Skincare Preneur: Yin Yin Wu
Traditional Chinese Medicine Meets Skincare Technology
Since ancient times, herbs and other natural ingredients have been used in skincare and beauty products, because of their healing and regenerative properties. Yin Yin Wu, who was born in South China, has combined traditional Chinese herbs with modern technology to develop Laloirelle. The organic line of skincare features an array of products, from oils and serums to toners and cleansers—that are designed to reduce visible signs of aging, promote elasticity and nourish skin.
I recently caught up with Yin Yin to chat about her natural-based line and how her Chinese roots have influenced her brand.
Briefly share your background.
I was born to a traditional Chinese family in the South of China, where traditional herbs were an integral part of my family’s health and well-being. At the age of 13 we moved to Hong Kong, where I got exposed for the first time, to Western cultures. Several years later we migrated to the United States, where I pursued my Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at San Francisco State University. For more than 10 years, I built a professional career in energy efficiency and sustainability. After dedicating a decade of my life to sustainability, I felt ready for something new. The desire for a challenge was one of the main drivers for me to start Laloirelle.
What motivated you to create an organic skincare?
“Greenwashing” products. Back in 2015 I came across a moisturizer that was marketed as a natural product. When I turned the container to read the ingredient list, I recognized only half of the ingredients. The other half was a list of chemical names I did not recognize. Regardless, I decided to buy the product and give it a try. After using the moisturizer for about a month, I noticed my skin became dryer and more sensitive.
I was curious to understand what was causing this change and decided to research the second half of the ingredient list. What I found out was that these ingredients were, for the most part, petrochemicals and highly irritating preservatives. In some ways, finding this out made me feel cheated and upset.
After four years of research and development, Laloirelle was launched in early 2019 as a way for me to have access to, and create effective natural skincare products.
It’s a cool name for your skincare line. Can you tell us how you came up with the name?
Thank you. I am happy to hear Laloirelle resonates with you. The name is a union of French and Italian words. I got inspired by the beautiful green sceneries accentuated by castles and vineyards along the la Loire River in France. Besides that, I was inspired by Italian names ending in “lle.” Combing “la Loire” with the ending “lle,” that’s how the name Laloirelle came up.
Can you describe the benefits of using Laloirelle?
Fortified with organic herbs that deliver the highest levels of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and beta-glucans to deep layers of skin, Laloirelle’s skin care products help reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, promote elasticity for firmer skin leaving your skin softer, smoother, more hydrated and youthful looking.
“A lot of what my grandmother and mother taught me about herbs, I was able to apply it to better understand and select the ingredients in my formulations.”
You have a skincare quiz on your website. How effective is it at helping someone know their skin type and the products that are best for them?
Actually we created the skincare quiz based on feedback from customers at trade shows. All our products feel great when they are just applied, but the restorative benefits can take time to develop. We carry a total of five oil moisturizers, thus, helping our customers choose the best product for their skin is of great importance. While the Age Defy Face Oil is our most popular product that was formulated for all skin types, we also developed four other oil moisturizers that especially target certain skin types, including very dry, sensitive, oily and wrinkled skin.
So in order to help our customers better understand their skin type and choose the best products for them, we created the skincare quiz. It has been really effective in educating our customers. In addition to helping select the best product, the quiz results also recommend skincare, dietary and lifestyle tips depending on your skin type. I believe that in order to achieve true beauty, you need to take care of you skin and have a balanced lifestyle.