Why the CEO of This Beauty and Wellness Startup Became a Morning Person

What's the first thing you do when you get out of bed in the morning? A well-rounded morning routine sets the tone for the day and gets you prepped—both mentally and physically—before you dive into a packed schedule filled with emails, chores, happy hours, workouts, and more. Our series Morning Person profiles those who have mastered the art of the morning routine.

Tune in every week here and on our Instagram to learn exactly how the pros get it all done before the sun comes up, from their go-to breakfasts to their a.m. workouts.

If there's one thing we love more than a morning routine, it's being reminded that these types of regimens can be aspirational, at best. Let's face it. Some of us just aren't morning people, and that's perfectly fine. It's more important to know what works best for our own lives and schedules so that we can be healthy and happy on the inside and out. 

For Yanghee Paik—co-founder and CEO of Raelthe clean periodcare startup turned full-fledged beauty and wellness brand—waking up early didn't come naturally at all. But establishing a solid morning routine has been integral in helping her run a growing company, especially one spanning multiple time zones.

Keep scrolling to see how Paik gets it all done before her workday starts. 


(Image credit: Courtesy of Yanghee Paik)

I have to admit, I’m not a natural-born morning person. I had been a night person for a long time and used to enjoy working until late or watching TV or movies late at night.

However, ever since I became the CEO of a startup, my body clock has changed significantly. I don’t know if it’s the stress or pressure, but I started waking up at 7:30 a.m. naturally, and I’m pleasantly surprised that I actually like it a lot. When you don’t have to rush too much in the morning and have enough time to take care of yourself and reflect and plan the day, it does help you stay energized, healthy, and productive.

7:30 A.M.

My current morning routine starts at 7:30 a.m., and I immediately open my window to get fresh air and enjoy the view. I also spend a few minutes hearing birds singing and chirping.

Then, I drink a pouch of Korean red ginseng extract, which is a very popular, traditional supplement in Korea where I was born and grew up. In fact, this was gifted by one of my co-founders, who is also a Korean American and was worried about my busy schedule and health. It’s known to help with the immune system, blood circulation, memory function, and fatigue.


(Image credit: Courtesy of Yanghee Paik)

Then, I spend about 20-30 minutes stretching and doing yoga. During this exercise, I also reflect on the previous days and think about what I need to accomplish today.

8 A.M.


(Image credit: Courtesy of Yanghee Paik)

Now, it’s time to jump into the shower. I spend about 20 minutes massaging my face with Rael Beauty Oil-to-Foam Gentle Cleanser ($28), doing a hair treatment, and using our Natural Foaming Feminine Wash ($10).

Now that I can’t go to a professional salon for facials and hair treatments, I’ve been improving my self-care routine and use clean, nontoxic products without parabens, SLS, mineral oil, dyes, etc.

8:30 A.M.


(Image credit: Courtesy of Yanghee Paik)

Then, my morning beauty routine starts. The two things I’m super keen on for my skincare are hydration and SPF. Within 30 seconds after my shower, I use Rael Daily Zen Balancing Toner ($28), so my skin is immediately hydrated, pH balanced, and prepped for all the nutrients coming up.

Then, I apply my favorite serum, Rael Beauty's Good Chemistry Advanced Antioxidant Serum ($38), and create a skin barrier with the Nourishing Gel Cream ($38). These products are all made with clean, vegan ingredients but are highly effective, as we developed these with the latest K-beauty technology and innovations. 

Finally, I finish my beauty routine with my favorite SPF from Dr. G and BB cream from Miba, all popular items in Korea right now.

8:45 A.M.

Recently, I’ve been trying to cut back my caffeine consumption and have been making a smoothie for myself at home. My favorite combination is strawberries and bananas with low-fat milk. For breakfast, I often make an avocado toast with cherry tomatoes and add a lemon and oregano, which is super healthy and filling. 


(Image credit: Courtesy of Yanghee Paik)

Then lastly, I take Plant People’s Advanced Immune Power capsules ($35), which are made with organic, functional mushrooms and herbal extracts.

9:15 A.M.


(Image credit: Courtesy of Yanghee Paik)

Now, it’s time to work. Because we have an office in Seoul, Korea, in addition to our L.A. office, there are always things that happen overnight, which I have to quickly catch up with. I start my day answering all the urgent emails and getting ready for the Zoom meetings.

I’m also a big "to-do list” person, so every morning I update my to-do list on a Post-it for the day and the week, which greatly helps me stay focused and organized.

Up next, How This Serial Entrepreneur Gets Grounded and Ready to Tackle a Workday


This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions.