Naomi Yeo on Skin Struggles & Practising Mindfulness
Singaporean actress, host, and voice-over artist Naomi Yeo shares more on practising mindfulness and her clear skin journey.
If you’re an avid radio listener, then you’ve probably heard of Naomi Yeo (@naomiyhs). Born and raised in Singapore, the former 987FM radio DJ is also an actress, event host and voice-over artist. Her work spans across movies, short films, numerous TV series as well as commercials.
We chat with Naomi on how she balances her career and lifestyle, her tips on practising mindfulness, and her skin struggles with acne.
Tell us more about yourself.
I like to think I’m a practical, straightforward person — think Claire Dunphy from Modern Family and Amy Santiago from Brooklyn 99 merged into one. When I’m not around people, I do love being by myself. I love nothing more than to sit alone with my favourite pot of tea, watching some drama, listening to music or a podcast, while I fold my laundry. I’m so boring, I know (laughs)!
How do you manage your career and lifestyle?
By having a healthy relationship with time. It’s the key to finding balance with what I do in an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year.
“Mastering the perfect timing for things to flow takes focus and attention to the small things in life.”
I manage my career and lifestyle by working on being consistent, prioritising what needs to be done, all while setting aside time within the week for myself, friends, family, my partner, and everything in between. I even try to give some space in case Murphy’s Law shows up unexpectedly! This helps me be more prepared, motivated to work on the things that matter, and keeps me accountable and grateful for the blessings in my life. Of course, even at your best, there is no such thing as perfect. So I learn how to let go!
How do you take care of your mental well-being? Has yoga helped in relaxing your mind?
If I can be honest, I’m still figuring this out. Sometimes I get overwhelmed when unexpected disappointments happen, and I don’t know how to sort my feelings out. But if it’s one thing personal experience has taught me, is that I have to confront my thoughts and find wise counsel. When I feel helpless, I remind myself that there are tools the universe has given us to help us be braver; I have learned how to pick myself up and dust the dirt off my shoulders. I try not to overthink and do my best to find a solution.
Yoga has been essential in teaching me a thing or two about myself. Every time I come to class, it always feels like someone’s holding a mirror in front of me, and suddenly all my flaws come through. I fight my insecurities and let go of the things I cannot control overtime. I think it has helped in not only relaxing my mind when things get tough, but it’s also made me more resilient.
What are some ways you think people can mindfully practise self-acceptance and self-love?
Everyone has their own interpretation of practising mindfulness, and that includes the way they perceive self-acceptance and self-love. For me, both of these things are lifelong lessons — you’re constantly evaluating the quality of your life and re-learning things about yourself you never knew were there.
I practise mindfulness by seeking nuggets of wisdom and discernment; whether it’s through prayer or everyday conversations, I work on putting my experience, knowledge and fair judgement to good use. Through them, I’m able to see situations and people more objectively (I hope), and above all, finding the patience to be okay when I make mistakes. It enables me to take things less personally as well.
What’s your approach when it comes to beauty and wellness?
I find, in any setting, creating an intention helps. I work on keeping it simple and effective. When it comes to beauty and wellness, there are times when you can be spoilt for choice. I ask myself a couple of questions: How can this product or a regime help me in the long run? What do I wish to achieve or put to practise? Is it sustainable enough so I can work with it even on a busy schedule?
From there, I take what works and experiment! There’s never one size fits all when it comes to beauty, so I take my time with it!
Have you always had good skin?
Definitely not! My teenage years were plagued with acne, and it really affected my self-esteem. Even on days where I tried to reason with myself to not be so affected by it, there will always be a voice in my head saying otherwise. I think it was a combination of hormones and the stress I put on myself, being a perfectionist.
My acne would often come and go, and even on good days, it would hurt a lot. I tried acne antibiotics and while it did tame the breakouts, the side effects of having gastric were pretty unbearable. It was not sustainable either, because after I removed myself from it, the acne came back. Through a good friend, however, I sought treatment elsewhere and found Acnotin, which has been tremendously effective in clearing this long battle (10 years and counting) with acne! It’s funny you asked because I find myself looking back on those days and wondered if things would’ve been different had I been more patient with myself.
Talk us through your skincare routine.
I keep it simple on the daily: a hypoallergenic cleanser, toner, serum, moisturiser and sunscreen!
I have sensitive and combination skin. The best advice anyone has given me about skincare is to create a consistent routine and stick to it. Create a system that you can fall back on, with reliable products that your skin loves. That way, when you introduce new products onto your skin, and it breaks out, you know what works and what doesn’t. It was only when I got older that my skin became more receptive to change and so I’ve been more adventurous in trying new skincare routines and products. Otherwise, the last decade has been about keeping things to the usual few, due to acne!
Are you a no-makeup makeup person, or actually no makeup?
To be honest, I only started experimenting with makeup four years ago! Prior to that, I didn’t even know how to apply blush and mascara on my own (laughs)!
Even when I had bad acne, I didn’t dare put on makeup, I think partly because I didn’t know how to express myself through that medium. Even today, I’m happy with leaving the house without makeup on my face. But I’m definitely more comfortable now trying on blush in various colours! I do like to keep it simple and natural as best as I can though.
What is most important to you: comfort, beauty, or innovation?
If I had to pick, it would be comfort. I see it as the foundation for character and personality — when you’re comfortable in your own skin, you’re more aware of your boundaries, taking in what works and throwing out what doesn’t. When something new comes along, you’re neither intimidated by it nor are you overly enamoured by it. You’re right where you want to be, admiring and observing. I think that’s also when you’re able to see the importance of beauty and innovation, and where it sits with you.
Naomi’s Beauty Picks
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser for Sensitive Skin, SGD15
Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Face Cream, SGD89
Fresh Vitamin Nectar Glow Juice Antioxidant Face Serum, SGD115
Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel, SGD135
Supergoop Glowscreen Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Primer SPF 40 PA+++, SGD55
Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealer, SGD58
Givenchy Prisme Libre Loose Powder, SGD90
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