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.

In 2021, the Goldfaden MD team is manifesting Bright New Beginnings. After such a hard year, our goal is to approach this new chapter with optimism, peace of mind and even a blank slate. So, to give you a bit of inspiration, we tapped some of our favorite founders to see how they’ll be approaching the new year and making it a Bright New Beginning.

Annie Jackson | Co-Founder + COO of Credo

“Our bright new beginning is to be together in person as a team again.  After 9 months of all day zooming, we are excited to collaborate in person but more importantly hear how peoples weekends were, celebrate babies being born, talk over the lunch table.  I cannot wait.  We all know each other on a much deeper personal level now – which is ironic because it happened when we were separated.  We are stronger now more than ever at Credo and can’t wait to celebrate 2020 being over as a team, in real life.” 

Celene Gee | Gee Beauty + 6 By Gee Beauty

“My intention for 2021 is to be really present, and focus on what’s around me. How I can learn more, love more, give more, take more care of myself and the ones I love, and to create more. To try to take in the beauty of my surroundings each day, while exploring and having new experiences. Seeing beauty with my eyes in each day is my intention.”

Ariel Kaye | Founder of Parachute

“I’m a big believer in self-care and plan to carry the rituals and routines that serve me into 2021. I just had my second baby, so taking time to care for myself allows me to be the best mom to my kids and leader to my team at Parachute. For me, I turn to meditation, long walks, breathwork, and a warm shower each night to nurture my mind and body. I also like to be intentional with my home to create a nurturing environment. I plan to fill our space with music, flowers, natural light, and cozy textures in 2021.”

Olivia Muniak | Founder of La Cura

“In 2021 my intention is expansion and growth, harnessing the creative clarity and vision I’ve received in the past year and shift into actionable change. For me, that looks like reactivating events (when it’s safe), building out the catering services, and continuing to share the gift of entertaining at home. Personally, carving out more time for reading and analog activities, traveling (a girl can dream), and quality time with friends I have not seen!”

Kelly Marks |Co-Founder and Director of PuRe PR

“My intention for 2021 is to fully respect all aspects of my life, being sure to recognize joy, show gratitude and be positive. I’m a believer that what we put in, we get back. I will be making time for it all. “

Depending on who you ask, glowing, radiant skin is priceless. But when it comes to the wonderful world of skincare, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the plethora of products at your disposal. That said, if you’re new to skincare or otherwise want to simplify your routine, there are a few tried-and-true staples you’ll always want on hand.

If your goal is to know which types of products deserve prime real estate on your bathroom shelf, consider this your ultimate guide to skincare essentials.

4 Essential Steps for a Simplified Skincare Routine


Sometimes overlooked yet essential nonetheless, exfoliating just might be the magical step that’s missing in your current skincare routine.

Simply put, the benefits of exfoliating are plenty. (And, if you ask me, they’re too good to pass up.) Among many things, exfoliating:

  • clears away dead skin cells
  • promotes skin cell turnover
  • smooths skin
  • evens tone
  • boosts radiance
  • helps reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines
  • allows other products to penetrate better and work more effectively

Luckily, there are different options to choose from when it comes to finding the best exfoliator for you.

First, there are physical exfoliators that manually polish your complexion. Remember to exfoliate gently with only light pressure.

If you prefer to go this route, make sure to choose an exfoliating scrub with perfectly round exfoliants—rather than jagged shells that can inflame the skin, or plastic microbeads that can threaten the environment—such as the ruby crystals in our Doctor’s Scrub. (Bonus: The Doctor’s Scrub also contains hydrating powerhouse hyaluronic acid and moisturizing jojoba oil.)

P.S.: Don’t forget that all your skin could use some love, too! Add on the Doctor’s Body Scrub for smooth, glowing skin from head to toe.

Second, there are chemical exfoliators that polish your skin with AHAs, BHAs, PHAs, and/or fruit enzymes. Personally, we love lactic acid for its gentle yet still potent properties. Luckily, lactic acid also happens to be one of the best exfoliators for sensitive skin. You can find it alongside citrus fruit enzymes in Fresh A Peel, which promotes a fresh, youthful glow—sans irritation. (Note: You’d use this type of exfoliating treatment only after cleansing.)


Cleansing is arguably the most important step in any skincare routine.

A good cleanser is your best bet to remove surface oils, dirt, and impurities from both daily and overnight buildup. After washing your face with a high-quality cleanser, you’ll have a clear, fresh canvas that’ll allow the next products to work their magic.

For a gentle, gel-based cleanser that’ll delight your skin and senses alike, Pure Start is your best bet. For those who are acne-prone, we also have the Detox Clarifying Facial Wash with a blend of exfoliating AHAs and antioxidants for a deeper clean.


This all-important step in your routine is all about you and will be specific to your unique skin concerns.

Such concerns may include:

  • blemishes
  • dryness
  • fine lines and wrinkles
  • hyperpigmentation
  • an uneven, dull skin tone

Daily, semi-weekly, or weekly treatments are your best allies to supercharge progress to achieve your biggest skin goals.

As far as products go, skincare treatments often come in the form of a serum or oil. They’ll typically contain a concentrated amount of active ingredients to address your areas of concern.

When choosing the best specialized treatments for your skin, here’s a quick primer with a few star ingredients to look out for:

  • hyaluronic acid for dry or dehydrated skin
  • retinol for rejuvenation and anti-aging
  • alpha arbutin for natural lightening of dark spots
  • antioxidants (such as CoQ10 and vitamins C and E) for brightness and protection from free radicals

Apply your treatment after cleansing and allow it to absorb fully before moving on to the next step of your simplified skincare routine.

Hydrate & Moisturize

Last but not least, hydrating and moisturizing products will keep your skin fresh and promote a healthy skin barrier.

To clarify, hydrators (aka humectants) help from within to infuse your skin cells with water. Meanwhile, moisturizers (aka occlusives) lock in the moisture you’ve achieved thus far.

Both provide a necessary one-two punch to encourage a fresh, glowing complexion both throughout the day and into the night. After all, if you’ve made it this far into your skincare routine, your progress will be for naught if your skin gets parched or goes unprotected.

Some people may prefer nourishing their skin with an oil alone, like Fleuressence, which replenishes hydration and softens skin with omega fatty acids. Otherwise, a tried-and-true moisturizer, such as Vital Boost, can provide a brightening glow for all skin types.

To get even more granular, you can also use a moisturizer tailored to your skin concerns. Additionally, you may choose to use a richer formula, such as the Plant Profusion Night Cream, to boost moisture and radiance even further while you get your beauty sleep.

Final Thoughts

For those who are new to skincare or simply want to pare down their shelves to the essentials, these four pillars get the job done to inch you closer to your ideal of great skin. (And don’t forget, applying SPF daily is the ultimate insurance policy for skin protection.)

It’s also worth noting that when you revamp your skincare routine, you should integrate only one new product at a time for at least two weeks. A more ideal time frame would be a month, which will permit a full cycle for skin cells to turn over. Doing so will allow you to witness progress in the making, as well as understand which new products yield results.

Finally, once your skin starts to improve, you’ll probably start to wonder what other goodies you’ve been missing out on. (I’m talking mists, masks, eye creams, and the like.) As terrific as these other products are, start first with the basics and then feel free to work your way up.

Author Bio
Michele Ross is a beauty and lifestyle writer based in Los Angeles. She’s passionate about clean skincare and hiking in the California sunshine (with adequate SPF, of course).