Weighs in on Women’s Friendships + Asking for Help, Ada Polla Weighs in

We enlisted our dear friend Ada Polla, CEO of Alchimie Forever, to shed light into how important and impactful women friendships can be.

My friendship with Lisa Goldfaden started a couple of years ago – and after finally meeting her, I couldn’t believe we hadn’t met much earlier, as in may ways we are work twins.

Ada Polla

When Lisa asked me to write a guest blog post for her, how could I say no? She told me it didn’t have to be on skin care – and so instead, I want to write a few lines on women’s friendships, and asking for help.

Many could say that Lisa and I are competitors. After all, we both have skin care brands that are positioned at the intersection of dermatology and nature (hers), aka clean and clinical (mine). We sell to many of the same boutiques and spas. We could hate each other, bad mouth each other, and refuse to help each other. But instead, we do the opposite.

I use her products (my favorite is her Fleuressence face oil). When I hear of an account looking for an innovative brand, I recommend hers. She does the same – actually it is thanks to her that you will find Alchimie Forever at Fusion Apothecary in Manhattan. We share industry stories. We tell each other how awesome we are. We lift each other up. There is enough skin in the world for brands to be friend (side note: I feel the same about Sarah Kugelman of Skyn Iceland).

I am a strong believer that women helping women is good for the soul, for the industry, for the world. I love helping, and I love being helped. But I didn’t used to – in particular the latter. When I started in the industry, I knew less but thought I knew more, and I saw asking for help as a sign of weakness. I would do this on my own, by myself. Sometimes I didn’t even want the help that my family provided. I am now older, and wiser, and clearer on a few things:

  • I can’t do it alone.
  • I can’t know everything about everything.
  • Asking for help is a sign of strength.
  • Being helped is as important as helping others.
  • Strong women lift up other women.
  • And Alchimie Forever products and Goldfaden MD products layer beautifully!

Sleep And the Subconscious: An Exercise for Tapping Into Your Creative Psyche


I’ve always had a contentious relationship with sleep.

When I was diagnosed with an unknown form of epilepsy (a seizure disorder) at 17, I was given a lifetime prescription to pharmaceutical drugs and the gift of a neurologist-sanctioned excuse to get a full eight hours of sleep a night.

My doctors stressed the importance of getting regular sleep—physical fatigue and emotional stress exacerbate the symptoms of epilepsy—but frustratingly prescribed me a medication with a main side effect of insomnia. Ah, the irony.



Michelle Pellizzon

I spent many years staring into the dark as the clock ticked through the night, my mind refusing to rest.

This double-whammy of a problem—seizures and permanent under eye bags?!—lead me to eventually stumble upon meditation and mindfulness practices. After practicing full-body meditation on a regular basis, it became clear that my body was desperately trying to communicate with me … and I was not paying attention. But slowing down and listening helped me hear what my body was trying to say.

Although I wasn’t a perfect meditator (I often go days without sitting), I noticed my epilepsy symptoms went away when I did indulge in a few minutes of mindfulness a day. So did my insomnia. The improvement in my wellbeing was remarkable. Mindfulness gave me a clearer overall perspective of the world, which helped me take everything a little less seriously and have a little more empathy for other people. Perhaps most importantly, I learned exercises that allowed me access to my subconscious mind, which in turn made me far more creatively inspired and made me less anxious.  I became a better version of myself mentally and physically.

But before you get to thinking that I’m some ego-less Buddhist monk, let me be honest: I didn’t tell anyone about my weird new habits. Even though I was performing very well at work, present in my relationships, and pretty dang happy, I was worried people would raise their eyebrows at my experiments.

Then something really wonderful happened. As part of my work as an editor, I began to interview female leaders in an attempt to understand how women can change the paradigm of what it means to be a ‘female leader’ in this modern age. And I was surprised to find that the best leaders I interviewed—the ones who really walked the walk and talked the talk—all had a spiritual practice … like me. And they were a bit nervous to reveal that aspect of their personality, even though it clearly played an integral role in why they were such incredible leaders … which also resonated with me. When asked, they made it clear that they wanted to connect with like minded women who understood where they were coming from.

After seeing this pattern emerge too many times, I created oh holisticism, a collective of women interested in exploring the intersection of holistic living, mindfulness, esoteric healing, conscious leadership, entrepreneurship, and fun. Today, we count ourselves at over 1,500 members across the world.

I’ve learned a lot in the past few years while on this path, but hands down, the most important tool that I’ve learned over the past decade of experimentation is what I’ve come to call the Awake/Unconscious exercise. Whenever I revisit it, my creativity knows no bounds and I notice an elevated sense of mental clarity, and I can immediately see which areas of my life need more attention.

The practice is inspired by psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s theory of the subconscious mind. Jung believed that the subconscious (or unconscious) mind impacts the actions of our conscious, waking mind. Essentially, our unconscious influences our perspective, logic, awareness, emotional intelligence, and feelings. It’s the root from which everything else grows.

If we can tap into the insights of our subconscious mind, Jungian practitioners believe, we can access our true depth, potential, and genius. No big deal.

Here’s the tricky part: Jung stipulated that our subconscious mind is constantly trying to communicate with the conscious mind, but the two essentially speak different languages. This is because the subconscious is buried deep within our psyche. It’s tough to access, and even more challenging to communicate with. One way Jung suggested we translate what the subconscious is trying to tell us? By looking at our dreams.

Jung’s work and research led him to believe that our unconscious mind communicates best through dream imagery. While we’re asleep, the psyche can run wild and truly express itself. When I first read this, I was so annoyed. I’ve never been one to recall my dreams. For so long my insomnia prevented me from even sleeping, and now I’m usually so tired at night I don’t even remember my head hitting the pillow. Try as I might, I couldn’t remember my dreams.

So I found a solution—a way to channel my subconscious without having to keep a dream journal. In the 10 minutes directly after I wake up, I write. You know that sleepy time when you’re half awake, have morning breath, and are still kind of dreamy? That’s when your conscious mind is waking up, too, and taking the steering wheel from your subconscious. If we’re lucky, we can tap the transition and use that time to allow the subconscious to communicate.

I am constantly STUNNED by what ends up coming out during this quiet time—some of my most creative ideas or intense feelings have been ‘accidentally’ revealed to me during this 10-minute exercise. It’s amazing for when you’re stuck on a problem, feeling stressed, or just want to get clarity on a situation. Here’s how it works.

  1. Fall asleep. Get 8 hours. Wake happy.
  2. Immediately after waking up, grab a pen and paper. Don’t check your phone or technology.
  3. Begin writing. Don’t even think about it—just allow your pen to float across the paper without judging or inhibiting yourself. This is the most important aspect. Do not try to think of what to write or go back and read what you’ve written mid-sentence. Allow your subconscious to take over, even if you just write jibberish! Just don’t let your pen leave the paper. You can draw or you can write. Get in flow.
  4. If you have specific questions, write them down the night before and answer them in your Awake/Unconscious state.
  5. Stop when you feel ready. You can do this exercise daily, weekly, monthly! Whatever.  

Like all things, the more you do this exercise the easier it gets. And it’s so easy, you can do it from bed! You’ll likely find that you’ll look forward to this practice, because it’s so interesting to see what the subconscious reveals.

#beautyzzzs, @betterbymichelle

Maca Love Jar!


Superfood Maca powder is derived from the Peruvian Maca root. Maca contains twenty amino acids, most importantly glucosinates (found in broccoli and cruciferous vegetables). This wonder powder should be a staple in everyone’s diet. Mostly known for it’s libido and fertility boosting abilities (for both male and female), this powder is also effective against menstrual cramps and hot flashes during and before menopause. Maca also helps to balance hormone levels and thus with mood swings, increases physical and mental energy and may even be responsible for decreasing skin sensitivity in extreme climates.

Maca powder looks similar to cinnamon and has a cocoa nutty taste. We recommend blending it into your morning smoothie, adding it to a acai bowl or mixing it in with tea. Just in time for Valentine’s day, try this dessert to get your love’s juices flowing!

