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17 In beauty

working on my fitness, Dove’s my witness

I’ve mentioned over and over on my instagram that I’m trying to work out more frequently and improve my strength and flexibility. Getting in shape is seriously hard work, but it’s really rewarding. Still though, some days it’s really hard to drag myself out of bed and to the gym, and I’d guess most of y’all can commiserate, so I wanted to share some things I’ve found helpful along my quest to become all fit.

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0 In beauty

some more skincare, with peach & lily


I’ve shared before about my K-beauty skincare obsession, and the more I learn, the deeper it goes. I’d so much rather focus on skincare than makeup and invest in the long term, and am glad to be seeing the results.

peach and lily store peach and lily

Peach and Lily, a Korean skincare boutique, recently opened their first LA store, in Macy’s at the Westfield Santa Anita.  They invited me to come check out the opening and I obviously said yes.  I mean, have we met? The shop is a lovely little oasis and I loved being able to sniff and try on all the product! I’ve done almost all of my kbeauty shopping online, so the hands-on aspect was new to me. They had many brands I’d heard of, some I’d used and many completely new  to me. 

kicho face product face toners

I’m always in pursuit of pretty, so I love when packaging and branding is so beautifully done. And more so when the product is equally awesome- like in the case of these Aromatica toners. They smell so incredible, like the essence of the plant is simply and perfectly distilled.

asian beauty

Each of us ladies invited had a chance to sit down and talk privately with Alicia Yoon, the CEO of Peach and Lily.  I’mobviously knowledgeable about skincare, but her expertise is encyclopedic. I was thrilled to ask her advice and have her help me enhance my routine. She gave such fabulous recommendations!


She’s a major bossbabe, with the most beautiful skin I’ve ever seen up close- seriously inspirational.

peach and lily gift bag ladies-lunch

Alicia was kind enough to host us ladies for an afternoon of high tea at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena.  It’s such a gorgeous space, and the tea service was so delicious!

fancy brunchtea service

What else does a group of bloggers do but snap pictures of all the prettiness?

china brunch

But we pretty quickly got down to drinking tea and sparkling rosè, devouring the spread, and discussing all manner of things- skincare and blogging, yes, but also families, fitness, feminism and more.

the langham tea brunch asian bloggers

We snapped a group shot before hopping into our Ubers and heading home.

blogger group photo

Our luncheon swags bags were incredibly generous- Alicia had taken notes during our private consultations, and filled them with some of her suggested products.

face mask swag

I really loved the Mizon masks, and the 7 days sheet masks were so refreshing when chilled in the fridge to help cool off while doing my skincare routine. The polisher is gentle but effective at eradicating the flaky bits that sometimes result from retin-a. I’m on the hunt for my holy grail first essence, and have been trying both the Bitgoa Hue Essence and Sk-II Facial Treatment Essence.  Shangpree gold mask is rubbery and shimmery on and super moisturizing (also in silver).  Pixi Glow Tonic is still in the rotation, and Ole Henriksen Truth Serum has been my recent vitamin c step.   Embryolisse, ceramidin, and my everyday Biore sunscreen are still my skincare standbys.

bare it all peach & lily 

The product I was most excited about was the Cremorlab shadow-off eye cream.  My biggest skin complaint lately has been my extra-dark circles. Truthfully, My sleep has been nonexistent or vampiric, and this creams coupled with these gel eye masks have really helped.

And although most wipes are terrible for your skin, I wanted to share these two that I’ve been using while traveling. They are pretty amazing-  the skinfood brown rice oil wipes are actually a first cleanser, and the micellar wipes from trader joe’s are incredibly gentle. I just made it through a month on the road and six flights using these without a major breakout, so the proof is in the pudding.
Let me know if you try any of these! 

0 In beauty

my skincare regimen 

I’m really particular about my skincare- you could say obsessive.  I’ve tried a variety of regimes, but in the past year it’s evolved into a multistep, flexible routine of mostly Asian skincare products. I’ve come a long way- I grew up wearing baby oil en lieu of sunscreen, used tanning beds, and made a habit of sleeping in my makeup in college. It all makes me so mad with my past self! I’m trying to undo the damage now, and prevent more wrinkles, while keeping my skin clear and even.


Since beginning an Asian skincare regimen, I’ve been much happier with my skin, and comfortable wearing less or no makeup. I’ve had more than a few questions and comments,  so wanted to share what I’ve been using (unsponsored, though some links are affiliate) to care for my skin.

