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December’s many indulgences make January an ideal time to detox, both inside and out. Again striving for balance, we put forth our best efforts in January to cleanse both internally and externally (and we know that’s it’s all intertwined), so we asked one of our go-to beauty gals, Cassandra Cadwell, (aka newly appointed head of Customer Relations @ Violet Grey), to capture her journey as she swapped her beauty regime for our Detox Collection for 4 weeks.

Can you describe your skin type (i.e. Is your skin usually oily, dry or normal)?

Combination – I look like an oil slick at the end of the day but my skin is dry and needs moisturizer. At least this is what my esthetician tells me!

What are your skin goals?

Clear skin, of course! No breakouts or dark spots (PIH) mainly. But my number one priority is to clear up this one  trouble spot on my left cheek. Also to stop picking, this is a huge thing for me that I really need to stop.

How do you detox? (tips/rituals)

I drink a green juice every single day and have at least 2 cups of green tea throughout the day. My one tip to detox though, is simply to stay hydrated and eat clean the majority of the time. I also try to take a bath every so often and mask every night.. Yes really, I’m psychotic.

When you need to de-stress, what is your go-to?

Burying my face into my cat, Monet, or going to Moon Juice for a adaptogenic smoothie #soLA. Watching funny videos of cats on Instagram helps too… Did I mention I’m a cat person. If I’m in a situation where none of those things are possible, I just pick one thing to focus on, like a task, and direct my attention on completing that 100%. If my mind is feeling cluttered, I make a list. Typically, I find if I’m stressed it’s because my brain is scattered, if I get it down on paper, my mind is a little clearer.

How did you first hear about Goldfaden MD? What was the first product you used?

I first heard about Goldfaden MD from my friend Sarah in May when I was invited to their lovely brunch. The first product I used was the Skin Balancing Mask, and it’s still one of my all time favorites. It’s not too active but still gives your skin a light exfoliation so it’s a great go to when your skin needs a little love but nothing too dramatic. It’s really the perfect maintenance mask. Soothing, no fuss, and exactly what you want your everyday mask to to.

Tell us about your current regimen before transitioning to the Goldfaden MD “detox” collection?

My regimen prior to the Golfaden MD detox consisted of a double cleanse, a toner, one serum and a lightweight water cream. Also tons of masking, of course. In general, lots of trial and error, I’m always trying something new, it’s part of my job.

When you integrated Goldfaden MD’s Detox Clarifying Facial Wash, Detox Hydrating Gel and Facial Detox into your regimen, what did you experience after the following timeframes?

1 week: Plumping and looking fresher longer throughout the day. No 3 pm dark circles and dullness.

2 weeks: Skin started to look brighter and extra hydrated.

3 weeks: Reduction of dark spots and PIH on my left cheek. (YES!)

4 weeks: Overall balance of oil and dryness. I also saw a significant improvement on the pesky trouble spot on my left cheek in addition to less random hormonal breakouts. The later was particularly nice because when you are dealing with a trouble spot, it’s nice not to have other little blemishes pop up as well, which just feels like it exacerbates the main issue.

Have you always used or been interested/concerned with ingredients and clean beauty?

Always. I am a firm believer in not putting harsh chemicals on or in your body, but I also put efficacy first. I 100% believe that the body can heal itself and that anything we need to assist that process can come from nature. I also don’t believe in sacrificing inner health for outer beauty. Once I stopped drinking things like soda and started incorporating vegan practices into my lifestyle, I started seriously to look at ways I could cut out chemicals. Beauty is a great place to do so and if you find amazing clean product that work, like Goldfaden MD, then it’s really a no brainer.

Who would you recommend this regimen to in the future?

Everyone! Specifically though I think this line is great for the mindful person who cares what they put on their face (and therefore in their body) but also wants to see results. This regimen in particular I think is great for oily breakout prone skin, especially the Detox Hydrating Gel and,  if you have breakouts, the Facial Detox. If you take one thing away from this interview let it be this: Sulfur is the best natural way to clear breakouts – it’s straight off the periodic table! #Facts.

Since it is October after all… trick or treat?

Treat, of course… xx

 

Better decor, better life? We talk a lot about Detox and Balance and we know that everything is intertwined in our lives. Interior design is the art and science of enhancing the interior  to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing environment for the people using the space. As humans, we spend a tremendous amount of time in our homes, so we turned to one of our favorite LA-based interior designers, Elizabeth Law, for her tips on how to achieve that balanced style and some of her detox tips.

How do you define you home/design style?

My design style changes somewhat with every place because each house or location tells its own story. I tend to mix elements as much as I can. I find it important to have a space that has wood + glass + stone + iron + fabric. That to me feels well rounded and grounded. I like to mix old and new, rough and smooth, worn and polished all together to create a lived-in, curated but comfortable space. When it’s mine I keep it neutral, when it’s for a client I like for it to reflect them as much as possible.

How do you Detox (tips / rituals)?

