Our ‘Go-To’ Skincare Routine Tips To Calm Inflammation & Irritation: For All Skin Types!


Hey guys! Welcome back to Beauty Within! It’s your hosts, Rowena! And Felicia! And we have a super special guest with us today: Zoë Foster Blake! Who started Go-To Skincare for adults and Gro-To for little teeny peewees! (Ro: Aw!) Babies. (Fel: Yeah!) And kids! So you got small and little! Today, we thought this would be a perfect way to get Zoë to introduce and share with us a little bit about Go-to skincare because we like to say, you know, our skin gets inflamed, it gets very sensitive, Its angry, its hangry, it needs like TLC! Can skin be hangry? Like, it maybe needs to be fed some nourishment! Yeah! No you’re absolutely right! And Zoë’s been in the beauty industry for…how long now? Yeah, about 15 years now. Just 15! (Zoë: Yeah!) You know! *Fel laughs alone* And you’re a beauty editor? (Zoë: Yes) I was a beauty editor at Cosmo[politan] and Harper’s Bazaar, and I was a beauty blogger and I wrote a tips and tricks book called, “Amazinger Face” back in Australia. So reading about Go-To and your background reminds me a lot of Glossier and Emily Weiss! Would you say you’re the Australian version? (Fel: Ohh!) That’s very flattering to me. Thank you! I’ll take it! Well, yeah, I guess in terms of similar pathways yeah, going from the beauty editor role and having that awareness and understanding of which products actually works and which don’t and which… you know, are actually gonna do something! I guess it’s taking that expertise, trust that you already have the people out there and turning it into a [skincare] line. So we’re super excited today because it’s not very often we get another down under Aussie! (Fel: Yeah!) Aussie! Matee! (Zoë: G’day mate!) When we were planning this video, I wanted to do like a quiz or some sort of game, But then I was like I… (Zoë: to test if I’m really Australian?) No, like in between! She wanted to moderate between like a LA U.S girl and an Aussie cause she’s a little bit in the middle now. I’m like a diluted Aussie. Yeah! (LOL) If we think of a game (Fel: It’s like a cordial…) Wait, how do you say cordial [Cor-di-al] in [the US]? Cordial [Cor-jial]? Zoë: Oh, do you know what it is? No, no, no! Not cordial [cor-jial]! The drink that you…it’s like sugar No one knows what it is because it’s an Australian thing Yeah but they’re… (Ro: Sugar and water?) Yeah, you mix it. (Zoë: It’s a horrible idea) Soda! Cream soda! It’s… do you have a drink like that though? Zoë: It’s like the syrup! It’s a really condensed fruit sugar syrup. I’m selling it well. That you pour into the cup and then you add water, So it’s a diluted version of a very sugary fruit drink Simple syrup? *Ro is confusion* I dunno. That you give to children? Okay. Well anyway, today there’s a lot we can learn from Zoë, so we’re gonna be going through a bunch of the products and find out a little bit about how to and what’s the go-to methods when your skin is feeling a little under the weather. So to start, we’d like to know how Go-To was born! Well, as I said before, I was a beauty editor for a long time And I had tested so many products from very very expensive high-end salon and spa brands, right down to supermarket brands. I felt I was confident knowing what actually worked and I’d sat through so many presentations from brands and derms, and hair and makeup artists that I had a pretty good understanding of beauty. After I published my book though, I just had overwhelming feedback from women because social media was starting to take off about skin. Skin is so closely tied to confidence and how you feel about yourself, and it wasn’t something that people were prepared to take risks with. They wanted to get it right. And they felt confused. They didn’t understand the words on the front of the packaging. They went to a counter in a department store and they felt intimidated and scared. All they were just using [were] what they’ve always used. So I felt like there was room in the market for something that was just simple. Because when everything else fails or if you’ve had a tricky procedure or really inflaming you know, acid exfoliating experience, you can rely on your go-to to help you through. So I wanted to handhold people and I guess my experience as beauty editor meant that I wanted to educate as we went and as you guys know, education is key. [It] was born I think out of experience teamed with consumer feedback with a desire to create something that took out all the choice and all the paralysis and intimidation that comes with skincare. Was there like a recurring question that always came in? Yes Usually around acne, breakouts, congestion, oil or “what order do I put things in” or “how do I apply that?” The application method. So just to state, you have dry skin? I have a dry [skin type]. (Fel: Okay, so Rowena) Dry [and] dehydrated! Whoo! (Zoë: Whoo!) And I have oil [skin type] but this line and all the products are designed for everyone, right? Because it’s go-to? I think broadly speaking we say that but you might find that our face cream For you know, oily skin is a bit too heavy. Actually, no! (Zoë: great!) Yeah, it’s really good. (Zoë: Yeah) Well, that’s the thing about… I think there’s so much background to what I just said like, it’s so loaded. Someone who’s got an oily skin, it could because they’re chronically dehydrated. And so you’ve got an excess of oil because you’ve been stripping your skin back too much. You can’t really make broad statements about skin and skincare. (Fel: yeah!) Zoë: So our hero products, they’re heroes for a reason. It’s because I think people have fantastic results, no matter the skin type. They’re the ones. (Fel: yeah!) I was even looking at some pictures. People who had acne [were] using some of the products and it would like vanish. And so through the process of like finding out what it is that your skin actually needs, through very simple ways, simple methods and just stripping things down. I think that’s what we always like to talk about. Less is more. Particularly if your skin is irritated [and] sensitive, sometimes your skin just goes through a thing, and you don’t know why it’s come out of nowhere and I think people panic and maybe they go too far and too hardcore. Do you have a favorite? (Zoë: this one!) This Face Hero is our oil. It’s a star product. It’s our hero product. It’s ten potent oils. It’s super anti-inflammatory. I think that’s the main key. That’s one of the core pillars of the whole range is that it’s anti inflammatory Inflammation as we know is sort of the core of all aging, disease… So we figured that if we focus on antioxidants, AHAs, and anti-inflammatory [ingredients], then we’re gonna have a pretty good basics. Yeah, there’s like jojoba, macadamia [oil]… there was… Buriti is the main one. Buriti oil. It’s fantastic So it is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and I reckon that’s probably what gives people those incredible results. [It’s] full of essential fatty acids, beta-carotene… It’s really potent and it’s really soothing and really calming. And so we’ve also got calendula and arnica and those classics in there. And rosehip, which is I’m like… I was always a rosehip fan. (Fel: Love rosehip!) It’s her favorite. Her holy grail. Did you know that a lot of rosehip oil is actually rancid by the time it gets to you though? (Fel: Really?) So when I was developing my own I was… I found that out. My formulator and I. And so… To have rosehip oil that is actually giving you the benefits of it, you have to have supporting antioxidants and other oils So that was… that was… I wanted like, rosehip oil but on 10 Red Bulls. It had to be really powerful! (Fel: love that!) And so that that’s the product! I’ve yet to find someone who doesn’t love it. You know, my mother-in-law has pretty chronic rosacea. She loves it. She uses it. My mom has rosacea. She loves it. We have a lot of people who have tricky skin, if you’re gonna call it, and it’s the one that they turn to Because we were even… (Ro: It’s my favorite.) Zoë: Ah! Good, you use it? Ro: Yeah. For dry skin! Yeah and even in summertime! (Zoë: and of course! It’s also deeply hydrating!) And that’s why I use it. (Ro: Yeah!) Like if I have a really hardcore procedure, like I was saying I was doing microneedling and my skin is really hot and burnt and itchy, I just slather it in that because I know it’s gonna help. Is there any skin type that is more prone to sensitivities? What would you say? (Zoë: I think dry!) Dry? (Zoë: Well I think having in the classic sense, yeah) Because if you’ve got a propensity for the dryness, the tightness, the itchiness, and the redness, it’s not sweeping statement obviously. People with… No, it’s true because when we talk about skin barrier, And keeping it healthy (Zoë: Well, it’s moisture) Yeah! It’s hydration. That’s it! And so it is the barrier! And that’s the essential fatty acids are really critical to that So when you go through like how to treat sensitive skin they’ll always be like, “cut out your soaps and anything drying or tightening for your skin ” and then get that moisture in. But the barrier will keep it in. But niacinamide in a mask is like key for sensitive skin. (Fel: Yes!) Fel: Niacinamide is just like all-star ingredient for any skin (Zoë: Yeah and squalene