By Nikki Walton 

“It was only when I spoke to other women like myself, that I realized that discrimination is still very much alive but when it’s subtle and systematic, it isolates us without consequences for its perpetrators and can be very damaging if we keep letting it happen. I think it’s important that we learn how to identify it, how to deal with it and be given a safe space to voice our experiences, rather than the world just assuming that racism is about racial slurs or outright abuse and anything outside of this is ‘pulling the race card’.”

Phoebe Song is the founder of Snow Fox Skincare, a clean, high potency skincare line inspired by her own problems with Rosacea. When she’s not travelling the world to source exotic premium herbs for her products, she’s spending time with her toddler daughter and supporting wildlife rescues in Asia. I recently had the chance to sit down with her and chat about life, social distancing, and self-love!

On her morning routine…

I start with a healthy breakfast of fruit, eggs and a soy latte. I play my sound bowl in the morning every day after a Buddhist prayer which helps to ground me and prepare me mentally for the day. I do this twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening. The mornings are about focus and preparation, while evenings are about gratitude. 

On why she created Snow Fox…

I have inflammatory Rosacea, which is a type of Rosacea that comes with a lot of redness, swelling, acne and chronic hypersensitivity. I needed something potent that would give me real results, yet could still be suitable on very sensitive skin. It took two years to perfect our base formulas, which are a blend of traditional Eastern concepts with advanced proprietary technology. We don’t use parabens, synthetic coloring or fragrances or even synthetic preservatives to make our products. I still rely on Snow Fox as a clean, high performance skincare system each day to manage my skin. 

On her vision for Snow Fox…

I envision Snow Fox to have innovative, fresh products that are completely new to the market. We are working on some very exciting developments! Other than that, I believe there definitely needs to be more multicultural founders in our industry. Beauty is supposed to be diverse, yet diversity has only recently become a core value across certain industries. I think that multicultural representation will continue to grow, which is fantastic. I grew up in Australia, where media showed very little racial diversity at all. It was disappointing because Australia is incredibly diverse, however the representation of beauty is still very narrow. So I’m looking forward to a better, diversity-friendly future in beauty and hopefully all industries! 

On becoming her best self…

Because I have a chronic skin condition, I stick to a strict daily skincare routine which includes a sheet mask every night. It may sound like a lot, but it’s changed my life more than most would think. I used to hide from going out because of my flare ups, and pick at my face until I had scabs, so being able to face the world with confidence is not something I ever take for granted. For most people, skincare is relaxing self care, but for people like me – it’s central to our self esteem. 

Besides skincare, I think the biggest impact on becoming the best version of myself is daily self reflection. Each night, before I sleep, I take a moment to think about all the things I did during the day, what I said and how it affected other people. I think about what I could have done better and why certain things happened. I also decide on what I can do to make tomorrow a better day. This deeper internal reflection can sometimes be very difficult, but I find that it helps me look at life very differently than when I was 20. I think if I had this habit back then, I would have grown a lot faster as a person. This is something I’ll definitely teach my daughter as she gets older. 

On her biggest lesson learned last year…

I faced discrimination as a founder of color, and at first, I was afraid to call it out. I went against my own judgment and let other people dismiss me. In the end, when they very smugly told me that they’d “been doing this a long time”, I decided that it was enough and took legal action. It was a very hard lesson about understanding how to deal with covert racism because it’s a slippery path. I did face backlash for it, but I am proud that I stood my ground and I’ve learned how to never allow stealth racism to get to me anymore. I’ve also learned the importance of calling this out so that other founders of color don’t feel isolated when they get treated this way. It was only when I spoke to other women like myself, that I realized that discrimination is still very much alive but when it’s subtle and systematic, it isolates us without consequences for its perpetrators and can be very damaging if we keep letting it happen. I think it’s important that we learn how to identify it, how to deal with it and be given a safe space to voice our experiences, rather than the world just assuming that racism is about racial slurs or outright abuse and anything outside of this is “pulling the race card”.   

On her current read…

“Super Human” by Rowan Hooper. It’s about the author’s study into extreme capacities of human traits such as intelligence, memory, athletics and the discussion of how much this is nature VS nurture in context. I’ve always been naturally curious about human capabilities and how far we could take them as a species without straying from ethics. I haven’t finished the book yet, but the author interviews Nobel winning scientists, grand master chess players, renowned literary artists and more. With each chapter you can see that intelligence is incredibly broad and can’t be tied to a simple IQ test. It’s also very telling that each of these “geniuses” share a trait of humility: regardless of their superhuman achievements, they are very clear of shortcomings they want to overcome. They know that they don’t know everything and this drives their curiosity endlessly. This humbles me and motivates me to continue on my own path of learning. 

On how she’s staying centered during this time of self-quarantine…

I am spending a lot more time with my daughter now, who is so happy to be at home with her parents. I’m calling old friends that I didn’t have the time to call for years and using this extra time to develop new concepts. It was tough at first to be staying home as I’ve traveled hundreds of times over the past five years, but I’m relearning how to breathe and stay still again. 

On what’s up next…

I have a new sheet mask launching on April 7th! It’s our first ever Hot Stone Facial…in a sheet mask! The Hot Stone Facial Sheet Mask is a self warming mask that we developed for brightening, minimizing pores and evening out skin tone for a bright, bouncy glow. It comes with a Black Obsidian Hot Stone Gua Sha, a facial massaging tool that further boosts the warmth of the sheet mask, which encourages the pores to open up and absorb more serum, thus maximizing results. It’s a combination of serum, sheetmasking and facial massage that’s the perfect DIY home spa session! 

Check out the Skin Fox line of skin care and show Phoebe some love in the comments below!

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