healthy skin care
Think back to the last time you and your best friend made a pact to get “healthier.” Maybe you actually made it to yoga three times that week, or you bought a vegan lipstick and silently patted yourself on the back, or maybe you even lasted the full four weeks of Whole30. Hey, every little bit counts, right? But that also means your best friend definitely isn’t Cindy DiPrima, co-founder of CAP Beauty, because the last time DiPrima and her best friend decided to live a healthier life, they created one of the coolest natural beauty shops in New York City, and ever so swiftly established themselves as the new leaders of the beauty and wellness community.
Unlike you and your best friend, though, DiPrima and her business partner, Kerrilynn Pamer, didn’t just randomly decide to jump on the wellness train after finishing off a bottle of merlot and a bag of pita chips. “I’ve always been into natural beauty and holistic health, but all of those interests were really amplified when I had kids,” says DiPrima, whose two children are ages five and seven. “Babies lick you and kiss you, and I realized I didn’t even know what they were ingesting, because I didn’t know what was in my skin-care products. And that was kind of when I realized I needed to take ownership over my health and what I was putting on my body.”
So when Pamer, who was already the owner of the fashion and jewelry boutique Castor and Pollux, which already carried a small collection of natural products, asked DiPrima in 2014 if she wanted to help her create a store solely devoted to natural beauty, her answer was easy. Within a year, the duo founded CAP Beauty (“it stands for clean and pure, though my very French husband pointed out that it also means destination, which is fitting”), an all-natural beauty website with a hyper-curated stock of hand-picked products, and in 2015, they opened their first brick-and-mortar store in the West Village in New York City.
“Kerrilynn and I decided early on that we were going to have high standards and a really tight edit with our selection of products,” says DiPrima. “Every product we carry has been tested by someone on our staff, and even then, we’ll only include it if it’s really, really excellent and is also filling some sort of void. Like, we’re not going to bewilder you with 20 choices of the same type of product—we’re going to give you the best ones at different price points, so you know you’re going home with the right product for you and your skin.”
The rigorous vetting process, though, is somewhat necessary in a world of miscommunication about natural beauty. “People either think that natural beauty products are the less-effective stepsisters of mass-market products, or that they’re over-priced DIY recipes they could make in their own kitchen,” says DiPrima. “But a really excellent natural face oil, for example, wasn’t just slapped together; it’s been intelligently formulated to treat different skin types and issues using truly effective ingredients.”
And those ingredients really do make a difference. “99-percent of the time, synthetic ingredients in mass-market products aren’t actually making the product more effective—they’re generally just preserving the formula so it can sit on shelves for years without spoiling,” she says. “So maybe only 20-percent of the ingredients in your anti-aging cream are benefiting your skin, while the other 80-percent are fillers used to stabilize the product—all of which can be awful for your face in the long run.”
The ingredients in natural products, however, all serve a purpose: to better your skin. “Every single ingredient in the natural products we carry is there for a reason—whether it’s radish root ferment, which is both a natural preservative and an anti-inflammatory, or a botanical active that stabilizes the formula, while producing collagen in your skin,” says DiPrima. “Some of the best ingredients in the world are natural because they’re loaded with excellent nutrients, which makes them wonderful products on their own merit, even when stacked against drugstore favorites.”
And if none of that sways you to try the natural-beauty life, maybe the fact that DiPrima’s own skin and hair now shine with the light of a thousand moons will entice you. “I have honestly never looked better since using all natural beauty products,” she says. “I’ve been using an oil treatment that turned my frizzy hair into this shiniest, silkiest hair I’ve ever had, and despite the fact that I’m always trying out new products, my skin-tone has totally evened out, my complexion is brighter, and I just look way glowier overall.”
Still, if you’re skeptical about sweeping your entire vanity into the trash can, DiPrima recommends starting small, but staying consistent. “The best way to adopt a natural lifestyle is to just be mindful and doing little things every day,” she says. “You don’t have to do a 21-day juice cleanse, but maybe try to have a green juice each morning. And you don’t need to abandon all of your favorite beauty products, but maybe try to swap two of them out for natural options.” In the end, though, DiPrima acknowledges that everyone needs to find a system that works best for her—“though I’m biased and think that system should be natural,” she says with a laugh.
