• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Friends behind beauty brand Glow Recipe on creating products that 'speak to everybody'

·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Sarah Lee
    Professional golfer

My Beauty, My Way is a video series hosted by Yahoo Life beauty director Dana Oliver, where women of different ages and backgrounds break down their beauty routines to explain what beauty truly means to them and how it represents their cultural identity.

Sheet masks, snail serums, sleeping packs. These are just a few of the Korean beauty products I distinctly remember filling the shelves of small shops throughout New York City’s East Village back in late 2012-early 2013. To say that I was intrigued by the K-beauty explosion in the U.S. would be putting it lightly — I was enamored by the countless ways one could pat and press on these intensely hydrating, brightening and calming formulations and wake up with softer, smoother skin.

I wanted more of this and I got my fix of researching and shopping for K-beauty products when Glow Recipe first debuted in 2014 as an online retailer that curated the best of the best. I certainly wasn’t the only consumer who trusted co-founders Christine Chang and Sarah Lee with introducing them to all things beauty that originated from East Asia. Three years later, the friends and business partners were fueled by success and passion to launch the Glow Recipe skin care line, a fruit-powered brand built on science and traditions passed down from generation to generation.

The skin care myth that K-beauty is comprised of 15-step routines is one that Chang and Lee have been debunking for years. “Glow Recipe products are multitaskers,” Lee explains. “Each product has more than one benefit. You can use just a handful and get glowy skin results.”

Every single product, the formulation, the ideation, the way we approach skin care is continuously inspired by our experience with our moms and grandmothers. Sarah Lee, co-founder of Glow Recipe

It’s less about spending time you don’t really have on your skincare regimen and more about being mindful of the actual steps. Chang reveals that they were inspired to create their own brand when they noticed “people not enjoying skincare... thinking of it as a chore.”

She adds, “Hearing from customers they weren’t rushing to get through their skin care to get to makeup. They were actually taking the time to enjoy their skin care routine and how that had changed their self-care routine. All of that inspired us to keep going.”

Having both worked for L’Oréal Korea where they first met, in addition to sharpening their product development skills at Kiehl’s (Chang) and L’Oréal Paris (Lee) before launching Glow Recipe, both women have the insight and credibility to corner the K-beauty market. But the foundation was laid when they were much younger observing the women in their lives take care of their skin.

“There wasn’t a single night that I didn’t watch my mom applying and patting in skincare for 10 to 15 minutes. And it was so meticulous but talso very thoughtful in the approach,” explains Lee. “Every single product, the formulation, the ideation, the way we approach skincare is continuously inspired by our experience with our moms and grandmothers.”

People are less inclined to reach for a product and think this is my K-beauty product; it's so ingrained in your vanity and makeup bag. It's part of your routine now and that was always the goal. Christine Chang, co-founder of Glow Recipe

It’s not by accident or based on what’s trending that Glow Recipe skincare products are formulated with fruits like watermelon, plum, pineapple, blueberry, banana and avocado. These were all fresh ingredients that Chang and Lee’s mothers and grandmothers incorporated into their very own DIY beauty recipes. The evidence of their effectiveness is when dry, eczema patches were healed or tired skin was now supple and plump. And this is why they believe K-beauty is “meant to be more a trend, it’s really a movement.”

“K-beauty products speak to everybody because it’s about really great ingredients, it’s about technologies, it’s about innovations, it’s about routines that are holistic and fluid and ultimately work for all people, all lifestyles,” says Chang.

Now that we are all spending more time at home these days and can (hopefully) focus on our unique skin care needs, Chang reiterates how this moment has moved her towards “rediscovering the little things that make me happy.”

Lee echoes this sentiment of mindfulness saying: “Your skin, I believe, reflects your emotional state and your mental state. Having that dialogue with yourself, your skin and body and giving it what it needs is, to me, what beauty is.”

Follow Glow Recipe on Instagram and join their inclusive beauty community @realglowgang.

Read more from Yahoo Life:

Want lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Life’s newsletter.