Maca Love Jar

2 cups chocolate coconut milk

1 cup frozen pureed acai

1 frozen banana

¼ cup of cocoa nibs

2 tablespoons of Maca powder

Blend milk, fruit and maca together until creamy

Pour into two separate mason jars and place in the freezer for a few hours

Remove jars and top one side with cocoa nibs and the other side with coconut

Sick a straw in and enjoy !

Dr. G Weighs in on Sleep & Skin

Waking up looking refreshed requires more than just the absence of under eye darkness or puffiness, the skin tells the story. To understand better what actually happens to our bodies and minds while we sleep and why it is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle, we sat down with Dr. G to get the scoop.

What controls sleep?

Hormones play a major part of healthy sleep. Melatonin is a hormone made in the brain by the pineal gland and helps to regulate the sleep wake cycle. Human growth hormone or (GH) is released during sleep and hence it’s name, helps to regenerate and grow healthy cells. Studies have shown that ingesting oral melatonin before bed can increase growth hormone by over 150%. As melatonin levels decline with age, only minuscule amounts of the small quantities produced by those suffering from sleep problems actually reach the skin. Ingesting melatonin before bedtime is extremely effective in getting the hormone levels back in balance and delivering a healthy sleep.

Other studies have shown that going straight to the source and applying melatonin directly to the skin may allow those suffering from insomnia to benefit from it’s rejuvenating powers, not only for restoring the appearance and texture of skin, but also in getting a good night’s sleep.

What ingredients should we use night and why?

The restorative power of sleep is vital for rejuvenating and repairing the skin and is controlled by the hormone melatonin. Melatonin production increases and peaks around 2am, so applying a night cream before bed enhances your skin’s ability to rest and reset. Wearing anti-aging products at night allows skin to absorb all the nutrients and ingredients while being in a relaxed state and out range of UV rays and pollution.

During the nighttime hours, the skin springs into action to repair itself back into balance through a restorative and renewal process.The most potent anti-aging ingredients to look for in a night cream include: Retinoids, Peptides and Melatonin. The efficacy of melatonin as a topical agent also offers a promising avenue to enhance the skin’s nightly repair cycle.

  • Retinoids attack hyper-pigmentation, stimulate skin to generate collagen and hyaluronic acid, increase radiance by reducing pore size, safely exfoliate and increase cell turnover .
  • Peptides encourage skin cell growth and collagen production. Peptides are made up of a string of amino acids held together by tough bonds of nitrogen and carbon that act as messengers to send out signals which tell the receptors on your skin cells how they should perform. A few of the most beneficial peptides include palmitoyl pentapeptide-3,which is a peptide that triggers a natural heal-and-repair response that stimulates the development of collagen and elastin, encourages new fibroblast growth, and increases the production of skin cells. Acetyl hexapeptide-3 is a powerful wrinkle-reducing peptide that works by hindering a signal protein called catecholamine that triggers muscle contraction, thereby relaxing your facial muscles.
  • Melatonin plays a key role in rejuvenating skin by stimulating the growth of major skin cells such as keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Fibroblasts produce the essential proteins collagen and elastin, which provide structural support for the skin. Melatonin has also been shown to be effective against skin aging. It has powerful antioxidant properties by quenching mainly hydroxyl radicals, the most damaging of all radicals.

What can we do to ensure a good night’s sleep?

Set yourself up for success by making your bedroom into a successful sleeping area. Sleep with your head slightly elevated can help with fluid retention in the facial area. Fluid retention occurs while we sleep because we are lying flat and circulation can be affected. Excess sugar, salt and alcohol will add to fluid retention. Consumption of all these pollutants can escalate swelling and puffiness to the eyes and face. Try to avoid alcohol before bed as it leads to uneven sleep rhythms in the brain as well as fluid retention.

Top tips for a good night’s sleep:

  • Keep your bedroom at a cool temperature
  • Silk pillow case-softer and less absorbent than cotton-silk won’t dry skin out and also causes less pulling and tugging if you’re a face sleeper
  • Wear earplugs to ensure silence
  • Noise machine- used to calm babies and help them sleep, noise machines can be beneficial for falling asleep as well as staying asleep
  • Stop using electronics an hour before bedtime and keep your phone/tablet out of the bedroom-blue light interferes with sleep
  • Eat plant based high fat foods with dinner to stay satiated and balance blood sugar while asleep
  • Wear an eye mask -keeps light out

Detox Your Makeup Bag


It’s a New Year so let’s take a look into our makeup bags – ditch the old and clear out to make room for new! Makeup bags, the subject of many discussions, can contain the remnants of days and looks gone by and serve as a host to bacteria that leads to clogged pores and breakouts.

Makeup Hygiene Rules To Follow: 

Give your brushes a bath. Makeup brushes hold host to bacteria, especially those used with any liquid type of makeup (foundation, eye, and lip). Brushes should be washed with a gentle shampoo and laid to dry overnight on a weekly basis to avoid spreading bacteria and giving you the cleanest + flawless brush finish! 

When you’ve come down with a cold or had the flu-get rid of things like toothbrushes, makeups and products you stick your finger in.

Lending your bestie your lip gloss is a great way to spread germs.

Most of us keep our makeup in the bathroom, but heat and humidity can allow yeast and mold to grow, so try and keep makeup away from the shower.

When To Say Buh-Bye:

Mascara= 3 months

Eye shadow powder= 2 years

Blush= 12 months

Foundation= 6 months

Lip gloss/lipstick= 12 months

Liquid eye liner= 3 months

Skincare= opened 9 months/unopened 2 years

Last but not least, its good to clean out the old and try something new. It is after all a new year with so many beautiful possibilities! Discover our favorite 2018 products?

Lisa’s 2018 addition: I have a slight obsession with bronzers and highlighters, so after my bag cleanse I had to add another.  Absolutely love the color of Bobbi Brown’s limited edition highlighting powder in Opal Glow!

Lauren’s 2018 addition: It’s no secret that Lauren is obsessed with lip gloss. Where usual goto is Chanel, I once counted five in one bag! This season she opted for Kevyn Aucoin’s Molton Lip Color topcoat in Opal. The perfect addition to any lipstick!




Reset + Recharge Internally


Every January people panic over what type of detox to attempt or foods to eliminate and by the third week, the old bad habits are usually back with vengeance. No need to fall off the wagon before February! So this year we decided to implement healthy choices all year long not just for January. We all know that the key to success is moderation. Instead of trying to quit every bad habit cold turkey, we are going to change it up on monthly basis. Every month we will decrease or eliminate an unhealthy habit. Below are a few tips and tricks to get the year started right!

Limit alcohol intake to once a week. If your job requires a lot of socializing try to drink 1:1- one water to every one alcoholic drink. This will help ward off dehydration.

Limit sugar intake to once a week. The trick with sugar is getting out of your system. Sugar is the devil and really the worst thing for your body. Start reading labels and thinking about what is in the food you eat. Hidden sugars will derail a healthy diet.

Switch dairy to a non-dairy choice. There are so many dairy alternatives available now. Soy, coconut milk, rice milk, and almond milk (which comes in many varieties). First and foremost milk is for baby cow consumption not human consumption. Dairy causes inflammation and is acid forming in our bodies. After pasteurization, all enzymes, proteins and vitamins are destroyed and therefore milk provides no real health benefits.

A fibrous diet is a happy one. If you suffer from constipation or lack of regularity, add a cruciferous vegetable to your diet. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels and Kale all contain phytochemicals, vitamins and are very high in fiber. They are all also crunchy and easy to cook with.

Drink as much water as possible. Eight glasses always sounds like a lot, but it really does help the entire body. Your eyes and skin will be clearer and your body will function at a higher level when hydrated.

Try fasting. Fasting has been proven to help lower blood pressure, lose weight, lower cholesterol, improve insulin sensitivity and improve brain function and clarity. There are many types of fasts. The 5:2 has been written about a lot in the press. The ‘5:2 diet’ is eating normal 5 times a week and the other two days restricting calories to 500. Intermittent fasting consists of fasting everyday for at least 16 hours and then eating in an eight-hour window. Even fasting 24 hours once a week will deliver benefits.






