Aslı Abbasoğlu Treats Every Moment At Home Like A Spa Experience

Designer and creative consultant Aslı Abbasoğlu shares her passion for K-beauty and how she embraces the features society often considers flaws.

June 13, 2024

For years, Aslı Abbasoğlu sought solutions for various skin issues, ultimately deciding to improve herself in this area. Through research and trial and error, she has discovered what works for her skin and established a skincare routine that suits her needs. Her goal was to feel better about herself, not to look younger, as she emphasized multiple times during our conversation. Despite taking her skincare seriously, she doesn’t miss out on enjoying it. This approach undoubtedly makes skincare fun for her. With a mischievous smile, she reveals that she draws inspiration from photographer Steven Meisel’s bathroom, complete with a work desk. She says, “I spend every minute at home as if I’m at a spa,” while sharing all the details of her personalized self-care world.

Can you tell us a bit about your skincare routine?

I usually wake up early and head to the gym. After returning, I keep my skin routine simple. I follow three main steps: cleansing, nourishing, and protecting. I start with a purifying toner, then apply an essence or several serums in layers to lock in moisture, and finish with a moisturizer. During the summer, I skip the moisturizer and just apply sunscreen. I’m very meticulous about this. Even if I’m stepping outside for just a few seconds, I wear sunscreen because dark spots easily appear on my face. I’m like an indoor plant (laughs). Sometimes I use a gua sha tool in the mornings. While I don’t believe it has a lasting lifting effect, it’s great for reducing puffiness. Also, Joanna Czech’s massage tool, which works just like our fingers, is very effective.


In the evenings, I do a double cleanse with an oil-based cleanser followed by a foaming one. Then, I apply a purifying toner, a moisturizing essence, and serums as needed. Finally, I slather on a moisturizer and glow like the moon. I’ve convinced my husband Koray that this is completely normal and delightful. He loves seeing me like this. It might seem lengthy when I describe it step by step, but it doesn’t actually take much time. Of course, if I come home late, I don’t follow all these steps, but I always make sure to remove my makeup and apply moisturizer. Although I don’t have textbook dry skin, it is often dehydrated.

I’ve had many skin issues in the past, spending ages 13 to 23 at dermatologists’ offices. My face was plagued with persistent bumps, pimples, and acne. All the dermatologists kept saying my skin was oily and tried to dry it out. It wasn’t until 15 years ago, when a dermatologist looked at my arm and said, “Your arm is extremely dry. Your skin is producing oil because of dryness,” that I realized the true issue. Since then, my routine hasn’t been about making my skin look beautiful; maybe it would look good even without these steps, I don’t know. But I’m sure it helps me mentally.

You’ve made a name for yourself in the fashion industry. And fashion and beauty are so intertwined with each other. How has working in the fashion industry affected your perspective on beauty?

I will give a personal answer. At first, it seemed like no one’s skin was as bad as mine. When my skin had allergic reactions, I felt as if everyone was staring at me. There were times when I had to attend an event to represent the brand I worked for, and I would get stressed out about my skin.


Are there must-have products you have been loyal to for years?

A skincare expert from Biologique Recherche in Paris has been incredibly helpful to me. Thanks to her, I’ve learned a lot of useful stuff on skincare. Since then, Biologique Recherche has been a brand I trust and love. Their products are packed with active ingredients. For instance, the P50W toner works wonders for my skin. I always buy the purifying and nourishing Lotion MC 110 as soon as it runs out. However, we’ve grown apart recently, as they frequently change their formulations and renew their products.

In Turkey, I love shopping at Korendy. As soon as you browse the website, you realize this is what a beauty shopping site should be like. From customer reviews to filtering products by skin type and age, everything is designed to provide a great shopping experience. I discovered Beauty of Joseon’s sunscreen and ginger serum there and have been using them for a few years now. Cosrx’s propolis cream has also been a staple in my routine for a long time.

Besides these, Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial mask and Kiehl’s Creme de Corps body moisturizer are among my favorites. I’ve been pleased with every product I’ve tried from Erborian, especially their concealer and red correct CC cream.


The sheet masks Abbasoğlu stocked up.


Are you a product hoarder?

Of course. I have a huge pile of sheet masks. I stocked up big time when I went to Japan. I also keep a good supply of I’m From’s rice toner.

What are your thoughts on skincare treatments? Do you regularly get professional treatments?

I used to get more treatments, but my perspective has changed a bit. Since my skin barrier is thin and sensitive, treatments can easily backfire. For example, hyaluronic acid, which everyone loves, doesn’t work well for me. It irritates my skin. I also tend to be cautious about devices that dermatologists promote, which suddenly become trendy. Because I know that when there is significant investment in these devices, they are aggressively marketed.. I don’t want to be part of that trend and risk damaging my skin. I learned this through my experiences. I only get Scarlet (golden needle) treatment a few times a year.

In recent years, beauty tech devices have become very popular. Do you use any?

I’m very curious about these devices, but they also make me a bit nervous. I find the products for my skincare routine by reading reviews on Reddit and spending hours on TikTok. I do serious research. The French skincare expert I mentioned earlier advised me to treat my skin like a silk shirt and protect it as much as possible. I try to follow that advice. My goal is not to look young, but to take good care of my skin. I have this caring attitude towards everything and everyone I value. When I love something, I’m very meticulous about protecting and nurturing it.


What are the beauty spots that make you feel good?

I had the best experience in Japan. There’s a store called Cosme, similar to Olive Young in Korea. The store had a wall, featuring the best-selling and most highly reviewed products. So I naturally gravitated towards those. However, the sales consultant told me that the product I chose wasn’t for me. I really appreciated this honesty. They educate the customer in a good way.

After my trip to Japan, I started visiting Japanese markets and stores wherever I went. This isn’t always easy with skincare because you need to try a product, be satisfied with it, and then find it again.

What is the best beauty advice you have ever received?

The best advice I’ve received is to protect my skin from the sun. While our skin looks nice with a bit of sun, I don’t want to spend the winter searching for products and dealing with dark spots after spending a week or two under the sun. That’s why I prioritize sun protection.


Abbasoğlu says she started following Korean, Japanese, and Chinese beauty YouTubers during the pandemic.


Has your approach to beauty changed over the years?

Yes, because I realized I’m not alone. During the pandemic, I started following Korean, Japanese, and Chinese beauty YouTubers. I struggled with some of the beauty norms we’ve been told since childhood. For example, dark eye makeup wasn’t for me even though a while ago, it seemed like “the right thing” to do. As I listened to those YouTubers, I felt more at ease.

What is your favorite flaw?

I love my small and slanted eyes, which are often considered flaws. I don’t consider my protruding ears a flaw, but people think they are. I find them cute and enjoy parting my hair to show them off. Isn’t the traditional idea of beauty quite silly anyway? I believe beauty should evoke a feeling. Besides, behavior, words, and how a person treats others are more important than physical appearance. I won’t use the cliché term “inner beauty,” but I’ve come to value these aspects even more over the years.