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Sarah Jessica Parker Drops Her Skin-Care Routine

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Sarah Jessica Parker has been open about embracing the skin she’s in for years now, slamming critics who comment on her appearance and doing what she can to promote an anti-antiaging rhetoric that’s unbearably prominent in women’s lives everywhere. 

Earlier this summer, the And Just Like That… actor opened up to Allure about how frustrated she was when the internet called her “brave” for stepping out bare-faced with suspiciously gray highlights—a reminder that, yes, women’s appearances do naturally change after 20 years in the spotlight. “I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong way to have a relationship with aging, living, time spent on earth,” Parker said. “But mine is that there are a million things I want to do with my free time, and none of them have to do with preserving [what I look like] now or trying to get back to 15 years ago. All I think about is like, Where am I going to eat? What books am I gonna bring with me? Can we get into that strange little restaurant? Will the water be warm enough where I wanna swim? Also, Wordle.”

It makes total and complete sense then that the Plaza Suite actor’s newest campaign with RoC Skincare is all about embracing the current stage of your life—wherever it may be—and looking forward with optimism. It’s more important than ever to remember that the conversations about getting older should be reframed: It simply isn’t about reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles anymore, but rather the acknowledgement of a fruitful and meaningful “accumulation of life”—a term Parker cheekily uses instead of the more traditional aging.

And for someone who’s spent the bulk of their career playing an over-the-top fashion girl, Parker admits she herself is more of the low-key variety. She tells Glamour she has stuck to a handful of products throughout her life, being totally overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices available on the market (same). “I’m pretty monogamous, and I have kind of been that way for most of my life,” she says. “So I’m not a big dabbler. I’m not hugely brave and experiment and try things.” 

Just take a look at the actor’s routine, which she shares with us for our Drop The Routine series. It’s simple, effective, and straight to the point—just the way the no-fuss Sarah Jessica Parker likes her life (minus the incredible Carrie Bradshaw fashion).

My moisturizer

I use this one every single day. I pack it all the time. I’ll use it when I go to the theater and I’ll mix my base in it. 

Courtesy of brand

My skin-care tools

For years and years and years, I’ve had those jade rollers—there’s a big guy and there’s a small guy; they’re in my fridge. For my daughters’ birthdays, I bought them each their own because they’re always using mine. So there’s like three or four of them in the freezer. I come down in the morning for coffee and it just feels so good. Does it do anything? I don’t care. 

My splurge-worthy treatments

I have a dermatologist that’s really talented and I trust her, but it’s very inconsistent because I’m working. Now, I’ll get a peel and I love it, but if you ask me what that peel was, I have no idea. I’m not regular or committed—I kind of wish I was. Maybe one day in the future I’ll have a standing date, but I don’t get facials. In the old days, I used to go to Mario Badescu, which I loved, for a good old-fashioned facial. 

My serum

At night I use one of these packets, especially around my eyes, There’s this 24-hour hydration that I absolutely love. 

My holy grail product

The Laura Mercier Caviar eye stick, always. In Khaki, Jungle, Tuxedo…good luck finding them, but I love them. 


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How to Make Your Skin Care Routine Pregnancy-Safe

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Linea nigra

Linea nigra, “a dark vertical line running down the center of the abdomen, usually extending from the belly button down to the pubic area,” per Dr. Castilla, is also common, though less talked about. Another hormonal change, it typically fades postpartum.

Varicose veins and spider veins

As your growing fetus puts pressure on your veins, you might develop varicose veins, “bluish, bulging veins typically on the lower extremities,” explains Dr. Castilla. Hormonal changes can also cause spider veins, “tiny red veins that can occur anywhere on the body but typically appear on the legs,” she says. The good news is that both usually disappear after pregnancy—a good pair of compression socks can help speed the process.

Acne

And of course there’s the dreaded pregnancy acne. With so many hormonal changes during pregnancy, this is common for many women. If you find your skin to be excessively oily and prone to breakouts, make sure you’re cleansing twice a day, and using a pregnancy-safe acne treatment. (More on that below.)

What is a pregnancy-safe skin care routine?

Along with cutting out certain foods, pregnancy also requires you to cut out certain skin care ingredients, which can be harmful to the baby. “While there are guidelines from the FDA regarding pregnancy safety categories for ingredients, there are still very few studies evaluating the safety of many skin care products—because no one wants to do studies on pregnant humans,” says Dr. Hadley King, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York. Pregnancy safe skin care advice can vary between doctors, she says, but “most providers believe in a conservative approach to avoid any unnecessary products during pregnancy.”

What skin care ingredients should I avoid while pregnant?

Retinoids (vitamin A)

“High levels of vitamin A can cause retinoid embryopathy, or birth defects, in developing babies,” says Dr. Farber. For this reason, oral retinoids like isotretinoin are banned during pregnancy. The risk of using a topical retinoid is likely much lower, she says, but because the potential effects are so severe, and so little research has been done to understand the topical risks, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

Theoretically, topical use of retinoids can lead to a systemic increase in vitamin A, which would be dangerous for the fetus, Dr. Castilla adds. “Bakuchiol is a pregnancy-safe alternative to retinoids,” she says.

