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After months of frigid temperatures, dry and cold air, spring is finally on the horizon and warmer, balmy weather is starting to sprinkle in. Winter has left the building (well, almost), taking with it our dreary moods and dry, itchy skin. And while we’ve spent the first part of 2019 layering on anything and everything that can provide hydration, the warmer air, and increased humidity mean our skin is about to be in for a shock. How, then, to prep the face for sunnier days ahead? We sat down with Dr. G to get the 411 on how to transition successfully into the dog days of Summer ahead.

Why does skin need renewed attention come spring?

As Springtime temperatures vary between warm and cold both inside and outdoors, skin can be particularly challenged this time of year by dehydration, lackluster-looking skin, and breakouts. Spring also makes way for sunnier and warmer skies, which can increase sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and congested/polluted skin.

Any tips on how to wake up skin for spring?

Exfoliate: Cold temperatures and less exfoliation can leave a thick layer of dead skin cells and built up oil post-winter months. Exfoliation whether physical or enzymatic is the best way to jump-start your spring regimen, rid your skin of any excess dry and flaky skin and achieve that  dewy fresh glowing skin.”

Any ingredients we should be looking out for in particular?

“Lighten up and swap out heavy creams for lighter, oil-free moisturizer or serums Look for immune boosting and hydrating ingredients like Vitamin D and Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic Acid is a miracle ingredient to use this time of year because it binds and locks in moisture to prevent dehydration while being lightweight (has been proven to hold up to 100 x the weight of water). Vitamin D delivers immunity without having to get it from the Sun.”

Pack on the antioxidants: Load up on power-packed anti-oxidant rich serums to protect skin from free radical damage and pre-mature aging. Look for Vitamin C, Organic Red Tea, Ferulic acid and resveratrol-rich ingredients.”

How often should we change up our skincare routine?

“There is no rule about when or even if you must switch up your regimen. If your products are working and you are seeing results, there is no reason to change. However, be smart about the climate you live in as this can indicate the need for more hydration and or less aggressive products. “

Olivia Muniak is a Brand Marketer.

She has an incredible eye and an innate sensibility for the luxury market. She works with businesses to tell cohesive stories through developing a visual vocabulary and creative materials. Olivia is instrumental in implementing marketing initiatives and real-time events that drive brand awareness.

Olivia began her career styling in San Francisco working with Benefit Cosmetics. Moving back to New York City in 2012 to pursue a career in fashion, she went on to manage North American sales in luxury fashion for Aquazzura and Fratelli Rossetti.

Her expansive background and expertise has made Olivia a true standout and we had a chance to sit down with this star to find out about how she balances wellness sustainability in her everyday hectic life.

How do you practice sustainability? 

I strive to practice sustainability in all facets of my life. I want to be able to share the beautiful world I grew up in with my future children and grandchildren. When I grocery shop I use reuseable mesh bags for produce – whether I’m at the farmers market or grocery store. On the go, I use metal straws, travel coffee cups + water bottles, and at glass containers and reusable silicon bags for food storage. But I think that’s only a small imprint, I’m also very conscious of the product packaging from everything to beauty and bathroom products (so many brands are creating refillable products or 100% compostable packaging). I don’t allow myself to buy new, comparable skincare, makeup or hair products until I’ve completely used what I have at home. It’s easy to consume these products and amass a collection of half used products. In the kitchen I don’t use paper towels daily, I have a set of cleaning rags my favorite are these unpaper clothes (I save the paper for big messes )  

Most importantly I also consider what is in the product – if it’s toxic for my body, it’s toxic for this earth. I try and use clean products for the home so that everything that washes down my drain is natural and not harmful to the ocean. 

What are your favorite Eco-Friendly Products? 

Branch Basics and Thieves. It’s also super easy to make an at home everyday spray with a bit of distilled vinegar and essential oils and water, I find this to the best for glass and countertops!

What does wellness mean to you?

Gosh, I think wellness is such a broad term and a widely used buzzword these days. For me, wellness is about the way I live my life. It encompasses my emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing. Being “well” is about balance, joy, and feeling sated in my current life. My work, my friendships, my family, my body etc…this doesn’t mean they are all wonderful at once, they rarely are! I appreciate the realness, being present through the challenging times, the optimistic and the everyday. The attention and care I put into creating routines (allowing myself to fall out) keeps me “well”. 


