Peach & Lily brings you the highest quality Korean beauty products and the latest K-beauty trends and innovations. Their mission is to help you achieve beautiful and radiant skin by bringing you the best and most innovative products from East Asia. Peach and Lily is your trusted online portal to the best selection of Korean skin care products and Korean beauty products.
We all have our own stories about our mothers. To celebrate Mother’s Day, we’d love to hear your stories about your mother, so leave us a note below with your favorite story about your mom!
My mother is my hero — and she’s also my skincare hero.
I have severe eczema, and, when I was a small child, my mother did everything she could to help manage my eczema. She took me to all the doctors, concocted bleach baths (as recommended by the National Eczema Association!), and tried as many different products and methods she could find to help my bleeding, irritated, rashy skin. She never gave up. And she set me down a path of curiosity about my skin that eventually led to esthetician school, where I was empowered to dig deep into the science of skin to truly take control of my flare-ups. I’ll forever be grateful to my mom for establishing that skincare is a special kind of self-care.
My mother has beautiful skin — and even at age 65 (she’s given me permission to share her age!), without a single shot of Botox or fillers, her skin is radiant and vibrant. She’s the epitome of practicing what she preaches. And I’m lucky to see how years of consistent skin(self)care pays off.
I sat down with my mom to get all her latest and greatest skincare secrets, and I’m so excited to be able to share it with you! Please enjoy our chat, and I want to take a moment to say a big thank you to all the mothers out there! Thank you for your love and wisdom and sacrifices! We love you!
Alicia's Mom Shares Her Skincare Secrets - YouTube
Since launching our Peach & Lily Collection last year, we’ve had a hard time keeping it in stock, especially our Glass Skin Refining Serum. It’s one of your favorite products, and so many of you have told us how you’ve been repurchasing the serum, even buying more than one so you’ll never be without your Glass Skin. So many of you have always asked, “My skin literally looks like glass. How does this work?!”
Let us break it down for you!
First of all, what is glass skin?
Glass skin is skin that's so incredibly healthy, it begins to look like a clear pane of glass: poreless, luminous, and translucent. Think super healthy baby skin before it's been through life — it has that glassy appearance. That's what we're talking about.
How do you get glass skin?
You can use makeup to mimic the look, but nothing beats your skin actually looking like glass without any makeup. Is that possible, you ask? We certainly believe so, but don’t just take it from us — according to the many reviews you’ve shared about the Glass Skin Refining Serum, you’ve found it to be possible, too!
How exactly does the Glass Skin Refining Serum work?
To put it simply, our Glass Skin Refining Serum provides skin with everything it needs — hydration, nutrients, fatty acids, soothing agents, and antioxidants, among others.
Let’s start with hydration. When skin is dehydrated, it lacks moisture from within, which can make skin vulnerable to irritation, dark spots, and dullness. To help fight and prevent dehydration, the Glass Skin Refining Serum contains a complex of hyaluronic acid, a powerful water-binding agent, that drenches skin with hydration, so you never need to worry about dehydrated skin.
Fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals help nourish skin, giving skin its vibrancy and bounce. They also help prevent visible signs of premature aging. In the Glass Skin Refining Serum, you’ll find peach extract, a super luxe ingredient, that is so rich in fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that help nourish your skin, so your skin gets all the support it needs to thrive.
Then, there are peptides, which work hard to help firm skin. When skin loses its firmness, it starts to look loose and tired, which, in turn, can make pores also appear larger. Skin, overall, starts to look tired. Peptides, however, can help revive skin and minimize the visible appearance of pores.
Those are all ways the Glass Skin Refining Serum helps nourish and hydrate skin. We didn’t just stop there, though, because we believe it’s also important to provide skin with protective and healing elements because skin takes a lot just from being out in the world every day.
When skin is irritated, sensitized, or stressed out, it’s probably not going to look clear or luminous or anything like glass skin. Instead, skin will probably be red and inflamed, in need of something soothing and healing — which is why we included madecassoside. One of the four main components of centella asiatica, a superstar ingredient also known as “cica,” madecassoside has potent wound-healing properties; according to legend, tigers would roll around in this herb to help heal their wounds.
Skin can be irritated or stressed through various factors, and a big one is free radical damage. Free radicals are unhealthy cells that are missing an electron, and these free radicals go around, trying to scavenge an electron from healthy cells, leaving a trail of damage in their wake. That’s where antioxidants come in — antioxidants help stop free radical damage by neutralizing these unhealthy cells and giving them an electron. Mountain yam extract provides a heaping serving of antioxidants to skin.
Finally, we added niacinamide to help brighten up pesky dark spots and even out skin tone to help give you the clear luminosity of glass skin!
The GlassSkin Refining Serum covers all the bases of what skin needs to be at its very best — and that’s the secret to why you’ve all been finding it so effective!
It’s been a little more than half-a-year since we launched our namesake Peach & Lily Collection, and it has been so incredibly exciting to see and hear all your stories about how our products have transformed your skin.
As you may know, we spent years iterating thousands of formulas and obsessing over every single final ingredient, determined to create the perfect formulas with one of the best labs in the world. We were shaking with nervousness, excitement, anticipation, and pride on launch day. You were finally going to meet our creations, and you were finally going to be able to take our carefully-perfected formulas (made with zero compromises) into your homes to care for your skin. That is a privilege that we will never take for granted.
It’s now been a little over half-a-year since our launch, and, since day one, we’ve been reading all the stories you’ve been sharing. It’s been a thrill to see so many of you describing your skin with words like "glass skin,” "luminous," "super healthy," "acne-free,” and "firm and line-free.”
Whenever a review comes in over Instagram, our website, blog, Facebook, email, we promise we see every single one. We take your comments very seriously, and it's fuel that keeps us passionate about meeting all your skincare needs.
Here are some of our favorite reviews from Instagram — thank you all for the love and for sharing your skincare journeys with us!
