Meet Holly Snow Hollenbeck, Founder & Principal Designer of HSH Interiors. HSH Interiors works with clients for interior large-scale remodels, ground up construction, single-room revamp, or furniture selection. They make every project feel manageable without leaving a single detail to chance and we love the work they have done! We had a chance to sit down with Holly to learn more about her inspiration and more in an intimate interview you don’t want to miss.

Where do you find inspiration?

I am a visual omnivore and find inspiration everywhere. From fashion magazines to art galleries to ballet and theater, to well-curated boutiques, to the creations of the many incredible artists and manufacturers we are lucky enough to work with, inspiration is everywhere. Our wonderful clients also provide us with a source of inspiration in their passions, their lifestyle and their sense of personal style, which we work to capture in the interiors we create for them to live in.

 

Did you always want to be an Interior Designer?

I started my career working in recruitment for an investment bank and a consulting firm, and went from there to a technology start up in the first “dot com boom”.  After a few years, I realized I needed more creative work that would engage me on many levels, and that did not keep me at a desk in front of a computer all day.  While considering my next career move, I remembered how much I had loved art as a child, and how often I had stolen my mother’s Architectural Digest magazines to look at the beautiful houses in them.  While other little girls were drawing horses and dresses, I drew houses.  I decided to go back to school and study interior design.  I am, however, grateful for the time I spent in other industries prior to design school as I learned some of the practical knowledge needed to run a company.

How is it different working on your own home vs. your clients’ homes?

My family and I love moving and restoring pre WWII homes to live in.  We have moved every 3 to 5 years for over 20 years!  Each time I make a new home for my family it is a creative endeavor of blending the architecture and our art with the practical lifestyle needs of my family.  Every home we have created for ourselves has been different from the last one purposefully.  When working with clients, their needs and desires take center stage.  Its my job to create home that embodies the clients, not one that looks like me. Designing a space the client feels comfortable in and loves being in is paramount.

What is your favorite room in your home?

I love our living room with its beautiful view of Alamo Square.  Our home is a historic 1901 Edwardian with lovely traditional moldings and very high ceilings, but which I modernized with lighting and furnishings by my favorite manufacturers.  The living room has an abstract pattern rug from Stark, an Apparatus chandelier, and a Chesney’s statuary white marble mantle paired with modern low button tufted Lawson Fenning royal blue velvet sofas and a vintage 1970’s glass and lucite coffee table.  It’s a room with lovely historic bones paired with modern lighting and furnishings in a way that is always fresh and inviting to me. Because my children are musicians, we also have a 1940 Steinway baby grand and a collection of guitars in the living room.  We spend time in there as a family playing instruments and singing together, or just reading and relaxing on weekends.

How do you start your mornings?

I have three children and six pets, so as you might imagine, its chaotic at our home in the mornings.  Coffee first.  Then I’m focused on getting my beauty routine done, walking the dogs, feeding the kids and pets and getting everyone to school on time before I make it to my office.  Usually I have the phone in one hand all the while fielding the early emails and texts that are already arriving. If I’m lucky, once or twice a week I can squeeze a run in there somewhere which helps keep me centered.

What are your go-to daily beauty products and why?

In dry, cold winter weather I like to use a scrub like Goldfaden’s Doctor’s Scrub to remove dry, flaky skin, followed by hydrating serums and oils. I like SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic and Caudalie’s Overnight Detox Oil.  I finish my beauty routine at night with Goldfaden’s Bright Eyes to help prevent wrinkles and dark circles, and I always use a thick coating of lip protectant such as Laniege’s Lip Mask.

How do you de-stress?

I love reading a good book in a hot bath at the end of the day.  That’s the best way for me to relax, unwind and prepare to sleep. I’m also a lover of running and yoga, both of which help me to clear my head. I have come up with some of my best design ideas while running.

What is your daily mantra?

Life is not a dress rehearsal.

 

Images courtesy of HSH Interiors and Lacy Kiernan Photography. 

Uncovering the powers of Vitamin B, also known as the Vitamin responsible for optimal overall skin health. B vitamins in particular support skin health in a multitude of ways, making their inclusion in your daily regimen. We sat down with Dr. G to understand the important role it plays with our skin.

As an ingredient in skin care formulas, vitamin B3 appears in just two main forms: nicotinic acid (also known as niacin) and nicotinamide (also called niacinamide). Both of these function very much alike as vitamins and, in fact, nicotinic acid must first be converted into nicotinamide by your body before it can be used. Nicotinamide is an essential element in the creation of two important enzymes (NADHand NADPH) that play a central role in both cellular energy production and the formation of skin lipids. Unfortunately, your levels of NADH and NADPH decline drastically as you grow older. The good news is that topical application of niacinamide helps preserve these valuable enzymes that defend your skin against many of the common factors that accelerate aging.”

Another important factor in the aging process is the gradual loss of collagen and elastin fibers that are manufactured by specialized skin cells called fibroblasts. A dynamically effective strategy for preventing skin aging is to reduce collagen breakdown while simultaneously increasing fibroblast production. Studies with human fibroblasts showed that niacinamide stimulates new fibroblast growth by 20% and collagen secretion by 54%.

Finally, one of the most interesting aspects of niacinamide s age-defying potential is its ability to fade age spots. This condition (technically known as hyperpigmentation) is defined as any spot on your skin that’s dark enough to effectively stand out against the surrounding area. This phenomenon is usually the result of your skin’s efforts to protect itself from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. It occurs when overexposure to sunlight causes the melanocytes in the deeper layers of your skin to produce cells that contain a skin-darkening pigment called melanin. These specialized cells known as melanosomes are picked up by your keratinocytes that are constantly migrating upwards toward your skin surface. Nicotinamide doesn’t inhibit the production of melanin, but it does interfere with the transfer of melanosomes to your keratinocytes by up to 68%. This makes nicotinamide a very effective and much safer alternative than hydroquinone, a chemical skin lightener that studies have shown may cause cancer.

