Julia March

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.

For many of us, fall is the time of year when we decide that we need to get it together in general. Everyone’s back from vacation, back to work, back to school, and it’s go time.

It also tends to be go time for skincare regimens. Because as heavenly as it feels to bask in the summer sun, it’s not particularly kind to your skin — and that tends to start showing come September. As star facialist Julia March mentioned 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 we asked Julia, “What are the most important things to remember when putting together a fall skincare regimen?”  Here’s what she wrote back. (She was so thorough that we thought we’d include the whole thing!)


Dear Ayla team,

Here are the top three priorities that I recommend to anyone seeking to sharpen their fall skincare regimen.

Priority #1: Hydrate.

a. It’s best to switch back to creamy cleansers that will cleanse and hydrate skin simultaneously. A few examples are The Organic Pharmacy Glamour Food Facial Milk Wash or Elave Hydrating Cream Cleanser: they’ll help soften skin that has become dry or dull due to sun exposure.

b. Depending on what you used over the summer, “graduate” to a richer, more hydrating moisturizer. If you used gels, switch to light lotions, like Luzern’s Force De Vie Lotion. If you used lotions and your skin is dry and mature, use creams instead. An amazing one is The Organic Pharmacy Manuka Face Cream with marigold and manuka honey for dry but breakout-prone skin and The Organic Pharmacy Double Rose Rejuvenating Cream for dry and mature skin.

c. If the weather is still warm, just adding drop or two of oil into the hydrator you use will improve moisture. For example, a drop of MyHavtorn Organic Facial oil, with pigmentation-fighting sea buckthorn and hydrating avocado oil, will add a protective quality to the moisturizer of your choice. This is a great way to graduate to the heavier hydration that’s necessary in later stages of autumn and winter, too.

Bonus tip: Don’t forget to hydrate your lips, too. After a long summer, a lot of my clients have dry lips due to a combination of chlorine in pools, saltwater, and sun exposure. Gently exfoliate your lips and apply a protective, deeply hydrating cocoa butter or shea butter based lip balm to prepare lips for the winter. I love Miracle Lips by Holocuren with shea butter and all-healing propolis.


Priority #2: Exfoliate.

a. Increased exfoliation is necessary right now, especially if you neglected this step during the summer months. It will help “excavate” those embedded blackheads hiding under post-summer layers of accumulated skin cells.

The best way to do this is by using a gentle hydrating scrub once or twice a week, like Luzern’s Micro-Exfoliant, and/or using Luzern’s Hydra-Enzyme Mask twice a week. Use both to exfoliate more frequently if your complexion is balanced to oily. 

b. Enriching your regimen with a mask on the weekends will absolutely make a difference. I always add a teaspoon of raw honey or Manuka honey to the masks I mix for those with inflamed pustules (pimples); it makes any mask more luxurious and your face healthier and more radiant.

I really like Kahina’s Antioxidant Mask and the thirst-quenching, no-extra-honey-needed Honey & Jasmine Mask from The Organic Pharmacy.


Priority #3: Repair/Regenerate.

Use serums under your moisturizer religiously if you skipped this step over the summer. Concentrate on managing pigmentation and loss of moisture as well as on collagen repair.  Serums filled with peptides, antioxidants, and brightening ingredients are a must once a day at least; using two serums (one during the day, one at night) is even better! Here’s what to look for:

a. If you feel that sun exposure has affected your moisture levels, use serums with hyaluronic acid or other humectants. A perfect example would be Serum Absolut ReHydrate by Luzern Labs.

b. Pigmentation issues are much more obvious at the end of the summer. Start using Vitamin C based serums each morning to brighten your complexion, and bearberry or liquorice extracts to lighten acquired hyperpigmentation in the evening. Luzern’s Serum Absolut Radiance is a great one.

Bonus tip: Please don’t forget that regeneration happens from the inside as well. Once fall returns, you should add Omega-3, -7, and -9 rich seeds and oils like Sea Buckthorn, Borage, Flaxseed and Black Currant oil into your diet. Those oils are great taken internally to increase hydration at a cellular level as well as to calm inflammation.

To fight pigmentation, support your liver by eating bitter vegetables. Radicchio, endive, or a cup of dandelion tea every day will help. And drink plenty of pure, alkaline water such as Penta, Essentia, or New Zealand Spring Water to help alkalinize the body; restore mineral levels lost by sweating, cocktail drinking, etc.; and repair damage from sun exposure.

Happy hydrating and regenerating!

- Julia March.


About Julia March: 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.