My new HG cleanser. I have never been one to spend a ton of money on a cleanser. That said, I have rosacea and acne-prone skin so I figured I would give this a try. It is actually the most gentle and calming cleanser I have ever used. Brings down my redness and is super gentle. LOVE! —Wynter D., Verified Buyer
I suffer from hormonal acne and this cleanser calms by bumps and reduces the redness associated with it. I also love the fact it does not have a strong scent, very subtle. —Christine, Verified Buyer
I really like this cleanser. It’s really gentle but cleans my skin without stripping it. My two teenagers also like using this product. A big plus is that it does not smelly overly perfume like. My son appreciates that . Another plus is the packaging. Since it’s a tube we can get every last drop of product out. We will be purchasing in the future. —Brein G., Verified Buyer
I really love this toner. I wasn't sure if it was going to be harsh or drying because of the acids but it totally isn't! It has really helped to keep my skin balanced and clear even during hormonal times of the month. Such a great toner for everyday use — day and night. —Jean K., Verified Buyer
After a few weeks of using this, my skin is noticeably clearer and pores are smaller. I have combination skin that tends to dry out in many places while also having blackheads and whiteheads in others. I use this toner once every day or two days, depending on how my skin feels. Paired with the glass skin serum, it has really made a difference. —Kristiene G., Verified Buyer
I love this product! I am currently using a retinoid so this is a really great way to incorporate an AHA in my routine. It's super gentle and really just gives you very mellow exfoliation. I just put it straight on my face — no cottons required! —Kate L., Verified Buyer
It’s hard to fight skepticism when we hear lots of promises about yet another product on a market. And yet we try... And I’m glad I did. This product did not disappoint and became a new addition to my skin routine. The skin does feel and look fresh and moist all day long either in conditioned indoors or during adventures outdoors. Highly recommend to all who would like to add a little boost to their appearance. —Ellada Z, Verified Buyer
I got a sample of the Wild Dew Treatment Essence. Since I got so much in that small sample and I didn’t want to waste it, I decided to just layer it on my skin. Wow!! It is sooo dewy!! It’s lightweight, NOT sticky, and very hydrating. I woke up the next morning and my face has a nice glow. I decided to purchase the bottle. I honestly love this product! I first I thought it was very pricey, but now that I’ve been using it, I honestly believe it’s worth every penny. —Peta, Verified Reviewer
The texture is really like the perfect consistency and it soaks into the skin really well, immediate hydration for sure. It leaves a slight tacky feel but you do know that it’s all the good stuff you are getting and none of those silicone and alcohol infused serums that make your skin smooth like silk, temporary. I have dehydrated, sensitive skin and this one works for me very well. —Lim C., Verified Buyer
My skin is very sensitive and acne prone and this mask is perfect! My face got brighter and smoother. My skin tone is becoming more even and my existing acne is fading away. I use it every 3 days. Usually exfoliation causes more irritation and breakouts for me, but not with this mask. I may have had a few tiny pimples after my first use but then everything calmed down before the second use. I love this product! Will definitely continue to purchase. —Suzanne E., Verified Buyer
Ever since using this mask 2x a week my skin has become noticeably more clear and refreshed. I moved to a humid climate roughly six months ago and have been struggling (to say the least) to rid myself of regular breakouts. This mask has helped do the trick. Yes, yes, yes. —Christine D., Verified Buyer
Originally tried this as part of a test group and loved my sample so much that I bought the full size. I love Korean beauty products and the resurfacing mask is no exception. It makes my skin feel smoother and tighter after every use. It tingles slightly and i don’t love the smell but the results are well worth it. —Jill D., Verified Buyer
I have been using this serum for about 3 months and my skin has never looked better! For me, it's done a fantastic job of balancing my combination skin and keeping me hydrated. My skin looks bright and my complexion is clear – and it quickly healed breakouts from another product I had been using. I have very sensitive skin and this serum has worked wonders for me! —Maria V., Verified Buyer
I tried not to get my hopes up too high but there was so much buzz about this product. I naturally have good skin with occasional breakouts, but this product (along with the matcha moisturizer) has really taken my skin next level--nearly glass skin status in just a couple of weeks. Skin tone is very even (which I have struggled with my entire life) and texture has smoothed out as well, and that's not something I knew I struggled with. But the serum has added natural radiance and a "thickness" to my skin--like how little kids have that bounce and collagen heavy look. Being closer to 40 than my 30s now, I'll take it! —Roe M., Verified Buyer
I'm from Korea and have stuck to using K-beauty regimen my whole life. Up until high school, my skin was super clear. When I came to America for college, my skin went through a complete breakout and has been very slow to recover. I wanted my "glass skin" back and wanted to try this serum because the name stuck. I am always skeptical of how much a serum can impact a skin. In the end, it just feels like an additional product to help moisturize the skin. However, this serum was different. First of all, it's perfect for the summer because it is so lightweight and gets applied to the skin giving a supple hydration without leaving a heavy residue. I also love the very subtle scent because I hate it when a product feels too heavily scented (doesn't feel natural for me). The liquidy texture feels like the perfect touch before adding a moisturizer or a cream to finalize my skin regimen. Also, I have very sensitive, combination skin that is prone to acne with synthetic or chemical ingredients. This product did not break me out AT ALL and has been a wonderful aid to my slow recovery process. I would recommend the glass serum to someone who wants something to help balance out the moisture in their skin (a.k.a people with combination skin like me!). —Yeni C. Verified Buyer
Being combination skin I didn't think I'd like this oil and would only use it around my eyes and neckline as I'm also in my 60's. Wrong, I mix it into my moisturizer as well as directly on my eyes and neck. It isn't oily at all, just leaves my skin soft, glowing and feeling great with no oily shine at all. Love it. —Carol L., Verified Buyer
I've been using this oil day and night and I usually only use oils at night because they tend to be heavy for me, especially since I have oily skin in the summer. However, this oil is so light weight and absorbs quickly and I haven't had any breakouts from it. My skin is glowing and I've noticed my skin tone has started to even out and my hyper-pigmentation is slowly fading. I definitely would recommend this oil to anyone who may be afraid to add oil to their routine, especially those with oily skin. —Philicia, Verified Reviewer
This oil is the best oil I've used. It is lightweight and yet concentrated enough to soothe and hydrate my skin. I have oily skin but the oil does not add more oiliness onto it. The is the best oil I've purchased and will continue to use it in combination with the glass skin refining serum. —Christine H., Verified Buyer
