My Morning Routine: Dry Brushing, Serums, and Instant Pot Yogurt

Blueland Sarah Paiji Yoo

My Morning Routine

Sarah Paiji Yoo


founder of Blueland

We kind of worship Sarah Paiji Yoo: The thirty-six-year-old Blueland founder has created gorgeous sustainable cleaning products that save thousands of gallons of water from being shipped around the world in the form of cleaning liquids (you provide the water), really work, and look chic on the counter on top of it all.

We’re also pretty obsessed with her glowing skin. She chalks it up to kick-ass genes (“My mom has amazing skin and also wears a visor and gloves when she drives,” she laughs) and clean skin care. “I got interested in it before Blueland, when I was pregnant,” says Paiji Yoo, who’s based in New York. “It jump-started my turning a more critical eye on ingredients in general. Creating Blueland came not long after. I was thinking especially about the surfaces that my new baby would be touching.”

Everything in Blueland’s kit—there are mirror and bathroom sprays, a multisurface cleaner, and a hand wash—works brilliantly without the harmful substances that are common in conventional cleaning products (surfactant, preservatives, known carcinogens, hormone disruptors, fragrances, and even chemicals that can cause asthma in otherwise healthy people). Blueland’s formulas are dispensed from gorgeous refillable glass bottles (when one runs out, you order a $2 tablet that dissolves in water to give you a refill, saving the tons of water that get shipped around the world in the form of cleaning liquids—so smart) and smell faintly of botanicals. Plus, the bottles remain virtuously in your kitchen cabinet instead of becoming waste.

Paiji Yoo is busy, to say the least, running her company and revolutionizing the cleaning-products space from home, but before the onslaught of emails begins, she takes some time to steady her mind and, of course, take care of that skin.

6:45 a.m.: I typically wake up before my alarm and love lying there, letting my mind wander a bit. I used to wake up in the morning and immediately start checking emails, but now I don’t touch my phone until I start the workday. My mind and my mornings feel so much lighter now. I have a little time before my three-year-old, Noah, is up, so I brush my teeth, drink a huge glass of water, and have my morning coffee. I reflect on the things I’m grateful for and excited about, which keeps me grounded and optimistic.

7:30 a.m.: Noah wakes up. He’s just transitioned out of his crib, so I climb into his bed for some snuggles if he’ll let me (he’s incredibly squirmy these days). I’m finally understanding why some parents keep wanting to have more babies—just for the snuggles. For the next thirty minutes, I get him ready: brush his teeth, change his clothes, make breakfast.

We keep breakfast simple. Cereal, fruit, or yogurt. I just learned to make yogurt during self-isolation, which I’m happy about, because yogurt in the store almost always comes in plastic. And it’s so easy to make if you have an Instant Pot: You just pour in milk, and there is literally a button that says “Yogurt.”

8 a.m.: Before I get in the shower, I dry brush. My skin feels baby-smooth after I do it, and it gives me a nice little kick of energy.

8:10 a.m.: I know I shouldn’t wash my hair every day, but I love the steam, and I savor the pressure of the water. When we gut-renovated our place, I knew I wanted an extra-large shower. It’s the only place at home where I can’t take my phone (see a theme?) or my toddler.

I’ve been trying out a range of shampoo bars, plus I use the goop Himalayan salt scrub shampoo once a week. I love it. It leaves my scalp feeling so refreshed, it gets rid of any oil buildup from the week, and my whole head just feels so much lighter. For my body, Ursa Major’s Morning Mojo has the creamiest lather, and the honey and shea butter make it feel super luxurious.

I use the goop detox body scrub a few times a week. It’s hydrating and exfoliating, and breathing in the peppermint, grapefruit, and rosemary essential oils is incredibly invigorating, too.

  1. goop Beauty G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo

    goop Beauty
    G.Tox Himalayan Salt
    Scalp Scrub Shampoo

    goop, $42


  2. Ursa Major Morning Mojo Bar Soap

    Ursa Major
    Morning Mojo
    Bar Soap

    goop, $14


  3.  goop Beauty G.Tox 5 Salt Detox Body Scrub

    goop Beauty
    G.Tox 5 Salt
    Detox Body Scrub

    goop, $40


8:30 a.m.: l get out of the shower and start to get dressed and piece myself together for the day. My makeup routine has become nonexistent since self-isolation started. Skin care, however, must go on. I mix a bit of True Botanicals Vitamin C Booster or, when my skin is super dry, Vintner’s Daughter serum into my moisturizer. Both leave my skin glowy and feeling smooth.

  1. True Botanicals Vitamin C Booster

    True Botanicals
    Vitamin C Booster
    goop, $90


  2. Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

    Vintner’s Daughter
    Active Botanical Serum
    goop, $185


  3. RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up

    RMS Beauty
    “Un” Cover-Up
    goop, $36


If I’m doing video interviews or recording videos that day, I use RMS “Un” Cover-Up concealer to brighten my undereye area and soften my sun spots, Kjaer Weis refillable lip tint for my lips and cheeks, and Kjaer Weis refillable mascara. As I was starting Blueland, I became a lot more conscious of and selective with packaging and trying to use products that come in glass or use refillable systems.

8:45 a.m.: I try to get outside for a walk because my son has his preschool class on Zoom at this time, and my husband holds down the fort. I didn’t do this my first month of working from home, and I really missed my thirty-minute walking commute to work. It’s when I pull up the high level of our business and think through my biggest priorities for the day and week, before the whirlwind of meetings and emails gets going. I also have a newfound appreciation for fresh air, so it’s a lovely way to officially kick off the workday.

9:15 a.m.: Work starts. I’ve spent the morning getting refreshed and focused. From this point on, my day is usually pretty unrelenting, but it’s over before I know it.