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deep into skin

In conversation with… Shamara Bondaroff

On a visit to Iceland in 2018, Shamara Bondaroff(@sb_skin) experienced firsthand the wonders of the Blue Lagoon. “I was completely in awe of the raw nature,” she says. “The healing properties of the geothermal seawater are transformative.” Fast forward to 2022, and the master esthetician, whose microcurrent facials are a go-to for those in the know, has become a devotee of BL+ Skincare. “These mystical serums are a must try and inspire me to plan a trip back in the near future,” she says. We cannot wait to have her back! For now, we are thrilled to share a conversation with Bondaroff about how she defines “clean” beauty, an essential morning ritual, and her must-have skincare ingredients.

How would you describe your philosophy on and approach to skincare?

I was raised in a primarily vegan household, and a more “holistic approach” to almost everything was the norm, so I think it naturally informed my approach to skincare! I like to take a less-is-more approach. As with everything in life, things go hand in hand. It's not just what you put on your skin, it's what you eat, how you live, how you spend your energy, and how you handle stress. All of these plays such a significant role in skin health and just your general quality of life.

What’s your typical beauty regimen during the workweek?

I am a super busy working mom, so it’s about keeping it simple with a few products that work hard for my skin. My morning routine begins by splashing my face with cold water and using an ice roller. Then I apply an oil and massage it into my skin to wake my face up and get the blood flowing.  This is what I do first thing AM, then after I work-out and get ready, I wash my face with a gentle cleanser, BL+ the serum and BL+ eye serum, light moisturizer, and sunscreen.  Evenings are pretty much the same with my serums, but then I layer oil, face cream, and a balm at night to lock in the moisture while I'm sleeping.

How do you define “clean beauty”?

This phrase! I think the clean beauty movement has been such a necessary one, but I feel the term itself has gotten a little muddled. To me, clean beauty should really be called conscious beauty. I make conscious decisions for my skin and overall health to benefit my whole body.  What I put in and on my body is with thought and understanding.  I want to know where it comes from, how it was sourced, and what its shelf life is.

How does BL+ adhere to that definition?

BL+ has always gone above and beyond to formulate with ingredients of the highest quality and are sourced with care and responsibility. Using non-toxic ingredients that are compatible and beneficial for skin is the foundation of clean beauty, and all of your products check those boxes!

What ingredients really move the needle when it comes to promoting and maintaining the health and glow of skin?

I’m all about offering skin ingredients that nourish and support my skin. For me, that’s Vitamin C & Hyaluronic Acids. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals but also brightens the skin. Hyaluronic increases hydration levels. These two together give you plump, hydrated, and bright skin.

Why is skin barrier function so important?

When your barrier is compromised, the products and ingredients you’re using on your skin can’t be properly absorbed, and your skin misses out on all those transformative ingredients. Protecting and maintaining the health of your outermost skin barrier is key because it allows all of the other deeper dermal layers of skin to thrive.

What are some things you can do to keep your skin naturally healthy as you move throughout your lifespan?

This goes back to my skincare philosophy: staying consistent with the basics of a healthy lifestyle that will contribute to healthier skin as you age. Lots of water, a skin-supporting diet, SLEEP!, and finding the products and ingredients your skin responds best to all add up to more resilient, balanced skin in the long run.

What advice would you give to individuals looking to add sustainable beauty to their lives?

Start slowly—don’t feel like there’s pressure to toss everything in your beauty cabinet if it doesn’t seem perfectly “clean.” A good cleanser, serum, moisturizer, and SPF is all you need as you start a clean routine!