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Mother’s Day invites us to share our deepest love and appreciation with the woman who made our lives possible. It allows us to also celebrate the women in all of our lives who have and continue to have a tremendous impact on the world we live in. To celebrate this year, we reached out to some of our most admired mothers in our industry to share how life has changed this year (due to COVID-19), great tips on go-to meals, and perhaps the silver lining in all of this.

Shannon Soller, C0-Founder of Beauty Beyond

How has life changed for you since being a mother during this unpredictable time?

I don’t want to sound redundant as I’m sure all of the fellow moms out there don’t need to hear me repeating what they know or how they already feel about the stress of juggling work, homeschool, lunch lady, housekeeper, wife, dog walker, Sports coach…but I would say the biggest positive change has been the productivity of getting the projects done around the house that I’ve been putting off for years…cleaning out the shed, organizing the garage, finally putting an office together for my husband, painting my daughters room. Also sitting down as a family every night to dinner has been such a treat. It makes you realize how fast a pace we all have been running at for so long between hockey, swim practice, homework, tournaments, tutors, work, travel…(fill in the blanks we all have endless commitments)…these are the things I’ve been trying to focus on. The things I can control. Connecting with those I love virtually with just an “I’m thinking about you” text. Or a house party happy hour. Movie or game night with the family. Knowing that this will pass. We will get thru it. It will not last forever.

Your go-to quick meal? 

My quick go-to meal for the fam is avocado toast. I always splurge on good bread. Even now (if I can find)… my kids are good eaters and love olive bread. I’ll mash Avo, lemon…and everything but the bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s or lemon pepper and a good salt like truffle or rosemary…something with a little flavor. You can add a fried egg in the am or chop tomatoes and cucumbers, layer with hummus or tuna salad and serve for dinner…I’ll admit my kids are a bit spoiled with good food and are great eaters but I have always served them real food not the default kids types of meals and now at 9 and 11 we have a blast cooking together and eating together! *another corona activity idea😂

Nikki Bostwick, Founder of The Fullest

How has life changed for you since being a mother during this unpredictable time? 

Life has been a total rollercoaster since the shutdown. Most days are filled with so much gratitude for this time with my husband and our little boy.

Other days, I get caught up in the day to day of work (because regardless of a pause, work keeps going!) and some days my stressed-out work mode mood doesn’t quite turn off when I need it to! all in all, on the business side, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to go back to the essence of what we do and why we do it. It’s a time to strategize and pivot in ways you didn’t think possible before. But I must say, I’ve learned a lot about myself the last couple months going way beyond what I thought my limits would be. Maybe it’s the Gemini in me adapting to this new way of being and operating, or maybe it’s just what’s required when you’re faced with so many unknowns.

Any advice you would offer to fellow mamas?

Moms working from home- not only is it a handful to try and maintain a work-life balance, now you might be home with a pile of dishes, constant laundry, cleaning, entertaining, and in between have your child screaming in the back of your work calls (or in my case podcast!). but I’m here to give you perspective because It’s not worth fussing about- rather, it’s beautiful to know that so many people are cooped up with screaming babies, barking dogs, loud family members, and there’s not much anyone can do about it but accept it all and be amazed at how much one person can juggle.

Your go-to quick meal?

Our family dinners consist of roasted veggies, salad, and a protein (my husband is on protein duty). I love making roasted vegetables because it’s so simple- top them with olive oil (I love Brightland), sea salt and lemon, leave them in to cook for a while, about 40-45 minutes, and you have a full meal! I’m personally good with salad and veggies, but the protein makes it a simple, farm to table meal.

Jessica Richards, Founder of Shen Beauty

How has life changed for you since being a mother during this unpredictable time?
Life has changed immensely…NO SCHOOL!!!! DISASTER! Homeschooling is not easy because kids barely even get work and they have to be monitored and then once they are done with there roughly 2 hours of work then they want to play and I have to entertain.  I have become a full time mom, cook, cleaning lady, and trying to save my business at the same time.  No one ever said it would be easy but no one said it would be this challenging.  I think the best advise i can give is just know that every single one of your friends and family members are going through the same thing, we are all broke and have no jobs and stuck inside with our families.  Just try and make the most of it.  Also, I stopped watching the news and it made me feel much better it has been 5 days now and my head feels lighter and more optimistic.
Your go-to quick meal? 
My go-to meal for the kids is rice (in the rice cooker) and Kevin’s Natural chicken coconut curry, I add a ton of spinach and its all done in 20 minutes with very little clean up!

