As a teenager, I genuinely believed acne was something that went away, as if by magic, the instant someone turned 20. The media has traditionally depicted breakouts and pimples as something purely existing among teens—with the "rare" exception labeled unfairly as adult acne.
Thankfully, in the decade since, we've seen tremendous strides in the beauty world with acne acceptance, how we talk about acne, and what we understand about it. Now it's common knowledge that acne is the most common skin condition in the U.S., affecting 50 million people (including half of all adults) overall. Blame pollution, masks, or the stress of daily life, but regardless of the cause, acne doesn't care how old you are. The only question is how to treat it. Thankfully, Peach & Lily's Alicia Yoon has a few ideas.
Peach Slices 3-Step Acne System
BEST FOR: Sensitive, acne-prone skin.
USES: Use as a gentle, effective multi-step acne-fighting system.
ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Consciously crafted formulas are free of silicones, sulfates, alcohol, and fragrance and pH-balanced.
PRICE: $11 - $13
ABOUT THE BRAND: Peach Slices is a clean K-beauty brand created by celebrity esthetician and beauty founder Alicia Yoon.
How It Works
Yoon's Peach & Lily offshoot, Peach Slices, is rolling out an over-the-counter acne management system with a lineup of formulas calibrated to be tough on acne and gentle on skin. Developed over three years and granted FDA approval, it's the very first K-beauty-powered acne line of its kind.
While some acne treatments tout a more targeted approach built around stopping a wayward zit, Peach Slices' new line is about treating breakouts at the source. The products optimize pH balance, use clean ingredients, and take a holistic approach to skin health. Yoon's background as one of the most sought-after celebrity estheticians means she's seen it all—and knows what to change about how we treat acne.
"If acne is not treated holistically where the underlying issue is addressed along with the actual, visible symptom (the acne itself), an attempt to mask one symptom can lead to another issue cropping up," she explains. "For example, only looking to aggressively improve acne might result in the acne wound looking better, but skin can become dryer and more reactive and sensitized." This is what Yoon calls "the acne cycle" and aims to break with the Peach Slices three-part system.
Peach Slices Acne Clarifying Cleanser ($11) is the line's first product in their fully developed routine. The low pH cleanser is free of stripping sulfates and removes dirt, bacteria, and lingering debris without zapping skin of moisture. At the same time, the 2 percent salicylic acid content combats active breakouts, soothing cica, and cucumber work with plumping hyaluronic acid to deliver hydration.
"As much as acne benefits from traditional acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, I have seen incorporating hydrating, soothing, and skin barrier-respecting formulas be critical in helping skin and breakouts look and feel better," Yoon explains. She likens ignoring your skin's hydration to trying to fill a bucket with holes in it. "Taking a gentle and holistic approach to acne can help deliver more profound results as overall skin health is considered."
That skin-sensitive approach is true of the line's Exfoliating Toner ($11) as well. An alcohol-free liquid that contains salicylic acid and AHA to treat breakouts, its soothing ingredients—cica, lactic acid, and cucumber—aim to hydrate and speed up cell turnover for more radiant skin. Lactic acid also works to fade hyperpigmentation and can even improve the way your skin holds hydration long term.
Rounding out the collection is the Peach Slices Oil-Free Moisturizer ($13) which also fights acne with 0.5% salicylic acid content but soothes inflammation with all-important cica, niacinamide, and acerola, a superfruit with naturally high vitamin C content.
If Peach Slices' new lineup seems like it comes from someone who truly gets acne, it's because it does. Yoon, the brand's founder and CEO, not only has institutional knowledge from her esthetician training but also makes it a point to listen to Peach & Lily customers about their skin concerns, routines, and frustrations.
Yoon says some of the most consistent feedback she hears from acne sufferers is not seeing more dramatic results with acne products. "When we dig into the overall skincare routine, we often see that there's a big focus on aggressively treating acne, but not much focus on supporting other aspects of skin," Yoon explains. "Once we recommend incorporating more hydrating and soothing ingredients, eliminating the skin-barrier damaging aspects of a routine, and being a bit gentler on skin, for example, we see many incredible testimonials."
Yoon says she personally deals with eczema and understands how affirming it can be to see a major skin breakthrough—at any age. "I'm incredibly excited to see the Peach Slices acne skincare system come to life," she says. "I believe it can be a tremendously helpful tool to so many in their skincare journeys if they're struggling with acne." Speaking as one of 50 million, it's about time someone changed the game.