Skinfluencing with Sacha Strebe
Photography by Jenna Elliott
Sacha Strebe is a true Skinfluencer. Not only is she gorgeous, generous and accomplished (she’s currently the Editorial Director of Create and Cultivate, founder of the incredible skincare resource Skinlexicon, and a doting mom to her son Neon), but she takes skincare seriously, and is the first to try and learn all there is to know about every notable skincare treatment and facial modality. She follows a thorough skincare routine (see below!) including retinols, LED, weekly peels and regular exfoliation – her glowing, flawless skin is the result.
We met Sacha on a sunny Saturday afternoon and treated her to ‘The Face Trainer’ - our microcurrent facial. We had the best time chatting about our mutual obsession with skincare, (including Cosmedix) and followed her facial with a fresh-faced photo shoot. Sacha is incredibly photogenic and glows from inside and out. We hope you enjoy her interview as much as we do!
Fill in the blank. Self-care to me is
taking care of my mental health just as much as my physical body.
How and how often do you incorporate self-care into your routine?
Every day! I consider my daily skincare routine to be my self-care routine too. I love taking the time to apply my lotions, serums, and creams. I also love to dry body brush almost every day, use my Deesse LED mask, and apply masks or peels weekly too. It's so important to me. When my skin is healthy it boosts my confidence and I just feel better about myself.
Tell us something you wish you did more often.
I wish I could relax more. I'm such a go-go-go personality—there is always something to do. My husband and son are great at switching off and doing nothing, but I find that incredibly difficult. I just love being productive, ticking off a to-do list, and feeling accomplished at the end of the day but I have a tendency to burn out. I am realizing more and more that sometimes you have to forgo the exercise to take a nap or lie down and read a book. I'm trying but I'm hopeless at it.
What's your favorite way to unwind after a stressful day or week?
I love to cuddle my Frenchie puppy, Cosmo and my son, Neon—together! haha... I also love to take a bath with Epsom salts and do a mask! Sometimes I exercise too, in fact, I often exercise to release stress and remove static emotion or anxiety from my body. I am obsessed with Megan Roup from The Sculpt Society. Her dance cardio and sculpt workouts are honestly so hard and so good.
If there were one thing you wish you would be easier on yourself about, what would it be?
Oh everything! I'm a type A perfectionist for sure. I could always be better at everything—a better friend, a better mom, a better wife, a better employee, a better person... it’s a chronic case of the disease to please but I'm working on it. It gets better with age, but I am my own worst critic. My husband and son are great cheerleaders though and keep me accountable. They bring me back down to earth with their love and guidance. I'm so lucky to have that or else I'd be working all the time, I think.
Describe your definition of skin health.
Skin health is having the best version of your skin, not someone else's. We all have beautiful skin but Instagram and celebrities with filters can make us feel like ours is inferior, but skin health is about taking care of what you have and making your skin look its best—not setting an unattainable standard. I also think good skin health doesn't happen overnight, it takes time and dedication. You have to be disciplined with your routine and not introduce too many new products or overwhelm the skin with products you don't need. Keep it simple. I also think skin health is about your diet, mental health, and exercise regime. They all go together.
Fill in the blank. My skincare routine is ______________.
my happy place!
What is your number one skin concern?
Aging and pigmentation. I had melasma from pregnancy (my son is now 11 years old) which I treated with IPL (not recommended now btw!) and monthly peels with laser genesis. Now I maintain it with brightening serums, regular peels (I love Cosmedix Essential Peptide Peel and Blueberry Smoothie), and laser (Clear & Brilliant). This treats the pigmentation and the fine lines.
Tell us about your daily skincare routine.
I have quite an extensive daily skincare routine, but I have it down to an art now, so it doesn't take me that long. This is my current 12-step skincare routine.
Cosmedix Clarify Foaming Cleanser
I love an exfoliating cleanser to slough off dead skin cells to keep blackheads away and keep my skin feeling smooth and fresh. Both of these are also incredibly gentle on the skin and never irritate or dry my skin out. I'm obsessed with Cosmedix's new foaming cleanser—it's a salicylic acid foaming cleanser but it's so gentle and doesn't have any parabens which I love.
Cosmedix Purity Balance Exfoliating Prep Toner
I'm a big fan of using acids and this one has both of my favorites, salicylic and lactic acids. I have been using this toner for at least 10 years now and it is truly one of my hero products. I love how it removes excess oil or residue (including makeup) to reveal smooth, clear skin. It can also be used as a spot treatment for breakouts and I've even used it in lieu of a cleanser when I forgot to pack it on a work trip once. It's really an amazing product.
iS Clinical White Lightening Serum
I was gifted this product about two months ago and have been using it every day since and I do think that my skin overall is brighter and firmer. It's really lightweight (a water like essence consistency) too which I like because I use a lot of serums and if they're too heavy it can pill which I loathe. It is also paraben free.
The other brightening cream I LOVE is Skinmedica's Lytera. This product really works to help even skin tone and manage pigmentation. I'm super obsessed with even skin tone so I have several brightening serums in my regimen, including Cosmedix X-Cell which also has niacinamide and microencapsulated Retinol. I love mixing it with their Vitamin C crystals for an added boost.
iS Clinical Super Serum Advance
This one is also lightweight but I love it because it has a really high concentration of L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), a whopping 15% to be exact. I also love the Cosmedix Vitamin C crystals which you can combine with any serum or moisturizer—Versed also has one.
