March 8 is International Women’s Day—and this year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge. The Goldfaden MD team talked to five incredible women who are navigating life’s challenges: juggling building businesses and finding time to take care of themselves.  We asked them about their own personal challenges and how they find balance, inspiration, and most of all, support (with a little skincare sprinkled in).


This year’s theme for IWD is #ChooseToChallenge. What does that mean to you? 

Allowance. We always have the right to change our mind, grow, set boundaries which allow us to be our full, loving, and honest selves. Too often as women we play small in order to be understood while neglecting the very important component of innerstanding ourselves, first. As long as we know our core intention and is not causing harm to ourselves or the collective, then do you! I like to say, “Stay Brave in Your Pursuit of Joy!” 

Who/What/Where do you look for inspiration and support? 

First and foremost I look to God, my mother, and teachings of Yoga. I am inspired by humans who choose everyday to put one foot in front of the other and not give up. I am inspired by my own journey as an entrepreneur, teacher, daughter, sister, friend and who I yet to become. I could have made the decision to quit on life a long time ago, but I didn’t, and for that I will always keep God first and believe in myself to follow the path He laid out for me. I am constantly inspired by all the elements: earth, sky, fire, air, and water. I might sound a little woo, but I no longer require much to fill my cup and to be inspired. If I get to wake up to a new new day, look at God, what a beautiful gift!  Anything after that, dear friends, are all excellent bonuses…my work, family, friends, students, clients and my beloved teachers. 

What is your hero Goldfaden MD product?

I mean, do I have to only pick one?! Well, I love Bright Eyes, FLEURESSENCE, and the Doctors Scrub but GFMD really does make magic in their products. Do y’all use Baby Unicorn Tears of Overflow, or something?! LOL!


This year’s theme for IWD is #ChooseToChallenge. What does that mean to you?

Honing in on the causes closest to my heart and supporting these through donations, raising awareness, and fighting the good fight. There are many causes that I support, but one that I feel deeply  connected to is that of maternal mortality. The data exposes the racial and economic disparities that mean so many women unnecessarily die during pregnancy or childbirth, or suffer tremendously in the post-partum period. As a new Mom, I feel passionately about this and support a variety of organizations whose mission is to make pregnancy and giving birth an equitable process and making post-partum care accessible for all women, both across the world and here in the USA.

I am also choosing to challenge myself to become more financially literate. Although I am well educated in many ways, I feel I missed out on this vital component that would have better equipped me to deal with some of life’s challenges. I feel that all women can be empowered by having true financial literacy and this is fundamental to achieving equality. While I am engaging in this process myself, I am also supporting organizations that help women all over the world to do the same.

Who/What/Where do you look for inspiration and support?

My Mom and my sister in law are pretty amazing strong women who inspire me with their feats and my  Mother in law is one of the most compassionate people I have ever met. I feel lucky to be able to look to my family for both inspiration and support. Also, my close girlfriends. From my childhood friends of 30 plus years to strong friendships I have formed since moving to LA., I am grateful to be both inspired and supported by my tribe in our collective mission to do good and bring justice and equality to our world in our own unique ways.

What is your hero Goldfaden MD product?

Ah, it’s hard to name just one but I cannot live without the Facial Detox mask. It is a must in both my skin and self-care regime!

Mariah K. LYONS:

This year’s theme for IWD is #ChooseToChallenge. What does that mean to you?

#ChooseToChallenge to me means having the courage to think, act and create differently than in the past or what you might have been taught. It is challenging the status quo and choosing to create your own path and life. It might always be easy, but it’s always worth it. 

Who/What/Where do you look for inspiration and support?

Nature is my constant inspiration and support. 

What is your hero Goldfaden MD product?

Plant Profusion Night Creme (my absolute favorite creme I’ve ever tried!)


#ChoosetoChallenge- What does that mean to you?

For me, #Choosetochallenge is the continual reminder as a female founder, wife, mother, daughter that as women we must never stop pushing boundaries,  calling out inequities when we see them, thriving to continue to educate ourselves and empower our children to become informed about making a positive change in our world. I’m personally involved with advocating for Dyslexia and Literacy being a basic civil right for all. 1 and 5 people are dyslexic and yet children are not being taught to read in schools. It is my mission to raise awareness, and advocate for those without a voice. 

