5YINA - Chinese Medicine meets Skincare

Skincare has long been known to draw from ancient practices and 5YINA setting a new standard! This up and coming clean skin care brand, based out of San Francisco, draws its inspiration and ingredients from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This is a first for me! I love that they are incorporating such unique ingredients like Angelica, Agar Wood and Japanese Knotweed. The products are also organized by season, which sets a tone and sends a message -- be in alignment with nature! 



Winter Hydrolat - For anyone that knows me, I am a hydrosol addict. I love mists and sprays anytime of day or night. This light and wintry feeling spray is a great staple addition and may complete your collection of mists. 

Winter Beauty Oil - This is a top quality serum (trust me I've tried my fair share). It's a rosy tinted oil that feels so good on your skin. It keeps skin glowy for hours and pairs very well with the winter hydrolat. 

All Seasons Bio Adaptive Cleanser - This milky cleanser is great for dry skin. I found that it left my skin feel refreshed but nourished. It balances the pH of your skin and contains the coveted pearl powder, long reputed for adding a pearl-like sheen to women's skin and appearance. 

Divine All Seasons Biocellulose Mask - The face mask lovers are going to fall for this one. With ingredients like ginger, jujube, peony and shisandra, it's natural active ingredients penetrate the out sebum and "instantly awakens" the skin. 


Q&A with founders Angela Chau and Ervina Wu

Q: How did you come up with 5YINA and why is it different from other products in a similar space?

A: The inspiration behind 5YINA came from our study of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  While we were still in graduate school, we couldn't find a Chinese Medicine based skincare line that was high-performing and cleanly formulated.  Both of us shared strong entrepreneurial instincts, so creating a holistic skincare line seemed like a natural progression after graduation.

What truly differentiates us is our formulation.  If you read through our ingredients, you’ll see that we use Chinese Medicinal herbs and adaptogens in all our formulas.  While some of these ingredients may sound unfamiliar, they have been used for thousands of years in China!  We select a botanical for its curative power as well its ability to work in synergy with another ingredient within a formula.  Another thing that set us apart is our in-house extractions and infusions; instead of relying on ready-made extractions, we perform the extractions in our own lab.  This is a more labor-intensive process, but well worth it because our own extractions are more potent than what’s commercially available.  Moreover, many of the ingredients we use are also rare and not readily available in extract form.

The essence of each season is captured in our products.  Whether it is the scent, texture or energy, each product is created to attune your skin and spirits to the season.

Q: What does 5YINA mean?

A:  “5” is the foundational number of Chinese Medicine theory, and it represents the five elements, five colors, and five seasons.  YINA is a combination of the cofounders’ names, YI - Harmony, NA - Beauty.

Q: What is your mission with 5YINA?

A:  To create beauty products inspired by ancient Chinese Medicine wisdom that are safe, effective, and beautiful to use for the modern woman.  To inspire a self-healing experience of your mind and body through our rituals.

Q: What does your wellness routine look like?

A:  We try to keep our routines simple since time is a luxury these days.  We go to bed at sensible hours, eat seasonally and organically (we are breakfast champions!), exercise 2-3 times a week, and whenever possible, escape to a natural hot spring for a couple days to rejuvenate.  Lucky for us, one of our favorite hot springs is only 2 hours from our office!

Q: What have been some of your greatest lessons with your business?

A: One of the biggest lessons we learned is that passion and commitment are equally important to bring our vision into fruition.  We are deeply passionate about our craft and medicine, but in order to realize our mission, we had to overcome many learning curves.  And it takes a lot commitment and perseverance to conquer some of these challenges.  We also had to learn to find balance, whether it’s taking our time/acting fast or pushing forward/stepping back — it’s a delicate act that we have are still learning as entrepreneurs.

Q: What makes for a super life?

A:  When a sense of well-being is experienced in both your inner and outer states!