I detox with Daily Harvest smoothies, hikes and acupuncture, writing and baths. I’m definitely a bath brat! I think mental detox is as important if not more than physical detox.

What does your typical Beauty Routine look like?

My beauty routine is ever changing, but I really enjoy face masks, face oils and scrubs. Goldfaden MD Doctors Scrub is my favorite exfoliant and I love Luzern Hydra-Enzyme Masque Nuit. As for make up, I only use Suntegrity (a natural moisturizing sunscreen), a little highlighter and curl my eye lashes! I like to keep it simple and natural. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll pop on a light lip color.

What was the last book you read?

I’ve been on a book binge lately, so there are many. The one I last finished was Gabby Bernstein’s, The Universe Has Your Back. It was happiness in a hardcover.

Perfect day…is?

I feel like a broken record because I’ve been saying it so much lately, probably because I am just excited by witnessing how much of a difference it has made in my life! My perfect day is a good balance of work and self-care. I wake up and go for a hike in Franklin Canyon, its the best way to start my day in the nature that LA has to offer, while listening to a podcast or two. I spend a few hours at my desk, a few hours in my car running around from job site to shops, and sprinkle in what I can through the day to keep me grounded… Acupuncture, catch up with a friend, etc.

When you need to destress what is your go to?

Hike, bath, book, pilates… or something that can give me a good laugh.

What is your favorite room in your home?

My living room. Its comfortable and also beautiful with tons of natural light. I’m happy every time I step into it.

Best advice anyone has given you is…?

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

First thing you do when you wake up, is?

I check my email to make sure everything is as it should be, or close… and I go straight for a hike.

Last thing you do before you go to sleep, is?

I meditate for at least 10 minutes and I journal. This has been a newish thing in the past six months, but its been transforming, so I think I’ll keep it.

Any/Tips on detoxing your home / office / personal space?

I like to keep palo santo or sage around. I always have so many candles it looks like I’m constantly on the verge of hosting a seance. I love to keep the windows and doors open and have plants and fresh flowers on as many surfaces as possible. This creates such a nice clean space both energetically and visually.

Elizabeth Law is an interior designer who specializes in spaces where her clients entertain. Her designs incorporate a warm and natural aesthetic with texture, colors and sophistication.

At Goldfaden MD, we’re all about safe and natural facial treatments. But here’s the thing—if we’re going to fit any new products or techniques into our beauty routines, they have to actually work. If it’s not efficacious, we’re just not interested.

We created our Needleless Line Smoothing Concentrate for exactly that reason—we wanted to see fine lines and wrinkles diminish by the time we woke up in the morning. Yes, our obsession with the Needleless Line Smoothing Concentrate is real, and we’ve been actively searching for a non-invasive treatment that works as well as our formula and is also safe for skin.

And then we stumbled across gua sha facial massage, and our complexions were changed (and lifted. And toned.) forever.

What is Gua Sha?

Gua sha (pronounce gwah-shah) is a popular therapeutic technique used in Eastern Asia to encourage blood flow and healthy chi energy, decrease muscle pain and inflammation, and treat tension in the body. Traditional gua sha is performed all over the body, much like a massage.  In Eastern Medicine therapies, it’s believed that stagnant chi (or energy) is usually the root cause of chronic illness or disease.

Gua sha naturally encourages healthy blood flow to the body—which is why it’s so helpful for treating inflammation—and moves the chi throughout the meridians. Meridians are the energetic life force paths all over the body that act as a mainstay of Traditional Chinese medicine and are used as a guide for everything from acupuncture to acupressure to gua sha.

If you do a quick Google image search, you’ll be confronted with images of bright red backs, ripe with bruising and striations. Don’t be scared! It looks intense—borderline masochistic, perhaps?—but gua sha is actually wonderful for skin, muscles, and fascia. Enough pressure is applied during a full-body session to result in light bruising, which is part of the reason gua sha is so healing for soft tissues.

Much like getting a deep tissue massage, gua sha encourages movement in the lymph system to encourage detoxification and improve blood flow to muscles and tendons. As soon as the lymph fluid is stimulated through massage, the body can begin to detoxify itself. If you’re the one receiving a treatment, you’ll notice that any water retention or bloat totally vanishes after a treatment. When the lymph begins to move, it carries with it lingering toxins and extra water that’s holding on for dear life in your body.  Gua sha also can help to break down scar tissue and stagnant connective tissue to improve mobility and flexibility in joints.

In recent years, facial gua sha has become incredibly popular as a beauty treatment. Anecdotally, it’s been said to improve nearly every skin condition—from hormonal acne to sagging jowls. Facial gua sha is significantly lighter in pressure than a full-body treatment, so don’t expect to see bruising or even light marks on your skin. However, you’ll likely experience instant lifting, toning, and brightening after getting a gua sha facial or trying the technique out on yourself (yep, you can totally do this one at home!).

Keep scrolling for the low down on how gua sha works, who uses it now, and exactly how to perform gua sha on yourself.

How does gua sha work?

