Everyone’s been watching the rise of Korean skincare in the ridiculously crowded world of beauty. Korean beauty products can now easily be found just down the block on the counters of your local big-box stores (we won’t even bother naming them). But did you know? Korean beauty just got even more exciting with truly organic and natural ingredients.
Here at Ohlolly, we love our tried and true K-beauty brands and their products. But we never stop looking for what’s next and what actually works. Enter Urang (pronounced, yoo-räng, with an "ah" sound). Urang is a wellness brand as much as a skincare beauty brand with values rooted in honesty and consciousness. This is exciting to us.
Meet founder, Jina Lee, a mother and holistic aromatherapist who created a skincare line that uses truly natural and organic ingredients that are safe for the whole family. Urang is not just good for you but it also works.
ON DREAMING OF URANG:
Ohlolly: What did you do before Urang?
Jina Lee: Before launching Urang I worked at a pharmaceutical and biochemistry company for seven years and then decided to stay home once I became a mother.
What sparked the idea?
My husband and I both suffered from atopic skin conditions, and when I became pregnant, I really wanted to use something that was safe for me and my child. I started to really pay attention to the ingredients that were going into the beauty products I was using every day. I learned that some cosmetic ingredients can be toxic and began to study cosmetic ingredients, cosmetic chemistry, fragrances and how to make them. You could say it became my passion. I fell so in love with natural and organic products that at one point I was spending nearly $2,000 a month!
How did you start?
I can say that Urang was born for my family, first and foremost. My first product was the Multi Balm for irritated nipple and diaper rash. And I highly recommend this product for new moms. Currently we are working on a moisturizing lotion safe for the whole family, as my firstborn child is starting to get dry spots on his face.
Was it scary starting your own brand?
At first I didn’t realize how complicated the business of cosmetic brands was; I just wanted to share the products that I truly loved and believed in. I didn’t know the industry well enough to be intimidated by it, so I jumped in without looking back. I had no idea that I would make Urang a cosmetic brand; it was not planned. In the end, my hobby became my brand.
What keeps you motivated?
My motivation comes from my family. Urang was born for my family and the strength to keep going is also rooted in my family. Because I use it, and also my beloved family uses it, I will continue to keep the value of Urang. My attempt was only possible because of my passion for these products. But I do feel it is my destiny to continue with Urang. As my brand grows, however, I need to be more brave.
ON SOURCING QUALITY AND ORGANIC INGREDIENTS:
You travel all around the world, literally seeing the actual ingredients to make sure they are high quality. Why did you decide to do it this way?
The ingredients that go into Urang’s products are of utmost importance to me. Safety and quality of beauty products start from the ingredients. Organic rose water and rose essential oil are used in many Urang products; I went straight to the source in Bulgaria to see the manufacturing facility and meet the people involved in making them. If an ingredient is not up to my personal standard, we do not use it in Urang products.
Can you highlight some of the natural ingredients in Urang products?
Tamanu Oil - Tamanu oil is highly antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial and has been used in different applications for a long time. It’s a significant healing agent that’s also effective in treating acne. Tamanu oil is used in Urang Multi Balm - we had to adjust the amount of Tamanu Oil because of the scent, but it’s the reason why the Multi Balm is so great.
Rose Water - Rose water comes from steeping rose petals in water. Rose water is not only hydrating for your skin but therapeutic with a gentle fragrance of rose. You can drink rose water as well. The benefits of rose water are pretty much endless. Many Urang products feature rose water, including the True Rose Repair Essence and Rose Ceramide Cream.
Chamomile Oil - Chamomile oil is very significant essential oil. It’s safe and gentle enough for babies and used in homeopathic ways by families in Europe. Chamomile oil is highly anti-inflammatory, it also has healing and brightening properties. Chamomile Oil is in Urang’s Glow Oil Serum as well as Whitening Blue Oil that’s coming soon.
Urang products expire so much faster than conventional products in the market. Are you worried about this?
Since our products don’t use chemical preservatives, the shelf life is short. We make small batches to keep fresh stock on hand. Sure there’s a risk of having to throw away expiring products if we don’t sell all of them, but that’s Urang’s value we want to keep.
ON SELF CARE:
What does your skincare routine look like?
On most days, I cleanse using Urang Cleansing Oil or Creamy Bubble Foam Cleanser. I double cleanse only on the days I wear a lot of makeup. Then I always use a pH Balancing Mist - this is a must! Healthy skin is slightly acidic (pH 4.8-6), so I make sure to use a pH Balancing Mist to lower the pH of my skin as soon as I’m done cleansing. Then I follow with Rose Ceramide Cream. I use Multi Balm on my lips, eyes and laugh lines. When I feel that my skin needs a special care, I use a couple of drops of Urang Oil Serums when my skin is still wet. Oil loves water - Urang’s concentrated oil serums work best when your skin is moist. I also use Rose Essence alone or mixed with a couple of drops Oil Serum when my skin feels dry. You definitely feel the difference the next morning.
Can you share a favorite skincare tip?
As I am testing many different products/formulations, I breakout on my forehead. My remedy for acne is adding less than a drop of 100% therapeutic tea tree essential oil to Urang’s Rose Essence and apply it directly to the troubled area using a q-tip. Synergy created with antibacterial tea tree oil and skin rejuvenating rose serum works really great. Tea Tree oil is very strong so it must be diluted using another oil or serum.
Do you ever do special treatments for yourself or your skin?
Currently, I am not doing anything special other than using Urang products consistently. I used to go get facials and body treatments at a spa once a week, but I’ve been so busy I haven’t gone for over a year. Occasionally, on top of my daily skincare routine, I make my own sheet mask, washable mask or exfoliant. Also lately I have been using the Rose Essence layered on top of Ceramide Cream. It works like sleeping pack and my skin just loves it.
Thanks Jina for taking the time to talk with us. You're an inspiration!
Clearly, we at Ohlolly are smitten with everything Urang. We can't wait for you to experience it and fall in love, too. Just in case you missed the very last part, Jina likes to use her Rose Essence layered on top of the Rose Ceramide Cream. Ok, now you HAVE to try that.
Shop Urang now!
p.s. Here's Jina showing us how Urang's handmade soaps are actually made. Watch!