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NOW READING Mother’s Day Special: Confessions of a Skincare Mom
May 13, 2018

Mother’s Day Special: Confessions of a Skincare Mom

On this Mother’s Day, skincare mom Fiddy Snails reflects on her beauty memories of her mother and how she hopes to instill in her son not just good moisturizing habits but healthy self-care practices. And to share the love, Beautytap will be donating 10% of every purchase made on our site to an orphanage in South Korea. Read on for more details.


Every night when I put my son to bed, I thank him for being my son. And every night when I thank him for being my son, he says, “Thank you for being my mom.”


It’s the sweetest part of my day and one of the sweetest things he says. It’s right up there with “You’re the best at EVERYTHING, Mom” (this kid knows what I like to hear). Until I promised to write a Mother’s Day article, however, I never really thought much about what reasons he might have to thank me for being his mother.


Coming up with reasons I’m lucky that this child is my child? That’s easy. I could go on about his awesomeness all day. I think most moms could. But coming up with reasons he’s lucky that this mom right here is his mom? When you’re flailing every day just trying to do your best at all the things you have to do that day, finding those reasons is harder.


After extensive thought, I did come up with a few. One of those reasons is perfectly suited to an article on this site: I’m a skincare mom!


skincare mom


This kid will not enter adolescence destroying his skin in misguided attempts to treat typical adolescent skin eruptions. In fact, he’ll be well-equipped to fend those off long before he hits 13. How could he not be? He’s seen me diligently cleansing, hydrating, and moisturizing my face nearly all his life.


Sharing skincare with my offspring is particularly meaningful to me because of the memories it brings back of my adoptive mom.


My adoptive mom was my first skincare role model. Always in the background of my childhood memories — and in the foreground of many of my favorite memories — were her Clinique soap, encased in the green plastic case with the Clinique logo embossed in gold across the top, and her Oil of Olay “beauty fluid” in the pale pink bottle. I hope my son someday remembers my gold-topped Sulwhasoo bottles and endless tubes of A’Pieu sunscreen just as fondly as I remember Mom’s Clinique and Olay today.


A post shared by Jude Chao (@fiddysnails) on


(He may look back less affectionately on my sheet mask habit, but at least he isn’t actively disturbed by them the way he used to be.)


His routine at 7 years old is appropriately simple. Every night, he washes his face with a gentle, low pH facial cleanser that won’t damage his skin barrier or strip away his youthful natural moisture. He’s currently liking the Holy Snails Kadi Cleanser, made by my good friend Chel, creator of Holy Snails indie skincare.


After cleansing, he moisturizes with a non-greasy, light to medium-weight moisturizer to help protect his skin from the elements and from frequent rinsing off of food smears and random child gunk. He’s about to finish off a jar of SanDaWha ReNew Moisturizing Liposome cream. I’ve approved of SanDaWha products for him ever since we tried the SanDaWha baby line last year.


He’s not yet at the daily sunscreen stage, though he does voluntarily apply his own stick sunscreen whenever he’ll be outdoors for extended periods of time. He’s been using CELLNCO Self Care Sunstick SPF 50+ PA++++. Since we don’t carry that one anymore, I think he’ll try Tony Moly Tako Pore Sebum Sun Stick next. It has protection in the same range as the CELLNCO, and he’ll enjoy the cute octopus packaging. Fingers crossed we get this back in stock at Beautytap before the boy’s CELLNCO runs low.



At this point, some of you may be wondering, What’s the point of teaching a 7-year-old about skincare? Some of you might also worry that I’m inadvertently teaching my first grader to be critical of his skin and to look to “fix” things that are “wrong” with it, in the process undermining his self-esteem. Both of these are perfectly reasonable things to think; I’ve thought about the topics plenty myself.


