Peach and Lily founder Alicia Yoon’s tips for good skin while traveling. (Photo: Trunk Archive)
Alicia Yoon knows a lot about skin care and she also knows a lot about traveling. The founder of Peach and Lily, the online retailer that is bringing the best of Asian beauty brands stateside, travels from New York City to South Korea every six weeks for work — that’s about 28 hours spent on an airplane for each trip. Traveling, whether it’s a two-hour flight or a 14-hour flight, can be stressful on the body, especially on your skin. I fly back to my native Minnesota a few times a year, and even though it’s a relatively short flight, I always leave the airplane with irritated skin, so I had to find out how she does it. She shared with me some of her tips and favorite products for maintaining a glowing complexion from takeoff to landing.
Since Yoon is usually on a 10 AM flight to Korea, she starts with a simple morning routine: Double cleansing, hydrating toner, essence and cream. “I won’t do serums or anything too crazy because flying in general will stress my skin, so when there is an active ingredient or anything a little more potent, it can do more harm than good,” she says. Her focus is on hydration, which means drinking water (she usually has a minimum of two liters from the time she leaves her home till she lands in Korea) and using moisturizing products on her skin.
A few hours into the flight, Yoon uses cleansing wipes to gently wash and wipe the cream off of her face. “I’ll use two wipes, just to make sure that I am really getting everything off and then I’ll put on my essence,” says Yoon. Normally, an essence is applied with the hands, but on flights Yoon uses a cotton pad to wipe it over her face. After that it’s on to the masks. “I usually will have four sheet masks that I bring onto the flight,” she says. “I’ll do two sheet masks in a row — they will either both be humectant sheet masks focused on hydration or one might be a collagen sheet because collagen helps to retain hydration.” Yoon doesn’t get as many weird looks wearing a mask on the plane as one might think. In fact, people are more interested in trying one themselves, so she always packs a few extras (she would be any beauty junkies ideal seat mate). After the masks, Yoon seals everything in with a heavy cream.
“I’ve been doing the same thing for the last two years and I know that the first year I was really frustrated because no matter how good of care I was taking of my skin, I would still get a bump or my skin would feel irritated from traveling,” says Yoon. “The timezone change and all of that travel really is too much for my skin, so I keep it gentle and hydration-focused.” Yoon also takes vitamin C, ginseng, and echinacea to help keep her healthy while traveling and help get her through the jet-lagged packed days.
She’s also learned a lot from the flight attendants on her trips, who all look amazing despite a constant travel schedule. One of their biggest beauty tips? Using a cushion compact. “They have noticed a huge difference in using cushion compacts versus regular compacts which can be much more drying,” says Yoon. “They are looking for something that keeps their skin looking dewy but will also help to set the rest of their makeup.” After hearing so many flight attendants rave about the Hera cushion compact, Yoon did a focus group test of the product and added it to the offerings on Peach and Lily.
A few hours before landing, Yoon will again wipe everything off and do one more sheet mask followed by an SPF-infused cushion compact. She applies her makeup right before landing since she almost always has a business meeting to attend as soon as she deplanes. I’m taking notes for my next flight.
Here are some of Yoon’s favorite products when traveling:
Cremorlab T.E.N. Cremor Cleansing Veil ($24 for 70 sheets)
Hera UV Mist Cushion ($45)