Given its excellent safety profile, outstanding stability, and well documented therapeutic effects (which also include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits), niacinamide is highly recommended as a powerful anti-aging ingredient and as an effective remedy for acne-prone skin as well. Nicotinamide is gentler than retinoids and glycolic acids, making it an excellent alternative for those who aren’t able to tolerate more aggressive treatments.

Vitamin B:

  • Increases production of ceramides and fatty acids, two key components of the skin’s outer protective barrier
  • Powerful form of Vitamin B, this powerhouse ingredient contributes to the support of the skin against pollutants and other irritants, may help in reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation and encourages the production of natural emollients that can help the skin remain hydrated.

Found in: Wake Up Call, Hands to Heart and Brightening Elixir (vit B3)/ 3%

 

With your optimal daily regimen identified, it’s time to take your skincare to the next level. Any tried and true skincare regimen demands a shake-up now and then to help us keep your skin GLOWING. We enlisted Dr. G to help us with upping the ante on our regimen.

How can I make my cleanser work harder for even better results at home?

Cleansing the face should happen at least once a day if not twice. Upon waking, washing the face will remove the residue from the applied night regimen. If you choose to cleanse in the AM, make sure to use a cleanser that won’t strip or dry the skin (i.e. Alcohol Free). Cleansing the skin at night is a must! No exceptions. The skin is exposed to a variety of environmental stressors and pollutants. Soot, car exhaust, sun, second hand smoke and many others can 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.

***The skin has a very thin protective layer on the surface called theacid mantel. This layer is comprised of sebum from sebaceous glands, lactic acid and amino acids (from our body’s sweat). The ideal ‘balanced’ level is around 5.5, slightly acidic.

A great idea to make your cleanser work even harder is to mix it with your physical scrub. By mixing these products together you maximize on the effectiveness of both and also save a step in your regimen.  Using a facial tool or brush with your cleanser can also help deliver better results.

Is there one texture of cleanser that’s best to use for a deeper cleansing treatment?

Texture is highly dependent on skin type and personal preference. When choosing a cleanser it is important to pay attention to ingredients. While some people prefer a cleansing balm, pay attention to ingredients, as these balms can be heavy and are not for every skin type. If you’re not sure where to start, try a gentle cleanser appropriate for all skin types. Our most popular cleanser is a gentle gel based cleanser, ‘Pure Start’. If you are typically dry or sensitive you have to be careful what types of ingredients you choose, stay clear of astringents, acids, sodium lauryl sulfate and alcohol. 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.

Should exfoliation always come after cleansing?

We believe exfoliation should always be the first step of a regimen. On non-exfoliation days (we recommend exfoliating 2-3 times per week depending on skin type) you can simply cleanse or use a targeted acid based cleanser (AHA Clarifying Wash). We recommend exfoliating first so that the exfoliation vehicles (crystals or acids) are able to remove and lift the dull, dead lackluster skin then the cleanser can wash it all away.

What’s the best most effective way to exfoliate?

Everyone should exfoliate their skin two to three times a week, unless they suffer from rosacea or eczema. Depending on the season and climate, exfoliation can be increased or decreased. Both manual and chemical exfoliation is recommended and dependent on results desired. If you are using a scrub (manual), you can cleanse after, which will ensure all the crystals are removed. Our Doctors Scrub’ is an exfoliator that cleanses and aids in cell renewal by polishing away dead surface cells, leaving skin brighter, clearer and younger-looking. Formulated with line-filling Hyaluronic Acid, whichdelivers long-lasting hydration, Seaweedto nourish and Organic Red Tea Extract to provide antioxidant protection.

 

How can I use a mask to best effect? Should I layer them or is targeted masking a good idea? How often should I use a mask?

This is dependent on skin type and desired results. Look for multipurpose masks, which treat and soothe or hydrate. A purifying mask (Facial Detox Mask) works to draw out dirt and pore clogging debris to reveal skin that looks clear and appears flawless. These types of masks can be used all over the face a few times a week (for oily, acne prone skin), a few times a month for dry and sensitive skin or as a spot treatment whenever you feel a breakout coming.  In clarifying masks look for ingredients, which soothe and calm such as Zinc Oxide, exfoliate and unclogs pores, such as Sulfur and a natural astringent to draw out oils such as Camphor.

We created an all in one mask, The Skin Balancing Mask to take the guesswork out of masking. This mask is a triple-tasker, which mimics the most popular facial treatment in our dermatology practice. A botanical-rich treatment mask, Skin Balancing Mask features a multi-peptide and enzyme blend that refines pores and helps to improve skin elasticity and increase collagen production. Ginseng, Honey, Flower Extracts, Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E infuse moisture, vitality and nourishment back into the skin. This mask exfoliates, treats and hydrates all in one.

Is there a way of applying my serum and moisturiser to boost their efficiency? Any techniques or additional tools?

Serums should always be applied first and left to dry. If you are using two types of serums apply the targeted serum first and then the overall antioxidant or Vitamin C serum over it. Moisturizers are then applied over the serum. Applying serums, moisturizers and oils while the skin is a little damp can be beneficial for holding moisturizer on the skin. Massaging skincare products is also beneficial and will help with circulation and blood flow.

 

Any tips to boost product performance in any of the steps – for example, damp skin vs dry skin, massage technique, mixing more than one product together, leaving on for longer than usual etc.?

  • Mixing cleaners and exfoliators
  • Applying serums, moisturizers and oils to damp skin
  • Facial massage
  • Warm showers in the winter NOT hot (as they will dry and strip the skin)