Snow Fox founder Phoebe Song knows all too well the push-pull that comes from wanting to use the most effective skincare, but finding it hinders more than it helps. As a rosacea sufferer, she often felt shut out by the buzziest ingredients, and resigned to a life of bland creams offering no results beyond keeping the worst of her symptoms at bay. Determined to find a way to make the most renowned ingredients available to all, she founded Snow Fox, a buzzy brand with a mission to give great results even to those with the most finicky skin. As she celebrates the brands tenth anniversary, Phoebe shared with us which ‘SOS’ product she reaches for when she needs to put the fire out, why she values a consistent skincare routine alongside every-so-often professional treatments, and tells us about her love for a controversial ingredient (let’s just say it comes with a pretty unexpected origin story!)

SNOW FOX FOUNDER PHOEBE SONG
image: instagram @phoebe.snowfox

“My inflammatory rosacea is both a blessing and curse.

It’s a chronic condition, meaning that I’ll have it for the rest of my life no matter what I do, however it has taught me so much, firsthand, about managing highly sensitive skin. It’s helped me to develop an understanding of the need to offer solutions to more complex problems.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SNOWFOXSKINCARE

Our products stand out because they deliver noticeable results, while still taking care of the skin. This is particularly important to individuals with sensitivities, or persistent skin concerns like redness and irritation.

Unlike traditional sensitive skincare which relies on only gentle formulas, our brand takes a different approach. We provide active formulas that prioritise performance, while also catering to troubled skin. We’re offering you more than just being bland enough to tolerate!

image: instagram @snowfoxskincare

Discipline is the key to getting your skin to look its best.

No matter how amazing your skincare products are, you have to ensure you’re using them as often as is really needed, and not just throwing on a mask here or there and hoping for the best. Professional treatments of top of that are a bonus. Unlike some skincare brand founders who insist on everything being ‘natural’, I’m always excited for new technical developments. Injectables and lasers have come a long way, and I think it’s great to do whatever will make you feel your most confident. I don’t think anyone should be judged if they want Botox, fillers or any other procedure. From my own experience, I think pulsed dye laser is a must for those with rosacea, because it can help with broken capillaries; topical skincare has its limits, after all. As for what lifestyle habits impact your skin, remember that it is another one of your organs – like the rest of you, your skin benefits from a healthy diet, getting enough movement, minimising stress and maximising sleep.

Most people are not born with sensitive skin. It’s usually a result of certain treatments, lifestyles, hormonal changes like during pregnancy, or good old fashioned ageing.

One commonly overlooked factor is pollution. My grandmother and so many others in her generation had amazing skin with minimal input required, thanks to their healthier lifestyles, simple beauty routines using more natural products, and existing in less polluted environments. By way of contrast, other relatives of mine who grew up in densely populated cities faced higher stress levels and had poorer diets, leading to more problematic skin, plus increased reliance on medications and interventions later in life.

To prevent sensitivity, it’s best to opt for the right ingredients and formulas for your skin, as well as to prioritise a healthy lifestyle and environment. I believe that many people develop sensitivity after using harsh products such as chemical peels, acids, strong cleansers, anti-acne products, heavy silicone-based makeup, and perfumed bath products. Harsher products tend to give you instant results, which is all fun and games until your skin has enough of it.

PHOEBE WITH HER ‘SOS’ GO-TO, THE ARCTIC BREEZE RESCUE MASK
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SNOWFOXSKINCARE

Retinol is your skincare BFF.

With countless retinoids available, it’s important to find one which incorporates soothing and hydrating agents to avoid being too harsh on the skin. Our retinol (Sake Ferment and Retinol Night Renewal Cream) is formulated with a patented Japanese retinol concentration which delivers rapid results. It is complemented by biotic sake ferment and a patented Japanese rice ceramide, which work to enhance your skin’s natural production of hyaluronic acid. This combination ensures you’re getting a comprehensive anti-aging system, while preventing dryness and peeling.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SNOWFOXSKINCARE

Epidermal Growth Factors aka EGFs are still quite controversial, partly due to the fact that they were originally sourced from human penises!

However, modern EGFs are extracted from barley and are vegan-friendly. Finding a quality EGF product remains a challenge because they are delicate and require a stable, airtight environment to maintain their effectiveness. They’re also incredibly expensive. Our EGF orbs are a best seller because they’re designed for professional use – the EGF is freeze dried alongside five types of ceramides and bio-fermented Italian hyaluronic acid, which gives the EGF a superior absorption delivery method. Then they’re stored in metal bound, airtight jars. To be clear, these jars are meant to be tricky to open, because they protect the EGFs inside from contamination at all costs. They might not be the easiest to access, but the results are mind blowing. (Still, I only recommend these if you have experience with opening metal bindings from ampoules or syringe bottles – many of our clients are nurses and they love them! Personally, I have no issue with using these special bottles, so I use the orbs constantly.)

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SNOWFOXSKINCARE

And finally… what are my favourites?

Our Herbal Youth Lotus Tonic really is the dark horse of the Snow Fox range. This is a nourishing, beautiful formula that goes beyond simple hydration; it boosts moisture retention in skin overtime. Using a tonic right after washing your face instantly replenishes water loss and is a great habit to get into. This is my personal daily staple and I will not go anywhere without it. I think it gets overlooked because its packaging is a bit basic; we will be re vamping this one soon!

Rosacea sufferers like me have the worst time trying to find retinoids that won’t give us bad reactions. It took me years to formulate our Sake Ferment & Retinol Night Renewal Cream so that I could happily use it myself. I had to get my Japanese CEO to source the particular patented retinol we use, because it’s a rare local ingredient that is kept under strict controls in Japan. I can’t say this enough: Japanese retinol is the best I’ve ever come across, and I’ve seen tons of versions in my work. It is stable, delivers results within days and minimizes redness and risk of irritation, all while boosting moisture levels – what more could you want? It’s something I’ve been using nightly since it was in its prototype stage, as even then I already loved it so much. A good retinol is really a treasure!

The Arctic Breeze Rescue Mask has been our signature product and best seller since day one (Ed. note: we loved it too.) Sheet masks saved my skin at its worst, so that holds special meaning for me. This one is an icy cold soothing pack that hydrates, calms and quite literally rescues your skin you’re in a pinch. We’ve had clinics use it as an after-laser recovery treatment, but it’s also the perfect mid-week pick me up. Masking even just once a week takes your skincare routine to a new level, so I always recommend it.”

PHOEBE AT THE FIRST SNOW FOX retail store and spa concept IN Beitou,
a picturesque Hot Springs town IN Taiwan
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @SNOWFOXSKINCARE

Story by Zoe Briggs. Imagery via instagram @phoebe.snowfox and @snowfoxskincare.

This article was produced in partnership with Snow Fox.

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