Gua Sha Massage

The biggest difference between a massage and a gua sha treatment is the gua sha tool. Typically made of jade or rose quartz, a gua sha tool is about the size of a credit card and can be held in one hand. The tool itself has smooth edges on all sides and is about a quarter of an inch thick.

To use it, your practitioner will hold the tool at a 15-degree angle to your skin with one edge gently resting on the area to be worked on. Using long, fluid strokes, the practitioner applies pressure and drags the gua sha tool along the appropriate meridians (or muscle knots) to stimulate the chi and break up muscle tension and adhesions.

Usually, a practitioner will go over the same area a few times. You’ll notice as they begin to work through the fascia, the area around the muscle immediately begins to release and relax. It’s really important that your practitioner moves the lymph all the way through your body to the end of the meridians—you don’t want to get that nastiness stuck anywhere! And if you’re the one enjoying the treatment, remember to drink tons of water the day after your appointment—you’re going to need it.

Gua Sha Facials

Gua sha facials aren’t all that different from the massage treatment—both use the same tool and technique. But, facials require a much lighter touch because pressing too hard can damage skin. Plus, our facial muscles don’t usually have the same scar tissue or adhesions as say, your quad or calf muscles, which go through a lot more wear and tear. With the face,  we’re more concerned with moving and draining the lymph fluid; stagnant lymph causes puffiness, bloating, dark circles, sallow skin, wrinkles, and pimples. And because it’s a very light massage, you might even notice that gua sha eases any tension that you might be holding in your forehead, jaw, and eyebrows. Just remember that it’s not necessary to apply heavy pressure, and in fact, if you’re pressing too hard you won’t be targeting the lymphatic material.

Lymph lives just below the skin, and is so sensitive that it won’t respond to roughness! When it moves through the body in a healthy way, our puffiness diminishes. We get our natural, youthful glow back because our bodies are naturally detoxifying themselves. And the improved circulation helps flush toxins and revitalizes the look of skin.

What to Expect After a Gua Sha Facial

After a gua sha facial, you’ll likely see instant results. Your brows and cheeks will look more lifted, and cheekbones will be more defined as excessive lymphatic fluid drains from the face. Skin will look brighter because of increased blood flow. And because you need to use a facial oil or emollient lotion whenever you gua sha, your complexion will be hydrated, too!

Where to Get a Gua Sha Facial

Gua sha treatments are typically performed by trained professionals. When it comes to full-body massage, practitioners are usually certified in the technique and also have their massage license. Estheticians and facialists also must go through a training to learn how to properly use the gua sha tool on the sensitive facial skin.

It’s safe to try giving yourself a gua sha facial treatment at home, as long as you’re not pressing too hard. If you see redness on your face, you’ve gone too far! A little goes a long way with this stuff. And trust, you don’t want bruise lines on your face—it’s not a good look.

How to Do Gua Sha at home

Gua Sha Facial Tools

To give yourself a gua sha facial you’ll need a gua sha tool, facial oil, and about five minutes of free time. We also recommend grabbing a towel, just in case! When purchasing a gua sha tool, make sure you get one that’s made of real stone like jade, rose quartz, or brian stone. Beware of super-cheap versions on Amazon—they might be made with dyed acrylic, which is bad for the planet and bad for your skin health! Also, the real things look very cute on Instagram. Really important to up your self-care ‘gram game.

Directions

  1. Before you get started, wash your face thoroughly. No make-up, no nothing. You want to be barefaced, babe! We recommend double-cleansing with the Pure Start Gentle Detoxing Facial cleanser to remove any dirt or grunginess from the day, and then following up with the Detox Clarifying Wash to give pores the clean sweep.
  2. Apply a few drops of Fleuressence Native Botanical Cell Oil to the skin. This golden elixir contains Kalahari oil, Mongongo oil, Rosehip seed oil and Baobab oil to boost skin’s natural radiance, improve tone, and fade scars. You want the gua sha tool to gently glide against the skin, so don’t be shy about using a little more oil than usual.
  3. Hold the gua sha tool at a 15-degree angle against skin; it should almost be flush against the face. In one fluid motion, sweep the tool from its initial starting point all the way down the next to the collarbone. Follow these pathways three to five times each:

– From the middle of the under the chin to the earlobe. Repeat on both sides.

– From the middle of the ridge of the chin (follow your jawline) to the earlobe. Repeat on both sides.

– From the lower edge of the nostril up to the middle of the ear. Repeat on both sides.

– From the inside of the eye, lightly draw the gua sha tool to the temple. Repeat on both sides.

– From the inside of the eyebrow, follow the brow bone to the temple. Repeat on both sides.

– From the middle of the forehead to the hairline. Repeat on both sides.

– From the hairline, sweep all the way down, around the back of the ears, down the sides of the neck to the collarbones. Repeat on both sides.

When you’re done, you should notice an instantaneous difference in your skin! Gua sha massage acts like a natural mini facelift—and it feels really amazing.