Apply your skincare + Makeup like a pro: Fiona Stiles dishes her top skin + makeup tips


“I almost forget that there’s real weather In other parts of the country. LA’s climate is so ridiculous that the years and years I spent on the east coast seems like a far away dream. But those winters are real and your skin needs some extra love. I truly believe in an occlusive barrier in the winter to combat the effects of the wind chill. Using a products like the HollyBeth Rose Geranium moisturizer will help keep the moisture in even while the wind whips about your face. Water based moisturizers will evaporate in the cold, so you want to create a barrier to keep the moisture in. Radiator heat is no joke either, so when you get back into your cozy house slather on that balm or oil and let your face soak it in. Skin looks different in the winter, makeup can just sort of look like it’s sitting on top of the skin. Find blushes that have a very soft mica in then so that there’s a pretty glow on the cheeks (without looking sparkly) and find blush shades that are closest to your skin tone; soft peaches, rose tones and blush shades are best. Leave the bronzer for warmer months. Anything too bright or too “poppy” will not feel integrated and will sort of “stand off” the face.” Fiona Stiles

How to get the most bang out of your beauty bounty: what products can’t you live without, Fiona?

There are too many favorites to list here, truly your eyes would glaze over because I have a deep and special love for ALL of the products in my kit, but there are for sure ones that I would be crushed if I couldn’t use on the daily and here they are in no particular order……

Tata Harper Illuminating Moisturizer: I love this for the face of course, but at work I am constantly using it on the body for a gorgeous, soft radiant glow on the clavicles, shoulder caps, legs etc.. Plus the smell is out of this world….

Kejiwa Venus Love Spray: One spritz of this “psychic mist” will transport you into another world. It’s meant to clear the energy around you, and I certainly use it that way on set, but I also like to use it as a face mist during skin prep. It lets the model or client take a deep breath, re-center and relax, which just makes for a better day all around. And it works beautifully to set the makeup. After setting the face with loose powder, I like to mist this onto the face so that the powder melts into the skin, allowing the makeup to look more seamless.

French Girl Lip Scrub:  A lot of what I do as a makeup artist is dependent on a well primed canvas. The first thing I do when someone sits in my  chair is asses their skin to see if there’s something that needs special attention… is their skin oily or dry, do they need to exfoliate their skin, or their lips? If I’m going to do a bold lip, those lips need to be in perfect condition to receive the pigment. I love to use the lip scrub from French Girl. It’s like eating a french pastille and the sugar and oil combo really do a knock out job of getting the lips silky smooth.

Orgaid Vitamin C sheet masks: These are great for pluming the skin and prepping the face for makeup. It’s also just a wonderful, quick, luxurious treatment that isn’t expensive, doesn’t take an hour and has immediate, noticeable results. Nothing beats a good sheet mask (and this one has an incredible ingredient deck so you can feel good about all of those ingredients soaking into your skin).

Anastasia Brow Wiz Brow Pencils: They’re just the best on the market. The colors are spot on and the formula is the perfect consistency for creating the loveliest brow. There’s a shade match for everyone in her line so all brows are spoken to.

NARS cream blushes: The range of shades in this line is just so delicious and the consistency of the cream blushes is incredible; they blend perfectly onto bare skin or onto foundation. I’m not actually even sure how many of their cream blushes I have, maybe all of them? They’re like Pokemon cards for me, I want to collect them all!

Fiona Stiles Beauty mascara: Sooooo many mascara run on me and make me look like a feral raccoon at the end of the day, but this mascara gives me insanely long, full lashes with zero smudging. It makes even the shortest lashes look fluffy.

Maybelline Lash Discovery mascara: The teeny, tiny brush on this is what makes it so special (and a staple in my kit for over 10 years). I can find all of the invisible tiny lashes at the inner corners with this brush and magnify them, making the eyes seems wider and bigger. I’m not sure how many tubes of this that I’ve gone thought over the years, but it’s a LOT.

Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Illuminator: Here’s another product that’s been in my kit for ages. I love that it’s a transparent liquid illuminator. It doesn’t make the skin lighter or darker, like some highlighters can, and it melts into the skin seamlessly, just making you look like you are surrounded by candlelight 24/7. I always know this will make the skin look drop dead gorgeous on the red carpet….I pop a bit on the tops of the cheekbones and a little along the top 1/3 of the bridge of the nose. I’ll even mix it into under eye concealer to bounce light back and reduce the appearance of dark circles and underage bags. It’s a miracle product.

Charlotte Tilbury’s lipsticks: Which ones? ALL OF THEM. Her colors are incredible, as are the formulas. There isn’t a shade that I don’t like (or that I don’t own).

Personal faves from Fiona S medicine cabinet

Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub: I use this at least 3-4 times a week. I have never used a scrub that is better than this; the micro-fine particles make it so that you can really massage it into every nook and cranny of your face and they really get the job done. My pet peeve is a scrub that feels thin and sparse and leaves me feeling unsatisfied. This one leaves me 100% satisfied.

Goldfaden MD Sun Visor SPF: I’ve been known to say that I won’t switch on a lightbulb without putting sunscreen on first. I think it’s your best line of defense when it comes to aging. I’m not sure how many bottles of this I’ve gone through, but it’s a substantial amount. I have a real issue with product textures, especially sunscreens, and if it doesn’t feel good, I just won’t use it. This feels like nothing on the skin and it doesn’t mess with your makeup, or make your skin a funny color like so many natural sunscreens do. It’s my holy grail product.

SkinCeuticals Retinol: In my personal life I lean towards non-toxic beauty products, but I still get down with this because the efficacy is just so good.

Heir Atelier Eye Primer: I have oily skin, and oily eyelids, so an eye primer is a must for me. This one doesn’t make my shadow look dull, or change the color of it, and it keep say eye makeup crease-free from dawn to dusk.

In Fiore Veloutee Balm: In real life I’m a total lip balm girl. When I’m running around town or working I just need moisture on my lips and I don’t want to have to worry about reapplying  a lip color. I love how chic this balm is, and it makes my lips feel velvety soft. Plus I use it on my cuticles and around my eyes when I’m not wearing any makeup.

As a makeup artist, what is the one piece of advice you’d like to share? Are there any makeup application tips you can share? What are the best tips for achieving a “natural” look and flawless complexion (tools, product, application, treatments, lifestyle tips, etc.)?

Even when I do a strong editorial look, it still has a “natural” feel to it. I never want the skin to feel dead or flat, that makes an image feel static. I love the life and tangibility that comes from “feeling” the skin in an image. You can add all of the highlighter in the world, but if you put it on heavily covered skin, it looks two dimensional. I remember staring at my daughter’s skin when she was a few months old and marveling at how it looks the side of a lit candle;  the texture was perfect but there was an inner glow that beamed out from it. That’s what I am for when I do makeup.

So that said, how do you create that. It all depends on the person so there isn’t one tip or trick that will cover all of the bases, but there are a few universal tools and suggestions that work across the board. Prep the skin in a way that’s best suited for your skin type. If you have dry skin (no visible pores, fine wrinkles) you can really go for it on the moisture front. Oils, balms, rich creams, the richer the better. That will help bring life and luminosity to the skin (favorite products for this category: * Kahina Argan Oil //one of the purest Organ Oils on the market//, * HollyBeth Organics Rose Geranium Moisturizer, Leahlani Skincare Bless Beauty Balm). Use cream blushes (again I love NARS, and also Kjier Weiss as well as Kosas) and only powder where you need it.

If you have oily skin, use a more lightweight moisturizer (I love the one from * Schaf and the matte moisturizer from *Earnest Supplies) and find a foundation that won’t sink into your pores. I go back and forth between a cream blush and a powder blush, it really depends on the look, but with oily skin, sometimes a powder or stain lasts longer than a cream (the Glossier Cloud Paint is pretty great).