Who/What/Where do you look for inspiration and support?

This past year has challenged us all in more ways that any thought possible. I am so grateful for the neighborhood I live in and the diverse group of women who have become my closest friends. Aside from being able to literally borrow an egg from my neighbors, these women have become my rocks and support system as we aim to raise mindful children, navigate marriage, keep our mental health in check and provide each other the overall fuel to get these trying times.

 What is your hero Goldfaden MD product?

I am a huge fan of so many Goldfaden products but my personal hero product is the Fresh-A-Peel Mask. The Lactic acid and fruit enzymes work in 2 minutes flat. My skin feels smoother, brighter and my pores clearer. I wish I had more time to mask and pamper myself and this product gives me that perfect glow every time!


This year’s theme for IWD is #ChooseToChallenge. What does that mean to you?

It’s both important and powerful to challenge the views of others — and of ourselves. During this time of reflection, we are both looking at ourselves, the beliefs we carry out into the world, as well as the beliefs we are holding about ourselves.  At Sakara, we believe in challenging these limiting beliefs on a daily basis. The mind is a funny thing, often telling us we’re not good enough (not smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, rich enough, whatever enough). But when we are able to move past these fears and insecurities, and embrace ourselves, there we are able to uncover our true power. Though it can be difficult, we each have the ability to choose the thoughts we think. And to challenge any thoughts that aren’t serving us. Believing in ourselves is the first step for each of us to start shining our lights a little brighter. And when we’re all shining our brightest lights, we light up the world for others. So, in this year’s theme, we are choosing to challenge our own thoughts and beliefs, and hope others join us in doing so as well. We each hold the power to transform, to make an impact, and create change–  it all starts within. 

Who/What/Where do you look for inspiration and support?

Finding support is crucial — especially as a new mama. I feel blessed to have an incredible group of women around me – both personally and professionally– who I look to for inspiration and support on a daily basis. Professionally, Sakara’s Leadership Team is composed of 9 women, all who are mothers as well. I was actually the last in the group to become a mother (just gave birth last fall), so I look to them for inspiration and advice on how to hold both roles of Mom and businesswoman.  This group has shown me how we can rework the “typical” culture for working mothers by showing empathy and compassion for each other as we all balance family life and work. And show each other that it is absolutely possible to be both hardworking and nurturing. They truly are an amazing group of individuals, who inspire me every day to be a better mother and entrepreneur!

What is your hero Goldfaden MD product?

My favorite Goldfaden MD products are the Doctor’s Scrub and Firm Believer – I’m obsessed! I’m a new mama and am busier than ever, so as of late, my ideal form of self care is taking 10 minutes at the end of the day to wind down and do a full skincare and body care routine. Both products leave my skin feeling so nourished and hydrated and it’s such a nice way to wind down at the end of the day.

Your skin’s barrier is at its strongest and most effective when it has an ideal pH of 5.5—that’s when it’s perfectly balanced. But how can you know if your skin’s pH is off? Dr. G says, “If your pH is too alkaline, your skin will appear flaky and red. If it’s too acidic, inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and acne tend to flare.”

The struggle to balance skin no matter your age can be daunting. The goal is to improve tone and texture while keep the complexion clear and hydrated.  The best way to balance your skin is to put a healthy regimen into place. Follow these steps and you’ll skin will feel happy and balanced in no time.

Exfoliation + Cleansing

Cleansing or washing the face should happen twice a day. Upon waking, washing the face will remove the residue from applied night treatments and moisturizers. Remember to choose a cleanser that won’t strip or dry the skin, as this is imperative to keep the pH balanced. Look for a cleanser that does not contain harsh chemicals, dyes or artificial fragrances.

Cleansing the skin at night is crucial- no exceptions. The skin is exposed to many pollutants from just stepping foot outside. Soot, car exhaust, sun, secondhand smoke and many other pollutants wreak havoc on the skin leaving a layer of dirt and free radicals. Makeup also needs to be removed no matter what. Sleeping in makeup is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Clogged pores will lead to break outs and or rashes. By cleansing at night the skin is ready to receive and absorb any applied serums and creams.

