by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

Conscious Beauty with Yumika Hoskin

Yumika Hoskin always had a passion for the environment. The Japanese-Australian set out to help eliminate single-use plastics by launching her own homegrown bag, the Peco Bag, in 2019. Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, the former model has spent an extensive amount of time in the fashion and entertainment industry both in Australia and Asia.

“I was styling while studying and it led to modelling, which led to overseas contracts in Asia, and then competing on a reality modelling show. I moved to Singapore to pursue TV presenting,” says Yumika. “I’ve lived in Singapore for 5 years now and work as a host and an entrepreneur for Peco Bag.”

We catch up with Yumika and her cats at home, as she shares more on her eco-conscious journey, tips for living more sustainably and her eco-friendly beauty picks.

How did you begin your journey of eco-conscious living?

It was definitely a combination of things. After living in Southeast Asia for a while (since I was modelling), I slowly became more conscious of how much single-use plastic was used.

In Australia, we were brought up to recycle. There were recycling bins for every household, but I had no education over what was considered “contaminated” or things that were deemed un-recyclable. I always admired my mother (who is Japanese) and her ways of reusing and using items such as cutlery, bags, handkerchiefs and lunch boxes with pride. But what made it real and opened my eyes was going to the beaches in Australia and around the world, and swimming amongst plastic. From there, I found I had more and more questions, so I decided to educate myself about the harm that single-use plastic brings to the environment.

What inspired you to start Peco Bag?

Peco Bag was created after witnessing how people in Singapore were so reliant on single-use plastic bags. I get asked if I need a plastic bag, at the groceries or when I’m buying a juice. I was shocked and heartbroken by the reality of it. As I shopped around for reusable bags, I couldn’t find an alternative that combined convenience, style and sustainability all in one.

I wanted to find a purpose in my life outside of the entertainment industry; I wanted to make small changes in the world by encouraging changes in other people’s habits. My Bachelor in Design came back to my life then (laughs); I put it to good use to create the Peco Bag, which is a reusable, foldable bag made from consumed and recycled plastic bottles.

What’s your approach when it comes to beauty and wellness?

I have had the privilege to try out many makeup and skincare products throughout my career. But after having products sent to me every week, I started to wonder:

1. What happens to these bottles after I’m done with them?
2. How many of these products do I really need?
3. What toxic and unnatural ingredients are inside these products?

I started changing my lifestyle habits to not contribute to the waste and pollution of our environment. I also found myself drawn to the “cleaner” aspect of beauty. During the pandemic in 2020, the pace of my life slowed down considerably and I started following a minimalist, natural and sensory-based beauty routine. My skin is especially dry, so I opt for face oils as a moisturizer. I really consider what goes in my body now and choose plant-based ingredients for 70% of my diet.

“The skin is our biggest organ, so it’s important to take care of it inside and out.”

Talk us through your skincare routine.

In the morning I wash my face with water and apply a hyaluronic serum and a face oil. If my skin is feeling a bit dull, I use a vitamin C serum to pep it up. I love spraying my face with a refreshing spray to wake up my senses. If it’s a hot day, I will use a sunscreen spray to protect my face and neck. In the evening I cleanse my face using an oil-based cleanser if I am wearing makeup, and just warm water if I didn’t wear any.

It may be a bit daunting to toss all products at once, so are there any tips for conscious beauty beginners?

It’s quite an eye-opener; I find heading onto the EWG (Environmental Working Group) site and using their search bar to be very useful. It helps you find the toxicity ratings of each product and look out for the ingredients you should avoid. Anything that is rated a 1 or 2 is great.

Also, ease into it. If there are products you need to finish before switching everything out, take your time. The fun thing is exploring these products and figuring out what you do and don’t like. A lot of conscious beauty products avoid fragrance, so if you are someone who likes a more sensory approach to skincare, you can start with refreshing face mists to use throughout the day.

Make sure you read up about the brand and check out the ingredients in their products. It’s important to read reviews of course, but I think it’s imperative to read the “About” section of a brand first and find out what their philosophy is. Why did they start the brand? What is it about a particular ingredient they love that they want to change your skin with?

Favourite conscious beauty brand at the moment?

The 2 main products I use and will continue to buy are from a brand called OSEA. They use seaweed as their main ingredient and I can see why! Every morning I use their Hyaluronic Sea Serum (SGD141). One drop is enough to cover your entire face and neck. And then I’ll go in with the Essential Hydrating Oil. I use it night and day to keep my dry face moisturized. I don’t think I have ever experienced my skin so hydrated and I completely swear by this product!

How has your perception of beauty changed through the years?

I used to think the more expensive the product is, the better the ingredients. But when I started looking into conscious beauty, I found out that many drugstore beauty products have the same ingredients as higher-end brands. I was always pretty minimal with my routine before I started receiving skincare gifts from brands. As much as I appreciated them, I also found myself constantly overwhelmed by what was the next “must-have“.

“I now know what I really need and what my skin responds to — I don’t need 20 different products as part of a daily routine.”

How does self-care come into play in your beauty routine?

I think my main goal is to age well now that I am in my 30s (laughs)! I have to keep my skin moisturized and watch the frown lines. My skin is exposed to blue light, UV rays, pollution every day; so I have to make sure my skin is healthy and absorbs all my skincare products well.

I love using my gua sha tool from Wildling to massage face oil into my skin. It’s not only relaxing, but it’s basically a facial massage to help relax any tense muscles. I also love the tool as it is great for contouring my face and it helps detox any toxins out of your body since it helps with lymphatic drainage.

Yumika’s Beauty Picks

OSEA Hyaluronic Sea Serum, SGD141
OSEA Essential Hydrating Oil, USD68
Wildling Empress Stone Gua Sha Tool, USD65
Noice Dental Gel, USD12
Pai Skincare Light Work Rosehip Fruit Extract Cleansing Oil, SGD73
Pai Skincare Rice Plant & Rosemary BioAffinity Tonic Toner, SGD60
Sukin Botanical Body Wash, SGD32

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