Krystal debuted as part of the South Korean girl group f(x) in September 2009. In April 2011, they released their first studio album Pinocchio, which spawned the chart-topping lead single Pinocchio (Danger). A repackaged version of the album called Hot Summer was released in June of the same year. In July 2013, their second full-length album Pink Tape hit the market. It topped Billboard’s list of 25 greatest K-Pop albums of the 2010s and was also the sole K-Pop album to be included in Fuse’s 41 best albums of 2013. In 2017, the group landed at number 7 on Billboard’s list of top 10 K-Pop girl groups of the past decade.

Krystal made her acting debut in the 2010 MBC sitcom More Charming by the Day, which won her Best Newcomer at the MBC Entertainment Awards. In 2013, she became part of the hit SBS series Heirs. In 2014, she landed her first leading role in SBS’ She’s So Lovable, opposite Rain. She was named Most Popular Actress for TV at the 51st Baeksang Arts Awards for her work in the series. In 2017, she joined the main cast of the tvN fantasy romantic comedy Bride of the Water God 2017. In 2020, she starred in the family comedy film More Than Family, which earned her several Best New Actress nominations. In 2021, she led the Netflix film Sweet and Sour along with Chae Soo-bin and Jang Ki-yong.

Krystal is the sister of Jessica, who is a former member of the South Korean girl group Girls’ Generation. She and EXO’s Kai confirmed their relationship in April 2016. They parted ways in June 2017 after over a year of dating.