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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.

One of the most common skincare questions asked is, when to start using an anti aging regimen. By the time your mid 20’s roll around, collagen production has already started slowing down. Collagen is one of three structural proteins that our bodies produce. Elastin and Glycosaminoglycans are the other two, which we will get to. Collagen is responsible for providing tissue and organs strength. As we age collagen is produced less and tissue begins to disconnect thus creating wrinkles, dryness and sagging skin. Elastin also plays a big role in aging, although not as plentiful in the skin as collagen, it is still important. Elastin is responsible for stretching abilities and ‘snapping back’, think of the word ‘elastic’. Once elastin starts to diminish, skin will look saggy, sunken and limp. Glycosaminoglycans are responsible for keeping collagen and elastin supported in the cellular space. If you missed the mid 20’s starting mark, do not worry. The good news is it is never too late to start an anti-aging regimen!

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The below is a roadmap by decades, however all products can be interchanged and used throughout any age. The three most important steps of a regimen at any age, are exfoliate, treat and protect.

Concerns by age + what to use:

The Twenties

During the twenties, collagen production stats to wane while hormone levels are still in full swing. You may be experiencing frequent breakouts along with oily skin. Hormonal issues can cause acne and breakouts and leave behind unsightly dark spots and scars. The good news is, twenty something skin stills appears plump and youthful looking. This is the ideal age to start the war against aging.

Thirties + Forties

The biggest concerns are loss of collagen (sagging + wrinkles), dull complexion, hormonal breakouts and hyper-pigmentation (uneven skin tone). By the time the early forties roll around, you may start to notice loss of elasticity and plumpness to the neck and chest areas. This is also caused by lack of collagen. As hormones change and drop, the skin can go into ‘crazy’ mode in which you may find yourself breaking out like a teenager or extremely dry.

Fifties plus

The fifties and up hopefully bring a little relief to breakouts, but you may be dealing with the sun damage from your younger years. The tans of your 20’s are back to haunt the skin causing dullness, dark spots and overall aging. Switching into a chemical exfoliant like Fresh A Peel, may be more gentle for delicate skin. Formulated with lactic acid, this peel was created to attack hyper-pigmentation. The eye and neck area are always topics of concern. Hydration is another area to pay particular attention to. Plant stem cells based products are not only hydrating but also active in turn back the hands of time. Anti-oxidants that reverse and correct DNA damage are effective too.

Exfoliation:

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 brightening serums, moisturizers, antioxidants, and collagen-boosting ingredients to better penetrate the skin and work more effectively. Our coveted exfoliator contains crystals that polish away dead surface cells, leaving skin brighter, clearer and younger-looking. Formulated with line-filling Hyaluronic Acid to deliver long-lasting hydration while nourishing Seaweed and Organic Red Tea Extract provide antioxidants.

Treat:

Look for products that treat dark spots and scarring if this is an issue for you. Vitamin C, Alpha Arbutin, Ferulic serums and brightening oils are the best products for this. Our Light Treatment serum was specifically created for this. Oil free and light weight enough for even acne-prone skin. Our Fleuressence Native Botanical Oil is extremely brightening and contains 5 active African oils

high in vitamin A, C, E and F! Stay tuned this Fall for our brand new Brightening Serum!

Protect:

Sun protection is crucial for healthy youthful skin. SPF should be worn at all times and ages. Sun damage and sunburns from childhood will show for the rest of your life as damage, dark spots and even possibly cancer. In addition to SPF, protective hats, clothing and glasses should be worn when outdoors. The sun is the #1 ager! While a tan may look nice on young skin, the price to be paid later in life is not worth it. There are many wonderful fake tan products available now that do not smell, contain natural ingredients and look real.

Continuing to exfoliate is crucial for overall smooth and radiant skin. One of the main culprits in aging, other than the Sun is Glycation. –Dr. Goldfaden

Glycation is a destructive chemical process, which occurs, in the human body over the course of time that’s very similar to browning a piece of meat. This non-enzymatic reaction is a result of sugar molecules in your bloodstream attaching themselves to healthy proteins in your body’s tissues, then rearranging and damaging the existing cellular structure of those proteins to produce what scientists call advanced glycation end products or AGEs. AGE molecules are particularly destructive because they undergo extensive cross-linking with other neighboring proteins to form strong chemical bridges, thus spreading the destruction from cell to cell. Because collagen constitutes about one-third of your body’s proteins and has a very slow turnover rate, it’s highly vulnerable to attack from glycation. As you age, your once healthy collagen fibers gradually lose their elasticity, become rigid, and break. The end result is rough, sagging, wrinkled skin. Given the widespread popularity of fried and sugar-laden foods that are well-known producers of AGEs, routine topical protection against glycation can be an important step in maintaining a youthful appearance.

Actives + Anti-oxidants to look for:

Anti-oxidants, including, but not limited to, Organic Red Tea, White Tea Leaf Extract, Raspberry Leaf Extract, Green Tea, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E help to prevent oxidative DNA damage by fighting free radical cell damage caused by environmental stresses, pollution and UV damage.

