Skin by Monica Olsen -- eponymously named for its voluptuous lingerie model and actress founder -- began three years ago as a baby line that Olsen created to fill the lack of what she believed were safe product options when she was pregnant with her first daughter, and has since evolved into a full line of skin and hair products for both women and men.
But unlike the aggressive approach of many skin care competitors who promise to peel and buff away imperfections, Olsen actually claims that too much abrasion can damage your skin.
"Less is more when it comes to skincare. American women tend to over-exfoliate," Olsen tells StyleList. "Mother nature gave us dead skin cells for a reason -- they protect your face. If you're constantly stripping them away, you're going to end up with more sensitive skin that has trouble protecting you from the sun and environment."
Olsen also cautions against running out to get skin treatments, simply because they're the hot trend of the moment or a celebrity swears by it. "This industry tries to create solutions to skin problems you don't have. If it's not broken, don't try to fix it, just take good care of it," says Olsen. "You wouldn't run out and get a kidney transplant unless you had to, so why subject your skin to unnecessary trauma?"
Product stand-outs include Remove Makeup Remover, an all-natural blend of certified organic olive, primrose and jojoba oils that breakdown makeup while leaving skin and lashes nourished. The Refine Deep Penetrating Clay Cleanse features pore-clearing kaolin and lemon extract while Masque Dead Sea Salt Clay is formulated with genuine clay minerals from the historic Roman sea, plus fennel sea extract and vitamins A and E.
A full line of detoxifying supplements is another highlight, as Olsen believes that beautiful skin is created from the inside out. "You can dramatically improve the look and health of your skin by flushing out the toxins in your body," says Olsen. "When you drink things like soda and eat junky food, it puts your body in a highly acidic mode, when what you want is an alkaline mode," Olsen adds, referring to the belief that the non-processed raw foods of our ancestors puts the body in a more natural and healthy balance.
And when considering purchases from other skincare brands, Olsen says to do your research and be especially conscious of where in the list an ingredient falls. "Some companies use great ingredients, but not enough of it. You have to make sure the percentage used is enough to actually be effective."
Speaking of effectiveness, most American women say that makeup has to accomplish this one thing in order to get the job done right.
Click here for some of the best homemade beauty treatments.