as well) Which is in our kids range. Fel: If you’re like oily [and] you also have sensitivities, but it’s a different sensitivity. Your barrier is more protected, but you just get clogged pores [and] irritations. And even our Swipeys, which [are] the exfoliating pads, I deliberately went with lactic of all the AHAs because it was okay for sensitive skin and we did at a level that we’d be safe sensitive skin, and also very hydrating. So without even really meaning to, I think I was just wanting to protect the brand and myself by making everything very gentle. No but that’s great because yeah, glycolic acid stings! (Zoë: Yeah!) Some people swear by it. Like they love it and it turns over his skin and they just friggin love it. I personally can’t deal with much glycolic [acid]. It’s too like, intense? Yeah. I can do it like once or twice a week. And that’s if…if I know I’ve got a shoot the next day and I need that ka-pow! (Ro: Binng!) Because we tried a good amount of acids, I can use most (Fel: yeah) But I haven’t in a long time. So now when I do use glycolic, I’m like, “it burrnssss” (Fel: Yeah!) Fel: it’s like fire ants *Fel laughs alone* Sounds like most of your good decisions have been great business decisions! It’s those funny moments where you go, “this feels like the right thing to do, but I have no idea why!” And then you’re like, “Thank god, thank god!” Everything has to be really useful. That’s the thing! So when we’ve got a few new products coming out and like, they fit because they’re super useful and it doesn’t… We need it. Can you share with us some of those new products? (Zoë: Yes!) It’s not gonna be an eye cream, which is what our customers ask for most. (Fel: really?) I don’t really believe in them. (Fel: Yeah!) It’s okay, we don’t either! You can just use the moisturizer and like… Although I will say like a retinol eye serum, that’s gonna make a difference (Fel: Oh yeah) Yeah, and an SPF around the eyes is also not a bad idea, but I just think there many many moisturizers. Fel: No, there are! Yeah! So we have a cleansing oil coming out which I’ve been working for ages but it’s so exciting. (Ro: Ohh!) Yayy! *Fel is amaze* Well, we just like…we have this beautiful cleansing mousse here that you’ve got a tiny bit of willow bark extract in there, but it’s very softening and people think it’s a foam. It’s not, it’s a mousse because everything has to be softly softly (Fel: Yes) But I was saying that… (Fel: It’s like a cloud) Yeah, thanks! It smells like sherbet! In Australia, we have a zinc sunscreen so we were finding that, you know people using zinc and then primer and then makeup, they were having to double cleanse and I personally… I’m getting older and I want something more hydrating and I use cleansing oil, so why not make it really good one? (Fel: Yeah) So that’s coming soon. So it’s a cleansing oil. (Zoë: Yes!) Okay. Do you double cleanse as well? Do you like them? I don’t find I need to with ours! Even in days where I’m wearing full makeup, I find the cleansing oil with a cloth, It’s okay! Oh, nicee! *impressed* (Zoë: Very hydrating) We’re all about streamlining the steps (Ro: We are.) Well, that’s very Australian of you! (LOL) Like honestly coming here, you know hearing about the 12-step [routine], or the seven step toner…like seven layers of toner? Yeah and you got to cleanse that. And that’s the problem. I have a real problem with people who are doing all of that and then doing full makeup, and then using my face wipe at the end of the day! (Fel: Oh yeah!) Zoë: Noo, that’s not a cleanser! When people get sensitive skin or they label themselves as “sensitive,” anything can make your skin sensitive, right? (Zoë: Yeah) Like it doesn’t matter about the brand or what it says Sensitive [skin] is such…again, it’s loaded. Like it could be genetic or it could be a disorder like psoriasis or eczema dermatitis, rosacea obviously. Or it could be environmental! So you’ve been sunburned or you’ve been in the wind But I think [there’s] more and more because this influx of sort of pretty aggressive acids at a consumer level. Now, people are getting sensitive skin because of the products they’re using. And they might not have had sensitive skin until then. It’s like self imposed! (Ro: What we talk about every other episode!) Yeah! No, but that’s like a good point because some sensitivities or irritations, It could be self-imposed, which is also short term (Zoë: yeah!) And then you have the long term ones which is like Rowena you get eczema (Ro: chronic eczema.) Thankfully just on my arms. Not as much as it used to… (Fel: Yeah) And like, rosacea! And that’s like linked between internal and