Female Founded: Ada Ooi, Founder of 001 Skincare London

by Amy Nicholson

Female Founded: Ada Ooi, Founder of 001 Skincare London

In homage to International Women’s Day of the 8th March, we’ve dedicated an entire month to celebrating all things female. From brand founders and product innovators to industry leaders, we take a look at the work, life and secrets behind some of beauty’s most successful females.   

After growing up watching her grandfather prescribe medicines that combine western and chinese medical principles, it’s no surprise that Ada has carved a career out of helping people to look and feel their best. 

Fast forward a couple of decades and Ada has catapulted herself into being one of the most sought after cosmetic acupuncturists, treating the faces of celebrities and royals alike, alongside founding her own skincare brand, 001 Skincare London.

We caught up with her in her London clinic to discuss the advice her mother gave her, the birth of her beloved skincare brand and how combining the ancient rituals of the East and West makes for a superior skincare product. 

 What did you do before you founded 001 Skincare London?

I used to work in advertising but I always felt like it wouldn’t be my life long career, so I needed to find a new passion. Initially, I was very passionate about fragrance so I started to train as an aromatherapist, this was very much linked to the senses and the face, so I began to train as an aesthetician. 

And as I began practicing facials, I felt this calling from my grandfather. I grew up with him in Hong Kong and he was a pharmacist who prescribed both western and chinese medicine.  

 

And as I began practicing facials, I felt this calling from my grandfather. I grew up with him in Hong Kong and he was a pharmacist who prescribed both western and chinese medicine.  

 

He taught me a lot of Chinese medical principles and because of that I trained to be a Chinese Facial Practitioner - combining techniques from both the East and the West in my training. 

What inspired you to start the brand? 

I’d been working full time as an advertising specialist and I was also trained as an aesthetician - so I started to pick up clients over the weekend. 

I’d started to get some great clients but I was struggling to find a range of products that would really suit all my clients, so I started to create different products myself. 

When I was training, I really got in to chemistry  - I loved the ingredients and the biochemistry of mixing together different products. I loved learning about what each ingredient can do to the human body, so I started to expand the library of products and I’d give them to my clients to use as aftercare. 

 

I was very clear that the brand had to have a natural base but it was also high performing. 

 

Then they started to come to me when they had run out and say ‘can I buy some more?’ That’s where the idea of having a brand was seeded. 

I was very clear that the brand had to have a natural base but it was also high performing. 


What’s the key benefits of combining Eastern and Western skincare principles?

From an Eastern point of view, I would say that the skin is seen as a reflection of what’s happening within the inner body - so I always want to promote that we treat the skin from within. 

Chinese rituals involve things like Gua Sha and Acupuncture which helps with improving things like blood circulation. If you then combine it with a Western technique such as Lymphatic Drainage, you create a technique where the blood is moving but you’re also pushing out toxins. 

Tell us a little bit about the device in your skincare collection, Cryopress… 

Cryopress is an at-home device that allows you to recreate salon-standard cryotherapy ice facials in the comfort of your own home. 

I’ve briefly talked about treating from within. But whilst I can do that in my treatment room, I wanted to create a solution that would allow people to be able to do it from home. 

I’ve briefly talked about treating from within. But whilst I can do that in my treatment room, I wanted to create a solution that would allow people to be able to do it from home. 

Initially I thought, how do I go about doing that? Because I can’t be asking someone to put needles in their face at home and massage the area themselves, so I wanted to create something that could mimic that same process. 

 

I can’t be asking someone to put needles in their face at home and massage the area themselves, so I wanted to create something that could mimic that same process. 

 

If you think about the heart. It pumps once and the blood goes all around the body but to be honest not a lot of blood reaches the outer layer of the skin, so what we’re doing with the device is delivering a cold shock to the skin.

As you’re massaging the cooled device on to the skin, the brain sends blood to the area. The process of blood coming to the area also delivers oxygen and flushes away toxins and water retention.

It’s perfect for treating puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles, along with firming and lifting - but most of all it feels amazing. 

Discover more about CRYOpress> 

What does an average day look like for you?

I guess I’ve got three different types of day. My first type of day is wake up, black coffee, then I’ll be out having meetings. 

On days like this I’ll try to squeeze in editorial pieces, comments, press requests - all things like that. 

My second type of day is my clinic days, which are my favourite types of day. I’ll be full with appointments - sometimes I won’t eat until 5pm. 

Lastly are the days where I’m not really in control of my day. For example when I’m booked for an event with a VIP or on a shoot for example. 

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced at work? 

I struggle with negotiating. The easiest way for me to overcome it, is to hire people much better than me at that. 

As much I’ve grown the business, I really believe in surrounding yourself with people who are really great and much better than you at certain things. 

 

I struggle with negotiating. The easiest way for me to overcome it, is to hire people much better than me at that. 

 

What do you believe is the secret to success? 

Keep your passion and have the persistence to push through. To me, I never feel stressed. 

I don’t see stress, I just see problems that need to be solved. 

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