By Sara Spruch-Feiner
To say that Peach & Lily’s founder and CEO, Alicia Yoon, can do it all is practically an understatement. Before she was a Harvard Business School alum, Yoon spent a year studying skincare in aesthetician school after some impromptu party makeup she’d done herself got her noticed in the streets of Seoul. (And before that, she’d been a passionate competitive diver -- but that’s another story). Yoon is also a patient wealth of knowledge (you may have seen her on QVC) who can help you achieve radiant skin via a series of expert questions and a few gentle taps at your skin. This knowledge is expertly funneled into Peach & Lily, where the product descriptions are incredibly informative.
Her brand (yes, brand ) Peach & Lily distributes to major U.S. retailers, and is setting the tone for American women shopping for Korean skincare -- one Mizon All-In-One Snail Repair Cream at a time.
The site’s clean streamlined design makes it the “Vogue” of the group. Seriously, P&L has everything for your skin -- plus your mom’s, your grandma’s, and grab something for your little sister from Peach Slices before you check out. Here, the must-buy products.
Aromatica Sea Daffodil Aqua Gel Cream, $45
Aromatica has received top-notch recognition for their products, which meet the highest standard of safety.
The Sea Daffodil aqua gel cream is good for all skin types, Yoon notes, and provides calming, soothing properties to sun-damaged skin. If you’ve yet to try a gel moisturizer, well, they’re not to be missed. Extra bonus: this one is vegan!
Be The Skin Botanical Pore Toner, $25
Yoon recommends patting toner on as soon as possible (like, 15 seconds!) after washing your face.
This toner helps balance the skin’s PH after washing and works to minimize the look of pores. It features botanical herbs (the result of a five-year search the founder embarked on to find the perfect ones) + Alaskan glacial water. If you have acne-prone skin, this is a must-have. In fact, people often purchase this in the maximum quantity (five bottles), so it’s constantly sold out!
Caolion 02 Bubble Pore Pack, $26
This purifying, exfoliating mask combines oxygen + active charcoal. It froths up (#selfiemoment) and cleanses pores, eradicating trapped dirt and blackheads while also making skin brighter, smoother and more moisturized. It’s an amazing feat of Korean skincare: They’ve figured out products that simultaneously exfoliate and hydrate -- so you don’t have to worry about stripping your skin.
Cremorlab Mineral Treatment Essence, $42
Cremorlab is the result of a story that sounds almost too mythical to be true -- but is. The people of the Geumjin region suspected there might be something special about their water -- they had abundant harvests and good health -- and when the government came to investigate, their hunch was confirmed.
The water in the Geumjin region, now known as T.E.N. thermal water, is unusually mineral rich, containing magnesium, calcium and selenium. The first priority was hydrotherapy (for cancer patients). After that, the water became the hero ingredient and the impetus for the Cremorlab brand.
The treatment essence is a byproduct of this superwater, which also contains floral extracts, niacinamide and adenosine to help it hydrate, smooth and brighten your skin. Plus, how pretty is that bottle?
May Coop Raw Sauce, $43
May Coop is another line formulated around one superhero ingredient. In this case, that’s maple tree sap. The sap is collected in May (hence the name) when it’s at its most potent. This product is a mega-multitasker -- a trend that’s fast picking up speed in Korean routines, once exoticized for their OMG-worthy number of steps. Functioning as a gentle toner, emulsion and essence, this 93 percent maple sap product is a timesaver to be sure. Because it has smaller molecules than even water, its nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants absorb easily into the skin. This one bottle is ace for hydrated, and, of course, *dewier* skin.
Mizon All-In-One Snail Repair Cream, $38
92 percent snail extract (!!!) provides this moisturizer with the power ingredient that’s made it sell by the millions in Korea. It’s quickly gained traction stateside too -- this stuff is constantly selling out. This cream has an almost gel-like consistency and absorbs crazy fast into the skin. It’s a staple for any skin type, but snail mucin is especially good at fighting acne scarring and blemishes!
Morihata Binchotan Charcoal Puff, $15.50
Yoon calls this facial puff (more commonly known as a konjac sponge) a perfect exfoliator for sensitive skin types. In case you haven’t heard, the main ingredient, charcoal, acts as a magnet for trapped dirt in the skin. Sensitive skin types: rejoice, you can exfoliate too!
Shangpree S-Energy Long Lasting Concentrated Serum, $120
Shangpree is the spa of all spas in South Korea. And, given the fact that this is a country known for having nearly 3,000 beauty brands, that’s saying something. All the Korean celebs stop at Shangpree, where the aestheticians study and observe for three years before performing facials themselves. If you want a piece of all that but can’t make it over to Seoul (and why wouldn’t you?!), this serum is a must. It’s one of Yoon’s favorite staples -- a worthy splurge containing powerful ingredients like hydrolized silk, panthenol and propolis. A must for anyone starting to incorporate anti-aging products into their regimens!
UKA Nail Oil, $36
Nail aficionados: Meet Uka by Kiho Watanabe. Think of Kiho and her line as the Jin Soon of Japan. Her nail oils are must-haves, found in the bags and bathrooms of A-listers in Paris (where Uka was curated by Colette!) and Japan. Peach & Lily is the first to bring these hydrating, oil stateside. Plus, these nail oils (made of argan oil and natural essential oils) are available in five unique scents, which double as aromatherapy.