Trae Bodge, Lifestyle Journalist

How has life changed for you since being a mother during this unpredictable time? Any advice you would offer to fellow mamas?

Parenting during COVID-19 can be so difficult, especially if your kids are young or have special needs. It’s not lost on me that my daughter is 13 and fairly self-sufficient.

How being a mom has changed is that I need to keep more regular tabs on her; ensuring that she’s adequately challenged and engaged because she has so much downtime. Her dad and I have also agreed to loosen restrictions on phone time and bedtimes so she can stay (virtually) connected socially. We also make sure we spend time with her, watching movies and playing games. This time has not been without its challenges, but we are making the most of it.

My advice to moms would be that you shouldn’t waste energy on trying to be perfect. Social media and it’s curated content can cause us to feel like we’ll never live up to what we see on our scroll. Enjoy looking and find inspiration, but try to be your best, not someone else’s.

Your go-to quick meal?

My husband and I decided to become vegetarians in mid-February. Since then, we – or he, given that he’s the main cook around our house – have made sure to have containers of prepped ingredients, like cooked grains, vegetables and tofu, and healthy dressings, ready to eat. It’s made meal prep easy and healthy, and we’re less likely to slip into bad habits during self-isolation.

Annie Jackson, Co-Founder of Credo Beauty

How has life changed for you since being a mother during this unpredictable time? Any advice you would offer to fellow mamas?

I have two teenagers, so it’s easier in the sense that they understand this is affecting everyone and we just have to power through. What’s challenging is they are really aware – and this is scary.  So we try and have something each day that’s fun we can together and focus on that.  We live in a beach town – so luckily surfing and long walks are great.  But sometimes it’s even just going to a drive and parking next to their friend in the next car over and rolling down the window and talking for 30 min.  It’s surreal and weird, but does wonders for their spirits.

Your go-to quick meal? 

I have mastered the cheese quesadilla with avocado and salsa while on a zoom call in under like 7 minutes.

Celebrity Makeup Artist, Jamie Greenberg

How has life changed for you since being a mother during this unpredictable time? Any advice you would offer to fellow mamas?

This has certainly been a roller coaster ride you can’t get off. At first I was emotional and scared. Now were in week 5 and we have a real schedule with our kids. We start the day at 8:00 with them. They have to get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, and make their beds (which never happened before). Then they do school from 9-11 and play outside until noon. We eat lunch at noon and after that they get to do video games or anything they’re into that day. Then we all eat dinner together (which we never did) and then they can play or we’ll do something like painting or watch a show together. Everyone in bed by 8:30/9. The kid have learned to help with dishes and laundry too. So routine has made everything easier. Now that doesn’t mean some days I’m talking to myself and crying in the corner…that happens too. But routine and team work make the family flow!

Your go-to quick meal?

I’ve been cooking up a storm. Bread is easy but takes a long time. I think the easiest meal that my family loved was ribs. I don’t eat meat but they do. You take a rack of ribs and incase it in tin foil and rub a mixture of salt, pepper, lawrys steak rub, brown sugar and cane sugar. Cook on 350 for 1 hour. Then take it out and smother it in bbq sauce and cook for another 1.5 hours. DELICIOUS. EASY. Just need the time. Other than that it’s pasta and chicken fingers or frozen pizza. LOL

Soulstrologist, Ambi Kavanagh

How has life changed for you since being a mother during this unpredictable time?

