieve this, they use a variety of high-quality ingredients such as ginseng, Centella asiatica (also known as tiger grass), wild chamomile and Chinese camellia. “We make sure we know where the ingredients are sourced. Some of them come from the island of Jeju in South Korea, for example. We also obtain the actives in a very traditional way, usually by decoction, which is the best way to do so because all the goods in the plants stay in the actives.”     

Also at the heart of the brand’s concept is a simple three-step routine. “We simplify the Korean ritual into a short, French version,” she explains. “This involves only three steps: Detox, Boost and Refine.”

Detox aims to cleanse and prepare the skin to be rehydrated and nourished, which is done in step two, Boost. The final step ‘refines’ the complexion by blending the right shade for your natural skin tone, adding luminosity and a translucent touch. Depending on their skin types and specific needs, clients can pick one or more products from each of the three categories to complete their daily skincare routine.

She adds, “It helps to shorten the ritual that our products are multitasking.” The BB Crème Nude Universal, which has been a bestseller since its launch in 2009, for instance, is a ‘five-in-one’ product that evens out complexion, reduces the appearance of blemishes, moisturises, refines the skin’s texture and gives a non-oily, velvety finish. It can be used in combination with the innovative PP (Pink Perfect) Crème and the CC Crème – a personal favourite of Berenyi’s – for different effects; using all three items together provides perfect coverage and a radiant finish.   

After almost a decade since its inception, the French-Korean company’s approach to beauty has garnered a loyal following around the globe, as evidenced by the international success of ‘The BB-CC-PP Trilogy’. Last year, the brand opened its flagship stores in Paris, Seoul and Moscow, and is now available in Hong Kong for the first time at Facesss in Harbour City. “We are very happy to be here with Facesss,” says Berenyi about the new retail counter. “For now we want to concentrate on the shop in Hong Kong. We are looking into different opportunities in Asia, but I can’t reveal much yet as nothing is confirmed. So watch this space!”

We simplify the Korean ritual into a short, French version
~ Katalin Berenyi