With a win at the 30th SEA Games securing his spot in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, Joseph Schooling is starting 2020 on a high note. As if there wasn’t already enough on his plate—he counts being ambassadors to Hugo Boss and Tag Heuer in his resume, among other pursuits such as his own swim school—Schooling is adding another feather in his cap with JS Orphic, his very own newly-minted skincare range.
Created in collaboration with local aesthetician Dr SM Yuen of Atlas Medi-Aesthetics and a team of skincare specialists hailing from Korea, the Olympic champ had set out to develop a line of products that covered the basics, but with the addendum that it be geared towards genuine efficacy. Derived from natural ingredients and formulated using the most advanced technology, JS Orphic is designed to alleviate common skin concerns, such as dryness, visible pores, and sensitivity, as well as to provide long lasting protection in order to stimulate healthy skin rejuvenation.
In fact, the label on the tin says ‘performance skincare’, with the initial launch of four products aimed at cleansing, hydrating, repairing, and protecting. So how does an Olympian-backed skincare collection stack up against the myriad of other brands out there? In an exclusive interview, Schooling schools us on JS Orphic, his past struggles with his skin, and how a good skincare routine is paramount, regardless of gender.
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As an Olympic champion, venturing into the realm of beauty is probably the last thing your supporters and fans would have imagined. So what was behind the decision to create your own skincare brand?
Skincare has always been a big part of my life. I had skin problems since I was a little kid due to the constant exposure to chlorine and sunlight. I had frequent swim practice and my hair was bleached, and I developed sun spots and patches on my body. It would get flaky and uncomfortable and my mum took me to doctors to address the issues. I started using moisturisers then, and it has been a big part of my daily routine since I was 11 years old.
In 2017, when I was doing my treatment with Dr Yuen, I saw marked improvements to my skin with the adoption of a new simple skincare routine as well as using some of the products Dr Yuen recommended. I also discovered that I was not alone in my skincare issues and several of my team mates had similar concerns. Because of what I went through, I had more tips to share, and it occurred to me that more folks out there should know about skincare especially those who have an active lifestyle.
Can you share with us what’s unique about JS Orphic? Are there particular ingredients or innovative formulations that differ from the mass skincare offerings on the market?
The products feature patented ingredients from Korea. We try to integrate duo or multi-function for each product. All our products are medical grade skin care solutions; it is natural, gentle and suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin.
For example, for the sunscreen, it is a UV-ray blocker that is both a moisturiser and help protects the skin from free radical damage. It has the patented ingredient ceramides complex.
My favourite and most frequently used product is the Stem Cell+ Snail Waterfall Serum. I use it frequently like a moisturiser on both my face and body as my skin is very dry! The unique patented ingredients in this product includes Althaea Rosea in the formulation. It enhances moisturisation and provides a calming and skin softening effect to support skin regeneration and recovery.
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Tell us more about the collaborative process working with the skincare specialists from Atlas Aesthetics. Did you go into this ready with a checklist of what you wanted—or didn’t want—in your skincare range?
Together with Dr Yuen from Atlas Medical – Laser & Aesthetics Clinic, we developed a simple range that is easy to use and essential for most skincare needs.
I was also involved in the selection process of the partner laboratory. Our Korean lab had to be highly reputable and reliable with past successes and experience in manufacturing global brands. I also tested the products while learning about the key active ingredients and the insights shared by the research and development team.
Personally, I do not like products that has strong smells and I did not want creams that are too rich in texture. My key request to the team was that the product needs to be high-performance for moisturising yet feels comfortable on the skin. While it sounds easy and fun, there was a lot of effort, it took us about three years to prepare for this range of products.
What skin types are best suited to use JS Orphic?
All skin types, especially those with sensitive skin.
Please walk us through your daily skincare routine.
It’s a ritual now, but I definitely use moisturisers after practice and after showers. Generally, I would use the hydrating moisturiser in the morning and the Stem Cell+ and Snail Waterfall extract in the evenings. It has a light yet luxurious texture and is incredibly moisturising.
You have to understand, sometimes, I shower many times a day, especially when I have practices. So I moisturise multiple times! During peak times, I would use the snail serum throughout the day. There is always a jar of the snail serum in my bag. I also use sunscreen religiously. Typically, during practice, I will reapply sunscreen hourly.
What were some of the skincare issues you struggled with growing up? And did you ever have any embarrassing stories that resulted from having bad skin days?
My long hours spent in the pool and the sun led to dry flaky skin as well as several patches of sun spots. I remember the discomfort due to the dry skin and that inevitably led to embarrassment as the discolorations of the skin is obvious and flaky skin is definitely not attractive!
Are there any skincare tips or tricks you’ve picked up from your mum (or dad) that you swear by?
My mum and dad gave me very important lessons in life—to have the right values and to be respectful always. They drilled in me the importance of inner goodness and beauty. That’s just as, if not, more important.
What would be the one piece of skincare advice you wished you could have told your younger self?
Skincare is very important and you have to start taking care of your skin at a very young age. And skincare issues are not gender specific; it can hit anyone. So, moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!
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What’s your take on today’s conversation around men and their relationship with skincare? Would you say more men are now actively looking after their skin, as the gender stereotype about skincare breaks down?
Men are definitely more open to skincare today, and more of us are open to it being part of a daily ritual. I believe that the conversation that skincare is not just for women needs to be amplified and that men should not feel shy about wanting to take care of their skin as part of a daily ritual.
Tell us what’s next for JS Orphic! Are there new products in the pipeline?
Yes, we are targeting to introduce another product next year. We are also looking at exciting partnerships for skincare education as well! Look out for more updates.