What is your day to day skincare routine?
I have a very simple skincare ritual, and this approach has transformed my skin. I never cleanse in the morning; instead I rub an ice cube in circular motions across my face, neck, and décolletage— with extra attention around the eyes since I wake up puffy in the mornings. Then I spray on toner —I'm currently testing a sample we have in development which is focused on balance and hydration for sensitive skin— and wait for that to absorb. Then I apply our LESSE Ritual Serum, which has so many incredible vitamins and actives while also providing the perfect hydration. My final step is a lightweight sunscreen for sensitive skin, which I usually reapply around midday.
In the evenings, it's a similar ritual— just without the sunscreen but with the addition of our LESSE Cleanser as the first step. It's purifying and micro-exfoliating but has an aloe vera base which makes it perfect for my sensitive but acne-prone skin. I also drink filtered water constantly throughout the day. Hydration is so crucial for clarity and the health of the skin, so I take a water bottle with me almost everywhere I go!
What other practices do you have that support you feeling your best?
I focus on the practices that elevate my energy levels and lower my stress. Being outside in nature, eating organic and homemade food, gentle exercise, being with the people I love. It's truly a wonder how altering an hour walk with a friend can be for one's state of mind. I also love the practice of Katonah yoga, it's transformed my posture, alignment, and how I feel in my body. And my non-negotiable this year has been seeing a holistic practitioner every two weeks for acupuncture, cupping, and Chinese herbs. It's changed my energy, immunity, digestion and focus. An incredible investment to make in one's self.
What does Beauty is Wellness mean to you?
Beauty is so inextricably tied to wellness. When we don't feel physically, emotionally, mentally balanced, how can we ever feel beautiful? How can we ever emit, receive, or see beauty? We need to begin within, and create a foundation of wellness which beauty reverberates and expands from. That's why, for instance, our focus at LESSE is to create really effective formulations that visibly change your skin — but are made from uncompromising, incredibly nurturing ingredients. It doesn't matter how good a product might make you look today, if it's compromising your health longterm. And the question for me has always been "why?" when it is possible to create products that truly work but are also truly good for you.
What is your skincare philosophy?
I have two. Less is more; and ritual, not routine.
The first underlines my belief that the products we use should be supporting what our skin can do naturally, itself. Once we understand more about our skin, we tend to need less. Rather than stripping away its natural oils and then over hydrating in an exhaustive routine, we can simplify what we use to focus on the essential vitamins and properties that transform and uphold the integrity of our skin longterm— but also allow skin to really breathe and learn how to bring itself into balance.
Skincare is wellness, so it's time we let go of the word routine. For me, it's really become a ritual. An intentional act each morning and night, that provides a moment to plan and reflect in solitude and with awareness.
What is your go to when your skin is feeling less than stellar?
If my skin is looking tired or flaring up or I'm traveling nonstop, I always turn to our LESSE Bioactive Face Masque. It brings my skin back into balance right away, and makes it look so healthy and revived. It also does so much work below the surface, that I tend to apply this when I'm traveling to fortify against the dehydration of flying and any change in climate. I tend to keep mine in the fridge and apply it cold, for an extra anti-inflammatory effect— which is so lovely!
What do you wish more people knew about skincare and clean beauty?
I wish there was more transparency around ingredients, sourcing, and how products are formulated— as well as stricter regulations for marketing terms within the industry. I really believe that more and more people are empowering themselves by seeking out the information they need, reaching out to brands and asking tough questions, and generally going above and beyond to get the answers they need before investing in a new product. It's truly an incredible moment to be in this industry, I am so full of hope every day to be a part of this collective shift.
The other issue that has really come into focus that deserves more attention is the lack of sustainability in the industry, but I do believe that's changing too.