When we talk about ‘cleansing’ we need to include exfoliation. Everyone should exfoliate their skin two to three times a week, unless you suffer from rosacea or eczema, in which case use an enzymatic exfoliator instead of a physical one. Depending on the season and climate, exfoliation can be increased or decreased. Both manual and chemical exfoliation is recommended and dependent on results desired.

Listen to your skin

Over cleansing is never recommended as it strips the skin of natural oils which can cause an over production of oil/sebum and thus a breakout. However, this is highly dependent on what type of cleanser (ingredients) being used and skin type. If you are oily and using a gentle gel based natural cleanser, like our ‘Pure Start cleanser’, you can’t really over cleanse. If you are typically dry or have sensitive skin you have to be especially careful with which types of ingredients you choose. Stay away from astringents, acids, sodium lauryl sulfate and alcohol. If your skin starts to feel dry or stripped, gets irritated or flaky, listen to the signs. Over cleansing and under cleansing can both cause-unbalanced skin.

Climate + Environment

Balanced skin can also be a result of the climate and environment you live in. For example if you live in a cold climate, exfoliation should decrease during cold, dry months. Likewise, cleansing and antioxidant protection should increase in urban settings to battle pollution and free radicals.

The best rule of thumb is to listen to your skin, as less is usually more when it comes to products.

When choosing the correct product for your skincare goals and needs, understanding ingredients is imperative. We always go back Dr. G, to understand the power player ingredients and why he formulates with them. Below are some favorites and where to find them.

Retinoids attack hyperpigmentation, stimulate the skin to generate collagen and hyaluronic acid, increase radiance by reducing pore size, safely exfoliate and increase cell turnover. Find them in Wake Up Call and Hands to Heart.

Peptides encourage skin cell growth and collagen production. Peptides are made up of a string of amino acids held together by tough bonds of nitrogen and carbon that act as messengers to send out signals which tell the receptors on your skin cells how they should perform. Find them in Plant Profusion Neck Cream.

Acetyl hexapeptide is a powerful wrinkle-reducing neuropeptide that works by hindering a signal protein called catecholamine that triggers muscle contraction, thereby relaxing your facial muscles. Find it in Needle-less serum.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHAs (Lactic acid, Glycolic acid and Fruit acids) are used as a facial exfoliator and are an excellent choice for people with sun-damaged skin, aging skin or normal to dry skin types. AHAs do not cause sun sensitivity and come in the forms of lactic acid which is derived from milk, glycolic acid which is derived from sugarcane and fruit acids which are derived from fruits (citrus and apples/malic acid). Found in Fresh-A-Peel.

Beta Hydroxy Acid or BHA (also called salicylic acid) comes from acetylsalicylic acid which is the same source as aspirin. In general, beta hydroxy acid is a more effective treatment for acne-prone skin. BHA is the only acid that can dissolve the keratin plug inside a pore, which will ultimately form a pimple. BHA can cause sun sensitivity and must always be used in conjunction with sunscreen.  Find it in Detox Clarifying Gel.

Mallow extremely soothing and loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. Find it in our Detox Cleanser as part of our proprietary DETOX complex.

Elderflower promotes blood flow and loaded with vitamins A, B, C and E. A true powerhouse ingredient. Find it in Skin Balancing Mask.

Arnica helps with bruising and the darkness involved and contains flavonoids, polysaccharides, and sesquiterpene lactones. Also contains the beneficial oil, thymol, clinically shown to cause the smooth muscles in your blood vessel walls to contract, thereby dilating them and increasing blood flow and circulation. Found in Bright Eyes.

Milk thistle Fatty acids, including linoleic acid, Vitamin E (antioxidant/environmental stressors, Silymarin, which is actually a group of three flavonoids (anti-aging, antioxidant purposes from environmental stressors). Found in Fleuressence Botanical Cell Oil.

Japonica flower one of the most important medicinal herbs in history, may provide extraordinary levels of calming properties. Loaded with key benefits to improve the appearance of flaws. Found in Facial Detox Mask.

Achieve your most healthy and glowing skin when science and nature combine.