In some ways life is not really that different, but in other ways it is totally different. Asher was six months old when the lockdown/quarantine started and I had pretty much been in lockdown since his birth last Fall, as I took maternity leave some time post-partum to adjust to life as a new mother, plus I had a deadline for my first book. Just as I met my deadline, Asher started sleeping in his own room and through the night and I was ready to re-emerge, life got shutdown, much to my disappointment. In some ways, my life hasn’t changed very much from my previous routine of being largely at home, with a daily walk with Asher. However due to current circumstances, we are without the help of our incredible post partum doula who came over for a few hours a few times a week and helped take care of Asher and to be honest, us! We not only really miss her as she has become part of our family, but also miss having those few hours of help each day which were such a luxury as it allowed us some ‘downtime’ where we could switch off for a short period. Like many parents our domestic workload has increased massively over the last six weeks and this combined with juggling work, and not being able to have the respite of the activities which we took for granted prior to the shutdown (my husband plays tennis, I love to hike, or take a yoga class) has definitely impacted us. We have learnt to divide the chores and conquer. I am also getting used to the fact that my home is messy and frankly not as clean as it usually is and I would like it to be. But I am constantly brought back to what is truly important. Asher is changing so much everyday and we are getting to experience every moment of his progression together as a family and that is priceless. He is healthy, as are we and our extended families. And this quality time together without the usual distractions is something I feel we will cherish for the rest of our lives.

Any advice you would offer to fellow mamas?

The only advice I would offer to fellow mamas is to be kind to yourself. Motherhood is the most miraculous, magical gift, but is also all consuming and exhausting. During Covid, it is even more intense. Don’t beat yourself up or attempt to do it all or be ‘perfect’. There is beauty in the imperfection and mess of this current time. Love your family, but love
yourself too by giving yourself a break , even if that means forgoing doing the dishes or laundry to meditate, or watch TV, or read. The dishes can wait. You deserve some downtime.

Your go-to quick meal?

My husband is the chef in our family. He makes a mean omelet with spinach, feta and tomatoes. Delicious and good for you, plus it only takes a few minutes of me putting my ‘order’ in for it to be ready!

Sasha Plavsic, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Ilia Beauty

How has life changed for you since being a mother during this unpredictable time?

Life has changed a lot. Everything still feels very busy but in a different way. Like many working parents, work is much a bigger challenge to manage than it used to be. Yet with all the interruptions during the day, there are so many beautiful moments with my kids that I know I will miss when this is all over.

Any advice you would offer to fellow mamas?

When get in the morning, try to move for 20 mins. It could be a walk around the block, some quick excercises in your bedroom with your kids. Whatever makes you feel uplifted. That energy will help carry you through the day when the up’s and down’s hit.

Your go-to quick meal? 

Rice, green beans and organic sausages. Each can be prepped and made in roughly 10. This is a balanced way for the kids to eat, and the adults too!

Nina Tooley, Co-Founder of Little Lamma

How has life changed for you since being a mother during this unpredictable time?
If I start thinking about the situation we’re in on a macro level, I go to a dark place, so I’m trying to take one day at a time. When you’re a mom there’s no hitting pause – you have to move forward with a steady hand, even if you’re panicking inside. Like everyone, I was quite manic for the first two weeks, frantically switching into home-school mode, putting out work fires, meme-ing up a storm, trying to figure out how to keep the family safe and food in the fridge. What helped me the most is realizing that this is not a time to optimize anything. I’m putting my boys’ well-being first, and if they need to take a break from school and dig holes in the yard all afternoon, that’s what they do. The best thing you can do for yourself is to relax your expectations a bit and find joy wherever and however you can, each day. And please, please, please stay home! This may feel like forever, but it’s not.
Your go-to quick meal? 
During my “good” quarantine days I’ve morphed into Julia Childs and I’m whipping up new and exciting meals with a glass of wine in my hand. Lemon risotto got an enthusiastic thumbs up from the boys but for the most part they reject everything. Also my husband is gluten-free and I love carbs so that adds yet another layer of complexity to meal planning. One dinner that’s been a go-to fan-favorite for the last few years is a make-your-own taco bar. The boys love rice, beans, and guacamole, and I can sauté whatever veggies are in the fridge to add to it. It really feels like winning when dinner is easy and also makes everyone happy.

Spring is here, summer is on its way, and it is the perfect time to take extra care of our skin and prep for that desired summer glow. Healthy and glowing skin starts from within through exercise, a healthy diet, proper sleep, and there are also multiple things that you can do for your skin topically to keep it looking fresh and youthful-looking. With skincare, consistency is key so implementing healthy habits into your daily routine is the best way to reach your skin goals.