No inflammation, perfect hydration, a little goes a long way! This is my new go-to. —Lauren B., Verified Buyer
I have a mild rosacea issue, so I’m always looking for products that won’t make the redness situation worse. To complicate things, I dislike the feeling of thick, heavy creams, which are probably the best texture for my aging skin. Matcha Pudding seems like it would fall into the thick and heavy camp, but it is deceiving. It goes on the skin like a silky dream and is quickly absorbed. Yet my skin feels plumped and hydrated all night (and day) long. Will remain faithful to this one! —Brian F., Verified Buyer
So far, I love this face cream! I have combination skin, where I have very dry spots and very oily spots (usually on my t zone) this cream is perfect for that, because it moisturizes my dry areas and doesn't over moisturize my oily areas. Its light, yet not too light that it's not moisturizing enough. It also makes my skin feel super soft and dewy. I highly recommend!! —Sarah G., Verified Buyer
Sometimes I just don't want to do my whole routine. These pads cut out quite a bit of my nightly multi-step routine (which I'll still do 3-4 days of the week) and are great to use post-workout. They're an absolute must-have for me when I travel because I don't want to spend a lot of time on my normal routine, let alone have to deal with checking a bag for my other products. —Rachel C., Verified Buyer
This product is amazing. I have sensitive skin that is blemish prone and large pores. I have had no problems with this product causing breakouts. My skin looks so much better being hydrated. And it's great when your running late in the mornings. —Stacey T., Verified Buyer
True to its word! This product is great for my lazy days , but also really great for days when I'm breaking out a bit and my skin feels out of whack . When I don't want to overpower my skin with too many products, I think this really helps to re-balance my overall tone and texture. I will definitely put this in my holy grail, top 5, must have in my skincare arsenal. —Sara Y., Verified Reviewer
I love using this to treat my dry spots - from cuticles to my hairline, they need extra attention this time of year, either from the weather or the heater indoors. It absorbs quickly and easily and doesn't leave a gross, sticky residue you find with other moisturizers. Smell is fine. Be sure to squeeze the package to mix it up - it's pretty oily, so it can separate. —Cat D., Verified Buyer
This rescue balm is amazing. I have very sensitive skin and most lotions will make my eczema break out all along my hands; this product healed my hands. When I received this product my knuckles were dry and cracking, and from trying different lotions to help heal my hands, I had an eczema breakout. After only 1 day of use, my knuckles were almost healed and my eczema was starting to calm down. I keep this in my purse for emergencies, because this needs to be with me at all times. Specifics about the balm: it is thick and then melts into you skin. It doesn't leave your skin feeling oily all day. It does not have a strong scent. A little goes a long way. —Jenny, Verified Reviewer
I love this balm. I use it around my chin area, on my hands and arms when im feeling especially dry and rough. It is very heavy, almost a vaseline like texture, but so incredibly breathable- which was shocking to me! I have no concerns whatsoever about breaking out when i load it on! My favorite is to put a few layers and allow it to soak in overnight :) —Josephine, Verified Reviewer
Thank you for your beautiful photos and thoughtful reviews; we love seeing them all so much. Please keep sharing them! Share photos of yourself with our products or of your shelfies with the tag #PeachAndMe, and we’ll find you on Instagram and connect with you there!
Eczema is a lifelong struggle. To all of you out there with all variations of atopic dermatitis or chronic acne (to name but a few chronic skin issues), I feel you. It's frustrating when your skin simply won't cooperate when you're giving it so much attention and care.
I can never rid myself of eczema; there's no real cure for it. However, I've learned to manage my flare-ups, from the small ones to the big, persistent ones. Smaller episodes clear up pretty easily with the right care, but there are times that the flare-up is particularly raging and simply won't go away.
This past fall, I had what I call "angry skin." I had been testing all kinds of products, and some of the formulas were a bit drying. On top of that, I wasn't sleeping much. I know better than to scratch my skin relentlessly (once I do, the scarring lasts way longer), so I kept my nails short and tried to think about anything other than the intense itchiness. However, this was the kind of flare-up where it didn’t matter if I never touched a finger to my skin — the swelling was there, the bumps were there, and the rash was there with all its angry redness.
To get this flare-up under control, the first thing I did was take a diluted bleach bath. This is something that you can read about on the American Academy of Dermatology and the National Eczema Association as well! Basically, the bleach can help kill the bacteria that causes the itchiness, and it’s safe because the bleach is so diluted. I used about 1/3 cup of household bleach that has 5-8% sodium hypochlorite in a full tub of lukewarm water — to put that in context, a standard US tub fills up with about 40 gallons of water. That’s 1/3 cup of bleach in 40 gallons of water. I then soaked in this very diluted lukewarm bleach bath (neck down only, never submerging my face) for about 10 minutes. After draining, I rinsed off with clean lukewarm water, then towel-dried, not so my skin was completely dry but just on this side of damp.
I used a baby lotion, Mustela, slathering it liberally everywhere. On the super dry and itchy spots, I applied an extra layer of the KBeauty Rescue Balm, which is this incredibly hydrating do-it-all balm that really helps provide this feeling of relief as it just seems to coax skin into calming down and cooperating. It really is my rescue-product for all sorts of issues — chapped lips, hang nails and rough cuticles, cracked heels, you name it.
For my face, I made a DIY face pack using rolled oats and water and nothing else. I made a thick paste and smeared it onto cleansed skin, leaving it on for 10-15 minutes for the oats to work their soothing, comforting magic.
After I washed off that face pack and patted the excess water off my face, leaving my skin damp, I first applied the Wild Dew Treatment Essence because, when my skin is dehydrated, it can get even more finicky, and the Wild Dew Treatment Essence sinks so quickly into skin and really helps to quench deep skin thirst immediately. I followed that with a generous 4-5 pumps of the Glass Skin Refining Serum, which really helps calm and soothe my skin — the Glass Skin Refining Serum contains healing and nourishing ingredients like madecassoside and the peach extract. Of course, the hyaluronic acid and niacinamide in the serum also help hydrate and brighten skin (and I love that too!), but, when my skin is acting up, it’s those soothing benefits that provide an almost instant relief for me. Finally, I squeezed a dime-sized amount of the KBeauty Rescue Balm onto my hands and pat-pat-patted it into my skin.
My skin felt so much better; my rashes looked so much calmer; and I repeated this ritual a few more times, leaving a couple days in-between. And voila, my eczema flare-up calmed all the way down.
I have a lot of little rituals and go-to methods when it comes to eczema, so I'll be sure to share more! I'm not a dermatologist or a doctor, but I am an esthetician and, more importantly, someone who's dealt with eczema her whole life, so while you shouldn't take this as medical advice, I do hope my experience is helpful to some of you!
