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Name: Sacha Strebe

Location: Los Angeles 

Age: 41

Tell us a little about yourself…
I moved here from Australia seven years ago and fell in love with the LA lifestyle. After a few years working in digital media—I held the position of Editorial Director for MyDomaine and then Create & Cultivate—I went out on my own as an editorial consultant helping content creators and media brands with their digital strategy, growth goals, and more. I accomplished so much during that time and felt incredibly fulfilled, but creatively I really felt the pull to return to the design world so I recently accepted the Editorial Director role at EyeSwoon, working closely with interior designer, Athena Calderone. 

While digital media keeps me creatively fulfilled, my other passion is skincare. I have always loved the innovation, technology, and ingredient advancements of the beauty industry, and testing them out on my own skin to achieve that healthy radiance we all crave. After many requests from friends to share my own skincare routine and treatments, I finally launched an Instagram account called @skinlexicon where I could share everything from the products to the lasers, injectables, PDO threads, and at-home tools I love. The response so far has been phenomenal and I love how close the skincare community is, too—it’s always positive, open, and fun! 

What are your skincare goals? 

For me, it’s always been healthy, even, glowy skin which equals hydration! I am 41 so my skin is going through a new iteration. It’s thirstier than it was in my 20s so I definitely find I need hydrating serums, thicker moisturizers, and an occlusive to seal it all in. 

Do you have any specific skincare concerns? 

I developed melasma after having our son 13 years ago so after treating it with three sessions of IPL at the time (I know they don’t recommend that now), my routine has been all about maintenance and prevention ever since, which equates to brightening products, lasers, microdermabrasion with PRP, and a lot of sunscreen! I am also a big fan of exfoliation, which I know has gotten a bad rap in recent years for damaging the skin barrier, but at my age, it’s key to ensuring a steady cell turnover (which, let’s be real, has significantly slowed down). I love chemical exfoliators like peels (I do a chemical peel at least 1-2 times a month) and physical exfoliators at least 2-3 times a week.

First thoughts when incorporating Radiance Repair and Doctor’s Scrub into your routine:

1st week… As a fan of exfoliation, I couldn’t wait to try the Doctor’s Scrub, especially considering almost all of my friends recommended it to me. The difference in my skin was immediate—we’re talking baby smooth, soft, and with that healthy glow from stimulating the blood flow. I also love how receptive my skin is to the serums afterward—it heightens absorption and ultimately, the efficacy. Radiance Repair is almost like a moisturizer/serum hybrid. The texture is incredibly smooth and my skin has a beautiful, glowy sheen afterward. 

2nd week… There is a visible difference in the texture of my skin—smooth, even, and clear. Since the Doctor’s Scrub is so fine, it doesn’t damage the skin or irritate—it really does feel like I’ve just stepped out of a professional microdermabrasion treatment. I have also noticed a reduction in pore size or the appearance of pore size since the scrub helps to clear away dirt and debris thus minimize blackheads in the process. I love the Radiance Repair so much—often I’ll come back into the bathroom during the day if my skin is feeling dry (especially during these colder months) and reapply it because it just feels and looks so good when I do.

Is clean beauty something that you feel passionate about?
I think the term “clean beauty” has caused a lot of confusion with consumers around what it is and what it means for something to be considered “clean.” I don’t think anyone wants to put skincare on their face that could be carcinogenic but I also think there’s a lot of fearmongering around certain ingredients that hasn’t been helpful. It’s important to do your own research and find skincare that works for your concerns and goals. I follow a lot of cosmetic scientists like Michelle Wong from Lab Muffin and Jen from The Eco Well who help to explain a lot of ingredient myths and debunk misinformation.

What else do you feel passionate about?

I love my fashion especially my Aussie designers—Dion Lee and Christopher Esber! I am also obsessed with our French bulldog, Cosmo. And I’m passionate about getting out in nature—I learned how to ski this year and just started mountain biking with my husband and son.

Best advice you’ve ever received in regards to caring for your skin?

Good skin takes time. Consistency is key. And get regular facials by a licensed esthetician to do professional extractions and facial massage. They can also help to get you on a skincare routine that’s suited to your skin and goals—so important. Also, see a dermatologist for annual skin cancer checks! 

How do you stay focused and motivated throughout the day?

I truly love what I do so it’s never hard for me to stay focused and motivated. I love creating, collaborating, and challenging myself to innovate, step up, and push myself to be better every day. But matcha helps too! Lol.

What are some of your favorite foods that keep your skin healthy?

I’m a vegetarian so I eat lots of plant-based meals with healthy fats like avocado and olive oil, plus there is always a ton of leafy greens and seasonal veggies in my meals. We also cook a lot at home so we know what’s going into our meals. I love to do a big grocery shop on the weekend and meal prep for the week ahead. I stopped taking a lot of vitamins and focused on supplementing through diet. I also follow Glucose Goddess because I think glucose is one of the most underrated elements of good health—her hacks to flatten glucose curves have been such a gamechanger for me!