We enlisted Dr. G to give us the tips on how to maintain my soft, healthy, and glowing skin from the inside out.

What level SPF do you recommend patients to wear every single day, and why? 

The protection is all factored on the time spent in the sun. SPF, short for “Sun Protection Factor” primarily measures UVB protection. When one wears an SPF 30 for example, you could stay out in direct sunlight for 30 times longer before UVA/UVB damage occurs than a person with no sunscreen. This is how SPF factor’s are designated. However, this is dependent on the individual’s skin. The key to proper sun protection is the reapplication throughout the day. There is NO one miracle sunscreen that covers and protects you completely throughout the day. Everyone should be wearing an SPF 30 daily. When outdoors in direct sun or swimming reapplication is crucial.

A physical sunscreen is always better in my opinion than a chemical one. Chemical sunscreens, due to the nature of having to be absorbed into the skin, can interact and cause irritation rashes or clogged pores. Another downside to a chemical sunscreen is that the sun has to actually touch and reach the skin, whereas a physical sunscreen is blocking the UV rays from ever touching the skin.

A physical sunscreen contains physical blocking ingredients such as Zinc or Titanium oxide. Both of these ingredients sit on the surface of the skin creating a protective barrier from UVA and UVB rays. They are white in color and work immediately on application. Another type of Physical block can be clothing.

What are some of the best types of food to eat for healthy skin, and what are the benefits of each?

Eating fried foods, processed foods and sugar can wreak havoc on your skin causing puffiness, redness, blemishes, blotchiness, and in all cases Glycation. The Glycation process is sugar (from food and alcohol) breaking down the collagen fibers in the skin and speeding up the aging process – think premature wrinkles and loss of elasticity. Eating ‘superfoods’ will benefit the internal health as well as the external glow. 

Salmon: rich in Omega-3 fatty acids is none of the most beneficial due to its ability to greatly reduce inflammation and dryness and increase circulation – a key attribute to healthy, youthful-looking skin.

Fermented foods: Think kimchee, sauerkraut or pickled vegetables. These foods contain probiotics which help keep the gut healthy.  A healthy gut helps the digestive system and immune system. Probiotics have been shown to help with skin issues such as eczema, rosacea, acne and aging skin.

Foods rich in antioxidants:  Leafy green blueberries, blackberries, avocado, broccoli, nuts. These all contain high levels of antioxidants which are crucial for overall help and fighting off free radical damage.

Does eating ‘healthy fats’ really have an impact on skin health, why or why not? What are some of the best food sources of these healthy fats?

YES. Eating foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, avocado and almonds can greatly reduce inflammation, reduce dryness and increase circulation – a key attribute to healthy, youthful-looking skin. 

In general, if you had to pick, what are the top ingredients to use for healthy, glowing skin? 

The best thing you can do for your skin is exfoliate. As humans age the rate of skin cell turnover slows down dramatically. Dead cells on the skin’s surface hang around much longer, a fact that tends to accentuate those fine lines and make your complexion look dull and lifeless. By removing these dead skin cells, exfoliation helps make up for the gradual slowing down of the natural skin renewal process, improving the tone and texture of the skin. Removing dead and damaged skin cells on the surface allows the fresh new skin underneath to become visible. This newly exposed layer of skin feels much softer and smoother. Its surface reflects light better, making fine lines and other small imperfections harder to see. Age spots and other areas of unwanted pigmentation are less noticeable because the dead skin cells containing the pigment have been removed. Exfoliation unplugs clogged pores and allows for the release of natural skin oils. Regular exfoliation also helps to maintain open pores, decreases pore size, and minimizes many types of superficial scarring. In addition, removing the top layer of dead and damaged cells allows other health-promoting agents such as moisturizers, antioxidants, and collagen-boosting ingredients to better penetrate the skin and work more effectively.

One of the benefits of Doctor’s Scrub is that it delivers our signature  ‘Goldfaden Glow’. Ruby Crystals are used because they are perfectly round and have no jagged edges, which can cause irritation or broken capillaries. Targeted hydrating emollients Hyaluronic Acid, Jojoba Oil and Apricot Kernel oil are incorporated to hydrate and nourish the skin.

