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International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, age, economic or political. It’s a celebration where we unite as a global community to celebrate women, their endless drive, passion, impact and tireless effort in making a difference.

This week in celebration of International Women’s Day and our #GoldfadenMDForHercampaign, a movement to celebrate and support some incredible women doing great things and trailblazing leadership in the industry they are passionate about, we are so excited to be highlighting Sasha Plavsic, founder of one of our favorite all-natural makeup brands, Ilia Beauty.  We have long admired Sasha for what she has developed at Ilia and stand behind everything they stand for – Performance Driven. Effective. Safe. This is the heart of Clean Beauty. Because we love beautiful product that is created with care on the inside and out, and believe you shouldn’t have to compromise on performance, or luxury. Being mindful that not every natural ingredient is good for the skin, nor is every synthetic bad. It’s about finding a balance and falling in love with beauty all over again, so you can feel empowered by a sense of choice.

She has developed some of the most insanely gorgeous products and we are so honored to be able to sit down with her to find out more about her incredibly inspiring journey.

What is your favorite part about your job?

My favorite part about my job is to create products that I hope people will fall in love with and push the boundaries in what is possible for creativity in clean beauty. 

Which women inspire you the most and why?

Cher, because she achieved success in so many areas and truly is authentic in every way. Coco Chanel for her dedication to her craft and creating one of the most iconic brands in fashion. And most recently Emma Gonzalez, from the Parkland shooting and standing up for what she believes in.

What’s your advice to women trying to make an impact in their career?

Trust your gut, don’t give up, and believe in yourself. 

First thing you do when you wake up, is?

Nurse my 6 week old baby! And if I am lucky find my way to the shower with usually both kids. 

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

Make a wish to get at least a 4 hour stretch of sleep (other moms will understand this answer). 

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

Ensuring that history doesn’t keep presenting itself. I think it is a very interesting time to be a woman. Some things have come so far over the last half a century while others are starting to regress. I think it’s important to fight for what is fair and right without loosing what has already been won.

What are the best decisions that you have made in your career thus far?

To take a risk and believe I could create something from nothing. From there truly believing that there is a solution to every problem, because in a business there are many, and they constantly need to be solved.

What are the worst?

Listening to too many other people’s opinions and doubting myself. It’s important to work collaboratively, yet if you don’t listen to instinct it will come back with a vengeance.

What is your self-care routine?

A shower everyday, followed by a quick skincare and makeup routine. With a newborn that is a major feat. 

*Please include any social handles if you’d like us to tag.

@iliabeauty


Ever wonder why a baby’s skin is so soft? It’s because babies naturally replace their skin cells every few days. As you grow older, however, the rate of skin cell turnover slows down dramatically. Dead cells on your skin’s surface hang around much longer, a fact that tends to accentuate those fine lines and make your complexion look dull and lifeless. By removing these dead skin cells, exfoliation helps make up for the gradual slowing down of your natural skin renewal process, improving the tone and texture of your skin.

The process of exfoliation is a lot like peeling away the dry, outer skin of an onion to reveal the living layers beneath. Whether the exfoliation is done using mechanical abrasion or a controlled chemical reaction, removing dead and damaged skin cells on the surface allows the fresh new skin underneath to become visible. This newly exposed layer of skin feels much softer and smoother. Its surface reflects light better, making fine lines and other small imperfections harder to see. Age spots and other areas of unwanted pigmentation are less noticeable because the dead skin cells containing the pigment have been removed. Exfoliation unplugs clogged pores and allows for the release of natural skin oils. Regular exfoliation also helps to maintain open pores, decreases pore size, and minimizes many types of superficial scarring. In addition, removing the top layer of dead and damaged cells allows other health-promoting agents such as moisturizers, antioxidants, and collagen-boosting ingredients to better penetrate the skin and work more effectively.

Discover the differences in Physical vs. Chemical exfoliating agents: 

Chemical: 

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.

– 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.”

