Talking with Peach & Lily's Alicia Yoon
- Written By:Sara Bliss
It didn’t take long for Alicia Yoon to understand the power of beauty products. Plagued with eczema since childhood, Yoon was able to heal her dry, rashy skin thanks to a multi-step beauty routine and top notch skincare that she discovered while attending beauty classes after school in Seoul, Korea.
She went on to graduate from Harvard Business School, and begin a successful career in finance and consulting. However, realizing that Korean skincare and beauty techniques were far more innovative and advanced than products that were available in the U.S. she saw a business opportunity, and launched Peach & Lily which creates and stocks cutting edge K-beauty skincare.
In July, Yoon launched an in-house line of skincare products that includes a face oil, an AHA/BHA resurfacing mask and a matcha-infused face cream. Most of the products sold out within 24 hours of the launch, a testament to the community Yoon has built with Peach & Lily. Here she talks to us about starting her own business, her skincare musts and who to follow on Instagram.
I have always loved skincare and had gone to skin school in Korea. After years of brainstorming and researching startup ideas, I had this a-ha moment of wanting to start Peach & Lily. That day I went to HR at my company, the Boston Consulting Group. They were super supportive and let me know that I could always come back if things didn't work out. That was helpful because I felt more comfortable taking that big leap. I cashed out all my savings and retirement plans and decided to figure it out. I think diving right in helped because it ended up being a bit sink or swim. I had to find a way to make it work.
The whole point of starting Peach & Lily was to bring beauty products to the US from Korea and Japan that were simply unavailable stateside. There are a whole slew of highly effective ingredients and product types that I wasn't finding in the US. For example, the Meso Ampoule uses microneedles in the formula to help improve deep scarring and the Peach Slices Acne Spot Dots doesn't use any drugs but helps to powerfully flatten blemishes overnight.
Skin showcases what's going on in the inside, so skincare can't be separated from nutrition, managing stress and getting enough sleep. A great lifestyle paired with really powerful topical products will keep skin healthy and happy for a lifetime. With skincare, I believe in truly tailoring to your skin's needs, being consistent and using high-quality formulas. Remember, pricier doesn't always mean better quality.
Consistency. Ample hydration. Double cleansing. Lots of antioxidants. And SPF, always. I’m also religious about facial yoga and massages.
Transformative beauty treatments:
I love at-home facial massages and facial yoga. For facial yoga, I mouth the Korean alphabet, just the vowels, in a super exaggerated way, fives times a day and it helps to keep the facial muscles toned and lifted. Try saying "a e i o u" really exaggerating each letter - you might feel a tiny bit sore or like your muscles are tired, and that's good! Stick to it. Being consistent each day goes a long way.
Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum is a super juice for skin that does it all - helps to powerfully brighten dark spots, quell inflammation, firm, plump, hydrate and refine texture. Skin becomes like a pane of glass, smooth, poreless, illuminated and translucent.
Breakfast, always. Lots of anti-inflammatory foods, like salmon and dark leafy greens. And I don't drink coffee, but have tons of green tea throughout the day.
Beauty From the Inside Out:
When I'm in a rush, I have a go-to meal that's healthy and great for skin. Sardines from a can drizzled with olive oil over quinoa with seaweed sprinkled over it. Sometimes I add sesame seed oil and a little red pepper paste. It takes literally two minutes to make and it's pretty tasty.
Favorite IG feeds:
@natgeo for stunning photos of the world outside of NYC and Seoul! @cleowade for heart-warming inspiration. @gothamista for some of the most informative skincare product reviews. And anything @peachandlily is tagged in so I can like it and engage with our community.
Business Mantra/Personal Mantra:
Don't ever give up.