Vitamin C:

Vitamin C has the ability to revitalize aging skin due to its ability to stimulate collagen production in the skin while also helping to block the enzymes that break down collagen.

Red Tea:

One of the most important existing antioxidants is Red Tea or Rooibos which contains some of the most potent natural antioxidants known for protecting your skin from the free radical damage that can cause aging. These include vitamins C, E and beta-carotene. Red tea is known to possess 50 times the antioxidant capacity of green tea due to a high concentration of a special enzyme called superoxide dismutase (SOD for short), a major scavenger of free radicals. The combination of these natural vitamins and enzymes found in red tea aids in promoting new skin health after the removal of dead and damaged cells, giving your skin a smoother, brighter, and healthier appearance. In addition, red tea also contains a number of powerful polyphenols and flavonoids that help heal and rejuvenate the skin.

Aspalathin (found only in red tea) and nothofagin, are two main flavonoids that can help strengthen your capillary walls by decreasing the permeability and fragility of veins and lymph vessels. Flavonoids also have strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, the alpha hydroxy acid found in African red tea gently stimulates healthy cell turnover, leaving your skin noticeably softer and smoother. Red tea also contains zinc which helps heal and cleanse impurities while delivering calming and soothing benefits to the skin. Regular and continued use of red tea with its antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties will visibly improve skin clarity, brightness, tone and texture. Red tea helps reduce the appearance of many types of skin imperfections, including fine lines, acne scars, and dark spots, resulting in younger, healthier-looking skin.

Hyaluronic Acid:

The volumizing effect it has on the skin adds vital fullness that can minimize facial wrinkles, plump up thin skin and maintain proper moisture levels by preventing dehydration in the skin. Our favorite obsession is our Needle-less product (say goodbye to fine lines, naturally).

How much water should we be drinking?

Your skin is made up of about 65% water (it’s the largest organ of the body), which means that you need to be hydrating your body all throughout the day. I’m sure you’ve heard this way too much, but drink lots of water! Most people are not consuming enough water every day (8-10 glasses on average), but water is a necessary nutrient for healthy, glowy skin. Make sure that you are not allowing yourself to get dehydrated and drink multiple glasses throughout your day. Fill up a large water bottle or fill up your favorite glass many times, and drink that water! Your complexion will show!

What are some tools that we can be using at home? 

Dry brushing your body is a great way to stimulate your lymphatic system and drain waste to smooth the skin. The mechanical action of dry brushing is wonderful for exfoliating dry winter skin. It also helps detoxify by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymph flow/drainage. Dry brushing unclogs pores in the exfoliation process. It also stimulates your nervous system, which can make you feel invigorated afterward. It’s also excellent for exfoliation by sweeping away dry patches of skin, and can even smooth cellulite. Our favorite is Goop dry brush!

 

 

If we can all agree on something, it’s that breaking out is a total pain. After all, we’ve all had to deal with an embarrassing zit at some point in our lives. By now, we all know that touching your face constantly can cause clogged pores, or that a certain time of month usually foreshadows a blemish or two, or if we skip washing at night, the morning could be disastrous! But what about those times when you wake up with a surprise breakout for no apparent reason?

We sat down with Dr. G to understand more of the culprits to help mitigate our breakouts overall.

Could this be down to diet, stress and lack of Vitamin D?

A Vitamin D deficiency could be contributing to breakouts, but it is not the main underlying cause. However, adding more vitamin D through health foods and topical products may be beneficial. Most people are deficient in Vitamin D but not everyone has acne.

Adult Acne and breakouts can be caused by all sorts of issues but are most directly related to hormones and stress. Adult Acne affects women more often than men. Genetics can play a role in adult acne. We are all under a tremendous amount of stress. We are not able to be outdoors as much, we are eating different types of foods than we may be used to, we are perhaps drinking more alcohol, exercising less, sleeping less, all of these factors can affect the skin.

Stress:

When stress levels rise the body produces more stress hormones and these hormones cause over oil production and thus high chance of a breakout. Finding ways to alleviate stress is very important. Exfoliation is imperative to ward off acne. Exercising and sweating can help as it gets circulation and blood flow going.