You just can’t go wrong with a * beautyblender, it truly makes a difference in how your makeup goes on and blends. It that feels like too much for you, then I swear by dense synthetic foundation brushes, they melt the product right into your skin. And the great thing is that the inexpensive ones are just as good as the expensive ones. It’s one of those few times that there’s real democracy in makeup tools!

Here are the steps to a beautiful, natural look that any one can wear:

– Fill in your brows if needed and brush them up and set them with a clear brow gel. I don’t feel put together if I don’t set my brows. Plus the gel makes them look a bit shiny, which is sexy.

– Apply cream bronzer on your cheeks and then add a pop of a fresh, bright cream blush. It adds dimension to the face and depth to your blush.

– Curl your lashes. I love the one from * Surratt. Curling your lashes really, truly makes a difference in how you look. No one escapes my chair without a proper curl.

– I love the Lid Tints form Jillian Dempsey on the eyes for a cool, unfussy look.

– Lots of mascara, because well, I just love mascara. You can use brown if you want, but I love a rich inky black. Brown is lovely on the lower lashes if you want something a bit softer.

Dior Lip Glow in Berry or the Lip Stains from Vincent Longo. They give your lips color without the fussiness of lipstick.

Dive deeper into Fiona’s amazing curated assortment of hard-to-find and the best of beauty from around the world @ Shop Reed Clark.

Set and Keep Resolutions and Intentions in 2018


On the dawn of 2018 , this is good time to think about setting intentions and making resolutions for the year ahead. Setting and keeping intentions gives us a sense of accomplishment and self worth. With an average of only 8% of people keeping their resolutions; they’re easy to make and hard to keep. Below are a few easy tips on how not to derail in the New year.

Be realistic

For example, if you’re aiming to get healthy or lose weight, aim for 5 pounds and cutting out one bad food. The idea is to set yourself up for success. By keeping the resolution achievable you will hit your goal and can always increase as the year progresses.


Be Accountable

Make a resolution with a friend. A great idea is to make a plan to meet up for a run or workout twice a week. By involving another person, you become accountable to one another. If you own a Fitbit or use workout tracking apps, share them on social media, as this is accountability too.


Set a Timeline

A realistic time line will allow you to hit and surpass your goal. Resolutions derail when the time line is too short. A helpful tool is calendar you can mark the days off-this way you can visually see your progress. Remember this is marathon not a sprint.


Popular Resolution Ideas:

  • Exercise more
  • Get outside more
  • Read more books
  • Volunteer
  • Meditate
  • Practice patience
  • Run a half marathon
  • Clean out your closet
  • Enjoy life more
  • Remove toxic people from your life
  • Lose weight
  • Spend more time with family
  • Empty cabinets of junk food
  • Self love
  • Be positive


Here is to a very happy, healthy and peaceful New Year!


Last Minute Hostess Gifts

Holiday parties are about to ramp up and you don’t want to arrive empty handed. A hostess/host gift goes along away and doesn’t have to break the bank. Taking  a few extra minutes to wrap the gift in tissue and twine makes it extra special. Below are a few of our favorites options for every type of host!


Classic gift

A set of coasters is a classic gift that every house needs. Keep it festive this year with these gold etched CB2 coasters. Not only can they be used at the party but throughout the entire season.

 A Gift for any Host

If you don’t know your hostess the safest gift is always a candle or bottle of bubbly. Our favorite candles this year are made by Tatine. These comes individually wrapped with a quote on each candle.  For the bubbly, get festive with a bottle of Prosecco or if you’re feeling extra exotic bring Cava.

Outside of the box gift

There is no easy way around keeping the bathroom smelling fresh, especially when throwing a holiday party. Leave it to AESOP to create Post Poo drops. Aromatic, botanical, deodorizing drops not only smell terrific, but the packing is chic and discreet.


For the Outdoor Lover

Whether your host/hostess is a golfer, gardener or sun worshipper, a hand cream is always a good fit. The tops of the hands get dry, dehydrated and sun damaged. Hands to Heart is the perfect gift for a man or a woman.

The Gift of Sleep 

Studies have shown a dark room is more conducive to a good night’s sleep. A silk eye mask is the perfect addition to anyones night time ritual. SLIP silk eye masks are available in a variety of colors and will satisfy the lightest sleeper’s eyes.


Holiday Travel Essentials



While tropical humid climates keep skin hydrated and glowing, high temperatures and intense sun can cause redness, premature aging, sun damage and wrinkles. Humidity causes skin to sweat, purge and may increase redness, irritation and possible breakouts along with clogged pores. Sun protection is imperative.

 In tropical or humid climates, pack lightweight, oil free serums, moisturizers, SPF’s and exfoliation products. Still not sure what to throw in your cosmetic bag-we got you covered this year-check out our NEW Travel friendly items!

What to wear:

Sun Visor * Radical Difference * Vital Boost* Doctor’s Scrub* Sunglasses * Hat * Caftan



Bright Lights Big City

Pollution can cause uneven skin tone, dehydration, dryness, dark spots, expedited aging, wrinkles, sagging and a deterioration of collagen. Pollution releases microscopic particles or free radicals that can go deep into the skin and cause damage to otherwise healthy cells. Visiting a city this holiday season, don’t forget to detox, clean and protect your face with anti-pollution serums and SPF!


What to wear:

Detox Wash* Brightening Elixir* Bright Eyes* Wake up Call *Faux fur coat


Hitting The Slopes

Dry, cold and high altitude climates dehydrate skin and can invite early onset of wrinkles not to mention severe sunburns. With intense sun, low temperatures, and harsh winds, the skin has nowhere to hide. Replenishing hydration, protect the skin with SPF and don’t use unnecessary aggressive products.


What to Wear:

Pure Start* Plant Profusion Regenerative Night Cream* Fleuressence Native Botanical Oil* Sun Visor* Goggles * Scarf


The Ultimate Gift Guide

Not sure what to get each personality type on your list? Look no further we did the work for you! You just need to click. We are excited to share our family must haves this year.

photo via Pinterest

Rob’s picks:

For the dad on the go: Skincare regimens need to be quick and easy! Men can struggle with razor burn, redness and dryness especially during the winter months. Give the gift of happy skin this year with Pure Start Cleanser and Radical Difference serum. Both deliver antioxidants, target dryness and redness to achieve a healthy complexion.

For the every-man: You can never go wrong with James Perse t-shirts and lounge pants. Whether on the weekends, a casual dinner or on a plane, these super comfy clothes provide comfort and style all at once. Your man will thank you for these!

For the techy: The Native Union IPhone Charger / USB chord, allows him/her to stay stay plugged in while still looking hip.

Lisa’s picks:

For the every-woman: Nothing is cozier than a delicious smelling candle burning in the living room. My all time favorite is Tatine’s ‘City at Night’ which combines hinoki oil, black pepper and charred vetiver and was developed in honor of Jim Morrison’s spirit will enchant even the most delicate of noses.

For the traveler or insomniac: Slip has created the most gorgeous and comfortable (no sleep wrinkles) silk eye masks. Offered in most colors this is the gift that keeps on giving every night. Buy yourself one too!

For the ‘No-makeup’ look: Look no further than what I call ‘the best primer ever’, GEE Beauty primer. This primer, which can also be worn on its own covers imperfections, gives skin an illuminating glow and also serves as a protective barrier against the day’s pollutants. One step and you’re out the door!


Lauren’s picks:

For the Skincare Junkie: You cannot go wrong with the most coveted scrub, our Doctor’s Scrub. Terrific for all skin types, this ruby crystal infused exfoliator will make your skin glow all year round.

The Perfect Stocking Stuffer: Olio E Osso BALM will tickle everyone pink! Tinted lip and cheek balm delivers hydration and a pop of color (in 6 different hues).

For the Health Nut: The Beauty Chef / Glow Sachets will be most welcome after a holiday season of indulging. The Beauty Chef has made antioxidants and glowing ski easy with a sachet of magic. Just add water!

