Wake Up Call

A Korean Skincare Expert Reveals The Beauty Products She Can’t Live Without

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By Chanel Dror

Skincare aficionados, or actually, just about everyone — grab a pen and paper. As far as beauty routines go, no one is more qualified to share their own than today’s subject. Alicia Yoon is a Harvard Business School grad, Korean skincare expert, and the founder and CEO of Peach and Lily, a source for all things K-beauty that was launched when the US market was just figuring out the difference between a serum and an essence (guilty.)

We all know that the Korean skincare process is (way) ahead of the curve, but when it comes to bringing K-beauty products into our own medicine cabinets, navigating the selection can be intimidating. That’s why we love Peach and Lily for guiding us through all that K-beauty has to offer, and Alicia Yoon for making it even easier to find the right routine for you. Don’t believe the hype? Take a look at Alicia’s complexion, and then we’ll talk.

the skincare routine of this korean beauty expert

What time is your wake-up call? Early bird or a night owl?

6:15am. I wake up from a combination of the sunlight and my alarm. It’s always nice when it’s more of the former than the latter!

Early bird. I usually get between 6-8 hours.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

I meditate, and the biggest thing is not checking my phone until after I’ve had a little time to ground myself!

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Fill in the blank: I never leave the house without __.

Peach & Lily KBeauty Rescue Balm (above) — my lips, cuticles, and hands always get dry, so this balm is my BFF.

Sounds like we could all use a rescue balm. What would you say is the #1 skincare product everyone should own? 

Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum (below). You’ll be surprised at how incredibly healthy, luminous and glass-like your skin can look. Be prepared to get a LOT of comments about your skin and how great it looks. Seriously.

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the skincare routine of this korean beauty expert

Describe your getting ready routine from start to finish. How long does it usually take?

15 minutes. I hop in the shower, I follow up with my skincare routine, I change, and then I’m out the door!

However, I do spend a good hour and a half outside of getting ready in the morning to start my day — meditating, working out, eating breakfast and making my to-do list for the day are a part of my morning ritual to get my day started right.

We have to ask: what does your morning skincare routine look like?

  1. Peach & Lily Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser — I love that it’s a low pH, super gentle, dissolves all impurities, but leaves my skin super hydrated and supple.
  2. Peach & Lily Wild Dew Treatment Essence — This is a toner and essence in-one that drenches skin with hydration in a flash, so this is a must for me every morning.
  3. Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum — This is my secret sauce! I see a huge difference when I don’t use this, so I never ever leave home without applying this. This is what gives my skin a glass skin finish, and it’s not a superficial impact, but my skin transforms from the inside out with this one. Poreless, luminous, translucent skin, plus makeup applies super well over it.
  4. Peach & Lily Pure Beam Luxe Oil — I love how this gives my skin major glow and it’s super hydrating filled with antioxidants.
  5. Eco Your Skin Volufiline Eye Essence — Completely brightens up the eye area and instantly fills in any creases and helps plump up the eye area.
  6. Peach Slices Citrus Honey Aqua Glow — I love sealing everything in with this lightweight but very hydrating and refreshing moisturizer.
  7. Lagom Sun Gel — I never leave home sans SPF. Protection is key!

the skincare routine of this korean beauty expert

Shower: morning or night?

I alternate as I typically shower every day and a half or so as I have dry skin and every day is too much for me. On mornings I don’t shower, my get-ready time is 5 minutes flat. I get ready really quickly.
It helps that I do pack my bag the night before so that I have exactly what I need by the door and I just grab it to go.

What’s your worst morning habit?

Even on cold days, I air-dry my hair even though I know the damp hair in cold air can dry out my scalp. So I have to spend a lot of time pampering the scalp — it’d be a lot easier if I just dried my hair at least towards my scalp a little before heading out.

If you could only put on one item of makeup, what would it be?

JungSaemMool Refining Color Bony Brow. I have to draw my eyebrows in every morning. I’m definitely considering microblading to save time!

One word to describe your mornings:


superfood savory breakfast of quinoa and sardines!

What do you typically eat for breakfast?

My favorite breakfast power meal is a bed of quinoa with sardines, pumpkin seeds and olive oil drizzled over it with a sprinkle of turmeric. Super fast and easy to make and I feel fantastic after eating it. Plus, it’s great for skin! I never skip breakfast. I always wake up super hungry!

Wow! Sardines for breakfast is definitely a first for us, but you’re right, it sounds like it works wonders for your complexion. If you had one extra hour every morning, how would you use it?

I would read the paper front to back. Most mornings, I only have time to skim headlines and pick a few articles that stand out to read in their entirety.

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next level closet organization

alicia moon's morning routine

Do you plan your outfits in advance, or create them on the fly?

In advance if I have a special event or a photo shoot. Otherwise, definitely on the fly. Plus, I get cold easily so I always check the weather first and figure out what works for the day to stay warm! My daily uniforms is a midi skirt, cozy sweater, statement earrings, super thin rings, and comfortable booties.

How about your hair and makeup routine? Do you experiment or improvise with it very much? 

I’m very low maintenance with my hair. I’m picky about my shampoo and conditioner, but I typically air dry it. I don’t color it or do much else to it other than wash it and keep it healthy.

With makeup, I’m super low key unless there’s a special event, then I’m quite experimental. For my everyday look, I do either eyeliner, a little eyeshadow and lip balm. Or eyeliner, no eyeshadow and a bold lip. I typically keep my skin foundation-free. With the right skincare, skin really can become so healthy that a bare face somehow looks better than having foundation on.

I have eczema, so I know firsthand that it’s not just people with good skin genes who can see their skin transform. It’s all about having a high quality, gentle, but high-performance skincare routine that’s personalized for your skin and all that it needs.

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We agree, gentle but high-performance skincare is key. We’d love to have you come over and give us a full beauty diagnostic!

What’s your healthiest morning habit?

Facial yoga! I’ve been doing this for twenty years. I swear by it and how it helps to keep skin toned and naturally contoured.

Favorite product in your shower, go.

I have a massage pad that sticks to my tub and I stand on it when I shower and there are acupressure points that massage my feet. It’s so invigorating.

How about a signature scent?

I wear a lot of different kinds of perfumes. Lately, it’s been Byredo Bal D’Afrique.

There’s so much information about skincare out there, it can feel overwhelming. If you had to choose, what’s the one skincare book should everyone read?

I like the book “No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products” because it’ll be a great starting point to understand what you’re actually putting on your skin — and potentially what you might want to avoid. In an industry that isn’t very highly regulated, being informed is key.

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What does your morning fitness routine look like?

A few times a week, I either swim or go for a run. And lots of stretching. I also always walk to work. It’s a one-mile walk and a great way to start the day with some movement.

Now for the question everyone is dying to ask: tell us about the amazing shelf of beauty supplies in your home.

Being an esthetician and running a skincare company means I’m constantly testing products, concocting DIY formulas, and giving facials, which calls for a lot of products, raw ingredients, and facial tools to keep in rotation. These shelves are my happy place and where I get into the flow for skincare thinking and work.

And this helmet? What is it!?

It’s an LED-mask that goes over the whole head and beams LED light onto the skin! I’m testing it out right now!

alicia yoon's incredoble korean skincare collection