Katalin Berenyi

Co-founder of Korean-inspired skincare brand Erborian, Katalin Berenyi talks to us about her love of sophisticated skincare and how her Sunday night beauty ritual is all about head-to-toe masking.

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The Wind Down

Sunday is all about pampering and catching up on the time I didn’t have during the week. I’m quite a family person – I have three children and my third is still at home so on Sunday I like to spend time with her. We’ll wake up and have a bit of breakfast or brunch together and then I like to spend a couple of hours on my own.

The Routine

The first half of my skincare routine starts in the morning after breakfast, I’ll spend about two hours multi-masking. Sometimes my daughter will sit with me, and we’ll use masks everywhere. Not just on our faces, but on our hands and feet too. I use targeted masks depending on my skin’s needs, sometimes I’ll choose a sheet mask or a clay-based mask or maybe a powder – it depends whether I’m looking to exfoliate, peel, brighten, hydrate or nourish.

During the week my skincare routine is extremely short. It starts first thing with a quick cleanse;  I’ll wash my face with a combination of a foaming cleanser and a daily exfoliator, which I’ll leave on and wash off in the shower, and then at night I spend a little longer applying a serum and night cream. I try to give my skin a rest at least once a week, so on a Thursday for example, I might not use anything at all – I just do a really good cleanse and go to bed. When I wake up my skin looks a bit shiny – I call this the ‘push out moment’, it’s about detoxing my skin and allowing it to breathe. On a Sunday, I have more time. I try to listen to my skin, I look at my face and figure out what it needs. Is it hungry? Or is it thirsty? Being hungry and thirsty are not the same things. If my skin is thirsty, it needs hydration so hyaluronic acid or glycerin, where as if it’s hungry it needs nourishment in the form of an oil. I would usually say my skin is thirsty.

I used to use the Foreo and Clarisonic cleansing tools but I found them to be too aggressive for my skin so before bed I do some gentle exfoliation using the Erborian Green Tea Konjac Sponge. I wet the sponge and move it around my face in small, circular movements. I like to use sophisticated skincare textures, so to balance out my skin I’ll use a very thin, watery hydrating essence mixed with a milky toning lotion and this combination helps the products to penetrate the skin more efficiently, and then I’ll use a targeted treatment, such as an anti-ageing serum, I like Sarah Chapman Skinesis Age-Repair Serum or even a cream if I need more comfort.

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In the evening, I love to take a bath as it helps me to relax. I use essential oils and bath salts. One specific thing I love to do in the bath, and this is very Korean, is more masking. However, there are specific masks that you can use in the bath, and these are nourishing sheet masks. The hot water helps with the absorption of the mask and encourages the ingredients to penetrate the skin more efficiently. I put on my mask (always apply it from the forehead to the chin and smooth out any bubbles with your fingers) and read my Kindle for about 15 minutes. I don’t like to listen to music, I’ll just read, this is my little quiet time when I can be outside of my job and my work. After, I’ll wash off my face and clean the rest of my body with a soap. After 20 minutes of soaking, I feel like a new person.

When I get out of the bath I’ll use a loofah to scrub my body. This again is a very Korean thing to do. My skin isn’t very problematic so I don’t need to moisturise so much, I’ll just use a simple, lightweight lotion from Susanne Kaufmann. My hair however is a different story.  I have very, very difficult hair. It’s basically very curly but quite fine and so I need to do a lot of things to tame it. I use a variety of products from various brands, I’m not loyal to any brand in particular, I like to try different things and experiment. Hair oils just don’t do anything for me, so instead I’ll use a moisturising mask or even just deeply hydrating shampoo, like Christophe Robin Regenerating Shampoo with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil and leave it on my hair overnight to works its magic.

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Before bed I’ll watch Netflix, something like Suits, and then I’ll read for a little while to unwind. I sleep super well and go to bed about 11pm, but the last two things I do are apply the Erborian Sleeping BB Mask for radiant and silky smooth skin in the morning and have a herbal tea. My husband goes crazy because we have about 20 different types of tea in the house and I’m always adding to my collection. At the moment, I like the Pukka Night Time Tea.

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Monday Morning

I set my alarm clock for 6 – 6.30 am and I drink a hot water with lemon every day. It’s the best way to wake up and it’s so good for the skin as is full of vitamin C in a natural form. I’ll get up and wash my face, shower and wash the mask out of my hair. I towel dry my hair and always use a protective heat defence spray before blow-drying it smooth. My skincare routine in the morning consists of a lotion, followed by a serum and then I apply Erborain CC Crème – I love its transformative texture and it gives my skin a real boost. I leave the house for work at about 7.30am.