Yen Kuok of Guiltless, the pre-loved online shopping site studded with designer goodies, had spent a few leisurely and blissful hours at The Spa by Valmont when we caught up with her. This pretty girl-about-town has enviable skin that she maintains with a beauty routine that works wonders for her. She tried the spa’s signature products and treatments with glowing results and before she jetted off — honestly, she lives on a plane! — we asked her to reveal her beauty secrets.
How did you find the treatments at The Spa by Valmont?
It was everything a calming luxury spa should be, complete with ensuite bathroom, a jacuzzi, hotel slippers and heated blankets for your comfort (which I appreciated greatly since I’m always a bit chilly). The treatment itself was carried out by a highly knowledgeable and experienced skincare therapist who’s been at the Valmont Spa for close to 20 years, and it was very soothing yet effective and speedy! Also, with the plethora of different services, everyone will be able to find a treatment they need or want.
What worked best for you?
I tried their signature collagen facial that involved some extractions, and I must say, my face felt so much smoother after having those blackheads and spots completely cleaned out! Every time I try doing it at home, I end up with extreme redness and inflammation. At Valmont, my pores were completely cleaned out and there wasn’t a hint of redness! I’m glad I’ve found a reputable place that not only does amazing lifting facials but also extractions.
What’s important for you at a spa?
Being fresh and clean is the bare minimum of what I expect at a good spa. I’ve been to ones where the towels were ever so slightly damp and quite mouldy-smelling — a big no-no! It’s also important that the staff are friendly and welcoming (you’re going there to relax after all), and can perform excellent extractions that won’t leave you feeling worse than when you came in.
One of the new beauty products launched was their new Anti-Wrinkle Firmness (AWF5) skincare collection, which uses an exclusive complex of five active ingredients to target ageing problems of the skin. How did you like the latest offering?
I loved it! I know most people just want facials without learning the science behind ingredients, but I’m a skincare aficionado so I really appreciate it when a therapist know their stuff. I asked my Valmont facialist some very scientific questions and she came back with good answers that clearly show her expertise! It really boosted my confidence in her and the spa.
What was your favourite AWF5?
Each collection includes a serum, face cream and eye cream. I was informed that the two collections can be used separately or combined as desired. I really liked the eye cream, it’s gentle and not oily. After trying it on, I noticed that my skin felt really smooth. The results were really obvious. I’ve tried it at home and I also tried it at the spa, and I feel it was better with the massage.
On a personal side, you have amazing skin. How do you take care of yourself?
I pour a lot of effort into skincare research and its ingredients, so I know all the cutting-edge technology and ingredients in the skincare world! Proven effective ingredients such as L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C for evening skin tone) are mainstays in my routine.
What do you do for your skincare routine?
My morning and evening routine are completely different — which they should be! But it normally involves a good cleanse, then a pH-balancing toner, then two or three serums that specifically target different issues such as fine lines or hyperpigmentation, and finally a light moisturiser and neck and eye cream! In the morning, of course, sunscreen is king!
When you travel, especially on long flights, what do you do to protect your skin?
For long flights, I usually cleanse my face really well and bring moisturisers and facial mists that aren’t just water-based (they need a little bit of oil so as not to evaporate and further dry out your skin). Of course, I slather on sunscreen if I’m landing during the day, and lip balm is an absolute must!
You’ve got very healthy habits, and you rarely drink. Has this always been the case?
As the last child in my family, my parents were so strict with me growing up. They sent me to a school where nobody engaged in any form of leisure activity, let alone partying, so when I grew up and had a curfew beyond 9pm, partying just felt somewhat awkward and unnatural for me! I’m also quite a hermit at heart and would rather cuddle up and chill with a movie at home. The snuggle is real!
You have a lot of loyal followers. Any tips you can give the ladies when it comes to self-maintenance?
I know it’s much easier said than done — and I still struggle with it myself — but we really shouldn’t care about what others say or think about us. People engage in gossip for two reasons: They’re either secretly jealous of you, or their lives are so boring and unfulfilling that they need someone to target to make them feel better about themselves. Both are somewhat pitiful and sad! Also, stay away from frenemies who only take and don’t give, those who ghost when times are hard, use you to spread through your friend network like the plague, and secretly compete with you in terms of career, attractiveness, knowledge, etc. Stay away from toxic people!
You’re still very young but are there things you’re doing already to prevent or slow the ageing process?
I get mild laser facials every three weeks or so, and I regularly chemically exfoliate and slather on multiple serums at home. Also, I know this has been said to death, but broad spectrum sunscreen is the single most important thing you can do to combat the ageing process! And remember: Ageing UVA rays (as opposed to sunburn-causing UVB rays) penetrate through windows even on rainy or cloudy days, giving you cumulative damage in later years!
Finally, what’s the best advice you’ve gotten regarding skincare and anti-ageing?
Double cleanse (with an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup, then clean again with a stronger cleanser to actually clean your face) every night, change your pillowcase at least every 2 days, and (for all you budding skincare nerds) make sure the pH values of products you’re using don’t cancel out each other’s benefits!
AWF5V-LINE LIFTING CONCENTRATE HK$2,180/30ml
AWF5V-LINE LIFTING CREAM HK$2,300/50ml
AWF5 V-LINE LIFTING EYE CREAM HK$1,780/15ml
AWF5V-SHAPE FILLING CONCENTRATE HK$2,300/30ml
AWF5V-SHAPE FILLING CREAM HK$2,500/50ml
AWF5V-SHAPE FILLING EYE BALM HK$1,880/15ml