Skin Whiz: Stratia's Alli Reed
The story behind the name Stratia is fascinating! Mind delving into this a bit?
I am completely and totally in awe of skin, because it is just so freaking cool. I knew I wanted Stratia's name to reflect the scientific roots that ground the company, so I decided to look to the scientific names of the different layers of the epidermis: the stratum corneum, stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum, and stratum basale. I just tweaked that prefix, "stratum". Those four layers represent the human body's largest organ and strongest defense against the outside world. Skin cells are generated in the deepest layer (the stratum basale), then start to rise through the stratum spinosum where they get spiny-looking and interlock to form a strong, solid barrier.
Next, they head up through the stratum granulosum where their cell membranes harden and their insides are replaced with keratin, the tough and fibrous protein that fingernails are made of. Finally, they end up in the outermost layer, the stratum corneum, where these hard, dead skin cells protect us from dirt, bacteria, pollution, and much more. I find this process absolutely captivating and wanted to make sure the company's name reflected this incredible structure.
Do you have any beauty goals for 2018?
I think my key word for my 2018 beauty journey will be minimalism - as contrasted by my previous trend toward excessive, over-the-top consumption. I own more than enough makeup, skincare, and haircare products to get me through the year, and I know they work for me, so I'm going to do my best to avoid indulging my impulses to buy the newest, shiniest product and stick with what I know makes me happy.
What is the most fun you have had over on The Acid Queen so far?
It's all fun, but I think my favorite article to write was my very first research-based deep dive into the skin on hormonal acne. That was only my second post ever for the blog, and I spent dozens and dozens of hours reading peer-reviewed studies and excerpts from dermatology textbooks. It kind of blew my mind that I was allowed to just get on my laptop and do that; it felt like someone was going to shut down my internet and say, "No, this is just for medical professionals and Very Smart People!"
But instead, I found this huge amount of amazing research and I had so much fun synthesizing it into a digestible and actionable summary. I really, really love helping people understand their skin better.
Tell us about your daily getting-ready routine!
I've settled into a daily skincare routine that works phenomenally well for my skin. My morning routine is pretty simple: first, I rinse my face with water. I never use cleanser in the morning because my skin is so dry; water is more than enough to remove any sweat that's accumulated on my face since I washed it the night before. I apply a vitamin C serum (a Stratia prototype that I hope to launch soon!) and wait a few minutes for it to do its thing while I get dressed and brush my teeth.
After that, I use Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner as a light, hydrating layer, then Stratia Rewind for hydration and anti-aging, followed by Stratia Fortify and Stratia Liquid Gold to lock everything in and keep my skin moisturized and calm. I finish up with Shiseido Senka Mineral Water UV Essence, a Japanese facial sunscreen that I've repurchased at least ten times and will repurchase until the sun swallows the earth.
For makeup, I usually keep it fresh, glowy, and simple: NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer on my ever-present undereye circles, Tom Ford Cream Eye Color for an easy one-shadow look, Tonymoly Circle Lens mascara for voluminous and budge-proof lashes, NARS Liquid Blush for a healthy glow, and Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey for a super easy swipe of my-lips-but-better color.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Your skin is an amazing thing - treat it with love!
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