external. Zoë: Yeah. A lot of it comes from gut, I think too. But I think broadly speaking, sensitivity, redness or flushing is one of the key pillars that like a derma[tologist] or a doctor would look for. So it is those times when your skin is like, misbehaving. We said it’s misbehaving. It’s not being what you’re used to. Misbehaving! I love it! That’s your mom, “You’re misbehaving!” And I remember meeting Dr. Daniel Maes who was working for [Estée Lauter] back then and he said something to me. He’s like, “look, I tell every beauty editor I meet that less is more. You have a finite amount of skin. You cannot just keep stripping it and stripping it, [because] it will get shiny [and] it will get thin, you will have sensitized terrible skin.” and I never forgot that. Less is more certainly! Like yes, I think AHAs are brilliant but [when] used properly and gently. Fel: Yeah, it’s like picking when to actually use it. (Ro: Yeah) And like if you’re 20 and using hardcore acids now, what’s left when you’re 45? Don’t do everything too young! Did you hear that guys? Because some people are like, “when can I start retinols?” or “When can I start AHAs?” (Ro: AHAs, chemical exfoliants!) “I’m a teenager. I’m 14. What can I use in my skincare?” we’re like, “just stick with the moisturizer and sunscreen” Yeah, you have all the collagen in the world! What are you doing? Yeah. Yeah, protect your skin. Protection is really key. That’s like the barrier protection and the antioxidants and the SPF. I’m curious because there’s a lot of talk about “Clean beauty” and [there are] new brands that are coming out and claiming to be “clean.” So what’s your approach to that? I think on the whole it’s a great movement. Because again, it’s coming back from that consumer awareness and they’re so informed now that they know what to look for. Like ten years ago, who is looking at ingredients? Who is researching it like that? And so I sat down with formulater [and] I’m like, let’s just make this as clean as possible, as non-irritating, as the least harmful to any skin type that we can. So that we don’t get people returning these products and having red, horrible & angry skin! So if I’m honest, it was a self defense mechanism in those early days to just go, “I think less is more.” “Let’s just keep what we need in there [and] make it really soothing and regenerative and helpful to the skin.” So we did it kind of organically for that business moment in time Now, of course, it’s trendy and it’s good. And I think “Clean” is… it can depend on the retailer’s version of it Like with Sephora, we fit their clean parameters. And Goop has their own. And that’s a way that they help shape for their customers and consumers how they perceive Clean Beauty. I think broadly speaking that [Clean Beauty] it means you’re keeping out any ingredient that’s known to be harmful to health. [Like] parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances. Yeah! A lot of the fragrances are like, peony [and] jasmine extract? (Zoë: Yes) We are a fragrance brand. Like, people are like, “Well, how can you call yourself a brand for sensitive skin if you’ve got fragrance?” And I’m like, “well, first of all, it’s so minute.” And it is derived from essential oils and then that’s another trigger for some people cause it’s like, “essential oils are so irritating!” And they can be but it’s all about formulation. It’s so hardcore to just go, “No!” “It’s got fragrance or it’s got essential oils! So therefore, I cannot use it!” and I think again it comes back to our huge customer base of people, that have had phenomenal results who have had really tricky skin and it’s not been a problem. For me, sensorial…like fragrance is such a big deal of beauty for me (Fel: It is) It makes a product! (Zoë: It does!) I love the feeling like… I can remember my mom’s… the smell of her one lotion that she used because she was so basic with her makeup and skincare. And she still is and I love that because that’s how I learn about rosehip oils. That was all she used! But how do you tell when your skin is not happy or when it’s misbehaving? Generally it comes about when I’ve had something a bit invasive like a new laser or something. Or I have used a product when I’ve been traveling that I thought it was fun to buy or try and it’s pissed my skin off straight away. (Ro: Nope!) Yeah, but then I’ve always always kept my go-to, and it’s my fix. The thing about having your classics in your own kit, is that no matter what you’ve done [and] no matter what you’ve tried, you’ve got to always have the one that takes you back to normal. Equilibrium. Zoë: and it takes time to find those products, but