Even former child stars who were born beautiful need a little extra help when it comes to keeping up their perfect complexions.
For South Korea’s “nation’s little sister” Kim Yoo Jung (who, with her 20th birthday coming up, is actually not so little anymore), the two key secrets to her glowing visage are hydration and discipline.
“Since I was blessed with naturally good skin, I didn’t spend much time taking care of it when I was younger,” she admitted during our interview last Saturday (Jun 29), a few hours before her appearance at Laneige’s Plaza Singapura pop-up. “But as I got older, I realised the importance of putting in effort to maintain this good skin, so now I pay a lot of attention to keeping it clean and moisturised.”
This is a habit Yoo Jung told us is shared amongst her fellow actors and actresses throughout the seasons. “We always make sure to drink lots of water and use good skincare products to keep ourselves hydrated,” she explained.
Drinking bubble tea counts as keeping hydrated... right? (Additional photo: Instagram/Kim Yoo Jung)
Then there’s the relatively straightforward matter of not being lazy at the end of the day, no matter how exhausted she may be. “Even naturally good skin can become very dry after long hours of makeup, so I make sure the very first thing I do after coming home from work is to wash my face thoroughly to remove all makeup and impurities.”
Here, she expertly fulfilled her duty as Laneige ambassador by casually mentioning her use of the K-beauty giant’s popular overnight leave-on mask. “When I wake up the next day, my skin may not be 100 percent back to its usual state, but it’s almost there,” she smiled (what an honest brand ambassador, too).
Yoo Jung poses with Laneige's new products. (Photo: Laneige/Ashley Mak)
All that hard work clearly pays off. Sitting just an arm’s length away from her, we couldn’t help but marvel at her porcelain skin (don’t worry, we made sure to avoid any creepy ogling), accentuated by the doll-like features that helped propel her to stardom at a very young age (she made her debut when she was just 4 years old, by the way).
Of course, Yoo Jung does not get by with her good looks alone, as evidenced by her staying power in the industry, acclaim for her skills in the form of numerous award nominations and wins, as well as her continuous growth as an actress.
At the tender age of 17, she landed her first lead role in period drama Love in the Moonlight alongside Park Bo Gum, garnering rave reviews for her portrayal of a woman who disguises herself as a eunuch. Her latest drama Clean with Passion for Now (in which she was also the lead actress) finished airing earlier this year, and she is currently filming mystery thriller The Eighth Night.
Yoo Jung was paired up with Park Bo Gum in 'Love in the Moonlight' (left) and with Yoon Kyun Sang in 'Clean with Passion for Now' (right). (Photos: Facebook/KBS World, JTBC Drama)
The latter promises to show a new side of Yoo Jung, namely, one that’s darker and more sinister than the spunky, bright heroines she’s come to be known for. We’d be lying if we said we weren’t expecting tales of how stepping out of her comfort zone caused no small amount of unease, but it seems we underestimated her (our bad).
While she acknowledged that there is indeed a stark difference between her current character and all the others she’s previously played, Yoo Jung reported that she doesn’t find it challenging (at least, not yet). In fact, she’s having a ball on set, thanks to her colleagues.
“All the cast members and staff are very professional and great to work with, so it’s been very enjoyable for me so far,” she said. Well, that’s because you’re a very good actress, we remarked, a message the interpreter relayed to her, prompting a shy smile and a soft “thank you” (yes, in English) from Yoo Jung.
And it appears she has no intention of staying stagnant or being confined to a box when it comes to her future performances. When we asked how she wishes to challenge herself as an actress, she took some time to think it over before answering, “I feel that there are certain types of roles that I’m fit to play at every age and stage of my life, so I just hope to keep finding characters that I can best portray at that point in time to make them more relatable to audiences.”
Were you that insightful and forward-thinking at 19? We honestly weren’t, but then again, we didn’t start working before we even entered kindergarten.
Yoo Jung drew a large crowd during her public appearance at Laneige's Plaza Singapura pop-up. (Photo: Laneige/Ashley Mak)