Hormones:

Adult acne can be caused from hormonal changes or imbalances related to birth control (at introduction), pregnancy and perimenopause. Birth control consists of synthetic forms of female hormones estrogen and progestin and these help to lower androgen levels, which are (male hormones) like testosterone in our bodies that can cause acne.

Food:

While food doesn’t directly cause acne, it can attribute to it and make for an unclean, unhealthy appearing complexion. Glycation is the main enemy when it comes to the skin and the aging process of the body in general. The glycation process, which is basically, sugars (from food and alcohol) breaking down the collagen fibers in the skin, which excels the aging process. Foods that feed glycation and cause inflammation in the body and the skin are carbohydrates, fried foods, sugar, fatty meats and alcohol. Fried foods, sugar and alcohol can also attribute to an unclear complexion, by over producing oil, causing redness and dryness.

Bacteria:

Bacteria and pollution can both cause acne. A daily skincare regimen is imperative for clean clear skin. Try to not touch your face as this is the number one way to spread bacteria. Always wash your face and body after working out as sweat left on the face and body is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Tips when dealing with breakouts/ acne:

  • Try not to aggregate already angry, inflamed and irritated skin.
  • Wash with cool water instead of hot as hot water causes redness and blood vessels to open and inflammation.
  • Switch to more natural types of products as many ingredients such as silicones and mineral oil clog pores.
  • Do not pick-ever!
  • Find a serum and blemish mask that contain ingredients that help to soothe skin and reduce redness and inflammation. Organic Red Tea and zinc are two if the best.

What are the consequences of touching our face a lot throughout the day? 

Touching your face and or picking is the worst thing you can do for the health of your skin.  Our hands are loaded with bacteria and germs which then transfer to the skin when face touching occurs. Bacteria causes breakouts and sometimes rashes. Bacteria, viruses and germs also live under nailbeds, so make sure you keep your nails clean. Touching the face, nose , eyes and mouth is extremely dangerous right now due to the spread of Covid-19. If you must touch your face, wash your hands with hot water and soap before, or just wait for the shower.

What products/ingredients would you recommend to combat this?

Dr. G breaks down the highlight of different types of detox ingredients that we want in our masks that are essential to a detoxifying regimen and maintain usage throughout the year.

Fact: The average person’s face contains roughly 20,000 pores, each of which act as a ‘pocket’ for dead skin, oil, dirt, and makeup. Throughout the course of a day, these impurities will gradually make their way into the pores, promoting the formation of acne blemishes, irritation and inflammation. Hence, why it’s so important to practice proper skin detoxification, particularly in the form of a potent skin clarifying mask which adds an extra punch of detoxification to any regimen.

Acids: Removing dead skin cells and along with them, pollution and dirt from the skin. Glycolic, lactic, salicylic acids and fruit enzymes are common in all types of “chemical” exfoliants.  Enzymes are also reported to diminish scars, age spots, fine lines, and discoloration, and may also penetrate the skin to cleanse pores and improve skin tone and texture.

Clay: The uber-potent mineral has a super absorbanent material that yanks out dirt and it’s a naturally occurring mineral that works to soothe redness. They work the same way as charcoal, by drawing dirt out of skin. Oily skin and acne-prone people alike swear by clay, because it helps to expel toxins and and reduce redness.  Rule number one of clay masks: Never let them dry completely. Using clay-like masks can be pretty heavy-duty (using too frequently and/or leaving on for too long), so limit use to twice a week max so that you can benefit from the proper treatment.

Facial Detox is a powerhouse mask that reduces blackheads, pore size, redness and inflammation to reveal a healthier, blemish-free complexion. “We are extremely proud to introduce the first ever mask + spot treatment to the GOLDFADEN MD range,” says Dr. Goldfaden. “The prestige marketplace was lacking a natural solution to common breakouts and blemishes that would be effective enough to be deemed high-performance without any chemical additives or irritating medicine, and we are proud to be the brand to fill that void.”

Charcoal: Acts like a magnet, pulling grime and junk off the skin. Tip: Charcoal needs a bit of time to activate and penetrate the skin, so the most effective charcoal-based products on the market, come in a mask form (i.e. not a cleanser or sponge) so that it will allow for a chance to penetrate the skin and provide the ultimate treatment benefits.