Physical:

In general, choosing the right exfoliating scrub from all the commercial products on the market today depends a great deal upon the thickness and sensitivity of your skin. It’s important to remember that all kinds of particles can be used for exfoliation, and mainstream products encompass a wide and varied selection. People with oilier complexions have larger sebaceous glands which makes their skin thicker and better able to tolerate larger, more abrasive particles such as pumice or magnesium oxide crystals. Those with drier, sensitive skin should generally use products with smaller granules such as jojoba beads or ground oatmeal. 

It’s important to realize that certain ingredients, although natural, may not be appropriate for your skin type. Some natural products, such as crushed nutshells, sea shells, pumice, ground fruit pits and seeds, have uneven edges and irregular shapes that can damage sensitive skin. 

The best exfoliating scrub is the one that effectively removes your stratum corneum but, at the same time, is gentle to the rest of your skin.  Over the course of many years in private practice, I’ve conducted dozens of clinical studies in an effort to discover the perfect combination of particle type, size and density that would consistently yield the best overall results for patients with different skin types. After numerous experiments I finally found an exfoliate that I consider ideal for personal use which offers similar results to machine-administered microdermabrasion without incurring the time and expense of going to a dermatologist. However, in order to achieve my objective of creating an exfoliating cleanser that was gentle enough to be used daily, I had to incorporate a very unique type of crystal particle in the formula. I chose Ruby Crystals – they are perfectly round in shape and finite in size to allow for all surface dead skin cells to be polished without causing any tearing or abrasion to the skin. 

Dr. G’s Tips: 

DON’T OVER EXFOLIATE- This is perhaps the most important thing to remember so that you can avoid any damage and/or irritation of the skin. It’s safe to assume that exfoliating twice weekly can achieve great results and refrain from irritation or over exfoliating. Of course, there are the people who enjoy exfoliating daily, but this is personal preference and heavily based on your skin type. If you notice a burning sensation or it your skin becomes very sensitive and/or red after using a product, stop it. Ultimately, you should stay in tune to what your skin needs, feels and looks.

DO EXFOLIATE ALL OVER- Exfoliation does not store at your face. Work your exfoliation routine down into the neck and décolleté area, even your lips too as these areas can greatly benefit from exfoliation too as it removes dead surface skin cells, brightens overall skin tone and improves texture. Other areas to exfoliate: your elbows and knees.

DON’T GO SUNBATHING AFTER EXFOLIATING- Exfoliating reveals a baby-fresh layer of skin, you could be more susceptible to the

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sun’s rays. Use caution when heading outdoors. Use a higher SPF in your sunscreen, wear a hat, carry a sun umbrella and try to stick to shady spots whenever you can.

DO EXFOLIATE AT NIGHT- Skin renews itself overnight so the perfect time to exfoliate is right before bed. Use a good sunscreen with high SPF during the day, especially if your skin has recently been exfoliated. While we all want smooth and clear skin, it’s we also want to protect against sun damage.

DO CONSIDER CHEMICAL EXFOLIANTS- Physical exfoliants aren’t the only want to slough off dead skin to reveal a brighter complexion. Ingredients that chemically exfoliate the skin include glycolic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids, lactic acid and various enzymes.

The way our skin looks is a direct reflection of what is happening externally and internally. It would be nice if we lived in a stress-free world, eating only pure, organic foods―but come on, life is hectic! The old adage, “we are what we eat” is more true today than ever. It’s a fact: what we eat and how we feel show up on our skin as it’s a complete reflection of what’s happening internally. We’re also faced with the increased detrimental side effects of pollution and how it leads to premature aging (more on this topic here, brought to you by our friends at Charlotte’s Book)

The skin is the body’s largest organ and research proves it capable of absorbing up to 60% of the ingredients in the products we apply.

You can’t have beautiful skin if it is loaded with toxins. When toxins lodged in your tissues come into direct contact with your skin cells they can damage if not destroy the cells they come in contact with. Toxins are one of the biggest causes of aged and problem skin. Obviously reducing or eliminating your exposure to these toxins is the first step you should take in your Detox for Beautiful skin program. The Second is getting those toxins out and the third is increasing your life force so that your body’s natural detoxing systems can expel those toxins more efficiently.