For the Jetsetter: Cuyana Monogrammed Travel Bags. Give the gift of chic organization with these soft leather zip pouches. Perfect for jewelry, makeup or other valuables. Add the monogrammed option for a special touch!

For the Tired Mom: Know someone who is up all night? Not getting adequate sleep can show on thecae and particularly under the eyes. Patchology Eye Patches are little miracle workers-wrinkles and dehydration be gone !


Dr. G’s picks:

For the Distinguished Gentleman:  A Smythson Journal is the perfect choice. As Dr. G travels the world sourcing rare ingredients he jots down notes in his beautiful handmade leather bound Journal.

For the Tea Lover: Dr. G is a huge tea fan and collects it form all over the world. His favorite is Rooibos/Red Tea! A flavor for everyone, Teavana is the perfect place to get this thoughtful and universal gift.


Fleuresscence Tips + Tricks

Do you want glowing, hydrated and bright skin all the time ? Our  star cult favorite, Fleuressence Native Botanical Oil, is more than ‘just’ an oil. Multifaceted is an understatement when it comes to this oil. While  there is still a lot of confusion about how to incorporate oils into a daily regimen, you don’t have to give it another thought because we made it easy to utilize this golden elixir in oh so many ways !

Application tips:

  • Can be used as a serum. Apply suggested dropper amount on washed, cleaned skin for brightness, hydration and anti-aging benefits.
  • Can be used as a moisturizer. Apply suggested dropper amount over your serum of choice for maximum hydration.
  • Can be mixed with moisturizer. Add a small drop (approximately half of the dosage = to one pump) to any of the Goldfaden MD moisturizers to boost radiance and hydration.
  • Mix a few drops into foundation before makeup application. This will create a smooth, hydrated and luminescent appearance.**We suggest applying with a kabuki brush
  • Can be applied over makeup as a last step to create a protective barrier and sealant. Take a few drops and rub into hands and then dab on to a finished face of makeup for a radiant and hydrated glow.
  • Can also be used as a hydration mask. Apply a full dropper amount to clean dry skin and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse with cool water and apply regular regimen products after.

Dr. G tips:

  • Oily skin types can use Fleuressence Oil
  • Contains over 23 active ingredients
  • Took over two years to perfect this oil

How to Achieve a Flawless Face from Start to Finish

I often get asked how I achieve glowing flawless skin. For the record no one has perfect skin, not even me. A flawless appearance takes diligence, patience and the correct products for success. This holiday season you too can achieve the Goldfaden glow by following a few easy steps.


Keep it simple. Two to three times a week is all it takes. If you’re a member of the ‘aggressive exfoliator’s’ club and your skin can handle it, then everyday is okay too! We suggest having both a physical and enzymatic exfoliator in your regimen. They serve different purposes and should never used on the same day.

***An enzymatic or chemical exfoliator can come in the form of a peel, pad or sheet mask. All this means is that you are exfoliating with an acid.

***Acids come in two types, AHA and BHA. AHA acids are glycolic, lactic, malic and citric and are beneficial for the surface maintenance. BHA is beta hydroxy/salicylic acid.

***AHA acids exfoliate dead skin cells, dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles, reverses the appearance of sun damage, hydrates and makes skin look and feel firmer/tighter.

***BHA acid targets the surface but also works inside the pores. BHA contains calming properties so it is good for sensitive skin and those who suffer from redness.

Then there are the physical exfoliators – the scrubs. Physical or manual exfoliation result on smooth, clear and even toned skin. For an even canvas to apply makeup to scrub away with our cult favorite Doctor’s Scrub. Not only will you look flawless with makeup but your skin will be clearer, smoother and more even without makeup!



Smooth & Fill

Don’t have time to run to the dermatologist, don’t fret – it causes more wrinkles! Needle-less is our targeted line smoothing serum that perfect for those stubborn lines and wrinkles. Apply this powerhous
e serum, which is full of hyaluronic acid and peptides, to clean troubled areas for an instant result.


De-puff & Brighten

A crucial step is to hydrate and brighten the eye area, especially if wearing makeup. The eyes are the focal point of the face and they need to be hydrated. Thin skin under and above the eyes can age a person, so always apply one pump of Bright Eyes under and above each eye. We do not formulate with silicone, so you wont experience any pilling of slippage when applying makeup over.


Hydrate & Glow

There is a trick to getting the Goldfaden glow. Apply Fleuressence Oil all over the face by pressing a dropper full firmly into the skin. While the skin is still moist with oil apply a mixture of skin primer and foundation.

***Mix a pump of primer and a pump of foundation (my preference is GEE Beauty) on the top of your hand and use a kabuki brush to apply all over the face. The Fleuressence oil will add extra radiance to the skin and result in a dewy plump appearance.


Dust & Radiate

Finish off the look with GEE Beauty Soft Focus Powder. Dust across the hairline and on the top of the cheeks (where sun would naturally hit) and then along the jaw line and onto the neck. For extra radiance at night or anytime, add RMS light luminizer to the top of cheekbones and on the cupids bow (that little indentation above the lip).

Glow baby, glow!

What your FACE can tell you about your health


Your face and skin are windows into your health. Skin issues and other undesirable facial flaws are often thought of in terms of how they’re unpleasing to the eye and take away from a person’s natural beauty. But this way of thinking disregards the important fact that circles under your eyes, red cheeks and unusual acne that pops up in places such as your ears or along your forehead can tell a tale about nutritional deficiencies and the health of your organs.

What your FACE can tell you about your health (including spotting if you need to go on a diet based on where your blemishes and wrinkles are).



Adult acne or breakouts can be caused by all sorts of issues, but are most directly related to hormones and stress. Genetics can play a role in adult acne.  Acne can be caused from hormonal changes or imbalances related to birth control, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and peri-menopause. When stress levels rise the body produces more stress hormones, which cause over production of oil and thus a higher chance of a breakout. Lifestyle choices like exercising and sweating may help to get circulation and blood flow going.

“Chin or jawline breakouts are typically hormonal acne. Try exfoliating more on the chin and forehead and be aware of any hair product that may be getting on your forehead. Always clean your cell phone anything that may touch your chin.  Clean all makeup brushes as to not spread bacteria.”  Dr. Gary Goldfaden

While food doesn’t cause acne, it can attribute to it and make for an unclean, unhealthy appearing complexion. Glycation is the main enemy of skin and the aging process of the body.. 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/cause inflammation in the body/skin are carbohydrates, fried foods, sugar, fatty meats and alcohol.

Puffy Eyes + Dark Circles:

Ordinary swelling around the eyes means you have an excessive accumulation of fluids, called edema, in surrounding skin tissue. Because the skin around the eyes is the thinnest skin in the body, swelling and discoloration can be quite prominent. Overconsumption of salt, which causes fluid retention, Allergies Sinus problems, Dehydration, Fatigue and lack of sleep, Stress, Crying, and Aging that can cause inflammation and swelling.

Puffy eyes could also be related to kidney problems, and these should be investigated by your doctor.


Blood vessels are more apparent in people who genetically have thin skin, but red skin can also be the result of aging and skin damage. Sun exposure can increase redness, inflammation, and eventually skin cell damage all over the face.

Dr. G says increase anti-inflammatory, cooling and soothing ingredients /foods

  • Red Tea (Rooibos)
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Green Tea
  • Oatmeal
  • Cucumbers

If excessive redness does happen, try applying a cool compress, splashing your face with very cold water, going indoors and allowing your body to cool off. Wearing a little concealer on areas that do tend to get red can help too.

You are what you eat:

Diet: “Eat a diet high in anti-oxidant rich foods such as leafy greens and berries and foods high in essential fatty acids (salmon and almonds). Stay away from foods that can encourage and cause Glycation. Some people may benefit from cutting dairy products out of their diet.”