Luckily, we got DiPrima to tell us her absolute favorite, holy-grail natural products, so you can test the natural life without feeling completely overwhelmed by the choices (or without buying a plane ticket to fly to New York and ask the CAP Beauty founders yourself). Click through to see her MVPs, and then get slathering. Your ridiculously perfect hair and skin will thank you.
Cold weather can wreak havoc on your skin. Here’s how to combat it…
I am obsessed with my skincare routine. Always have been. I started hosting Mary Kay parties at the age of eight and have never looked back. (Thanks, Mom.) But as I was getting ready for work recently, I noticed my ‘fail-proof’ routine was underperforming. My skin was undernourished — dry, chapped and rough. I quickly discovered that my skin was soaking up moisturizer like a sponge; my thirsty skin couldn’t get enough! Humidity levels drop off in the winter months causing drier air, which in turn, sucks more moisture from your skin, your largest organ. (Not good.)
I immediately emailed Free People Beauty Buyer and skincare guru, Jess Richards, in a cry for help. How on earth can I have healthy-looking, radiant skin when the cold weather has other plans? “I always say, when you change your clothes you change your skin care routine. Just as you would put sweaters or coats on to go outside, so should you adjust your skin care routine and make additional changes. Splurge on the heavy serum or oil and definitely go for the thicker cream. Not only will it add extra moisture, it will give a protective layer against the cold wind which can chap your skin.” This piqued my curiosity. My questions went on…
Jess, I am obsessed with natural beauty products — what are the best products to use to nourish the skin?
Great products to use focus on combating the loss of moisture and nourish the skin in winter months. For example, a cream cleanser like the Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser. This product cleans your skin and removes makeup, while leaving a layer of moisture rather than stripping it of all the nasties, like you would in the summer months. Sometimes the lack of moisture can cause breakouts because you aren’t turning your cells over, so using a super simple (not rough exfoliant) can be great. The grain and grit is a great choice.
On that path, if you do experience breakouts, not only do you need to turn the cells over, but you still need to add moisture. This is where most people think they are breaking out because of too much oil. That can be true in summer months, but in winter you can experience the opposite effect. For this, I would suggest the Bare Facial Serum by Root and Science. Combining argan, sea buckthorn, baobab and tamanu will hydrate — while purifying — your skin.
A great cream? Youth To The People’s Moisture Cream, which contains hyaluronic acid (this binds moisture to the skin). This product is great as a barrier cream.
If you get chapped skin from the wind, the Free People/Soul Sunday Reflect Face and Body Balm is a great product for cheeks, lips and even dry hands. Plus, if your foundation is seeming a bit cake-y, this will mix well to give you a base and blend.
A-ha, so is it also possible to beat the damaging effects of winter from the inside out?
Collagen drinks like the Beauty Chef or antioxidant smoothies should be imbibed year-round, not just to combat dry skin periodically. You really notice the effects of products like this when used religiously. This definitely helps to add moisture, but I would say having a topical cream is also key this time of year.
Ok, so let me ask you this: what products do you personally use during the winter months to keep skin feeling fresh?
I absolutely love all the products mentioned, but also add as many moisturizers as you want, and do as many masks as possible… the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Rapid Radiance Mask is amazing, the Dr. Alkitis masks and the Brazilian Super mask.
So, to reiterate, it’s ok to keep on lathering more moisturizer during winter?
Yes, yes, yes… I think the more you add the better. It’s like adding layers when you’re skiing… the more, the better.
Brilliant. Any last-minute tips, tricks, or skin hacks you want to share?
I would say that if you are averse to putting oil on your skin, give it a try! Give it three weeks and you will thank me. I promise oils are your friend, not your enemy.
Thank you Jess, as always! Jess lives in Brooklyn, where she is also the founder and owner of beauty boutique, Shen. Jessica is renowned in the industry for her considered, relevant curation, and has been featured in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Interview, Allure, Harper’s Bazaar, The Huffington Post and Goop.
+ Your turn! Share your favorite skin care tricks in the comments.
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What are Good Skin Care MedicationsChoosing the right type of skin care medication for you is critical in ensuring long lasting beautiful skin for yourself. Our skin is the first line of defense for our body against any external agents. If your skin is smooth and unblemished, you will feel beautiful and naturally feel good […]