The point of teaching him about skincare and encouraging him to stick with a simple routine now is so that he’ll have that foundation of basic knowledge and habit later on, when he may decide he needs it. He knows that we don’t use soap on our faces, and he knows we use sunscreen to prevent sunburns and dangerous sun damage. Even if he never chooses to go beyond the basics, he at least grasps the fundamentals. I regret that I didn’t follow my mom’s example in taking care of my skin when I was younger. My son won’t.


To the second point, his skin is perfect and perfectly healthy as it is, and that’s the approach that both of us take with our skincare. We’re not looking for “flaws” and “blemishes.” Instead, we’re maintaining a healthy skin condition as a part of our daily hygiene. And down the road, if hormones take their toll on his skin (something that definitely could wreak havoc on his self-esteem), he’ll have the tools, the knowledge, and the support to address whatever pops up. And that is why this kid is lucky to have a skincare mom!


Now, on to more serious matters.


Any kid with a loving mom or maternal figure in their life is lucky, whether that mom figure is a skincare mom, a sporty mom, a surfer mom, or any other kind of mom. Unfortunately, there are kids out there who aren’t so lucky. For this Mother’s Day, we at Beautytap have chosen to honor those kids’ moms by helping to support the children who lost them. From now through May 20th, we will donate 10% of every purchase made on our site to Geon Childrens Home. Some members of our team in Korea have connections with this South Korean orphanage, whose mission we are happy to support.


I was adopted myself, but I was fortunate enough to be adopted within my own family. I never went without the support of my large and wonderful extended family. I am fortunate too that my biological mother is in my life and is an amazing human, someone I look up to in so many ways. I am extraordinarily fortunate to be mom myself to the best kid ever. And I am beyond fortunate to be a part of the Beautytap family’s effort to provide some help to those who don’t have my good fortune. On a day like Mother’s Day, I couldn’t ask for more.


Now, enjoy my early ’80s baby perm.




Jude writes as Fiddy Snails at the K-beauty and skincare blog Fifty Shades of Snail and can be found on Instagram @fiddysnails. Named the ELLE Malaysia Beauty Blogger of the Month for June/July 2017 and one of ELLE Magazine‘s 10 Cool Beauty Bloggers to Watch in 2018, Jude loves ginseng, snail, honey, propolis, and tuna fish kimbap, though she generally doesn’t put the kimbap on her face.




Moms are always are the last on the self care things to do. Tap into pure bliss of Beautytap’s products! All our Moms need to look beautiful to feel beautiful! beautybyjackie


Make think of my mom's Clinique skin care, too! Sweet post :)


I TOOOOOTTTALLY used that Clinique soap in the green plastic "sliding" container and the Oil of Olay fluid!!! (Thanks Mom!)


I remember my mother had the pink Clinique toner around and that Oil of Olay lotion in that awful white packaging was definitely one of my first beauty purchases lol

Jude Chao

I can still remember the classic Olay smell!


I'm so jealous of your kiddos skincare routine lol; I wish I had as much guidance as he's getting! I will say I find it funny how a lot of us that work in/are interested in beauty have so many memories of seeing our moms doing their skincare and/or make up. I remember sitting on the edge of tub watching my mother get ready in the morning doing her make up and it was the most fascinating thing to me.


So true! I distinctly remember the beige floral print and gold trimmed powder she used, the perfume-y scent of so much of the skincare from back then, and how I always thought my mom's face looked shiny after she finished her makeup. (Little did I know that it would be called "mul-gwang" decades later.)


As a mum I feel that it's wonderful that you're teaching your son the basic knowledge of skincare now. At least he will grow up with an understanding of it. I definitely regret not listening to all the times my mother said "put on sunscreen".

Jude Chao

Saaame! And I unfortunately thought sunscreen is only for when you'll be doing specific outdoor activities in the summer for prolonged periods of time. Whoops.


I had the same thinking! However another big factor was I probably didn't like the western sunscreen. Every time I thought about having to put it on and feeling all sticky and greasy it was icky.


I'm a very busy mom and I appreciated getting to read this article on Mother's Day!

Jude Chao

I appreciate that you read it! Hope you had a good Mother's Day <3