“Overall signs of loss of elasticity, fine lines, wrinkles and sagging may be caused by Glycation. The Glycation process (sugars from food and alcohol, that break down the collagen fibers in the skin) speeds up 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. “

“Smoking can attribute to dull and sallow looking skin tone, wrinkles, fine lines, sagging, enlarged pores and an overall unhealthy complexion.” Dr. Gary Goldfaden



DIY Mask + Body Treatments

At the end of a long day sometimes we just want to get back to basics and feel good. DIY at home masks and body treatments are a great way to unwind and feel pampered without breaking the bank at a luxury spa.


Below are a few of our favorite at home rituals:

The Sweet Body

Sugar body scrubs are a cinch to make at home. Make sure you always use fine sugar, as you don’t want it to scratch the skin. Mix in ¼ cup of coconut oil for hydration and anti-bacterial benefits and a tablespoon of lemon for brightness and further exfoliation. If you want to add a cellulite and anti-inflammation treatment, add the mornings old coffee grinds. Caffeine is a cellulite buster! Mix together in a bowl and apply and gently scrub in the shower.

The result: Smooth, hydrated and retextured skin.

Lip Love

Peeling lips are a real thing and with lower temperatures around the corner, its time to protect your lips. Exfoliating your lips will help them stay soft and kissable. When making a scrub at home look to use ingredients to gently slough off dead skin cells, dried lipsticks and dry skin, but still adding hydration. I like to mix either almond oil or Vitamin E with finely granulated sugar. Coconut oil may feel soothing too as it is antibacterial, anti fungal and anti microbial. If you’re looking to make a lip plumper, you can sue the same ingredients, but add some cinnamon!

**If lips are already peeling or have open cuts or sores, exfoliation and plumping is not recommended.

The result: Soft, plump and hydrated.

Heel heal

Mix half a cup of lemon juice for exfoliation and breaking down the thick dried skin, ¼ of coconut oil and a lot of salt. Start by scrubbing the bottoms of the feet, paying particular attention to the heels. Rinse very well and apply coconut oil and then a pair of socks before bed.

The result: In the morning your feet will thank you and feel super smooth to the touch!

The Superfood Mask

Mix ½ cup of nonfat plain yogurt with ½ of an avocado and a tablespoon of honey. Yogurt has exfoliation and brightening benefits due to the high levels of lactic acid. Yogurt may also help soothing and cool down red inflamed skin. Honey is a natural antibiotic and antiseptic and can also help remove dirt and bacteria due to it’s sticky consistency. Leave on for 10-15 minutes before washing off.

The result: Brighter, Radiant and smoother complexion.




Ensure Flawless Skin this Fall

Still paying for the summer sun damage you did to your skin? A little sun goes a long way! Fear not because we have your autumn skincare guide mapped out for you. A few minor adjustments to your regimen will keep you radiant and hydrated autumn through winter.


Exfoliation is the most important step for radiant, clear and even toned skin. We like to introduce acid based exfoliators (Fresh-A-Peel) into our autumn regimen as they target hyper-pigmentation, pull moisture to the surface and create an overall even smooth appearance. Enzymatic/acid based exfoliators (peels and pads) are also great as temperatures and humidity start to drop. Too much physical exfoliation during fall/winter can cause dryness and redness in some people. Our tip is ‘try switching it up!’ If you’re used to scrubbing every other day, try to 2 times a week and add in a peel (on a day you don’t use scrub) for a week for a treatment.



Targeted serums mean business. Look for ingredients like Vitamin C, Vitamin B and Retinol to brighten and reverse summer damage. Our Brightening Elixir was created to reverse the signs of aging caused by sun damage and environmental pollution.



Whether you prefer oil or a cream, this step is a must! Gone are the days of the heavy, greasy moisturizer. Products formulated with silicones can give your skin that slippery, greasy, heavy feeling and clog pores. Dr. G does not formulate with silicone, so you never have to worry about that. Try our Wake Up Call for an intense does of anti-oxidant powerhouse ingredients. If you prefer the feel of oil, our Fleuressence Native Botanical Oil not only hydrates with an infusion of omega fatty acids, it also delivers the key vitamins A, C and E!



As always whether you’re in the car or just simply walking to and from work, SPF is a crucial. Just because the temperature is dropping doesn’t mean your aren’t being exposed to harmful UV rays. For superior protection with an ultra lightweight feel, try our Sun Visor SPF30 mist. This can be misted on clean skin, over makeup and as a touchup throughout the day.






Breast Cancer-Get the facts!

October is Breast Cancer awareness month and a perfect time to learn the facts about this very common and potentially deadly disease. Below are some facts from Breastcancer.org, where you can find out more information if you or a loved one is fighting this cancer.

  • 1 out if 8 women will get breast cancer during their lifetime (12%)
  • A man’s risk for breast cancer is 1 in 1000
  • In 2015 – 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed
  • In 2015- over 40,000 women are expected to die from breast cancer
  • Breast cancer has the 2nd highest mortality rate for cancers with the exception of lung cancer in women
  • 2nd to skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common diagnosed cancer for American women
  • Under the age of 45, African American women are at higher risk than white women
  • Hispanic, Asian and Native American women are at lower risk of developing breast cancer at any age
  • Risk doubles if a woman has a first degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) that had breast cancer
  • Only 5-10% of breast cancer can be linked to having the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2
  • If you have BRCA1 you risk goes up to 45-55%
  • BRCA2 the risk is 45%
  • 85% of breast cancer occurs with NO family history
  • Top risk factors are gender and aging


While exercise, eating a healthy diet, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight all contribute to staying cancer free, the best weapon against breast cancer is a mammogram. There are two main types of mammograms available today, film or digital, talk to your doctor to see which is most appropriate for you. Film mammograms and digital both take two pictures of the breasts. The difference is how they are printed and stored. The actual process is the same but the storing of the results is different. Film is on film and digital is on a computer. The benefit to the digital is that they can be shared between doctors easily and blown up to see closer if something looks suspicious. There is also a 3D mammogram, which is available in 48 of our 50 states. The 3D mammogram takes images form various angles of the breast in ‘slices’, which allows for a deeper more accurate view. However, 3D mammograms are not always covered by insurance and are costly at $150 and up.These mammograms are good for younger women, women with dense breast tissue or implants. Studies have shown that 3D mammography may help up to 40% more to detect cancer. They also lessen the ‘call backs’ because they are so precise.

Knowledge and early detection saves lives. Mammograms take 10-20 minutes and while they can be uncomfortable they do not hurt. If you have a family history of breast cancer, mammograms are being recommended at an earlier age than 40. Talk to your mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, grandmas and friends. Urge them to get tested and have yearly mammograms. Another great way to help fight this disease is by raising money and participating in a Breast Cancer walk/run. Think Pink!

An Intimate Interview with the Goldfaden MD founders

This month marks the 4th year anniversary of when Goldfaden MD launched and we had a chance to sit down with the Goldfaden family (and founders) to uncover the history, passion and dedication involved with growing Goldfaden MD!

 (Founder and Product Developer) Dr. Gary Goldfaden, M.D.:

When did your passion for living a healthy lifestyle start? When I was growing up people were much less aware of healthy lifestyle choices and there was very little research around diet, exercise and the diseases and risks associated with food and weight gain. As in many households, I was raised eating white bread and soda and struggled with my weight.  As I got older, I started to eliminate processed foods and sugar, and I’ve been exercising just about every day for the past 40 years.  When my father died from a heart attack at the early age of 59, my personal health became more of a priority than ever.

What inspired you to start Goldfaden MD and when was the company founded? I have always been a creative yet clinical thinker when it comes to medical solutions, so problem-solving for my patients naturally steered me toward product development. I remember developing formulas for my wife and young children as they began to encounter various skin issues—it was a genuine and instinctive passion. When I began practicing in the late 60’s, the anti-aging movement hadn’t really begun on a medical level, and most patients sought in-office procedures as the first line of defense. As I gained experience in private practice, I realized just how significant preventative at home skin care could be for my patients and how it could hopefully reduce their need for more extreme corrective measures in-office. There was a void in the skincare marketplace of products that delivered visible anti-aging benefits but that could be tolerated by sensitive, post surgical, and allergic skin types. It was clear to me that the world needed a serious yet chemically clean line they could trust, and GOLDFADEN MD would be the answer.