What are some of your favorite skincare hacks? Let me know below; I love hearing from you!
Seven years ago, I started Peach & Lily as an e-commerce business. Being a digitally-native brand has its perks, but the one thing I always wanted was to be able to meet you in person — to see your faces, talk to you face-to-face about skincare (and whatever else!), share laughs and stories, and connect personally.
That’s why, as we created our Peach & Lily Collection, quietly working on these skincare products for years, I knew I wanted our collection to help us make personal connections with you. One of the keys to that was making it easily accessible to you, which is why we worked with Ulta to get our collection into 250 of their stores.
And now I'm so thrilled and humbled to say THANK YOU!!! You’ve shown so much incredible love for our products since we launched in Ulta in August that our brand has been selected to be launched in almost all Ulta Beauty stores across the US — we're now in over 1,100+ Ulta stores! I'm beyond thrilled that our products will be all the more easily accessible to you, and I feel so incredibly honored that we can care for your skin. Thank you.
One of the greatest joys about our Ulta Beauty launch last year was embarking on our epic #PeachPartyTour — remember that?
I wanted to meet as many of you as I could in person, so we made Peach Party stops in cities all over the country. I visited a hundred Ulta Beauty stores because I wanted to hear from you personally face-to-face! One of my favorite folders in my camera is of the pictures I took while on this tour. Every time I look through those photos, I remember all the conversations we had, from family and careers to life stories and food to, obviously, skincare! I truly met amazing people, and some of you even came to visit us in NYC.
You even brought your little ones (and let me hold them!) and took different shifts at work to come hang out with us.
We loved seeing how our community comes from so many different age groups, ethnicities, and careers — including a skincare blogger and an NFL player shown in this picture. It's been such a joy to form so many new connections and friendships.
The love you showed us, as well as the hugs, flowers, cards, cakes, and hand-made signs you shared, will forever be treasures of mine and our whole team at Peach & Lily. Hopping from city to city and sleeping in what seemed like a million different roadside hotels were physically draining, but Ed (my incredible husband who also makes the best road trip buddy, I've learned!) and I remained exuberant throughout the whole tour because, with each Peach Party stop, we were so energized with your love and support.
Some of you even recorded and made an entire video for us to keep as a memento of our trip, which warmed our hearts so much.
Seriously, our Peach community is made up of the most inspiring and warmest people. I love you Peaches so much and am so thankful for each and every one of you, and I hope to have many, many more events in the future where we can all come together again.
I want to include every last photo from the trip on our blog, but to not make this an endless scroll of images, we'll just share these handful of photos, but I’ll forever be carrying all of you with me, both in my heart and on my phone to keep these precious memories close.
The Peach Party Tour may be paused for now, but we don't want to stop connecting with you just because we're not currently on the road! Share photos of yourself with our products or of your shelfies with the tag #PeachAndMe, and we’ll find you on Instagram and connect with you there! To celebrate, at the end of April, we’ll pick someone using the hashtag #PeachandMe and bring you to the Ulta store nearest you carrying our products, and I’ll personally come to you for a personalized in-store mini facial. I'll also help you pick out the products perfect for your skin.
And, as always, here at Peach HQ, one of our favorite things is to hear from you, so be sure to keep DMing us, commenting on our photos, and tagging us. We’re always so happy to read what you have to say, and we'll write back.
Thank you for being a part of our journey — and more importantly, for allowing us to be a part of your skincare journey. We can’t wait to meet more of you.
This International Women's Day, we're celebrating women by sharing the stories of some of the bravest and most inspiring women we've met.
As many of you know, we partner with Restore NYC, a nonprofit that seeks to rescue and restore sex-trafficked women. Restore NYC empowers women by providing housing, job training, and connections to legal services, amongst other things, so that these women can have the chance to live safe, self-sufficient lives. Many of these women have children of their own, families they need to support, and ambitions of their own.
Over the last few years, Peach & Lily has been raising awareness for Restore NYC, creating more than 1,000,000 social media impressions and contributing more than $100,000 to Restore NYC. Every December, we host a social media campaign, #maskforacause, specifically for Restore NYC, and we’re always so encouraged by how many of you participate, helping to spread the word about this fantastic organization. We're honored to participate in Restore NYC's mission to empower some of the most disenfranchised women in our community.
One of the privileges in working with Restore NYC is meeting some of the strongest women we know. These women have been through so much, and they continue to fight, not only by cooperating with the law to build cases against their abusers, pimps, traffickers but also by enrolling in ESL classes, learning new skills, and trying to build new, independent lives. It has been truly inspiring to hear so many stories of survivors of sex trafficking, of these women who demonstrate so much incredible courage and resilience in the fact of such horrifying exploitation, violence, and brutality.
Today, we celebrate all women around the world, and we thought we’d take this opportunity to share a few stories of some of these amazing women who’ve fought for new, better, independent lives through Restore NYC. We hope they inspire you as much as they inspire us!
(Please note that all names have been changed to protect these women’s identities.)
Patricia was sold to a local gang when she was just 16 years old because her parents couldn't afford to support their family. She was trafficked at a local cantina in Central America, before she was brought to New York and moved from brothel to brothel. Because she was constantly moved around, she never spent enough time in any one brothel to form relationships, her only point of contact her trafficker. This lasted for ten years. During that time, she had two children.
When her younger child was one Patricia reached out to Restore, wanting to provide a better life for her children. She moved into Restore's safe-house system and started work on obtaining a trafficking visa. She enrolled in Restore's economic empowerment program, so she could be financially independent and provide a safe environment for her children. We’re so inspired by this strong single mother who refused to give up, even with the horrors she had to endure, standing strong to restore herself and provide for her children.
Liu came to the US to escape an abusive husband and seek new opportunities and began work at a nail salon, but she barely made enough to scrape by. Her manager enticed her with a job where she could earn “a thousand dollars a week giving massages, no training necessary," and, desperate, Liu jumped at this opportunity.
On her first day, she found herself in a vacant apartment in Midtown Manhattan where her first "client" held her at gunpoint and raped her. When the customer left, she called her manager and told her about the assault, begging to leave. Her manager refused, telling her she had to stay and serve every customer who came through the door. When Liu again insisted on leaving, the manager threatened to have her deported. The fear of deportation and shock from the rape and assault kept her in the apartment through the night, as she was forced to serve a dozen more men.
