Julia March is one of the top facialists in New York, according to connoisseurs such as New York Magazine, Allure, and us. We frequently consult her for tips, training materials for our Ayla Guides, and suggestions for additions to our shop. We often recommend her to customers, too — but she’s so good, it’s nearly impossible to get an appointment with her. Which, we suppose, is what happens when you count such boldfaced names as Linda Evangelista, Liv Tyler, and various Evas (Herzigova and Mendes) as your clients.
It’s officially fall, which means that it’s go time — in general, and particularly where skincare routines are concerned. After a freewheeling summer (“Why, yes, I would like to sit by the pool with a margarita and probably not enough sunscreen”), skin can start to look a little, well, weathered. As our favorite New York facialist, Julia March, once revealed to us, “At the beginning of each fall, I find that a lot of my clients haven’t been as disciplined with their skincare routines, and their skin is more clogged and dehydrated after spending days in the sun.”
So, in what has become an annual practice, we asked Julia, who was recently featured in Harper’s Bazaar, to help us gracefully nudge our skin into a radiant and well-put-together fall. She always has new and illuminating things to say, and this year’s set of fall skincare tips is no exception: it covers skincare from the inside out as well as the outside in. For example, Julia tells us to eat pumpkins. Read on to find out why.
Julia's external skincare tips for fall
1. Wash with gentle cleansers. I like to use Luzern Pure Cleansing Gelee mixed with the amazingly hydrating, impurity-drawing, oil-based MyHavtorn Facial Cleanser. This combination makes for an extremely effective cleanse that doesn’t feel too oily or like it’s “not working enough.” It will leave your skin squeaky clean without disrupting its pH.
2. Use exfoliating masks with enzymes to soften sun hardened skin instead of scrubs. Twice a week, I apply a layer of Luzern Hydra-Enzyme Masque NUIT for a brighter, healthier complexion. You can wash it off with tepid water and follow it with a serum and a moisturizer to protect your newfound plumpness.
For oilier skin types, I recommend using The Organic Pharmacy Enzyme Peel Mask, which contains papaya to digest dry, dead skin cells while lemon and lactic acid further refine. Leave it on for 10 minutes and apply a hyaluronic acid serum after rinsing to enhance your hydrated and refined look.
3. Once a week, add a hydrating mask to your skincare routine. Always add a touch of honey (1 teaspoon) into your favorite mask, as it adds extra plumping boost to your skin. A few drops of lemon to balance the heat of the honey will benefit your skin, too.
4. Go back to a more complex skincare routine if you opted to use only one or two products during the summer for the “no one likes too many layers on the skin melting down” reason I hear all the time! Adding that extra step to your morning routine will protect skin better from environmental pollution and keep your face healthy and radiant. Choose a serum packed with peptides, hyaluronic acid, and stem cells like Luzern’s Serum Absolute WE3 —it’s a wrinkle-eraser serum I love that’s loaded with low molecular weight peptides to perform a little magic on your skin. Add a lotion to your fall routine if you only used serums and sunscreen during the hot summer days.
5. Schedule a brightening peel with a skin care specialist between facials and start or continue using a Vitamin C serum like Luzern Serum V12 regularly, gradually increasing its use to about 3-6x/week depending on your skin’s sensitivity. Dry skin types can mix vitamin C with some other serums or creams to avoid the possibility of irritation.
If you would like to use two serums and you don’t use retinols at night, use your Vitamin C at night and choose a peptide-rich serum in the morning. If you do use Retin-A or Retinols, use Vitamin C during the day: it’s not a good idea to combine two acidic/exfoliating agents at the same time.
Julia's internal skincare tips for fall
Summer is not a time of great discipline for many of us — our normal routine tends to get disrupted by trips and vacations. Use this change of seasons as a time to go back to your healthy habits.
1. Take probiotics daily with a glass of warm water and “honiger” (which is a 1:1 mixture of raw honey and apple cider vinegar), either 30 minutes before lunch or 1 hour afterwards. This will improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and keep skin healthier. I also find that it prevents yawning sessions at 3-4pm!
2. If you experience inflammation (redness, breakouts, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or scars), try taking some Krill oil at night before going to bed along with a capsule of anti-inflammatory Curcumin. I find that this helps a lot with my clients.
3. Eat pumpkins and squashes! They’re rich in collagen-building Vitamin C and Magnesium, skin-repairing Vitamin A, and carotenoids — lutein and zeaxanthin — that boost our immune system and help with inflamed skin conditions. Combine them on your lunch or dinner plate with other red and orange vegetables for extra healing boost.
Finally: take time to enjoy the season. Wear an orange scarf or skirt — it invokes happiness — and go pumpkin and apple picking. Have fun and treat yourself well. It is easier to spread love to others when we are kind to ourselves, too.
About Julia March (pictured above with her daughter): Julia is a natural skin care therapist who specializes in facials exclusively. From June 2000 until July 2002 she was the senior aesthetician at one of the most prestigious salons in NYC, where she offered treatments to celebrities, models and editors including Brigitte Hill, Eva Herzigova, Liv Tyler, and Miranda Brooks. She began her own practice in Soho in September 2002. According to authorities including Allure, New York Magazine, and us, she’s one of the best facialists in New York.
Learn more about Julia’s impressive background (or try to get a coveted appointment) here.
Any topic discussed in this article is not intended as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, please check with your doctor.