In the height of summer, sweat and sun (and sunscreen) are formidable obstacles to achieving naturally radiant skin. We spoke to holistic health coach and esthetician Britta Plug who helps her clients unlock their unique secrets to a glowing complexion during this challenging season and beyond.

Splendid Spoon: Hey Britta! Tell us about yourself and what you do.

Britta: Hi there! I’m a holistic esthetician, based in NYC. I’ve been working in skincare for over 12 years. My work has gradually evolved into what I believe is the most effective, sustainable and holistic way to work with skin. I go further than skin-deep, working with muscle, connective tissue, and circulation through specific massage techniques, to lift, tone, remove toxins, and restore skin’s innate glow. I also feed the skin from the outside-in with high vibe herbs, oils, and floral waters.

Splendid Spoon: What does holistic skincare mean to you?

Britta: People have different working definitions, but to me it means taking the bigger picture into account when developing a strategy for someone’s facial treatment and homecare. I strive to see multiple aspects of the person I’m working with, including (but not limited to) their lifestyle, emotional state, and diet, as well as the current season and environment.

The treatments should support the overall and long-term health of the skin and the client. Quick fixes with short-term results but long-term toxic side effects and skin health-setbacks are not an option in my book.

I also apply this criteria, of only helping and never harming, to the health of the earth. I source my products from farms that support our earth’s natural ecosystem.

Splendid Spoon: What one thing should we all do to improve our skin?

Britta: Stop stripping the skin with harsh cleansers and peels, and start respecting the skin’s natural barrier.

Splendid Spoon: Can good skincare make your skin look younger?

Britta: *Good* skin care supports the optimal functioning of the skin on all levels. This raises the skin’s innate energy and vitality. So yes, you can make your skin look younger!

Splendid Spoon: Should we sync our skincare with our cycle?

Britta: For women who experience breakouts between ovulation and menstruation (like I do), try doing more detoxifying clay masks during the second half of the cycle.

Also, schedule a monthly facial before the breakouts occur (for me, that’s before ovulation). That way you can deeply cleanse the tissue and prepare the skin so it will have less pre-menstrual crankiness, and will heal more quickly.

Splendid Spoon: Could you talk us through your nighttime and morning skincare routine?

Britta: I keep things pretty simple. I enjoy the ritual of my simple routine and the beauty and medicinal energy of each plant-based product.

My morning routine is:

My nighttime routine is:

  • Oil cleanse (I use Myhavtorn)
  • Hydrating spritz (the same as in the morning)
  • Oil serum (I vary what I use here a lot)
  • Spot treatment, as needed (Always Laurel’s Blemish Serum)

Splendid Spoon: Do you have a DIY skincare recipe we can make with ingredients we have on hand?

Britta: I love a simple DIY mask of raw honey (bonus points for manuka honey) [Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the Manuka bush. It has a stronger antibacterial effect that other honeys, so is often used as an alternative medicine. — Ed.], or plain full-fat yoghurt or coconut yoghurt. Simply apply a thin layer and leave on for approximately 15 minutes. Wash off with warm water.

Splendid Spoon: What can we do outside the bathroom to improve our skin?

Britta: Drink water, abandon self criticism, and accept that it’s a journey.