Over the next week, the manager's threats continued, and Liu was forced to serve customers repeatedly. After several days of this nightmare, she managed to escape, returning to the family hostel where she had stayed when she first arrived in the US, unable to tell anyone what had happened to her because of shame and fear.
Liu went back to working at nail salons, and, at one of her jobs, she met another sex-trafficking survivor who was also a former client of Restore’s, and, for the first time, she was able to tell someone what had happened to her. The next day, she went to Restore, where she applied for a Trafficking Visa, was placed into safe housing, and enrolled in Restore’s ESL class to improve her English proficiency, preparing to join Restore’s work-readiness training.
Stories like Patricia’s and Liu’s aren’t as uncommon as we might hope. For women like them, America is a place where sexual violence against women is tolerated and stories of abuse are hidden. Survivors regularly tell stories of how they were promised jobs, better opportunities, and higher incomes, only to be assaulted, forced to provide sexual services, and threatened with violence and deportation. Traffickers take away women’s passports, threaten to harm their families back home, and keep them in isolation, all so they can continue to profit off the women they exploit.
Restore NYC has been doing truly tremendous work, helping these women stand strong, and it has been our privilege to help support their work. If you're interested in supporting all that Restore NYC does to help restore and celebrate these women, check out their page on the services they provide and how you can help!
Thank you to all the women in our community, and men who support women, for being so fabulous. We love you all and are so honored to have you in our community. Cheers to women and all their strength, resilience and courage!
I wanted to share the story of how we created our Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser and the thought process that went into it because we believe in being transparent about what goes into what you use on your skin! We're super excited to launch this game-changing cleanser because it truly goes above and beyond simply cleansing your skin, acting as a skin savior as well. Here's the story on how this cleanser came to life!
It's been twenty years since I first went to esthetician school and gave my first facial. Since then, through thousands of facials and skincare consultations, I've learned so much about skin and how it works, analyzing results and researching product formulas. These years of experience have taught me to identify root causes when it comes to skincare issues.
Whatever the skin issue, whether it be eczema, breakouts, accelerated signs of aging, sensitive skin, or etcetera, a key clue into discovering its cause is someone’s current skincare routine, namely the cleanser. One of the first things I analyze in people’s routines is their cleanser; one of the most common culprits causing persistent skin issues is a cleanser that is ultimately harmful to skin.
Our skin has a natural and beautiful ecosystem that allows it to thrive. An important part of that ecosystem is the natural skin barrier, a protective mantle that helps keep bacteria out and water in. When skin gets oily or you've been wearing makeup all day, it's normal to want to give skin a good scrub or a very thorough cleanse, and it can feel great when your skin feels squeaky clean after cleansing. However, these strong soap agents that cause that squeaky clean tightness can actually damage our skin's protective barrier by disrupting the delicate ecosystem that is our skin. And, because cleansing is something you likely do every day, soon, skin can become weaker and weaker, leading to a lot of different skin issues. Because you’re likely to keep cleansing your skin, even if you cut back on other products, skin is in a constant state of mild to severe crisis.
We do talk about the importance of gentle cleansers here at Peach & Lily, and some of you may already know this. You might already opt for cleansers with lower pH levels because you know that skin likes being at a lower pH, or you might already opt for sulfate-free cleansers because sulfates can strip skin of its natural protection. However, you might notice that some gentle cleansers just don’t work as well, so skin feels like there are still impurities hanging around. And you might be right — sulfates are tremendous cleansing agents, and gentler cleansing agents may not give you that satisfying feeling of squeaky cleanness.
And, so, we went into our labs to work with that challenge in mind: how could we create a cleanser that's sulfate-free with a low pH, that’s gentle on skin, hydrating, calming, and, at the same time, able to give skin that fresh-as-a-daisy, super-clean feeling? We explored this question with our partner lab over the course of a few years, and we didn't stop until we unanimously agreed that the formula we had was able to cleanse thoroughly while leaving skin feeling and looking incredibly hydrated and calm and without disrupting the skin's natural ecosystem.
After we’d finalized the formula and had moved into testing, we all noticed something incredibly exciting. Overall, our skin began to look and feel calmer than we had thought possible. We’d intentionally worked to develop a cleanser that would support skin, compatible with the skin naturally works, while cleansing skin fully, so we could give our skin a chance to recover and reach a new level of calm. This, in turn, helped improve our other skin goals!
When we thought about it, it made total sense — when skin is calm and in good health, it can better focus on working on other trouble issues, like dark spots or extra collagen production for more bounce and elasticity. That’s why we came up with the name Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser — this cleanser is a gel texture that not only helps power up the calm in skin but also powers skin up in general. What better name could there be than Power Calm!
The science behind this cleanser is three-fold.
First, we identified sulfate-free, gentle cleansing agents that can truly dissolve and draw out impurities and clean skin. We then added extremely hydrating ingredients like our proprietary blend of hyaluronic acid as well as soothing and inflammation-fighting ingredients like chamomile, camellia, centella asiatica, peach, cucumber, licorice, and ginger. We wanted the cleanser to clean but also help bind moisture to skin and soothe skin.
Before you ask, yes, this is a cleanser, and yes, you quickly wash it off, so why bother adding all these active ingredients?
When we tested a formula that contained just the cleansing agents, skin was left clean but lacking — we found that we wanted something more. When we began to infuse the formula with these soothing and hydrating ingredients, post-wash, skin felt unbelievably more hydrated and calm. This meant that it took much longer to reach this perfect formula because cleansing agents can actually become less effective when combined with various extracts that, for instance, soothe skin. We refused to give up, though, tweaking and tweaking and tweaking until we found that perfect balance of cleansing agents and pristine extracts that would perform the best on skin.
Finally, we knew that the sensorial experience of a cleanser matters because it's the first step of your routine, and it helps set the tone for the rest of your skincare time. We made sure the initial gel texture was that perfect silky, slightly viscous goop that glides onto skin with neither too much nor too little slip — just the right amount, rather, the kind of jelly texture that doesn’t cause friction on skin and feels cooling and satin-y as it is massaged into skin.
