Winter Beauty Tips from Ayla

by Becky Elmuccio on October 16, 2013

Winter Beauty Tips from Ayla  Crafty Garden Mama

As the seasons change, so should your beauty routine. Summer beauty tips are different from winter beauty tips. I wasn’t aware of this until my sorority sister, Dara, and I talked soon after she started Ayla Beauty.

I have always had trouble with my skin for over twenty years. Hours spent in the pool let chlorine wreak havoc and I have been prone to breakouts over the years. I am definitely one of those people who has tried everything from Sea Breeze (welcome 80s and 90s child readers!) to Neutrogena to whatever was labeled oil free or for oily skin. A few years ago, I started to phase out products that contained parabens and sulfates since reports were growing about their dangers. But, I still hadn’t found what worked for me for sure. Pregnancy and nursing changed things too and I noticed my skin was drier in the winter. I desperately needed some winter beauty tips and found out that Dara had started Ayla Beauty.

I called Dara to ask for help and she asked a number of questions about my skin and my routine. She sent me a sample pack of products to try out and see what worked best and I ordered from there. I have been a customer now for a little over a year and I love it. Dara and her staff help you to see what summer beauty tips you need and how winter beauty tips differ. I have some products that I only use for winter skin care and it makes all the difference in the world. Above is a selection of what I use in the winter. Dara constantly vets the products that she carries and if she learns more about an ing

redient that she doesn’t deem safe, she will phase it out of the catalog.

I have been wanting to talk about Ayla Beauty for a while, so I asked Dara if I could interview her about her company and she was happy to oblige. I think you’ll like what she has to offer. She is a smart businesswoman, conscious about our environment, a mother, a wife and a strong example of finding your joy.

Winter Beauty Tips from Ayla Beauty

CGM: What led you to start Ayla? Where did the name come from?

Dara: I worked in beauty marketing, product development, and retail for more than 10 years, and what I kept noticing was how difficult it is for most of us to find skincare products that work. We’re overwhelmed by choice, and it’s hard to know where to turn for advice. Even if you trust a friend’s recommendations, the product that works miracles on her skin might not work on yours, because your skin is unique.

I also noticed, during my time in the industry, that ingredients can be used in beauty products with a lot less testing than most people realize. Ultimately, it’s up to consumers to figure out which products are 100% non-toxic, and that makes the search for skincare even more complicated.

The name Ayla means “bearer of light.”  I think there’s a lot of confusion surrounding skincare (what to use, what works, what’s safe, etc.), and I wanted to create a shop that helps you find skincare that really works — for your skin, and without the nasty ingredients that so many of us are trying to avoid these days.

CGM: How do customers choose the best products for their individual skin care needs?

Dara: Some people prefer to browse and shop on their own.  Every item on our site has been handpicked for effectiveness by industry experts, and we try to organize them well and provide a lot of product information, so it’s hard to go wrong.  But we also offer custom sample kits to make sure you find the perfect products, which is particularly helpful for sensitive-skinned individuals.  However you choose to shop, you’ll be put in touch with your own personal skincare guide — trained by top facialist Julia March — who works with you on an ongoing basis to help your skin look amazing, always (because, like us, our skin is constantly changing).
CGM: What should people keep in mind for changing their skin care routines from the summer to the winter?
Dara: Many people find that their skin becomes drier and slightly more sensitive as cooler weather approaches.  There are a few easy fixes to this:
– Switch to a gentler, more moisturizing cleanser. For instance, if you normally use a cleansing gel during the summer, switching to a non-foaming cleansing milk during the fall can help keep skin hydrated well into the wintertime.
– Switch to a moisturizer with a little more oomph. If you normally use a lotion, think about using a cream or an oil instead.
– Alternatively, if you love your usual moisturizer, you can apply a few drops of a moisturizing serum or oil underneath your favorite moisturizer (or mixed in) for a little boost.  These products work particularly well for that purpose:
Luzern Serum ReHydrate is a great choice for skin that’s on the oilier side or tends to be acne prone:
Olie Huile Radicale 005 is a great choice for dry skin that feels very thirsty:
Olie Huile Claire 006 is a nice  choice for skin that tends to get red and sensitive during cooler months:
CGM: Why is it important to use products that are eco-friendly? How does that benefit both the consumer and the environment?
I think natural and organic products in general are becoming more popular because we’re all so much more aware of the effect that the products we buy can have, both on our bodies as well as the environment.  It seems to start with food—you might start buying more and more organics after being convinced of their health benefits—and personal care is the next logical step, since up to 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream (and some experts believe that percentage is actually much higher).  Then, when you realize that the cosmetics industry is largely self-regulating, and new ingredients can be used with less testing than one might imagine, you really start to think, “Maybe I should be more careful about what I put on my skin.”  When I worked in marketing and product development, I learned that consumers experience a lot of reactions that are probably the direct result of questionable ingredients in their products. Choosing cleaner products benefits your skin — particularly if your skin tends to be sensitive — and those products are usually created, produced, and packaged in a way that’s kinder to the planet as well.
CGM: You recently opened a micro-shop in San Francisco. Tell us about the shop and how folks can stop by for help.

A lot of our Bay Area customers had told us that they wanted to visit us in person — so, when we were moving to a larger office, we reserved some space where our customers could come in, browse, and get personal consultations.  We are having so much fun meeting everyone!  We also introduce products in our micro-shop before putting them on the site to get feedback from our customers. We’re usually around between 10am-4pm Monday through Friday, and for a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon, but the best thing to do is to make an appointment to make sure you can get all the attention you need.  You can make an appointment by clicking here:

I hope those of you looking for winter beauty tips have enjoyed being introduced to Ayla Beauty. I’m excited to share this company with you and proud of what Dara has achieved. It’s always fun to watch the achievements of my sisters and college classmates.

What big winter beauty tips are you looking for this season? What products are you in need of?

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Life with Kaishon October 16, 2013 at 8:12 am

It sounds like a really great company! I know skin care is so important. I forget all the time though : (. Thanks for sharing.


Becky Elmuccio October 16, 2013 at 8:00 pm

I finally got it when I talked to Dara. My skin has never been better now that I follow what she says.


kim @ DESIGN + LIFE + KIDS October 16, 2013 at 8:49 am

Those are great winter tips! I need to switch out my face wash for a creamy cleanser 🙂


Becky Elmuccio October 16, 2013 at 8:01 pm

The Elave that I use is fantastic in the mornings.


Heather October 16, 2013 at 9:31 am

Ayla sounds fantastic. It sounds like they take a really personal approach to beauty!


Becky Elmuccio October 16, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Very much so, Heather. They want to make sure the customer is cared for and getting great results.


Amiyrah October 16, 2013 at 9:52 am

I love these tips! I change out my cleanser and moisturizer every winter, since I have dry, sensitive skin.


Becky Elmuccio October 16, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I never thought about what an impact that has. Thank goodness I do now!


Gina Badalaty October 16, 2013 at 11:27 am

great to know! I’m always looking for healthy skin care options, you can’t have too many options. And she’s right – for me, it was better food first, then skin care was the next logical step.


Becky Elmuccio October 16, 2013 at 8:09 pm

She does a great job of walking you through the steps and making sure that your skin care investment is a healthy one.


Lauryn October 16, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Becky, thanks for introducing us to this! I am always questioning what to do skincare wise in the winter. Glad to see this product and hear straight from the woman that started it what it is all about!


Becky Elmuccio October 16, 2013 at 8:10 pm

She is definitely worth calling, Lauryn. Great products and simple and safe ingredients.


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