There are two words that never fail to awaken the spendthrift beauty consumer inside me: Natural and Organic. In the early stages of my perpetual relationship with beauty products, my go-to sources were the skin and body care aisles at Whole Foods. At the time I felt like a sophisticated, knowledgeable shopper (with the added integrity of an eco-enthusiast), but quickly realized that not all products are, per se, safe for everyone. The phrase “all natural and organic” can be misleading, and in more instances than not, many of these products contain at least some chemical ingredients. “Would you use this on a baby?” is usually the game-time question you’ve got to ask yourself when it comes to totally safe and sensitive products.
Korean actress and mother of twins, Lee Young-Ae, kept this question in mind when creating her brand, LYAnature. The company features two lines of skin care products—LYAnature for moms/pre-moms and Mom&Twins for mother and child—made with 100 percent natural botanical ingredients, and absolutely no unnecessary ones. All products are made of camellia seed oil, ginseng extract, and organic fruits, vegetables, medicinal herbs, and grains, and all ingredients are cold-pressed to ensure maximum preservation of nutrients.
While visiting the LYAnature shop in Samcheong-dong, Seoul, I picked up a travel-sized packet of Snow Powder Klenzer. These one-time use mesh bags of 100 percent camellia seed oil powder cleanser work up quite a lather with just a few drops of water and work like an extremely gentle exfoliator to clear pores and leave your skin soft, visibly brighter, and surprisingly hydrated. I like to use these in the shower and leave the bubbles on my face as I tend to my hair and body to make sure that my skin absorbs everything it possibly can—camellia seed oil hydrates, smooths and nourishes the skin and is rich in antioxidants.
The LYAnature House is located along the same road as the Innisfree Jeju House, and the serene ambience of the 3-story shop and lounge takes you on a tranquil getaway in itself. By way of real natural products, Lee Young-Ae makes a point that she “doesn’t believe in even the strictest government regulated standards and levels for beauty ingredients,” but only believes in products that are 100 percent free of chemicals and preservatives that she “wants to share with [her] beloved children.”
Photos courtesy of the author. To read more of Stella's series, click here.
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