I’m sure there are a few people who would laugh at the idea of calling myself a low maintenance person. I want to care for myself top to toes creating and maintaining my health and happiness and, oh by the way, I want to look good too!
I identify as a female and prefer the pronouns she/her and as a modern woman who considers herself relatively low maintenance when it comes to her beauty routine, I still may need a graph and Powerpoint presentation to spell it all out. But I’ll try for you here now!
There are so many things we can do for ourselves - it’s both awesome and ridiculous.
We strive to look, pick an adjective (elegant, chic, hip, cool, modern) or sometimes we settle for clean and awake as the best we can do! During this time of a pandemic, Zoom calls allow us to be “work on top” and “comfy on the bottom” with suit and tie or a beautiful blouse in the camera view with pajama bottoms and fuzzy slippers out of sight. Women are wearing less makeup or none at all, hair is washed less frequently with hats, ponytails and messy buns as a major hair trend. We can all agree this is funny and that making our lives easier by skipping unnecessary tasks such as full-face makeup or being fully clothed is just fine to do, but no one, and I mean no one, has said it’s ok to skip brushing your teeth or doing your skincare routine.
Caring for our teeth and our skin is deemed essential and a do-not-miss for experts in the respective fields. To what extent and the use of various products, ingredients and steps depends on which “expert” you consult.
So, this aesthetic Nurse Practitioner and co-founder of a medical grade skincare brand absolutely has an opinion about both. The first is simple, gargle with mouthwash and brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss at least once daily. The second, the perfect skincare routine, took me over 15 years to figure out, but I finally did, and I will share it with you.
The 10 Step Korean Beauty trend has been around for years now and although it’s not going anywhere it’s also losing a bit of steam for two reasons. #1 - Modern women like me simply do not have that kind of time in the morning and are too darn tired at night to complete ten steps. #2 - We have realized it’s simply unnecessary (even if we have all the time and energy in the world).
I’m a Nurse Practitioner in the aesthetic world for a couple of decades now and I’ve had access to the top skincare lines available my entire career. In my own practice I would cherry pick my favorites for the specific ingredients, cocktail them together to avoid multiple layers that left my skin feeling weighed down and suffocated. I was frustrated I couldn’t find one line for me, much less my patients, that we could use exclusively without wanting to reach for another product line for a specific reason or ingredient. When my co-founder, Courtney, and I set out to devise a skincare line that was gentle enough for her, but active enough for me we didn’t know how ambitious a task it was. But how satisfying it was once we achieved it! We were frustrated by medical channel offerings, overwhelmed by K beauty standards and offended by the oversimplified as if we are dummies approach. Here’s what we were faced with:
A typical 10 Step K Beauty routine is complicated and time consuming.
On the flip side, the typical dermatologist skincare routine is too simple, presumes we know nothing about skin and skincare, and they love to recommend inexpensive one-trick pony products that are missing key benefits:
For the day:
For the night:
Vitamin A (retinoid)
I’ve worked with and advised thousands of women regarding the cosmetic care of their skin so I could look at product development with fresh eyes and I just knew there had to be a happy medium. My motto in life has always been: avoid extremes - there has to be a good middle ground. So, I don’t like the 10 step process because it is one extreme with an overwhelming number of steps, endless choices and nonspecific advice. Nor do I like the basic approach because there’s more that needs to get done.
I wanted my skincare regimen to be of the fairy tale variety: not too much, not too little, but just perfectly right. That means I had to make it myself. Just call me GOLDILOCKS!
The K Beauty trend taught us a lot about skincare. There are zillions of ingredients out there and lots of different ways to deliver them. But they missed the mark. They forgot to teach us how the skin ages and changes with time, the best way to treat, repair and maintain aging skin and the best ingredients and delivery systems to accomplish the task.
The doctors know their patients need simplification but fail to recognize women are really savvy and want more than just the bare basics.
I set out to take a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to skincare that when all is said and done is incredibly complex, but is delivered in a simplified way.
Here are the complexities:
We age in not just one but many ways.
Skin is radically different day and night - in appearance, chemistry and behavior.
Thousands of ingredients from which to choose and which are the best: quality, clinically studied and when is the best time to deliver them.
The epidermal skin barrier must be addressed: first to repair if necessary and second to maintain it indefinitely.
Moisturization is necessary for everyone and is a key component decreasing in aging skin but how much and which type?
What’s happening naturally in the skin and how can we optimize?
Compile a list of do-not-use use ingredients based on science, not hype or hysteria.
Standby superior ingredients demonized by lay persons posing as experts.
Safeguard ingredient integrity, efficacy and longevity in the most appropriate container.
Engage with a globally renowned master cosmetic chemist for formulation.
Here is the simplification:
Step 1 - Gentle cleanser (don’t despair, it’s coming in 2021!)
Step 2 - THE EVERYTHING DAY
Step 3 - THE GIRLFRIEND
Step 4 - THE SUNNY EYES
Step 5 - Your favorite SPF (also coming in 2021)
Step 1 - Gentle cleanser
Step 2 - THE GOLDEN RULE
Step 3 - THE EVERYTHING NIGHT
Step 4 - THE NIGHT NIGHT EYES
Our daily, essential products (THE EVERYTHING DAY, THE EVERYTHING NIGHT, THE GOLDEN RULE, THE SUNNY EYES & THE NIGHT NIGHT EYES) treats all the ways we age, with ingredients best timed and delivered during day or night. Two specialty products (THE GIRLFRIEND & THE PARTY PEEL) - one for extra hydration and makeup prep. The other as a once or twice weekly, no downtime chemical exfoliation for perpetual baby soft, fresh skin!
With THE ROUTE we were able to combine several steps of the complicated K Beauty ritual with the gold standard minimums of the Derm community. Then, we stepped it up to superior status by using natural botanical antioxidants and extracts, world class peptides, skin identical/compatible hydration all in a phospholipid base that literally boosts your mood. A huge undertaking, a massive collaborative effort and a colossal achievement. I felt honored to go through the process with the world’s best, I felt empowered by the outcome and humbled by the procedure. In the end, we used a fresh approach and developed a group of products that I cannot live without. I’ve become utterly dependent on them to keep this 55 year old skin happy, healthy and beautiful!