Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Minimalist's Guide to Skincare

Years ago I stumbled upon an adorable, minimalist skin care, clothing and home boutique shop located in Tampa, FL called Arjuna.  My favorite part of visiting this amazing little shop was meeting its owner, Jennifer.  We immediately began chatting it up and realized we held a lot of the same beliefs and interests.  Today we've both taken on different journeys and Jen can be found running her own beauty studio in beautiful Miami Beach. Her aesthetic is quintessential minimalism, as seen through her Instagram feed.  But, her background and expertise in skincare is what drew me to interview her on behalf of all of you, the readers.  Read, learn, apply, enjoy. 

If you could give us some background information about yourself, your business and what led you to it.

I’ve had an interest in skincare and wellness ever since I can remember, massaging my mom when she was pregnant with my brother, always snooping around in my grandmother's cosmetics, I stopped eating most meats when I was 12, although nobody else in my family is vegetarian & one of my first jobs was at a local health food store, which I loved & still shop in on my trips home. I am very fortunate that I always knew my calling.

I became a licensed esthetician and massage therapist after high school and from there, bounced around throughout the spa and wellness industry while continuing my education to receive my bachelor's in Holistic Medicine. Fast forward to now & I’ve combined all of my education and skills to create Minimal Beauty, which was born from my love of skincare, wellness and the power of human touch.

I perform facials in a spa­like setting but my works goes much deeper than that. I bridge the gap for my clients and help them transition to a truly natural and results driven skin care routine. I’m detoxing their entire skincare routines, including diet and supplement aspects while re­educating them on the importance of simplicity and less being more when it comes to skincare and wellness. The conventional beauty industry of today is purely a marketing industry and I know this because I’ve worked on both sides of the industry. It is full of greenwashing, (creating packaging to look natural when it is not) and the industry swears up and down you need this, that and the third to be beautiful and that could not be further from the truth. I have seen, touched, listened and learned about so many skin problems over the years, the toll this takes on self­esteem and I can honestly say that many skin problems stem from using too many unnecessary and unhealthy products on our skin and the distorted views on beauty that the industry has created.

If one was to choose only one thing to do for our skin, what would your #1 recommendation?

Is 2 #1 recommendations ok? Always cleansing & going to bed with clean skin & definitely protecting your skin daily with a non­chemical sunblock, which would be formulas including zinc oxide & titanium dioxide.

Can you walk us through a minimalistic and simple skin care routine for our mornings and evenings?

Absolutely. Cleanse, tone, serum or moisturizer, morning & night, adding your SPF during the day and gentle exfoliation & masquing 2­3 times per week.

The key to a minimalistic skincare routine is finding the correct products for your skin type that you & your skin love. This keeps you from searching for new products, creating product over­load in your bathroom and constantly wasting money on products that don't work, leading to frustration and skin irritations. I do also educate my clients on daytime products vs. nighttime products. Morning routines are to gently wake the skin to prepare and protect it from the outside elements and night­time is to cleanse and treat the skin with your power products such as exfoliators, masques, and specialty products, as our skin is repairing and rebuilding as we sleep. It is not called beauty sleep for no reason.

Where could one buy skin care products that are plant ­based and cruelty free?

Well of course I have a small curated collection on my website that I use in my treatments and for my clients home care prescriptions at and some of my other favorite sites include,, & Trust plays a huge factor in where I shop and recommend to others. These companies philosophies, products and ethics go hand in hand with my own beliefs on skin and self­care and they all offer beautifully created collections of some of the most luxurious, cleanest products on the market today.

Any other recommendations for our skin care regimen? For instance... are facials really necessary? If so, how often would you recommend them? Etc…

Of course I always recommend drinking an adequate amount of water & eating clean for optimal skin health. Fish oil & turmeric are my favorite internal skin recommendations. Fish oils provide hydration from the inside out, as well as anti­inflammatory properties, which also why I recommend the very well known anti­inflammatory turmeric.
Inflammation is a major root cause of many skin conditions, from acne to skin sensitivities and even wrinkles.

I know that facials are a necessity for optimal skin health and I see the difference they create in people's skin. Each treatment I perform is always tailored to your skin needs the day of your visit. Seasons change, diets change, stress levels fluctuate, we travel, etc so whatever you skin needs that day is what I provide.

My treatments are extremely relaxing, detailed oriented and each manipulation and movement I perform serves a purpose. We hold so much tension in our faces, especially in our jaws and between the eyes. This creates energy and blood stagnation which can lead to lackluster and dull complexions. I recently started opening each of my facials by oil cleansing, which starts detoxing and drawing impurities from the skin, in combination with gua­sha massage, an ancient asian inspired technique that uses a tool made from the jade stone to open and activate the energy meridians throughout the face. This releases tension, blood and is extremely relaxing, which really opens up and stimulates the skin so the entire process of the facial is received on a more awakened level. From there, I customize the products needed for a deep pore cleansing and each treatment always includes a lot of upper body and facial massage. This area is huge for our lymphatic system, especially for women, as it is important for breast health to keep our lymph circulating and detoxing throughout our upper bodies. Massage not only feels wonderful but it is extremely lifting, anti­aging, anti­congesting and the perfect way to relax. Gentle extractions are always included in each treatment as well.

Our skin cells turnover on a 28 day cycle so every 4­6 weeks is ideal but I always respect how often clients are able to come in for treatments and have also created packages to help clients with all of their needs if that is a better route for them. Peels, micro­needling and more advanced treatments, bookings are much closer together, some as close to 2 weeks, as we are usually focusing on alleviating some type of scarring, acne, wrinkles etc. and once results are achieved, we stay on the 4­6 week plan. For my super minimal clients, I do recommend coming in for each season change, it is the perfect time to treat your skin to a detoxifying facial and to re­evaluate your home care routines for any upcoming weather
changes. I’m all for preventive care!

All science and product knowledge aside, the power of human touch is such a gift and if you look at the history of ancient beauty, women used to spend all day together at the hammam and it is how we bonded. I enjoy every moment of working on my clients, I am always humbled knowing that their hour with me may be the only hour of relaxation they have had all week or month. As women, we are nurturers and it is important to let go and let someone do the same for us, which always creates that glow from the inside out.

Also, what is your view on make up for women?  What should we be doing without for the health of our skin?

I love the editorial and creative aspect of dramatic make­up in magazines & photography but I’m definitely a natural beauty fan for everyday looks. My goal is always to help my clients achieve skin they love, which then calls for very little, if any, skin make­up, as they are no longer trying to hide or conceal their skin.

I don't think we need to go without when it comes to make­up but of course, I am an advocate for clean make­up just as much as I am skincare products. Luckily there are some gorgeous make­up lines on the market today created without harsh chemicals, tars, dyes, etc that I am in love with & highly recommend such as RMS cosmetics, ILIA Beauty & W3ll People.

Thank you for answering our questions Jen! We sincerely appreciate all of your advice.  If you are interested in learning more about how to book a session with Jen or you just want to check out her awesome website, please visit Minimal Beauty or click here for more.