What did the process look like to formulate your non-prescription, medical-grade skincare products? How long did it take? The process starts with identifying a problem I see in office, and from there develop at home solutions and preventative measures. If brightening is the goal, for example, we want to layer potent natural actives together without adding in silicones, fillers, and irritants. The challenge is keeping the formulas clean without compromising the stability. The first product I developed was Doctors Scrub, our hero product. I started mixing various ingredients together in my office until I perfected the formula through patient trials and lab testing, which took a couple of years.

To this day, do you still constantly experiment to find new and innovative ingredients? We continue to scour the globe for innovative and effective natural skincare ingredients. GOLDFADEN MD Fleuressence Native Botanical Cell Oil, for example features extracts from plants in the Kalahari desert in Africa to the Rooibos fields of South Africa.

Can you tell us about the benefit of  NATURAL ingredients—inside and out? Being aware of what you put in and on your body is crucial. Naturally sourced foods (meaning not processed, and free from pesticides or hormones) have the ability to offer a higher percentage of nutrients, vitamins and key antioxidants because there are no unnecessary preservatives, hormones, or antibiotics that can prevent the beneficial ingredients from leaving that specific product and also allows for maximum freshness of foods. Eating a diet of fresh, naturally grown or raised whole foods, is scientifically linked to decreasing risk of disease and increasing life span.

Our skin is the largest organ of our body and studies have found that the skin can absorb up to about 60% of what we put on to it so it’s important to be familiar with what we are putting on our skin and stay away from harsh, toxic chemicals, colors, and fragrances. Chemicals, artificial colors, and fillers in skin care products and makeup can cause redness, irritation, and breakouts. Many people are even allergic to chemicals commonly found in conventionally produced products. Natural makeup, skin care products, and body products work with your skin instead of against it. The integrity and purity in plant and botanically-derived ingredients—the high level of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes, natural sugars, and more—provide a vital spectrum of benefits for the skin without being compromised by fillers and inactive ingredients which allow for the treatment actives to provide the most abundant of its treatment benefits within topical formulas.

Can you tell us how Goldfaden MD’s products target specific skin concerns? How are they unique compared to other products on the market? I have honed in on what I feel are the most important and often common skincare problems and built the range in order to allow consumers to address them at home and improve skin health long term. Superior formulations featuring naturally-derived ingredients with effective delivery systems set the GOLDFADEN MD brand apart. We couple scientific, results driven products with globally-sourced natural ingredients, bridging the “natural” and “physician” product categories at the prestige level in a way no other brand has.

(CEO) Robert Goldfaden:

Can you tell us some of the most important lessons your father instilled in you about health when you were young? One of them is that metabolic performance is heavily dictated by what we put in our bodies. We ate a lot of lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and complex carbohydrates; no processed foods and very minimal sugar and flour. We let this approach guide our choices now in my own house, and I know it’s made me a healthier adult.

When did you make the switch from the corporate world to joining Goldfaden MD? What fueled this decision? I began my career in investment banking but quickly became eager to and indulge my entrepreneurial passion, which was to fully develop the skincare concepts my father had been conceiving over the years into a retail brand. Growing up, my father was always into formulating products and mixing things in his lab and even our kitchen sink. I had seen him really help people in his Dermatology practice, and I had always felt I wanted to be a part of that in some way. Even years later I was getting bombarded with calls from old friends in desperate need of the scrub. I knew there was a need for quality skincare products and that I had access to something really special. I made it my mission to bring Goldfaden MD to market.

As a kid, you saw your father constantly inventing new formulas. What was that like? I was often a guinea pig for testing, so got to see them come to life from the ground up. And often the product inspiration was tied to the foods we ate (i.e. Cherries/Cherry Extract, Red Tea/Rooibos, carrots/retinol), so I grew up familiar with the benefits and aware that there was “technology” in our diets that could be powerful on our skin as well. This became very beneficial when I started this business with my father.

Can you tell us about the scrub your father created for you growing up? It was known as a magic scrub and all of our friends would take some when they were over at our house. From a personal standpoint, it greatly helped my skin as I suffered from blemish prone so it worked wonders to help clear up my complexion, but it was the formula that made it so unique and a true standout product. The emollient and vitamin packed ingredient list combined with our Ruby Crystal technology provides instant and visible benefits making skin brighter and more radiant. 35+ years later, Doctor’s Scrub makes up approximately 25% of overall sales and attracts a huge variety of customers from 16 to 70+, including discerning A-list celebrities like Kate Hudson who credits it as a staple of her red carpet beauty regimen.

Can you tell us about your research of exotic ingredients? What have you learned from it? Advancements in the uses of natural actives–meaning substances produced by a live organism— in medicine have been significant. And we have witnessed a massive shift in the beauty industry toward a demand for “cleaner” products. It seems that new natural active ingredients with unique treatment benefits are being introduced almost daily, so we are constantly working to stay at the forefront of discovery and sourcing the best possible ingredients for our formulas. For example, after analyzing the research on the “Birds of Paradise” flower, we incorporated it into our proprietary complex PURFLORA™ found within the Plant Profusion range as an essential brightening ingredient. I’m fascinated to see that often times natural actives are scientifically proven to deliver an equal or greater treatment benefit to a chemically-based alternative.

(VP of Marketing) Lisa Goldfaden: 

Can you tell us some of the most important lessons your father instilled in you about health when you were young? For as long as I can remember I have been health focused. As children we were not allowed to have junk, soda, candy or fast food. My father always taught us by example through eating habits and exercise routines. He was an avid racquetball player and champion, so I spent many weekends watching him compete and learning the importance of exercise and how it relates to health. Naturally my brother and I both became involved in sports at a very young age and my father coached both our soccer and basketball teams. Juicing was also a big part of his post exercise routine and so I learned a great deal about vegetables and fruits at a young age. I also watched my father get acupuncture and chiropractic adjustment, which I still partake in today. He always placed an importance on your health inside being as important as your health outside. You cannot really have one without the other.

When did you join the family business and what fueled that decision? I joined the family business fulltime in 2006. My background is in studio art and childhood education. At the time my brother asked me to join the team, I was working in the education department at The Paley Center for Media and realized starting a skincare brand was the perfect platform to utilize my education background. I wanted to share all I had learned from our father with the public. I was mostly fueled by the fact that there really wasn’t much natural skincare available on a retail level. We were so used to using products from his practice that he created, that when a friend would ask me what I used and where to purchase it, I would have to get it for them.

As a kid, you saw your father constantly helping patients. What was that like? Throughout my life, I have had the pleasure of being able to watch my father make profound changes in so many individual lives simply by the way in which they view themselves from a physical standpoint. Experiencing skin ailments can be debilitating and eat away at our self-confidence levels and my father has always been able to provide a healing touch to his patients. Being able to watch the lives of so many people change and transform through the way of dermatological practices of enhancing the way in which our skin appears has touched me so much and what keeps me motivated on a daily basis.

On the website you say that you credit your dad for your artistic side. Can you tell me how you’re both able to use your creativity to make Goldfaden MD a unique company? Watching my father mix up batches of product in the sink at home absolutely encouraged my creativity. He utilizes his vast knowledge of western medicine with his interest in innovative exotic natural active ingredients. His ability and creativity in an almost culinary manner, to combine and mix ingredients is an imperative skill in creating a unique skincare brand. I use my creative and artistic teaching background on a retail level to educate customers and team members alike on how to pinpoint the brands greatest assets and how to distinguish the unique products among the sea of other products within the category and weigh in on the critical creative branding process. I have also been known to offer my input into product development based on where I see growth opportunities within the marketplace and consumer demands. Many of our products were birthed out of a necessity or suggestion from us. For example, our moisturizer Vital Boost was created for Lauren and myself when we couldn’t find a moisturizer that we found effective.