Skincare is incredibly personal, totally dependent on your body chemistry, and so ymmv. The best advice I can give when modifying skincare routines is to do your research, patch test thoroughly, and be patient and kind to your skin.


Despite my devotion to Asian skincare products, I don’t presume to know much of anything other than what I’ve tried. So I’ve done a lot of learning from bloggers like Chel and Fiddy, their podcast the snailcast and the asian beauty subreddit.

One of the main ideas of Asian skincare is that it consists of a flexible wardrobe of products, and each day’s routine may vary, according to what your skin wants and needs.  Also, some times you have more time and energy than others. So I’ll first share the products currently in my skincare wardrobe, then I’ll break down the different routines I might use them in.




asian beauty egg white bioderma

bioderma crealine micellar water tosowoong enzyme powder cleanser | su:m37 miracle rose cleansing stick | the face shop rice water bright cleansing light oil  | skinfood egg white pore foam


The evening double cleanse is a major tenet of Asian skincare- the first removes makeup, sunscreen and grime, while the second truly cleanses skin.  I almost always use the face shop cleansing oil as my first cleanser. The su:m37 rose stick is really gentle, so I alternate that with the enzyme powder cleanser. It’s often a location thing-  rose sticks are in the shower and my travel kit, powder is at the bathroom sink and in my gym bag.  I’ve mentioned my love for Bioderma before– I most often use it in the morning or to refresh my face after evening acids.



prep and tone

asian beauty first essence

cosrx aha/bha clarifying treatment toner | missha the first treatment essence | cosrx galactomyces whitening power essencehada labo gokujyn hyaluronic acid lotion


Toners can be totally different products with totally different purposes- it’s one of the more complicated parts of Asian beauty. The Cosrx is a ph-adjusting toner to be used before actives and other products to prep skin.  The Hada Labo is a moisturizing toner, layered on later in the routine.  The Missha used to be my favorite first essence, but I think the Cosrx galactomyces may have bumped it.



actives and treatments

asian beauty BHA a-sol

vitamin c +e ferulic acid serum | cosrx bha blackhead power liquid | cosrx aha whitehead power liquid | cosrx skin returning a-sol | prescription tretinoin | prescription clindamycin


These actives are the heavy hitters in my routine as far as sun damage and texture issues. The Vitamin C is my morning product, and the rest are used at night. The Cosrx products are really gentle, so I like that they don’t fry my skin even though I use them both most nights and I tend to be lazy about wait times.  I skip the pair sometimes, though, and use Retin-A, prescription tretinoin, instead. I use the A-sol morning and night regularly, but clindamycin is mostly a spot treatment.



asian beauty tea tree_

shark sauce (10% off through that link| tosowoong propolis sparkle ampoule | ljh tea tree 90 essence  | skinfood peach sake pore serum

My skin has really responded to layers of light products, so serums work fantastically. Shark sauce is a fabulous handmade co-op product, and has paired amazingly with the propolis serum to brighten skin and fade spots and marks- I’ve had some nasty red marks totally disappear with a little diligence. The tea tree serum helps fight blemishes, and the peach sake pore serum is great for mattifying on hot days.


asian beauty snail embryolisse

mizon snail recovery gel cream | dr jart ceramidin cream | embryolisse  | guerisson 9 complex horse oil cream

With moisture, the name of the game is options.  Some of these feel lighter than others, while some are super emollient- I count on the Dr. Jart to save me from the peelies Retin-A can cause. The snail recovery gel is especially healing- great on scrapes and dried cuticles, and absolutely genius at healing burns with minor scarring.


seal and protect

asian beauty biore peter thomas roth

aritaum ginger sugar lip mask | laneige water sleeping pack | organic cold-pressed rosehip oil | biore watery essence sunscreen | biore uv perfect milk sunscreen |peter thomas roth mineral powder sunscreen

This overnight lip balm is amazing- it’s super rich, if a bit sticky, and still feels freshly applied when you wake up. I use the rosehip oil around my eyes and on dry patches, and keep the sleeping pack on my nightstand for one last layer of goodness.  And real talk- none of these previous products would have made the slightest difference were I not also using SPF religiously.  Sunscreen is a non-negotiable around here, especially since some of my actives can make my skin more photosensitive. The watery essence is my go-to, everyday- the texture is amazing, even under makeup. It’s not waterproof though, so I use the uv perfect milk if I need splash-proof protection. The powder sunscreen lives in my purse- it’s perfect for reapplication on the go and over makeup, and it’s not ashy at all!



asian beauty skin food aztec

skinfood black sugar strawberry mask |  aztec secret healing clay | manuka honey | carbonated bubble clay mask

asian beauty face masks mr honey

cosrx acne pimple master patch | innisfree it’s real sheet masks | banila miss flower & mr. honey hydrogel  | lovemore loofah & aloe vera silk mask | benton snail bee sheet mask | mbd imperial birds nest masks

Y’all, I mask a lot.  Several times a week, sometimes a few different kinds in succession, or a multi mask. The first set are wash off, with sugar scrub, clay, and carbonation as active ingredients.  Manuka honey’s there too- it’s super healing and moisturizing all on its own.