Salicylic acid

Likewise, “salicylic acid has the potential to be absorbed and cause toxicity to the fetus,” says Dr. Farber. “Many experts believe that lower percentages are acceptable, especially in products like washes that have short contact with the skin.” But, again, it’s best to swap salicylic acid for something known to be pregnancy-safe, like glycolic acid, lactic acid, or azelaic acid.

Phthalates

Phthalates are potential endocrine disruptors, meaning they are thought to interfere with normal hormone function. This is obviously important during pregnancy, and there’s evidence that exposure to phthalates “can interfere with the baby’s development, especially with male genital development,” says Dr. Farber. In 2022 the National Institutes of Health released a large study on phthalate exposure during pregnancy and found women exposed to multiple sources of the chemicals had an increased risk of preterm birth.

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Stylist Claudia Cifu on Mothering in Short Shorts and Taking Her Daughter’s Fashion Advice

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It’s impossible to miss stylist and consultant Claudia Cifu and her five-year-old daughter, Paloma Freya. The two are adorable peas in a pod, with their coordinated, relaxed chic vibe (which translated well into Cifu’s kidswear collection for the Finnish label Vimma.) 

Though Cifu was born in Finland to Chilean parents, she lived in New York for over 15 years before moving back to Helsinki four years ago to raise Paloma. Cifu’s time in New York comes through in her style, which feels both downtown minded—Carhartt worker trousers with a cropped, well-worn leather jacket—and in-the-know—a black, puffed sleeve Mara Hoffman dress with orange Vans. Though she’s only five, Paloma weighs in on Cifu’s choices. “I like to hear Paloma’s opinion when decorating the house or getting dressed,” she says. 

Like any child, Paloma is constantly inspired and fickle. “Her idol changed from Elsa [from Frozen] to Wednesday [Addams], and therefore her whole wardrobe experienced a revamp as well,” says Cifu. “She had the cutest sparkly high heels and gave them to her friend. She soon was requesting another pair of heels but in black—since anything sparkly or glittery is not to her liking anymore.” 

Still, Cifu’s experimental sensibility trickles into Paloma’s outfits, as seen in outfits involving a red polka dot skirt and a Supreme leather bag, or a metallic princess skirt over a long sleeve shirt. Cifu, whose own mother taught her the value of thrifting, also shops secondhand for Paloma. “Kids grow all the time so it’s silly to put money into clothing if they can only wear it for a short amount of time,” says Cifu. “She gets excited when she sees a thrift store because there are so many things that she can find.”  

Cifu says her daughter has helped with time management and creativity. “I chose my creative projects with care since my time is limited and therefore sacred!” says Cifu. A special project she is dedicated to is the first media company run by BIPOC Finns, “Ruskeat Tytöt”—which translates to “Brown Girls”. “It gives a voice to the people whose stories haven’t been told,” says Cifu, who is on the board. “If I had representation like that when I was growing up in Finland, it would have been life-changing.” She is also a supporter of up-and-coming veteran and up-and-coming Finnish labels, including Rolf Ekroth, Jimi Vain, and Hedvig. 

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The Best Ayurvedic Spa Treatments to Try in New York City

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For the massage, Saini chose dhanwantram oil for me, to help balance the vata and pitta doshas. It promises antioxidant effects with its cocktail of roots, flowers, herbs, oils, and spices, as well as cow’s milk. My therapist, Constance Nicolas, used confident, medium-to-firm strokes to work the oil in and then pressed the oiled elakizhi bundles into my back. My elakhizi contained a cooked mixture of fresh Moringa and fenugreek leaves, lemon slices, turmeric, rock salt, and grated coconut and were ingeniously nestled in a Crock-Pot, where they lay warming in dhanwantram oil. The aromatic vibe was more Indian restaurant than spa, and the bundles felt warm and squishy as they were pressed into my skin. They squelched and frankly felt a bit unappealing but worked almost instantly. I floated off into that space between sleep and wakefulness, where I remained till my treatment ended. My muscles felt less tense, and a sore spot on my shoulder had vanished, so you wouldn’t have caught me caring about the fact that I smelled a bit fenugreek-y on the way out. 

 The Well New York

I’ll start by saying The Well is the exact opposite of a traditional Ayurvedic spa—the minimalist, modern retreat in Manhattan’s Union Square is a luxe oasis offering a variety of wellness modalities. The treatment I got wasn’t strictly Ayurvedic either. It was, in fact, a Swedish massage, but what drew me in was the Marma Point Scalp Treatment, a 10-minute experience that can be added on to any bodywork treatment. Similar to acupuncture points, the 107 Marma points are key spots on the body, and Ayurvedic medicine believes activating them can benefit the body and mind. Head massages, both with and without oil, are vital therapies in the South Asian beauty and wellness canon, and I wanted to see how The Well would interpret them.

Really well, it turns out. My therapist, Krystel Laudante, started with the Swedish massage using sesame oil, and by the time my hour was up, my hunched shoulders that had rigor mortised in the vicinity of my ears had descended to their anatomically correct position. The head massage was just as restoring. With warmed coconut oil, Laudante gently massaged my head and worked on several points on my forehead, face, and scalp. It was a gentle touch with no more pressure than a caress, but at the end of 10 short minutes, I was floaty. My experience here might not have been truly Ayurvedic in practice, but it definitely was in spirit. 

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