How has this creativity also played into how the products are marketed? I think this creativity is woven throughout the brand. From the packing to the product names to our Social media presence, we aim for an edited natural elegance and an emphasis on the key standout piece that makes the product so unique which differs among the SKU – packaging, ingredients, design, technology, delivery system. When it comes time to name products we have everyone throw their ideas into the ring and ultimately select from there.

What’s your go-to must-have Goldfaden MD product? Fleuressence Native Botanical Cell Oil is my must have product! I love it because it is light weight but power packed with omega fatty acids, vitamins A, C and E. Fleuressence is not only hydrating, but the glow and brightness is delivers is like nothing I’ve ever used—and trust me, I’ve tried everything.

(VP of Sales) Lauren Wolk-Goldfaden:

How did your passion for natural ingredients and beauty lead you to finding Goldfaden MD? Health and wellness have always been a huge part of my life. And I’ve always felt that beauty– specifically products–is really an extension of our overall lifestyle in terms of what we are gravitate to, so I am focused on being what I call “naturally conscious” in every aspect of my life. This includes beauty products, household cleaning products, diet and exercise. When I first met my husband, Rob, he handed me this exfoliator in a lab sample jar and said “would you try this, I am thinking about starting a skincare brand, and this would be our  lead product.” I of course instantly fell in love (first with the scrub, and later with him) and I saw the  potential for an entire dermatologist-developed natural skincare brand, since this simply did not exist in the marketplace.

When did you join the company and how have you seen it grow with your involvement? After a handful of years in advertising, working with global brands like Coca Cola, Volkswagon, and Method “non-toxic” personal care products, I wanted to follow something that I was deeply passionate about. I joined Goldfaden MD, over eight years ago and it has been the most exciting and rewarding journey. Spearheading the sales of Goldfaden MD, we have been able to penetrate growth of the brand in over 250 retail doors, in over 8 countries, and a number of international distribution partners in just over two years of being in market. It is a huge accomplishment and a true testament to the long-standing power that this brand has with our consumers worldwide. I am filled with excitement about what is coming next for the brand and to see it continue to flourish in both untapped markets abroad and building upon the success in our existing markets.

How are Goldfaden MD’s products different than other skincare brands on the market? Goldfaden MD is the first Dermatologist-developed, naturally inspired skincare brand on the market. It truly bridges what was once a gap between natural luxury and physical strength/dermatologist formulated skincare. It fills a huge void within the beauty space and one that consumers increasingly demand– they want clean products of the highest quality that deliver on their benefit promise; it’s as simple as that.

What’s your go-to must-have Goldfaden MD product? GOLDFADEN MD Doctor’s Scrub and GOLDFADEN MD Needle-Less. I just can’t live without them.

The Who, What, Why, When of AHA + BHA Acids


Both AHAs and BHAs chemical exfoliators work by combining with the structural lipids in the stratum corneum (aka skin) and dissolving them so that the dead skin cells break away. This is just a fancy was of explaining their very efficient exfoliation method and why they’re an encouraged addition to any healthy skincare regimen.


Alpha Hydroxy Acid or AHA (which are Lactic acid, Glycolic acid and the Fruit acids) is used as a facial exfoliator and is an excellent choice for people with sun damaged skin, aging skin and normal to dry skin types. AHA does not cause sun sensitivity and comes in many forms. AHA’s come in the form of lactic acid which is derived from milk, glycolic acid which is derived from sugarcane and fruit acids which are derived from fruits (citrus and apples/malic acid). AHA can also aid in thickening the lower layers of the skin thus delivering firmness.

Beta Hydroxy Acid or BHA (also called salicylic acid) comes from acetylsalicylic acid which is the same source as aspirin. In general, beta hydroxy acid is a more effective treatment for acne prone skin. BHA also can cause sun sensitivity and must always be used in conjunction with a sunscreen.


  • They’re both powerhouse ingredients!
  • Both get rid of the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Both make skin appear smoother and tighter
  • Both make skin look more even in texture
  • Improve scarring
  • Improve appearance of photo-aged skin
  • Both hydrate and exfoliate the skin

Well said from Paula’s Choice: “AHAs and BHA are different, and their different properties make one or the other preferred for different skin types:

  • AHAs are water soluble and are preferred for normal to dry, sun-damaged skin due to their ability to enhance natural moisturizing factors within skin.
  • BHA is oil soluble and preferred for normal to oily, clog-prone and bump-prone skin, and enlarged pores, and can clear pores deeply, even those with hard, tiny, white bumps on the cheeks and face. BHA is even suitable for those prone to milia.
  • AHAs and BHA work on skin’s surface; but BHA also works inside the pore lining, where clogs begin.
  • BHA has natural skin-calming properties, which make it preferred for sensitive, redness-prone skin. It’s great for sensitive skin, even for those with rosacea.”


  1. AM/PM: try one in the morning and one at night. If you’re targeting a skin issue then doubling down can be effective. Make sure to always hydrate your skin properly and pay attention to warning signs such as redness or red or dryness.
  2. Alternate days: Try AHA on day and then BHA a few days later. Listen to your skin and you’ll never go wrong!
  3. Spot treat: If you have combo skin, try using BHA only in t-zone or oily areas while using AHA everywhere else.
  4. Know your limits-not everyone needs both and if you’re particularly sensitive and NOT acne prone then stick to AHAs.


Your Summer to Fall Skincare Transition

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The dog days of summer are wrapping up—and coincides with when skin has decided it can no longer take the heat, grime and sweat it’s been enduring for the past few months, going haywire. Just some of what you might be seeing in the mirror? Photo-damaged skin, discoloration, dehydration, dull or lackluster complexion, congestion. “It’s the sun, sand, beach, warm/humid climate,” explains Dr. Goldfaden. “Added with the fact that consumers are putting on loads of sunscreen to protect against harmful UVA/UVB rays, which can lead to skin congestion and breakouts.”

So what do we do about the new constellation of pimples that has suddenly appeared on our left cheek, and refuses to budge? The changes in weather, as summer transitions to fall, is already enough to shock your skin. So make sure any changes to your skincare regimen are subtle, rather than completely abandoning your previous routine just because it’s getting a little cooler outside. “Subtle changes to your regimen can do wonders for your skin and give it what it really needs. Polish and plump: this is the key. Exfoliation (either in the form of a physical exfoliator or enzyme/chemical)–ridding your complexion of dead, dry, dull cells and revealing brighter, smoother, younger-looking skin underneath is the beginning of revealing a more healthy-looking complexion followed by a corrective moisturizer/hydrating treatment, like oils and moisturizers.”

One subtle change? Swapping out just your cleanser. Goldfaden MD has developed a new cleanser that foams, the Detox Clarifying Facial Wash. Currently the original cleanser in the line, Pure Start, is a gentle wash that helps realign the skin’s natural pH balance. Detox Wash—thanks to a hardworking combo of AHA acids—takes it a step further by fighting bacteria, clarifying pores clogged up by sunscreen, and really addressing congested skin. If your current cleanser works great—check by swiping a pad with micellar water after a wash to see there’s no grime or residue left behind—keep using it!

To treat discoloration, photodamaged skin, or a dull complexion, think about slipping a few brightening ingredients into your regimen. Vitamin C (found in Goldfaden MD’s Brightening Elixir), alpha arbutin (found in Light Treatment, specifically for dark spots) and lactic acid (found in Fresh a Peel) are all power players that can help brighten skin tone and increase radiance.

It’s not just enough to apply product to the face—aka, treating merely the visible symptoms—to treat your skin well. It’s important to balance an effective skincare routine with good choices in diet and a supportive environment. “We holistically believe that healthy-looking skin is a 360-degree approach to wellness,” says Dr. Goldfaden. He recommends eating a diet rich in fatty acids (a “hydration punch”): think avocados, salmon, leafy greens, which will “keep congestion and inflammation at bay while infusing nutrient rich vitamins and nutrients back into your system.” It also means staying clear of alcohol, white carbs and refined sugar—all of which can trigger the inflammation we’re trying to avoid.