If you follow me on snapchat ( loveRavayna ) you’ve likely seen me horrifying my seatmates with sheet masks on plane flights. I’m shameless when it comes to taking care of my skin, and I love a good sheetmask- my girlfriends know they can expect me to always have a few in my suitcase. And the Cosrx patches aren’t a mask, but a clutch tool in the overnight pimple battle.



asian beauty face mask

I’m also working on testing some new products and working them into the routine.  I’ve been loving Pixi glow tonic lately- I could see it replacing the Cosrx AHA long term. I’m trying a brightening eye serum, an old-fashioned drawing paste as a spot treatment, and a hydration mist,  and am liking them, but need a few more weeks to make sure. I also might have finally discovered some wipes that aren’t horrible for your skin, so I’ll be sure to update.

All the time, lotions and potions are paying off, though.  My skin has been looking much more even and vibrant, like I’ve said.  But the best validation has been at the Sk-11 counter, where a Magic Ring skin analysis a few years ago was the eye-opener to my sun damage and skin issues, though I tested at an accurate skin age of 28.   A more recent Magic Ring analysis returned much improved scores and an overall skin age of 22, so I’m literally managing to turn back the time over here.

Now, I obviously don’t use all these products all the time- I’d never make it anywhere.  But here are some of the sequences I might use them in.


In the morning:

most days, pre-makeup 

  1. splash with water
  2. vitamin c serum- wait 20 minutes
  3. Bioderma on a cotton pad
  4. first essence
  5. tea tree essence
  6. shark sauce and propolis serum, mixed in my palm
  7. moisturizer of the moment
  8. sunscreen

I’ll skip the Vitamin C and wait time if I’m eyeing the clock, but try to make it happen most mornings.


if I’m staying at home and skipping makeup 

  1. splash with water or use rose stick
  2. Vitamin C serum- wait 20 minutes
  3. Bioderma on a cotton pad
  4. first essence
  5. A-sol
  6. shark sauce
  7. Tosowoong propolis serum
  8. tea tree essence
  9. moisturizer of the moment
  10. sunscreen


if I’m headed to late morning spin class

  1. splash with water or use rose stick
  2. tea tree essence
  3. sunscreen


if I’m going straight to the gym 

  1. splash with water or use rose stick
  2. Vitamin C serum
  3. powder sunscreen and/or baseball hat.


In the evening:


my base evening routine

  1. oil cleanse
  2. rose stick or enzyme powder cleanser
  3. Cosrx toner
  4. Cosrx AHA- wait 15 minutes
  5. Cosrx BHA- wait 15 minutes
  6. first essence
  7. A-sol
  8. shark sauce
  9. Propolis serum
  10. moisturizer


About 3 nights a week, I replace Cosrx acids with prescription tret, and add some more moisture

  1. oil cleanse
  2. rose stick or enzyme powder cleanser
  3. first essence
  4. A-sol
  5. shark sauce
  6. Hado labo toner
  7. Propolis serum- wait 5 min
  8. Retin-A – wait 15 minutes
  9. Dr. Jart cream
  10. rosehip oil
  11. sleeping pack


if I have time to pamper

  1. black sugar strawberry or bubble clay wash off mask
  2. rose stick or enzyme powder cleanser
  3. Cosrx toner
  4. Cosrx AHA- wait 15 minutes
  5. Cosrx BHA- wait 15 minutes
  6. first essence
  7. A-sol
  8. shark sauce
  9. propolis serum
  10. Hado Labo toner
  11. sheet mask
  12. moisturizer
  13. rosehip oil
  14. sleeping pack


if I’m totally exhausted

  1. oil cleanse
  2. rose stick or enzyme powder cleanser
  3. A-sol
  4. shark sauce and propolis serum, mixed in my palm
  5. moisturizer

And I’m always more diligent the day after a lazy night.



Whew! So much info from this skin obsessive, hope it’s helpful for the curious. Feel free to request any more info on specific products or clarification, I just figured this was plenty long enough!



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