With the addition of water (you can apply the cleanser onto dry skin or damp skin), the gel lathers into this sumptuous, soft, milky foam. It's not a bubbly foamy or a dense lather, but a subdued milky foam that allows skin to luxuriate in the moment. This cleanser dissolves light, everyday makeup, but I do still recommend using an oil-based cleanser as the first step, especially if you wear waterproof makeup and/or your skin type is oilier. However, in the mornings, just this cleanser alone is the perfect start to any routine.
A subtle, herbal aroma of lavender, chamomile, and camellia promotes a sense of deep calm, while the cleanser calms and cleans your skin. And rest assured — we never include more than 0.05% of essential oils in any of our formulas in case your skin doesn't love essential oils — it's a fraction of a fraction of a percent only which makes it suitable even for sensitive skin. To be able to include this minuscule drop to enhance the experience of our cleanser required us to partner with a scent specialist! And we take pride in the fact that we don't take shortcuts and think of every detail for you because your skin deserves it!
As someone who's been struggling with eczema my whole life, a cleanser that respects my skin while still working hard for it is so vital for my skin health. Almost by definition, because of eczema, any disruption to my skin's ecosystem is something I'll see and feel very quickly. The opposite is also true — a thoughtful cleanser that respects my skin reaps rewards quickly. For some time, I’ve been using the Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser exclusively each morning and as my second step cleanser in the evening, and my skin has never been more radiant and healthy-looking. It's been such a calming way to start and end each day. I hope this specially-formulated cleanser will help you as much as it's been helping me in my skincare journey — and that it will power up your calm in every way.
Here at Peach & Lily HQ, we're constantly testing products. Now that it's the end of 2018, we thought we'd look back and see what some of our team members have been loving over the year — and, while we were asking them about their favorite products, we also got the inside scoop on any secrets, tips, and 2019 skin resolutions they might have!
Stephanie — Social Media Acne-prone, dry to combination skin with rosacea
1. What was your favorite product in 2018? Why?
My absolutely favorite is the Original Glow Sheet Mask. I was kind of skeptical because I didn’t know how it would be different from other sheet masks, but, after I used it, my skin just felt so firm and plump in a way I’ve never felt it to be before. My skin looked so even in tone, and, the next day, when I woke up and washed my face, all this dead skin came off — and I realized it’s because the mask has AHA in it! I also really like the Atoclassic Real Tonic Soothing Origin Essence — you can put layers and layers of it on, and even my roommate was like, “Why does your skin look so plump?!”
I also love the Ground Plan 24 Hour Secret Mist — the first time I tried it, after 30 seconds, I was like, “Oh my god!” because all my redness calmed down! And Atopalm’s Real Barrier Intense Moisturizing Cream — I don’t know why, but my face just gets randomly itchy sometimes (I think it might be an allergic reaction), and, one time, nothing was helping until Jessica (our designer) was like, “Don’t use anything else and use the Atopalm cream,” and the itching went away! It’s also so thick and luxurious at a good price point.
2. What was a product that surprised you?
Our Glass Skin Refining Serum. I honestly thought the hype was just too much because it’s a serum, but then I tried it, and I was like, “Oh! It’s actually really good!” The way it makes me glow is something I’ve never gotten before unless my face is literally wet. I was skeptical because I thought it really wouldn't work, but I’m surprised that it calmed my redness and left my skin super dewy at the same time.
3. Is there a product you’re looking for in 2019?
There’s this toner I love that I bought in Korea. I’m looking for that same good, light-weight, moisturizing, hydrating toner to use in the morning, but I haven’t found anything that’s the same level as that one.
4. Do you have any skincare secrets or tips?
This is going to sound really obvious, but don’t pick at your skin. It just makes everything ten times worse. It’s one of those really obvious things, but a lot of my scarring happened because I was picking at my skin. I also avoid anything cold because, if my skin hits anything cold it breaks out into hives.
Also, do not let your skin get dehydrated! My skin got dehydrated, but I didn’t realize that was what was wrong until all these terrible things happened to me. All I was using was a toner and an oil because I kept breaking out, and it was only when I started layering on hydrating products again that things started going back to normal.
5. What are your skincare resolutions for 2019?
I like trying a lot of products, but I realize my skin looks a lot better when I keep experimentation to a minimum. I don’t think I should experiment too much — and, when I do, only with products I’ve researched for a really long time.
Natalia — Executive Assistant Dry, sensitive skin
1. What was your favorite product in 2018? Why?
I really like the Lagom Cellup Microfoam Cleanser. I don’t like it when it gets in my eyes because it stings so much, but I like being able to foam my cleanser in my hands then put it on my face, instead of having to rub my face to get that lather. I think I have a sensitive skin type, so cleansers in general have always broken me out because they’re too drying or they’re not strong enough, so, either way, my skin is still overproducing oils and creating acne. I used to use the Neutrogena gel, which got rid of my forehead acne, but, every time I stopped using that, my acne would come back. The Lagom Microfoam Cleanser was the first cleanser that gave me a good balance.
The Peach & Lily Pure Beam Luxe Oil — I didn’t like it at first because it kind of broke me out, but I started using just a few little drops at a time, and it’s really hydrating for my skin. Also, the Citrus-Honey Aqua Glow. I thought it couldn’t be that special because it’s such an affordable price point.
3. Is there a product you’re looking for in 2019?
SPF! I don’t use a lot of it now, but it's something I really want to get into.
4. Do you have any skincare secrets or tips?
I don’t cleanse my face in the morning. I have sensitive skin, so I don’t want to over-cleanse. I also use muslin cloths to dry my face. And I give myself a facial massage every night.
5. What are your skincare resolutions for 2019?
I wish my hormonal acne would go away.
Jessica — Design Dry skin
1. What was your favorite product in 2018? Why?
I used the whole bottle of the Peach & Lily Good Acids Pore Toner. It’s just amazing. It makes you feel really clean but still hydrated. I like that there’s a small amount of AHA/BHA, which gives me the daily exfoliation that I feel like I need. Because I have really dry skin, I thought using the toner with the Peach & Lily Super Reboot Resurfacing Mask weekly would be too much, but it’s okay — they've both been very gentle. The Super Reboot is my favorite thing.
Not really. I’m a tried-and-true kind of girl. For me, personally, something has to be really different for me to really want to try it, whether it’s a textural thing or a concept ingredient. I like to stick with what I know works because my skin responds really well to that consistency.
