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Before summer begins, there are a few tips that we always recommend going into a season with arguably the most potential for skin damage. We spoke to our co-founders Lauren and Lisa Goldfaden to get their must-do practices to keep skin looking fresh, youthful and sun-damage-free.

DO:

Invest in a Vitamin C serum. This must-have vitamin brightens skin by reducing the appearance of brown spots (especially prominent in the Summer months due to increased sun exposure), boosting healthy collagen production, calming inflammation and neutralizing free radicals with its antioxidant benefits. My favorite is our Brightening Elixir – an advanced brightening and antioxidant serum that aids against free radical damage while leaving skin feeling hydrated and looking radiant.

Add exfoliation into your regimen: Exfoliation in the Summertime is particularly important to slough off dead skin cells and prevent oil build-up – which results in congestion. AHA acids (my favorite is Lactic!) are perfect for Summertime because they are a more gentle form of exfoliation which essentially softens the dead skin away which increased overall brightening. Lactic acid has an added benefit that helps improve the skin’s natural moisture factor or the way the skin keeps itself hydrated (it’s the base of our Fresh A Peel product!).

Do moisturize. I like to lighten up my moisturizer in the Summertime so that I don’t neglect this important step. With higher temperatures, the skin gets parched and can lead to dryness so it’s important to lock in hydration and create a barrier of protection with your moisturizer to prevent dryness and irritation. Try our Vital Boost which hydrates and nourishes skin complexion.

Don’t:

Don’t underestimate the importance of SPF! This is a “don’t-leave-home-without” for me and in the Summertime it is even more important as the days are longer and we’re in the sun more. I always carry an SPF mist with me so that I can easily reapply throughout the day too. A favorite is Soleil Toujours Organic Set + Protect Micro Mist SPF 30.

Avoid heavy makeup. Humidity and heat (along with a heavy layer of makeup) impact the ability of your skin/pores to breathe which can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. Consider lightening up (at least in the daytime!).

Don’t forget about your BODY (and LIPS): Oftentimes, we are so concentrated on just our face, but it’s equally important to care for your lips and body too. Check out our Bodycare Collection and NEW Lip Therapy Restoring Lip Treatment.

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).

Tell us a little about yourself? 

I’m a Crystal Healer, Reiki Master, Herbalist, Author and Designer based in Los Angeles, CA. I grew up in the mountains in Utah, before moving to NY and LA to dance professionally. I transitioned from dance into fashion and then my passions of wellness and art became woven together when I launched my wellness footwear company ASTARA.

What is Crystal Healing, how does it work?

Minerals have the ability to hold a particular “tone” or vibrational frequency. And as quantum physics shows, everything in this universe is frequency and vibration. When we work with particular vibrations, they have the capability of balancing and harmonizing our own energies within our body, and this helps to create wellbeing within our energetic field and physical body.

What Crystals should we be using now?

Lepidolite – Oftentimes called the “Xanax of the mineral world,” it is high in lithium and helps to release stress and anxiety as well as calm “screen fatigue” or headaches from too much tech time!

Moonstone – This is the stone of new beginnings and helps us attune to energies of the lunar cycle, our own cycles of life and moving through transition and transformation into the next cycle.

Herkimer Diamond – A crown chakra stone with a very high frequency that helps us imagine and re-envision/visualize our new way of being so we can create that in our physical reality

Smoky Quartz – helps to keep one grounded in times of change and helps transmute and transform dense energies thought forms and ways of being into new expressions of being.

We are so excited about your new book, Crystal Healing for Women, can you share a bit about it?

Thank you! Yes! Crystal Healing for Women is the first crystal book written specifically to support the phases and changes that women go through throughout their life. It is a practical and thorough exploration into the world of crystal healing and has 50 crystal profiles along with 40 different rituals and meditations. The intention is for women to access their own innate natural healing abilities and reconnect with the elements of the earth for support along their exploration of self and self-care practices.

Where do you find inspiration for your incredible shoes, Astara?

ASTARA was born out of the desire to create a shoe that would keep the body connected to the healing frequency of the earth, but while still wearing a shoe. There is a grounding component that is embedded in the sole of the shoe that resonates at 7.83hz, which is the same frequency as the earth. This has been shown in many studies to help balance the body and help reduce inflammation and imbalances. Each shoe also has a different crystal as well for specific intentionality and purpose. I wanted my customers to feel empowered, grounded and centered when they wear their ASTARA’s and head out into the world as they walk and step with intention.

What have you been doing during quarantine? A trip you have taken? Any hobby started?

It’s actually been a very “full” time during quarantine with the book launching and ASTARA! I did manage to take a trip to Utah this summer to be in the mountains with my family and spent some in Mt. Shasta at one of my friend’s retreat spaces Guru Shasta which was so deeply nourishing. I also started taking guitar lessons which have been very fun and challenging in a new way!

Background on your phone?

I use my background on my phone as a sort of vision board of what I am currently creating in my life. I make a dream board with collected images, phrases and visions I have both personally and professionally and then take a photo and have it as a visual reminder of what I am stepping into and co-creating in my life.

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

Skin: 

Ice Rolling: I have been ice rolling every morning which has been helping to reduce inflammation and any puffiness around my eyes and cheeks.

Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub: Not only are there microcrystals in this scrub, but I love how this scrub exfoliates without completely drying my skin. I always feel bright and luminous after using and following up with Fleuressence.

Goldfaden MD Plant Profusion Night Cream: I LOVE this night cream and have been wearing a bit during the day when my skin has been extra dry. It is the absolute perfect face cream and leaves my skin extra soft and hydrated.

Goldfaden MD Fleuressence Oil: I love how light yet potent it is. I wear it under my makeup and keeps my skin supple and dewy.

Make-Up:

Iris + Romeo “Best Skin Days” is my favorite all in one as it has sunscreen as well as minerals and ingredients that are supportive of combatting blue-light from screens. My skin is extra sensitive and I’ve used this for about a year now and it is my absolute favorite.

Ilia Cheek to Cheek: Perfect clean multi-stick that is great for both cheek stain and a lip. I’m very low maintenance when it comes to make-up so all for multiple applications on products.

Is clean beauty important to you?

I’ve been using clean beauty products for years. I switched over about 10 years ago when I was having autoimmune issues and learned that so many of my beauty products had chemicals and certain ingredients that were adding to my toxic load as well as disrupting my hormones. And energetically, clean products just feel better!

How do you de-stress?

Being in nature, swimming in the ocean, hiking, dancing, breathwork or taking a bath.

Favorite mood-boosting meal?

I love breakfast. I actually just always get very excited to eat so I love a morning smoothie or almond butter and banana gluten-free toast with a matcha latte. I also could eat a bowl of delicious spicy veggie curry with quinoa any time of day (or squash tacos) every day of the week.

What is your daily mantra?

“Ground in.” I can be very vata and living in a city can be quite un-grounding, so I’m constantly bringing myself back to the present moment, in my body, and reminding myself to breathe, ground in and anchor. It helps me to stay fully embodied and not get overstimulated by other people’s energy or situational stress.