Fill in the blank:  ________ is/are underrated.

Poetry. I always seek it out in times of need whether that be for creative inspiration, motivation, or just when I need to feel uplifted. I just bought a book of Pablo Neruda but I also love Mary Oliver. 

I also think rest is underrated. This year I have allowed myself to resist the urge on the weekend to “do” and instead just to “be” and not feel guilty if I haven’t accomplished anything or fulfilled a to-do list. Rest is just as if not more productive. We need it. 

 

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

Exfoliate

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.)

Cleanse

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.

Treat

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).

Let’s face on any given day your skin is battling pollution, hormonal breakouts, stress, sweat, and clogged pores. With COVID-19 changing our lives on a daily, there’s a new type of acne that has been added to the list this year, called maskne –(mask acne). As we continue to wear our masks outdoors and indoors, there’s a high chance that the increased moisture-rich environment of bacteria could affect your skin. Meaning you’re most likely to deal with clogged pores now more than ever. It’s not just you, over 56K women on Instagram are using the hashtag #maskne to raise awareness around this skincare concern. Though it’s pretty impossible to banish clogged pores for life, it’s important to make sure they’re clean and free of debris that makes them less visible. Though those with oily skin are most prone to have an increase of clogged pores which lead to whiteheads, blackheads, and unwanted bumps — read ahead, as this applies to all skin types during this current climate. 

In order to achieve smooth and glowing skin, using ingredients with gentle detoxification elements is key. It’s important to note that, when you try to extract at home, it can cause hyperpigmentation, permanent scarring, and additional breakouts. Therefore, I urge you to step away from the mirror and refrain from squeezing away at your t-zone. This causes stress on the skin tremendously. For those with truly congested skin, investing in a deep pore cleansing product will be a major game changer as it reduces blemishes and pore visibility. Try Goldfaden MD Detox Clarifying Foam Wash, $35, to reach deep into pores and target stubborn dirt and oils. The magic in a bottle cleanser consists of two Alpha Hydroxy Acids, which are Latic and Glycolic. Both acids dissolve excess oil and dead skin which builds up insides your pores over time. This helps to achieve a smoother and clear complexion. The daily wash also has a blend of White Horehound, Acai Palm Extract, Date Palm, and Gotu Kola, the Detox Complex which will help aid against environmental stresses. This revolutionary combination of ingredients not only unclogs your pores but also, fights against pollution and texture. Using this cruelty-free product daily will result in slowly eliminating large pores, blackheads, and breakouts. 

Now let’s talk about exfoliation, you’ll have two main options such as a physical exfoliator or chemical exfoliator. Here’s the main difference between the two, a physical exfoliator is usually gritty and polishes away dead cells from the surface of your skin, while the chemical exfoliator usually consists of acids to breakdown debris and provide anti-aging benefits. This all depends on your skin type and sensitivity.   

For those interested in a physical exfoliator, I recommend Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub, $75, which provides hydration while removing dead surface skin revealing brighter, radiant, healthier-looking skin. According to a consumer study with 82 participants over the course of 28 days, ninety-five percent agreed that their skin feels smoother after use. Crafted with hyaluronic acid to deliver long-lasting hydration and ruby crystals to target unclean pores, this scrub is a must-have for all skin types. If you’re looking for a chemical exfoliation, try Goldfaden MD Fresh A Peel, $85, which polishes away dead skin cells while reducing the appearance of lines, pores, and imperfections. The plant-based actives within this peel will result in a more radiant and youthful appearance. Packed with lactic acid and multi-fruit enzymes, the powerful combination will have others asking if you just got a facial.

When it comes to clearing clogged pores consistency will help you achieve the glow of your dreams. Partner these skincare recommendations with a well-balanced healthy meal plan that’ll not only create a flawless canvas but also promote a fruitful lifestyle.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Ashley Jimenez is a multi-media journalist and Co-Founder of LatinaWatch. She oversees LatinaWatch.com and all of the website’s editorial and video content and strategy, as well as social media channels. As the former Beauty Director of HOLA! USA, the Puerto Rican-Dominican reporter, is an expert in identifying trends, highlighting multicultural content, and exploring thoughtful conversations within the influential Latina beauty segment. Her past roles include Senior Beauty Editor at Latina Magazine, where she created beauty, wellness, and lifestyle content specifically for women of color. She explored intersections of vision, Afro-Latina identity within the hair industry, socially conscious skin care, mental health topics. Ashley’s dedication to storytelling has created groundbreaking content that speaks to the duality women face as they navigate the world while honoring traditions and crafting new age customs.