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5 Questions with KraveBeauty’s Liah Yoo

You’ve probably seen KraveBeauty’s recent rebrand, including repackaging its products with cute designs and bright colors.

What you might not have known is how this was an extension of their philosophy and the #Pressreset campaign that had a huge moment within the skincare community. But this time, they’re pressing the reset button on their own brand to reduce their environmental impact while improving usability based on customer feedback. 

Curious about their brand philosophy and how it all started? We previously interviewed Liah Yoo, the girl boss and head-honcho of KraveBeauty, to talk about all that! And for those who haven’t watched the video, no worries! We transcribed the best parts of the interview for you here.

Q: What is KraveBeauty?

Liah: “KraveBeauty is all about tuning out the noise outside so that you can really hone into your inner voice and your intuition and what your skin is telling you because it clearly does try to communicate with you and it’s all the matter of, ‘are you willing to listen to what your skin is trying to say?’ And yeah, I think at the end of the day, skincare should be just as intuitive as intuitive eating or just doing what feels right for you and for your skin.”

Fel: “Yeah, because there are so many people out there; there are reviews and trends…”

Liah: “It’s very overwhelming once you walk into all those beauty retail stores. Even though we are living with the abundance and probably the luxury of all of these options that we can choose from, I think that’s fundamentally what makes us so confused and even stressed out.”

Q: How did it all start?

Liah: “I think the idea came about when I was putting so much skincare content for so long on YouTube as a platform. I did have a luxury, and I did have a chance to interact with the community, real people, and real women and see how overwhelmed they were with skincare.

The majority of my viewers do struggle with acne. I was once there too, I had acne-prone skin for so long, I literally tried the 12-step skincare routine and expensive laser treatments, and my skin wasn’t really getting better. And I think at that point, you realize there is something that’s fundamentally wrong with what you’re currently doing. 

So that’s when I started researching how our skin actually works. That’s when I realized, ‘oh my god, our skin is smart.’ It knows how to rejuvenate, how to regulate and repair on its own if you let your skin and your body do its job. And I think a lot of the time, a lot of skincare brands out there, unfortunately, do make you believe that your skin is incapable of functioning on its own.”

Q: What’s the skincare diet and how does it work?

Ro: “Let’s talk about the skincare diet and what it is.”

Fel: “There’s a hashtag, right?”

Liah: “Yeah, it’s a hashtag. I did not expect this to actually blow up. 

So basically, what the skincare diet is, it’s really taking out everything unnecessary from your skincare routine and streamlining it to the bare basics of your skincare routine, which will be your cleanser, your moisturizer, and your SPF. Those are the three core products that I believe everyone should own and use to optimize their skin health. 

I encourage a lot of my viewers who do have skin sensitivity and acne-prone skin to go on a skincare diet and stick to using those three core products for at least a month. Because when you’re masking and drowning your skin with twenty different products and when you do have inflammation, you never know what’s the culprit; you never know what’s the cause; you never know what you’re allergic to, so it makes you more skin-aware and self-aware too!”

Fel: “Yeah, especially I think over time for acne-prone skin, you use so many harsh chemicals that try to really drown out and incinerate that pimple or incinerate whatever inflammation is coming up. And then you have a whole world of other problems like dryness, peeling, irritation, and all that. So it’s this constant influx of problems.”

Q: What can people expect to get out of the skincare diet challenge?

Liah: “I think the best thing that you get out of doing the skincare diet challenge is to get to know your skin so much better. And you can slowly but surely start having a conversation with your skin and feed what your skin craves from that. 

So, of course, if your skin operates and functions well with the core basics, that’s amazing. You probably don’t need more products. But if your skin is peeling, if your skin needs more intense hydration, that’s when you can add more of a hydrating mist, hydrating essences, or some sort of facial oil that suits your skin type. 

If your skin is scaly and needs that push and encouragement in the skin cellular turnover, I would highly encourage you to apply or incorporate an alpha hydroxy acid such as Kale-Lalu-yAHA.

You might notice that your skin is very vulnerable, which means you need to do something with your skin barrier to reconstruct, so that’s when something like Great Barrier Relief would come in handy. 

If you want to reverse signs of aging, you don’t need to go for a super extravagant moisturizer with all these fancy active ingredients. I think that’s when you can easily incorporate just a pure retinol serum like The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid here.”

Q: What’s the process behind developing the Oat So Simple water cream?

Fel: “So for the skincare diet, we have some staples and favorites. Oohh~ We have a special treat!”

Liah: “Oh yeah, I’m proud to finally introduce our Oat So Simple water cream!

I started developing this moisturizer way before I developed Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser and even the Kale-Lalu-yAHA, which launched in 2017 December. I asked my community on YouTube what their ideal moisturizer would look like if you were to make your own. And on that video alone, I had over 2300 different comments. I think that was a moment where I realized moisturizer is a very individual product. Even though you and I, let’s say we do have the same skin type being combination, oily, acne-prone skin, we might have a different preference in the texture, how it feels on the skin, and the finish.

So I think at that point, I was so lost on how to approach the product development of this. Because at the end of the day when you’re trying to please 2300 people…”

Ro: “You please… nobody!”

Liah: “Yeah! And I think that’s why I struggled the most for the entire first year of developing probably 50 different lab samples of moisturizers. I was trying to add more and more features to please everyone. But then it became a lab sample that couldn’t please anyone literally. And that’s when I press reset on my product.

And I took a completely opposite approach of just simplifying. I downsized, and I eliminated a lot of unnecessary ingredients and trendy active ingredients. It came down to this no-frills just oats formula that has less than ten ingredients. 

So that’s when I realized you need to simplify to amplify. I’m not going to say this moisturizer is going to fix all of your problems, but it does solve one problem well, which is quelling all of your worries that you have when it comes to choosing a moisturizer.”

Fel: “It’s one of those products that you know when anything is happening, whether it’s good or bad, you know that you can rely on it, so you reach for it. And I think we all need those products and a skincare routine, instead of going like, “what’s gonna fix this?” and then switching, and then it’s just like (*skin panic mode activated*).”

Watch the whole video here for Fel, Ro, and Liah’s product picks for the skincare diet challenge and more lifestyle tips for healthy, glowing skin!

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