4. Do you have any skincare secrets or tips?
I leave my Koh Gen Do Cleansing Water next to my bed (like, literally, on the shelf above my bed), so, at the very least, at the end of the day, I will take my makeup off.
5. What are your skincare resolutions for 2019?
Do my skincare every day.
Izzy — E-commerce Sensitive, acne-prone, combination skin
1. What was your favorite product in 2018? Why?
My absolute favorite is the Shangpree Black Premium Modeling "Rubber" Mask — that mask, if you have a bad skin day and use it, immediately, your skin turns around. It’s a lifesaver for me. If I’m not feeling good about my skin, I’ll use it and feel completely different about it right away. Also, the Original Glow Sheet Mask — when I do the Black Modeling Mask and the Original Glow Sheet Mask back-to-back, it’s amazing.
I use the Peach & Lily Matcha Pudding Antioxidant Cream day and night, and it’s really good for mattifying (while still being hydrating), so you can wear it in the morning and not look greasy. It helps with redness immediately, too. I’ve actually put it on half my face before, and you can notice a difference right away. The Super Reboot Resurfacing Mask is really good for breakouts and blackheads and pores; I use that religiously once a week. Generally, I think the Peach & Lily Collection is pretty affordable for how large they are. I think the quality is really great for the price point. I have combination skin, and they’re all really, really hydrating but also help minimize the appearance of pores, which is my main concern. I hadn’t really used skincare before, but, now that I work here, my family is always commenting on my skin and how great it looks.
2. What was a product that surprised you?
Honestly, I don’t love oil cleansers that much. I feel like they always leave a residue, and I don’t wear a lot of makeup, so I don’t think they’re necessary, but the Be the Skin Daily Complete Cleansing Oil is amazing. It leaves my skin so soft with no residue — I don’t even wear makeup, but I feel like my face is much cleaner.
Also, the Peach & Lily K-beauty Rescue Balm — I didn’t think I had a need for something like that, but I use it for everything. I use it for flyaways, my cuticles, my elbows — I use it on my niece when she has really dry skin. It’s not sticky and much nicer than a petroleum jelly. I keep it in my bag, so I always have it with me — it’s like a solve-all I didn’t even know I needed.
The Miwaji Hyalu Veil Serum is a good secret. I use it as a sleeping pack — if you put on three layers before you go to sleep, it becomes kind of like (and this sounds kind of weird) Elmer’s Glue. At night, it’s a tad sticky, but, when you wash it off in the morning, your skin feels baby soft. It’s also great to use every day.
I’m usually like, yeah, right, with clay masks because everyone has blackheads. I use them mostly on my nose, but the Femmue Gypsy Rose Calming Mask — I actually this one on my face, and it doesn’t dry, so it’s not super tight. When I wash my face, it’s actually clearer. I can see that it draws out my impurities.
I also really hated Eco Your Skin’s Face Blanket Mask at first, but it grew on me. It’s good for when you’re flying — the idea is that you can put it on, go to sleep, and wake up in the morning. It’s dry on the outside, but, on the inside, it’s sticky — the idea is that all the formula is in the stickiness, and it melts in your skin, so you can do things while using the mask.
3. Is there a product you’re looking for in 2019?
I think more sheet masks — I want to find more go-to sheet masks. I know Femmue is launching one, and I’d love to try that one. It’s a biocellulose material, not cotton.
4. Do you have any skincare secrets or tips?
When I cleanse, I remove my makeup first, and then I cleanse with a foam cleanser — but I cleanse twice. I find that, if I do it once, there’ll still be makeup residue, so I wash twice and find that that’s good.
5. What are your skincare resolutions for 2019?
I’ve been thinking about body care — I never use body cream or lotion, and I don’t know if it’s age or New York City but I’m like, I have to start doing it.
Now that you've learned of some our team's favorites, tips, and resolutions, share yours with us! Answer our five questions in the comments below; we'd love to know what you loved, what your secrets are, and what your 2019 skin resolutions are!
And, wherever you are in the world, all of us here at Peach & Lily would love to wish you a Happy New Year! Thank you for being with us through 2018, and cheers to a radiant 2019!
Acne. It always seems to pop up when you need it least, a bloom of breakouts in the dead center of your face when you have a big date or meeting or family gathering, or it’s your annoying constant companion. We empathize and feel your pain.
Without getting too into it, acne can be the result of a few things: a compromised skin barrier, excess sebum production, and/or inflammation. All of those may sound like daunting causes, but they needn’t be! We’ve come up with 7 key things to think about when it comes to tackling acne and leaving it behind in 2018!
1. Proper Cleaning
If you struggle with acne, we can’t stress the double cleansing technique enough — start with a gentle oil-based cleanser to melt away makeup, grime, and oil, then follow that with a water-based cleanser with a low pH level.
If you’re thinking it’s counterintuitive to apply oil to already acne-prone skin, rest assured that it's not, and the reason is simple: oil attracts oil. An oil-based cleanser is better able to go into your pores and draw out excess oil and grime, which means your pores are able to breathe, clear of the gunk that contributes to acne. Not only that, but an oil-based cleanser gently dissolves away makeup, grime, and impurities, so you’re not tugging at skin and irritating it further.
Following up with a water-based cleanser thoroughly gets rid of any remaining makeup, grime, or excess oil, leaving you with clean, supple skin.
One of the contributing causes of acne breakouts is the accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface of skin, blocking pores and trapping oil and bacteria. Exfoliating helps slough off those dead skin cells, so your pores can breathe.
There are two kinds of exfoliants: physical and chemical. Dermatologists don’t always recommend physical exfoliators for acne-prone skin, which are exfoliators like harsh scrubs, cloths, or other similar abrasive substance that physically clear the surface of skin — they can further irritate skin, and they really only work on the surface.
Chemical exfoliators are acids, and AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) are the most commonly known, though PHAs (poly hydroxy acids) are starting to emerge as an acid group that works much like AHAs but is suitable for sensitive skin. AHAs are water-soluble, and they work by loosening dead skin cells by targeting the “glue” that's keeping them in place. BHAs, an oil-soluble acid, go into your pores and pull out impurities. If you have acne-prone skin, you’ve probably used many products with BHAs in them because salicylic acid is the most common BHA!