When we talk about toxins, we are referring to environmental exposure and this is something that almost all individuals contact on a daily basis (UVA, UVB rays, Pollution, Smoking, Exhaust, etc.) and what we’re ingesting (sugars, caffeine, alcohol, processed food, fried foods – all of which play an integral role in breaking down collagen and accelerating the aging process. As such, it can be of great benefit to use products to protect and assist in the skin’s recovery

What skin care products can remove are things like dirt, pollution, free radicals, sweat, dead skin cells and sebum that build up on the surface of the skin as we go about our lives.

Detoxing and what it means for skin (three buckets: Internal, External, Mental (inclusive of Sleep + Stress):

Internal / Foods:

During a cleanse (or simply with the elimination OR reduction of sugar, alcohol, carbohydrates, processes foods, fried foods, caffeine) stored toxicity is being released from your skin as well as from the cells of your other organs. According to Ayurveda, skin is a natural extension of the blood, so as you release toxins into the blood, you may notice skin changes. For this reason, some people may experience breakouts as the body mobilizes and releases toxins.

Detox for beautiful skin is so important for your health and beauty. Your skin is constantly being exposed to toxins; from excessive sun to the chlorine in your bath or shower water and probably most everything you put on your skin and most “yummy” foods and liquids that we are ingesting. Impurities like dirt, sweat, and excess sebum can clog pores and cause acne and pollution and free radicals that can be damaging and contribute to skin aging.

Your skin is an organ of elimination, just like your kidneys, liver, and colon: Just as FYI….The lymphatic system is the part of your circulatory system that rids your body of toxins and waste. If your system becomes overloaded and polluted with toxins, your body can’t efficiently filter impurities, and skin rebels in the form of a dull, sallow, tired-looking complexion―often accompanied by fine lines, wrinkles, acne, blackheads, enlarged pores and/or the dreaded oil slick. When lymphatic circulation slows down, so does cellular turnover, which accelerates aging!

External / Topical Skincare:

The skin is the body’s largest organ and research proves it capable of absorbing up to 60% of the ingredients in the products we apply.

Many synthetic ingredients have been recognized to cause skin irritation and may lead to damaging effects longer-term. Commitment is to create safe, yet effective products that utilize the most effective and innovative naturally-derived, result driven ingredients.

Organic and Natural Ingredients | Paraben-Free | Petrochemical-Free
No Animal Testing | Tested for All Skin Types | Mineral Oil-Free | Alcohol-Free Silicone-Free | Gluten-Free | 100% Vegetarian | Hypo Allergenic

Mental + Sleep / Reduction of stress and sleep:

Beauty + Sleep are so intertwined. science has proven time and again that while we sleep our body goes into repair mode, fixing damage caused during the day and ensuring we wake up looking refreshed and our beautiful best; it’s the intersection of where technology + wellness meet.

Waking up looking refreshed requires more than just the absence of under eye darkness or puffiness, the skin tells the story. The restorative power of sleep is vital for rejuvenating and repairing the skin and is controlled by the hormone melatonin and HGH (Human Growth Hormone). Melatonin production increases and peaks around 2am and as well as making us sleepy, it works to counteract damage to the skin during the day from aggressors like UV and pollution. The other hormone that kicks in while we’re sleeping is HGH (the human growth hormone), which is responsible for accelerating skin’s repair and cell regeneration.

Night time = ‘recovery mode,’ a time of intense repair and regeneration. We know that between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m., our cell production can double, and if we’re in a deep sleep, you could see cell turnover increase by three times between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.

During the nighttime, as well as being more active, skin is more permeable too. It’s warmer, so it’s more receptive to the skincare products you apply. While this is brilliant, the flip side is that you will lose moisture. If things can get in, then things can get out. The morning phase is when “transepidermal water loss” through the skin is at its highest.

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 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.

Shop our detox products here