Q+A On Skincare With Female Founder

By Minji

  • I sat down with Yanghee Paik, Co-founder/CEO of Rael to discuss skincare habits, values and philosophy
  • Yanghee's focus is on a full regimen of clean skincare, free of toxins and inspired by the K-beauty multi-steps, but simple enough for everyone to follow 
  • She's also obsessed with sun protection and keeping hydrated at all times!  

“Female founder” is a buzz word these days and it’s inspiring to see the amazing women around us take the plunge and bring their vision to life.  My friend, Yanghee is one of those badass women.  In 2017, with two other fabulous ladies, Yanghee launched Rael to empower women with healthy alternatives to conventional feminine care products filled with toxic chemicals.  Rael’s hope is to educate and impact women around the world by creating products that don't sacrifice comfort or performance – most recently, they’ve even ventured into clean beauty skincare products.  

Equally important is the fact that at age 40 with combination skin, Yanghee maintains fabulous skin.  I always jokingly tell her it’s hard for me to believe she’s working as hard as she is, because her skin is always radiant and beautiful. Below is a summary of our skincare talk. 

  1. Tell me about your skincare history. When and how did you become aware of the importance of skincare? 

I was heavily influenced by my mom, who has amazing skin and educated me on taking care of myself from a young age. Personally, I remember I started really getting into skincare products once I got into college in Seoul, when I was finally allowed to start wearing makeup.

My mom gave me three core rules. One, remove all makeup and cleanse my face thoroughly before going to bed. Two, put on a moisturizer as soon as I wash my face. Three, SPF is a must when I leave home during the day. Just like a lot of Korean mothers do, she told me having clean, nice skin is the most important foundation to looking beautiful and feeling confident. I kept that close to my heart, and those three steps have been the most essential in my skincare routine. 

  1. Any secrets/tips that stem from your cultural background? 

Given I grew up in Korea where fair, clear skin is considered the gold standard of beauty, I’ve been quite obsessed with wearing SPF all the time and not getting direct sunlight on my face, in contrast to what a lot of Californians love to do. Sometimes my friends joke about me living like a vampire (which is not really true!).  Avoiding UV sunlight has helped me greatly to keep my skin looking young and fresh without any freckles. 

Another thing I’m obsessed with is keeping my skin hydrated ALL THE TIME. As soon as I wash my face or come out of a shower, I don’t leave my skin dry for more than 30 seconds. I put a toner or a mist on right away to keep my skin hydrated and then apply all the other good stuff.  

  1. Tell me about your skincare philosophy and the approach you take in formulating your products.   

Due to my upbringing in Korea, my skincare routine has been very much influenced by K-beauty. But for me, K-beauty doesn’t mean just the products made in Korea. Rather, it’s the commitment a lot of Korean women, including myself, have to selfcare and their obsession with better ingredients and novel technology. I have a huge respect for the K-beauty industry, because it’s never complacent with existing products and continues to push the envelope to bring newer technology with better results. 

At Rael, we’ve taken the same philosophy when creating our own clean skincare line. We wanted to make a full regimen of clean skincare, free of toxins and inspired by the K-beauty multi-steps, but at the same time, simple enough for everyone to follow every day. Also, we spent a lot of time on R&D to look for novel ingredients that are not only clean and vegan, but also drive real results. Just like we disrupted the feminine care space with our organic pads and tampons that actually work, we wanted to do the same in the clean skincare space. Our focus has been on developing innovative, clean, and effective solutions that are accessible as well. 

  1. What is your skincare routine?  

In the morning, I try to keep it simple by starting with a light foaming cleanser, followed by a quick application of moisture mist. Then, I apply a serum and nourishing gel cream that creates a barrier on my skin to keep all the good ingredients and hydration intact during the day.   

At night, I remove my makeup with a cleansing water then thoroughly wash my face with a foaming cleanser again.  Then I follow up immediately with a toner, hydrating serum, eye cream and moisturizer as the final step. 

  1. What is top of mind for you these days when it comes to skincare?  

I would say stress management as a startup CEO. Ever since the outbreak of Coronavirus, it’s been like a roller coaster every day. Products do matter when it comes to skincare, but relieving stress and getting good sleep, I think, have a bigger impact on it. Uncertainty is always very scary, but I’m doing my best to stay calm and just focus on getting the most important things done every day. This too shall pass!