you’ll find them in time. And I love that because they’re people’s hero products and they’re the ones that are like, “that’s my dealbreaker.” “I’m always gonna have that.” “I’ve tried everything else but Embryolisse is mine” or you know, “my P50 is the one that I turn to.” Like, everyone’s got those products that they always love and rely on getting their skin back to normal. And on the flip side of that, there’s things like retinol that do take time to build up that, I don’t know if I’ll get the patience! (*Fel LOLS*) But you recently started to do (Zoë: But I’m slow!) Like I’ve done it like twice a week for a couple of weeks and I’m like, “I’m barely doing it!” And I’m actually putting it into my oil and using this carry it through cause I’m such a scaredy cat. So it’s quite diluted. (Zoë: Yeah!) Do you think Australians are better with sunscreen? It wasn’t until we put out an SPF in Australia that we realized how many women weren’t actually using SPF everyday. That’s part of the reason it’s been so long developing it because I want them to. Because we have like, ~No ozone layer~ Yeah! You’re like frying. It’s gonna be the best thing you can do for your skin. We all know that. It’s such a cliché but it’s for a reason! And I think Americans are actually better at it in a way because of that aggressive skincare policy! (Fel: They have to!) Zoë: They’ve being taught like, “You’re going to rip your face off every night, you gotta protect it the next day!” Ro: we grew up with our parents even… [wearing] just sunscreen every day before swimming and all that. (Zoë: Really?) So I think [there’s] a lot of us who still just go, “I’m going to the beach. That’s when I’ll wear it.” (Fel: Yeah) Not like just walking around the city for the day. That’s how I kind of approached it before I got here and started doing the whole skin care! But I’m curious, what do you do as like lifestyle choices to keep your skin healthy and radiant? I think self-care is something that is very personal and whatever it means to you. I have had phases of like complete wellness, where I was like doing yoga and drinking elixirs. And I’m not in that phase but I’m cyclical so I expect it’s coming soon (Fel: Yeah) I have like gut issues that I need to get back to, like I went on a low FODMAP diet and I found that when I was doing that, probably I had more energy and I was like one of those bulletproof coffee people. Oh! Did you get into that? (Zoë: Yeah! Big time!) And then I got pregnant and the morning sickness. I was like, “Merghhh! I need hashbrowns!” (*LOL*) And then [during] breastfeeding, I just wanted pastries. So, yeah. I go through cycles. And I think on the whole, I eat well and I like to exercise for my mental health and just be moving. That’s the best thing about self-care. It’s so personal. (Zoë: So personal!) And then you make it whatever it is that you need, where you are in your life. And it’s so like… [it comes and goes] (Zoë: It is!) There’s seasons in your lives. Yeah. And I like what you said about it being cyclical because it totally is! Like our emotions are forever changing, our body is changing… Sometimes I feel like we all expect ourselves or each other to be on this like, “Yay! It’s going to be forever good!” but it’s not! Fel: And it’s also very natural to like go through those things [waves], and then come out on top! What do you think [are] our upcoming go-to trends? I am not a trend person. (Fel: love that!) Yeah, I think…and I think the brand speaks to that because we’ve always tried to be a minimalist line, and it’s just the essentials. Like because I travel so much, and I get kids, and I’m just want my kit to be useful. And I always say that like we educate the customers, so a lot of my customers had never tried a face oil before they… or the sheet mask before ours. We’re bringing them into skincare and making them feel really confident and they can trust us. So I love that. That’s the warm fuzzy bit of it. For me, I don’t look to other brands. I think you can get really confused and you can start making bad decisions when you go, “Oh, no, everyone’s doing clay masks! We need to one immediately!” or something like that. So, I mean, we literally launched our sheet masks about two years after everyone else. (Fel: Yeah) Because we don’t like try and play keep ups. I think that’s a bad idea. You can’t keep following because then you just lose your own identity. (Zoë: Yeah, it’s true) And there are brands that do it soo well and it’s so fast, and have such good infrastructure and investment that, to try and play keep ups, it’s just…you can’t win. And how did you come up with the color scheme? Because I’m loving it