As the beauty industry continues to burgeon, the emergence of never-before-seen trends is ceaseless. However, for anyone with sensitive or breakout-prone skin, the idea of hopping on such trends can be hit or miss. So, how do you truly know which products work the best for your skin? Enter Glow Gen, a minimalist skincare brand that is founded by an Australian-Malaysian couple, Ruth and Kevin Lim.

With the aim to promote skin-positivity, Glow Gen is a breath of fresh air in the beauty scene, which often promises overnight miracles, false claims, and aggressive use of active ingredients. Instead, the brand necessitates a steady and balanced approach. Beauty Insider gets up close and personal with Ruth Lim, the founder of Glow Gen, as she shares the inspirations behind her skin-positive skincare brand and the idea behind its catchy name.

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

Sure! I’m Ruth, a skincare lover born and raised in Australia! I relocated to Kuala Lumpur during the pandemic to live with my Malaysian husband Kevin and have absolutely loved living and working on Glow Gen here! I built my career in Australia working with a range of exciting beauty brands, so when I experienced an increase in stubborn breakouts and hormonal acne I decided to create a range that would work for my sensitive skin and here we are!

What’s the inspiration behind Glow Gen?

My approach to building Glow Gen has definitely grown from my own skin journey. I was experiencing persistent adult acne flareups but have skin that is quite sensitive and reaction prone which meant that it was so difficult and stressful to strike the right balance when building a skincare routine. Many products designed for sensitive skin felt overly clinical and didn’t improve my breakouts- inversely the popular clarifying products used strong active ingredients which upset my skin barrier and led to more breakouts! So this was the fundamental problem I wanted to address with Glow Gen by creating gentle products that would be effective without triggering reactions and sensitivity. I’m also very inspired by the amazing botanical extracts from Australia and Malaysia and this is something we like to incorporate into every product.

Glow Gen has a catchy and trendy name. What is the significance behind its name? 

Glowing skin is the current trend but it can be a very exclusive one, calling for complex routines and strong ingredients that more ‘fussy’ skin types like myself often can’t use. We wanted to reference the word ‘generation’ for a more inclusive feel- to us this name is an invitation for everyone to participate and enjoy trend-informed skincare without the fear of triggering reactions.

How does your former experience as an e-commerce consultant for beauty startups and battling with sensitive skin help you to launch Glow Gen?

I would say my own skin journey has helped me understand how stressful and overwhelming it can be to deal with skin issues that feel like they are beyond your control- it can take a huge toll on your mental health! Startups are all about solving problems, so my exposure to this industry gave me the confidence and skills to find a solution and make it available to others! Helping and supporting people who feel unseen in the current beauty market is the core mission that drives every decision we make at Glow Gen.

Glow Gen prides itself on being a skin-positive skincare brand. Why is such a philosophy important to you?

Dealing with sensitivity and breakouts can be very stressful so we don’t want to contribute to these negative feelings in any way. We don’t promote misleading claims or promise quick fixes that take advantage of feelings of insecurity- instead we like to promote a calm, gentle approach and slow, sustainable progress that won’t upset your skin barrier. I have had amazing results following this approach but more importantly it has transformed my relationship with my skin for the better. 

The brand introduced its two new products, Balancing + Perfecting Serum and Pink Clay Purifying Facial. What was the reason behind releasing a facial serum and mask instead of other skincare products? 

In general, keeping your routine simple is one the best things you can do for sensitive skin, so it made sense to stick to the necessities when planning our first capsule collection. These days with so many ultra-specific products on the market it can be hard to figure out what goes where in your routine and what may be incompatible with your skin. Our approach was to create two versatile products that work with any routine- just bring your own trusty cleanser and moisturizer and you’re good to go!

Glow Gen uses native ingredients sourced from Malaysia and Australia, including hibiscus and mangosteen, which are effective yet uncommon. Can you tell us more about it?

When we were researching local ingredients to incorporate into the products we were blown away by their incredible benefits and how perfectly they suited sensitive skin. Mangosteen peel extract is rich in a unique mix of antioxidants that have a calming, reparative effect on the skin and research suggests it can also be a gentle yet effective topical treatment for acne. Hibiscus extract also contains gentle fruit acids that support a more even, smooth complexion so it was the perfect addition for our mask. We look forward to championing more local ingredients as we expand our range.

Aside from being vegan, cruelty-free, allergen-free, and irritant-free, the brand champions clean beauty. How does Glow Gen address the existing misconception about the lack of clean beauty regulations?

For us, being a ‘clean’ brand means that we make a conscious effort to stick to ingredients that are the best in class in terms of safety as demonstrated by the latest available research. Many brands who identify as ‘clean’ spend a lot of time focusing on what they leave out and can demonize ingredients that are generally safe to use, but we prefer not to do this and instead like to focus on the good stuff we include in the products.

What does the brand’s future hold, and are there any upcoming releases that readers can look forward to?

Absolutely, we are just getting started! One of our overarching goals is to inject fun and joy into caring for sensitive skin which can be a very serious category and our next few products take this approach to new heights. 

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