Red Tea

Red tea contains some of the most potent natural antioxidants known for protecting your skin from the free radical damage that can cause aging. These include vitamins C, E and beta-carotene. Red tea is known to possess 50 times the antioxidant capacity of green tea due to a high concentration of a special enzyme called superoxide dismutase (SOD for short), a major scavenger of free radicals. The combination of these natural vitamins and enzymes found in red tea aids in promoting new skin health after the removal of dead and damaged cells, giving your skin a smoother, brighter, and healthier appearance. In addition, red tea also contains a number of powerful polyphenols and flavonoids that help heal and rejuvenate the skin. Red Tea is formulated in the majority of The Goldfaden MD range.

Vitamin C

The ability of Vitamin C to revitalize aging skin is largely due to its beneficial effects on collagen. Collagen is a tough, fibrous protein that is relatively inelastic and very strong. It supplies the basic framework that gives your skin its form, firmness, and strength, while elastin provides flexibility. Overall, the amount of new collagen that your skin produces declines with age, while the rate of its destruction increases. Fortunately, topical vitamin C has been scientifically proven to help stimulate collagen synthesis. Found in our Fleuresence Oil!

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Retinol + Vitamin A

In the case of vitamin A, the answer will most likely be retinyl palmitate (although other forms such as retinol, retinyl acetate, and retinyl linoleate are sometimes used). Retinyl palmitate is an ester of retinol and palmitic acid that accounts for about 80% of the vitamin A found naturally in your skin. Due to its superb anti-aging, antioxidant and moisturizing abilities, retinyl palmitate is the form generally used in skin care products. Retinyl palmitate is also highly preferred because its chemical stability makes it easier to formulate and its greater skin-penetrating power gives it an obvious advantage over other vitamin A analogs like retinol.

Whatever its form, topical vitamin A plays a major role in maintaining the youth of your skin by boosting the process of cell regeneration. Vitamin A and its retinoid analogs stimulate skin cell renewal by increasing the rate of cell division.

In the Goldfaden MD range we use sweet potato to mimic retinol, as it is a natural alternative. Find it our Wake Up Call moisturizer. Baobob, Kalahari and Mongogo oil, all found in our Fleuressence Oil are extremely high in Vitamin A as well.

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Plant Stem Cells

For example, Resveratrol, which is found in raspberry leaf stem cell extract, helps to decrease the shortening of telomere. Thereby slowing down the aging process. Naturally-derived stem cells have also been shown to contribute to DNA repair by protecting the skin cell from environmental damage (think of it like a super shield) which in turn allows the skin cells to reproduce, as per normal skin cell cycle, at a healthy speed without being compromised by external factors that can block and slow down healthy growth. The entire Plant Profusion range contains multiple plant stem cells and active natural anti-aging ingredients.

A healthy diet and life of exercise and positive thinking will also help in the war against aging.

With so many products in our regimens it is easy to feel overwhelmed on the correct order. Yes we have grown very ingredient savvy but one serum doesn’t cut it anymore. How do you decide which treatment gets applied first and is there a correct way to apply? We asked Dr. G to weigh in on this and here are his thoughts and suggestions.

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What is the correct regimen order?

Serums should always be applied first to clean skin. When we talk about clean skin we mean either exfoliated, peeled or cleansed. Wiping off the face with a makeup pad doesn’t count for clean.  The reason serums go on first is that they contain the treatment ingredients. They are formulated to go deeper than moisturizers to attack the problem or issue at hand. Next step should be the eye product, whether a gel or cream, the eyes should be treated during an individual step. Moisturizers go on next as they hydrate the skin and seal the serum. If you’re using a separate SPF, which I recommend, it should be the last step.

Where do Oils fit in?

Oils are not solely for hydration anymore as they target anti-aging, dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles and overall skin dullness. Oils are one of those products that can be used in a plethora of ways. If you are incorporating an oil for hydration it should be used after the serum and before the moisturizer. The oil could also be mixed in with the moisturizer or patted on after for extreme hydration and glow. If you tend to have oily skin you can try mixing the oil into your foundation and applying it as your very last step. If you are incorporating the oil for anti aging benefits, try using it as a treatment serum. Dry oils are the best option for this as they won’t sit on the surface of the skin and penetrate deep to deliver treatment ingredients.

What is the best way to apply products?

There are a few schools of thought on how to best apply skincare products. People either rub in product or press/pat on product. Made popular by the French, pressing is said to be less aggressive and more soothing when done correctly. I believe there is room for both methods in a daily regimen.

Rubbing

Pros: Fast and effective, overall coverage, stimulates circulation and blood flow

Cons: Rubbing and tugging could breakdown collagen and perhaps break blood vessels over time

Pressing

Pros: No aggression to the skin, follows the lymphatic flow our our faces which is good for circulation.

Cons: Time consuming, not effective in coverage

What is the best advice about product order and application?

Choose effective treatment based products and be diligent about using them. The truth is getting them on the skin is the most important part.