Cosmedix Refine RX Retinol Resurfacing Treatment
I have been using retinol for years so I can handle the highest strength version from Cosmedix but if you're just starting out or have sensitive skin, they have a range of retinol so you can work your way up. Serum 16 is a good place to start.
Skinmedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator
There are a lot of hyaluronic acid serums out there—I mean, a lot—but after trying almost everything out there (well, not all, but a lot!) I consistently come back to this one. It works, plain and simple. I recently started testing out the iS Clinical Hydracool serum after my friend and celebrity esthetician Candace Marino recommended it. It's packed with hyaluronic acid and feels incredibly cooling to the skin—I'm already a convert.
Cosmedix Cell ID
My esthetician Matthew Miller recommends this serum to almost everyone. It has really high levels of Niacinamide, a form of Vitamin B3 that helps to manage acne, rosacea, pigmentation issues, and wrinkles. This is a really nice everyday defense serum.
iS Clinical Active Serum
I mix a few drops of this with the iS Clinical Super Serum Advance and the iS Clinical White Lightening Serum morning and night straight after I've toned my skin. I've been doing this for a few months now and I can honestly say it instantly tightens and brightens my skin. I have definitely noticed a difference. I really love how fresh it makes my skin feel too—the results are immediate. Not sure how I ever lived without it.
I have been using this moisturizer for about a year now and I notice the difference in my skin texture and overall appearance when I stop using it. This is worth the $$. It has encapsulated Vitamin A and a ton of antioxidants to help improve the texture and elasticity of aging skin. I just really love it. I mix it with my face oil every night for added hydration and dewy skin. Humidify is also lovely when I want something hydrating but lightweight. When I want something lighter for during the day I turn to iS Clinical Youth Intensive Cream it smells incredible and is really hydrating too.
DMK Seba-E Oil
I was first introduced to this face oil through Matthew Miller and I have been hooked (actually I think it's safe to say obsessed) with this face oil ever since. I love to mix it with my moisturizer and even reapply it throughout the day for dewy, glowy skin. It can be mixed with makeup too. Mara Beauty Universal Face Oil is also really beautiful and great mixed with makeup as is the new face 100% organic oil by Kohza Numbers (touted as a daily supplement serum with vitamins A, C, and E). It's super lightweight and looks insane when mixed with foundation. I just love it, I just DEW!
Cosmedix Eye Doctor
This magical eye cream is hands down one of the best out there. I promise. Honestly, you have to own this product. It is like eye cream and a highlighter in one. Their Opti-Eye Crystal (which is slightly cheaper) is also great and one of their best-selling products. But I personally prefer the Eye Doctor because it has retinol and feels more targeted to my anti-aging needs.
iS Clinical Eclipse SPF 50+
This is almost like a mousse in texture, it's light, not too oily and mixes into the skin without leaving a white residue, but also keeps my skin dewy. I love the size of the bottle and I use it for my face and body. It's paraben-free and doesn't have any active chemical ingredients. Side note, my husband had a terrible reaction to oxybenzone and avobenzone so if you're sensitive please look out for that ingredient and avoid sunscreens that have it.
iS Clinical Copper Firming Mist
I have tried sooo many face mists but this is by far my favorite. It does feel firming and is a great spritz to set makeup. I also really love Cosmedix mystic. It smells so good and is incredibly hydrating.
Olga Lorencin Red Carpet Facial in a Box is my go-to for a simple peel that doesn't strip the skin—it's an instant brightening peel that sloughs dead skin cells and makes my skin brighter and glowier. Trust me!
Name Three things you love about your appearance.
I would say my eyes, skin, and hair. I have recently started loving my ears too. They stick out so it's taken me years to get to this point of self-love but now I really like how they stick out when I slick my hair back. Age is a beautiful then in that regard.
What's your favorite feature?
My eyes. They change color depending on the day or what I'm wearing.
Can you share a recent or regular skincare splurge?
Is there an unusual skincare trend you want to try?
I definitely want to try threads. I have an appointment with Vanessa Lee at The Things We Do to see they're right for me, but I hear they are great for tightening and lifting the skin. A facelift with no downtime, yes please!
What is the best skincare tip you’ve ever received, or one you love to share?
That good skin takes time. Every great esthetician will tell you that and honestly it pays to be consistent and see an expert for product recommendations rather than buying what someone else uses from an Instagram post or story you read because skincare is so individual.
Do you have a favorite skincare ingredient or product?
I love acids—aha, bha, lactic, glycolic, salicylic—retinol, and niacinamide, there's so many!
What about skincare vices? Is there anything you do you that you wish you didn't?
I pick my skin sometimes. When I see a blackhead, I just have to get it. I can't wait! It's bad, I know but it's really hard not to. I usually do the right thing and leave it for an expert but when you look at your skin as much as I do, it's hard to leave them alone.
Is there a beauty trend you'll absolutely never try?
I'm pretty game for most beauty trends—anything in the name of skin health and anti-aging!
If you were stranded on a desert island and could pick only one beauty product to have with you, what would it be and why?
Sunscreen—hands down! it's the best anti-aging, hydrating, dewy product out there! I use it every day, reapply multiple times a day, and even put it on when I'm inside the house. All day, every day!