We recommend that you exfoliate 1-2 times a week if you have acne-prone skin; keeping your skin clear of debris and opening up your pores can help keep breakouts under control — and remember: when using a product that contains AHAs, always, always, always remember to apply sunscreen! AHAs make your skin more photosensitive, which means skin is more likely to burn, so please don’t forget to apply your favorite sunscreen as the last step in your morning routine and continue reapplying throughout the day!
Recommended exfoliators — look for a combination of AHAs and BHAs. Our Super Reboot Resurfacing Mask contains 10% AHA (glycolic acid) and 0.5% BHA (salicylic acid), as well as blue agave, to encourage cell turnover and clear dead skin cells from your skin. Femmue’s Gentle Green Relief Mask is a kaolin clay mask that’s balanced with glycerin and olive oil, so it’ll draw impurities out of your pores without drying out your skin. It also contains tea tree oil, which is great for acne-prone skin, and green tea leaves, so you'll get the gentlest physical exfoliation as you wash the mask off your skin.
3. Hydrating, hydrating, hydrating
One of the common misconceptions to dealing with acne-prone skin is that you should be taking products away and minimizing your skincare routine. Acne-prone skin (and oily skin) is just as susceptible to dehydration as any other skin type, and it is just as important to layer hydration and lock it in. When your skin is dehydrated, it overcompensates by triggering more sebum production, which can result in even oilier skin and, possibly, more breakouts.
One of the main things to remember about hydrating skin is that layering is key! Don’t skip any steps in your routine, and look for products that contain humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin. We also recommend that you supplement your routine with a serum or oil to give you that extra boost to help hydrate, balance, and bright skin. Squalane oil, particularly, is beneficial for acne-prone skin because squalane oil is lightweight, absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy film, and really hydrates skin, holding that moisture in by creating an oil barrier that helps keep water in your skin.
Excess sebum production leads to more breakouts, so regulating sebum production and stopping it from going into overdrive are crucial to making acne go away. One of the keys to regulating sebum production is to hydrate your skin, which is why we stress it so much — like we said earlier, even acne-prone and oily skin can get dehydrated, which increases sebum production because your skin wants to compensate for its dryness.
Another way to regulate sebum production is actually by using oils. Jojoba oil, particularly, is great for acne-prone skin because jojoba oil (which, fun fact, is actually a wax!) mimics our own natural oils. That means it absorbs quickly and, even better, that it can signal our skin to balance itself — in other words, jojoba oil can tell our skin to stop producing so much excess sebum and to regulate sebum production.
Recommended products — Be the Skin’s Botanical Pore line, which includes a toner, a serum, and a cream, is great for regulating sebum production because it’s packed with beneficial botanical extracts like ginger extract, summer lilac extract, and brown algae extract that have potent antibacterial and antioxidative properties. Our Pure Beam Luxe Oil is packed with beneficial oils, including squalane, jojoba, and sea buckthorn oils, to sink into skin and help regulate sebum production.
5. Keeping bacteria at bay
Clogged, oil-laden pores are happy places where bad bacteria thrive because there is no oxygen. It’s one reason it’s so crucial to exfoliate and make sure your pores are clear, sloughing away dead skin cells that block pores and create bacteria-friendly environments that can lead to more acne. We also recommend looking for products with ingredients that have antibacterial properties that will help fight bad, acne-causing bacteria and maintain a healthy microbiome of good bacteria on your skin.
Recommended antibacterial products — snail extract has really potent antibacterial properties, and, luckily, Mizon has a whole line of stellar products that focus on snail extract. We particularly recommend the All-in-One Snail Cream and the Snail Repair Intensive Essence to help not only with acne control but also with soothing, brightening, and calming skin.
6. Managing acne when it happens
Acne happens! Unfortunately, there’s nothing that can guarantee a 100% eradication of acne, and, sometimes, everything in life — stress, busy lifestyles, harsh environs — comes together to make your skin break out. That’s okay! There are ways to manage active breakouts quickly and effectively, so you don’t have to stress out about them.
Whatever you do, don’t pick at or pop your breakouts! We know it can be very tempting (we have to fight hard to resist, too!), but picking at your breakouts can invite infection, delay healing, and cause scarring.
Recommended acne products — our Acne Spot Dots have been highly reviewed since we launched them! They contain no salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide but, rather, work by creating a moist, protective environment that pulls oil to the surface and flattens acne. We recommend that you use them when you have a pimple that’s primed for popping — the Spot Dot will work its magic most effectively then, and you won’t be tempted to pop it or pick at it!
7. Preventing scarring and other residual effects
Acne care doesn’t just stop when the acne goes away; you have to continue caring for skin to prevent scarring and hyperpigmentation and to limit acne from coming back as much as possible. One of the best ways to do so is to maintain a healthy skin barrier by hydrating, nourishing, and maintaining balance. A healthy skin barrier is key to keeping inflammation, redness, and sensitivity at bay, as well as regulating sebum production and staying hydrated.
We also recommend oils to help prevent scarring or help diminish the appearance of already existing scars! Rosehip oil, in particular, is fantastic; it assists in improving overall skin tone and reducing scarring. It’s also high in linoleic acid and low in oleic acid, which helps balance out the surface of acne-prone skin, which tends to be high in oleic acid and low in linoleic acid. Linoleic acid also affects the texture of sebum, making it softer and more flexible, helping control acne and prevent possible breakouts.
Recommended preventative products — you want ingredients that will help nourish, hydrate, and balance your skin while also protecting your natural skin barrier, so look for ingredients that deliver tons of key nutrients like fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Our Glass Skin Refining Serum was formulated to do just that, with peach extract, antioxidants, madecassoside, and other beneficial, powerful ingredients that will help restore, soothe, and brighten skin. We also recommend Eco Your Skin’s Meso Ampoule, which includes these little micro-sponges that “prick” skin, triggering a healing response that helps encourage cell turnover and regeneration to combat scarring and hyperpigmentation.
When it comes to oils, we recommend that you look for cold-pressed, pure oils, like Aromatica’s Organic Rose Hip Oil. There are different methods to extract oils from seeds and nuts, and the cold-pressed method is most recommended when it comes to topical application to skin. When an oil is cold-pressed, the nuts or seeds are basically crushed, forcing the oils out. No heat is added, and the oil isn’t processed or refined, so the oil retains all its natural flavor, aroma, and quality.
We hope these steps help you leave acne behind in 2018! If you have any other questions about acne or other skin concerns, leave them in the comments below, and we’ll answer them in future blog posts!