If anyone knows skincare, it’s Anthony Harper - @ajkbeauty. From topicals, serums, essences, masks and toners, you can be sure that he has tried and provided his honest, detailed reviews on all of these products. We’re happy to feature him in our latest #EPCrew interview to learn more about his inspiration and philosophies behind skincare.
Tell us a little bit about how you got started with creating skincare and beauty content?
After falling in love with all things K-Beauty/skincare...I started sharing my thoughts and experience with products/brands via Facebook. From there, I created my blog and YouTube channel as well as sharing shortened versions of my reviews on Instagram. Taking photos of products, adjusting lighting, and coming up with unique shots is something that has taken me quite some time to get down (especially when it comes to finding my style)...but I’m learning and appreciate the guidance others in the community have given me.
How did you get started with your skincare routine?
About 2-3 years ago...I hit a crossroads with my skin. I had spent years trying various product lines on and off (with little success) and spending money on spa treatments/facials without much result was getting frustrating.
I was introduced to K-Beauty by a family member and from then on I have been obsessed with not only products hailing from Korea...but the entire skincare industry.
Initially, I jumped in with the classic “10-step skincare routine” but have slowly evolved from that into something a bit more dynamic/fluid. Right now I am using a more simplified routine that focuses on hydration and the promotion of skin cell turnover (aka exfoliation).
What is your skincare philosophy?
I think my overall skincare philosophy is that sticking to a prescribed routine or brand is not 100% necessary.
Customization is key...slowly working products into a routine and building based on individual needs.
Building on the basics of cleansing, hydration, protection is kind of where I point most people. For some that may mean just a single cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF...while others may end up needing/wanting a toner, essence, and serum(s).
Tell us a little bit about your daily self-care routine?
In the am I keep it fairly simple with a single cleanse (Evenprime Cleansing Gel), Vitamin C (Rosen Bright Citrus Serum), Toner/Essence (Evenprime Soothing Mist), and SPF (Keep Cool Soothe Bamboo Sun Essence SPF 50+ PA++++).
In the evening...things can get a bit more complicated lol! I almost always double cleanse (Farmacy Green Clean followed by Evenprime Cleansing Gel), and then go into exfoliation. I typically rotate AHA, BHA, and physical exfoliation with a day or two in between.
From there I go for hydration (Evenprime Soothing Mist), usually a serum (Beauty of Joseon Glow Serum), and a moisturizer (Evenprime Daily Moisturizer). Now that the cool weather is upon us...I’ll sometimes add a facial oil (Solved Skincare Jojoba Oil).
Is there anything unique in your routine that is tailored towards your lifestyle?
Not necessarily. There isn't anything too unique about my day-to-day routine/lifestyle. I suppose the number of products I have in my stash waiting to be tested is quite large and can be hard to manage. So, I have a spreadsheet that helps me keep track of start and end dates for a product in my routine, the cost of the items, expiration dates, and my overall thoughts. It’s pretty regimented and a little obsessive lol.
What is the most important skincare advice you can give to your community?
The biggest takeaway I have had/advice I can give thus far is understanding that skincare or addressing skin issues is a HUGE grey area. Trial/error has been the only thing for me that has worked.
Building a list of ingredients and products that have been winners for me allows me to take a step back and look at trends…” okay, every toner I have loved contains xyz ingredients…” you get the idea.
Picking up every new and exciting product sight unseen has been something I have fallen into (and sometimes still do)...but you can save yourself a lot of time, money, and heartache by listening to your skin over marketing.
What are some of your must-have skincare products?
Cleansing and sunscreen are probably my two most favorite steps as they are kind of the “bookends” to my routine and I consider them to be most important.
Some of my favorite cleansers have included the Make P: rem Safe Me Relief Moisture Cleansing Foam, Solved Skincare Coconut Water Cleansing Foam, and Evenprime Cleansing Gel.
Each of these has proven to offer a gentle yet effective cleanse...with the bonus of a hydrated/dewy feel after rinsing.
As for sunscreens...the Krave Beauty Beet Shield and Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence stand out as being super lightweight and easily absorbed. Plus, their lack of white-cast is something that I appreciate.
If you were on the deserted island and could only bring 3 things...what would those be and why?
Sunscreen: I have to protect myself from UV exposure. One of my favorite sci-fi books: Many of them I can read and re-read without getting bored. Last but not least, More Sunscreen: Yeah, it’s that important to me lol!
As you know, EVENPRIME is inspired by 90s anime and gaming. What’s your favorite 90s anime or game? Favorite Character?
To be 100% honest...even as a kid of the 90s I wasn’t really into anime or gaming. However, there was a game that I played called Bloody Roar that I got into for summer lol. My favorite character in that game was Alice.
The packaging and aesthetic of Evenprime did draw me in...but rather than associating it with gaming/anime it gave me science fiction vibes.
I’ve always loved science fiction and adventure novels since I was a kid. Starting with titles like Journey To The Center Of The Earth and Jurassic Park. From there I dove into Dune, Ender’s Game, and several books by Isaac Asimov into my teens and twenties.
Most recently I have loved the Expanse series...Crisjen Avasarala being my favorite character thus far.
Thank you to Anthony for being an important part of the skincare community and opening up about his experiences with these questions. Be sure to check out his Instagram @AjkBeauty and youtube also @AjkBeauty