Any advice for people wanting to make the switch towards a more mindful existence (increased wellness) but who are not sure where to start?

Create a routine, add one small element in a realistic way ( i.e. something you can keep up with ) wellness is about trial and error and discovering what you need that makes you feel well. Pick one to three things, set a numerical goal to it and try it for 14 days. I’d suggest choosing one small practice; whether that’s journaling for 4 minutes in the morning x 4 a week, switching your morning croissant for a clean smoothie, walking for 30 minutes a few times a week, swapping clean products into your home etc. Keeping the goal small, with a numerical goal helps us feel successful, positive and…”well” when we meet it. Adding too many or an aggressive number of practices often backfires and makes us feel unsuccessful. I’m fully aware of over-commitment practice! By the end of the 14 days, it always felt a part of my routine, and then I could add in something else. Wellness for me is just about finding out what makes me feel good, listen to that small voice inside. Mine got louder, the more I listened and now I feel like I’ve strengthened my intuition and I know what’s in alignment for me at any given time. Just trust yourself!

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

The skincare I can’t live without: 

  1. Goldfaden Doctors Scrub: makes my skin super soft, clear, and fresh looking. 
  2. True Botanicals Nutrient Mist: I used this multiple times a day to freshen my skin with essential antioxidants, also the scent is ahmazing!! 
  3. True Botancials Clear Face Oil: hydrates my skin, gives me that dewey appearance that I love. 
  4. Goldfaden Brightening Serum, this has helped clear my complexion, sun damage and heal breakouts. 
  5. True Botanicals Vitamin C Booster + Clear Serum I swap between these and Goldfaden Serum and keeps my skin clear and bright. 
  6. Goldfaden Wake Up Call: this year my skin became super dry, this moisturizer helped soothe and hydrate and I wake up in the morning with baby soft skin. 
  7. Goldfaden Bright Eyes paired with Odacite Eye Serum: this helps de-puff, hydrate and erase fine lines 
  8. EIR Surf Mud: This is my daily sunblock, make-up primer (if I wear, also great on it’s own) and obviously great for a day out surfing. So clean you can actually eat it, its got chocolate in it! 

The makeup I can’t live without: 

  1. RMS Uncover up: light, natural coverage
  2. RMS Luminous Highlighter: adds the dewey touch, when I’m not so dewey 
  3. Ilia Cream Blush Stick: adds that touch of color that makes me look fresh
  4. Kjaer Weiss Cream Bronzer: adds that sun kissed glow
  5. LiliLolo Mascara: hands down the best natural mascara
  6. Chantecaille Tinted Brow Gel: holds my unruly eyebrows all day

Why is clean beauty important for you?

Honestly, because I’m a little vain and I have found clean beauty to keep me looking young and fresh. And of course, I care about the planet too. Beauty industry is one of the worlds major polluters, just think about how easy it is to amass a collection of products that we rarely use. 

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How do you de-stress?


Bathtime! I’m a huge proponent of baths at any time. I don’t soak for long period but it helps calm my nervous system. I also cook to de-stress, if I have a terrible or overstimulated day, coming home and cooking centers me and makes me bubbly with joy. 


Favorite mood-boosting meal?

It’s not a meal, but I make my own almond milk weekly and it’s a religious experience for me, it tastes so rich and creamy and I use it for few things but mostly for my morning flat white. Some of my go-to’s meals are grilled salmon with charmoula and a simple green salad. I love making my own homemade pasta with fresh pesto, it’s very nostalgic for me – reminds me of summer in the Hamptons as a child. For a lazy weekend morning, I make a stack of almond flour pancakes with melted coconut butter, maple syrup and flakey sea salt. 

What is your daily mantra?


Does it make me feel good? Yes…follow that. If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no. Why expend the energy obsessing when things don’t align, something better is on its way. Be yourself, you’re awesome. Life is short, speak up, go for it. Don’t take it all so seriously, laugh! Allow myself the freedom to experience it. 

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.