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Let's Talk About Hormonal Changes (Part I)

Let's Talk About Hormonal Changes (Part I)

There are times in our life when our bodies begin to change, but that does NOT mean we have to go with the flow.  We can look and feel vibrant and youthful at any age; I cannot think of a good reason why we must be complacent and deal with changes in our skin that bring us down. Even through hormonal changes, there are solutions that have been proven to heed amazing results. Yes, sometimes you must try a few things to find your skin's perfect match.

 Please, consider an at-home consultation. Freshly Plum offers a thorough Zoom consultation.  We also provide consults over the Phone with photos and will happily offer it complimentary with purchase.  Over the next few weeks, we will discuss Perimenopause and Menopause skin conditions and how to care for them at home properly. Get ready to be Freshly Plum!


The Issue: Dullness

Perimenopause and Menopause induced dryness and decreased cell turnover make skin lackluster. This happens when skin cells build up on the surface—it looks like peaks and valleys and does not reflect the light, so our skin appears dull. The reflection of light is what shows off our glowing skin.

The fixes: Exfoliate dull skin: "Exfoliation is key to looking luminous," says Gina Robinson, Esthetician in Wesley Chapel, Florida, and founder of Freshly Plum Skincare, who experienced this herself as she approached perimenopause. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) will help slough off dead skin to reveal brighter skin. Glycolic acid, an AHA, is ideal because it is a humectant that attracts moisture and encourages healthy cell turnover. Use a glycolic-containing serum every other day if your skin can tolerate it. Freshly Plum has had massive success with their Micro-Peel Pads when used twice a week after an evening cleanse. Our clients report brighter, smooth, and glowing skin. They also enjoy a disposable pad that can travel with them if necessary.

(To Be Continued)

Gina Robinson
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Five steps to youthful, healthy and  glowing skin. - Freshly Plum

Five steps to youthful, healthy and glowing skin.


As and Esthetician and  Founder of Freshly Plum, I often get asked multitude of questions from my peers and clients regarding my radiant & youthful skin ( I am of a certain age) and how I maintain it. I share five easy steps that have are tried and true.

This was a pressing issue for me throughout my career. I wanted to find out whether I could enhance my clients skin while caring for my own too.  Over the years, I had several aha moments and realized what did and did not provide results. 

I have spoken to thousands of clients, just like me who want to age gracefully and possibly enhance a flaw or two.   So, below are the few pointers from my 20+ years of extensive research & in house clinical studies with  skincare formulations, that have helped me achieve the best version of my skin.

Step 1: Cleansing: In the evening always Double Cleanse.  Use a daily cleanser to remove makeup, dirt and pollution from your busy day. Then follow with a treatment cleanser designed to address your skins needs. I cannot emphasize this enough!  Double cleansing ensures that all the oil & dirt have been removed from the face.   In the morning you can use your treatment cleanser to prepare your skin for your leave on products.

Step 2 - Toner or Essence: A good mild & hydrating actives helps prep the skin for the upcoming steps and better absorption of products into the skin. 

Step 3- Serum: This is a VERY important step. Including a right & effective serum in your skincare routine makes a huge difference. Serums are very high in active ingredients concentration and they actually help in giving your visible results much faster. Always start with a serum that has low-medium concentration of actives. Once your skin starts getting used to the actives, you can up their concentration. Some of the most popular & effective actives used in serums:

  1. Retinol):Retinol is known to give you an amazingly radiant & flawless skin. But, it comes with a cost. Not everyone's skin reacts happily to retinol. Retinol might cause acne breakouts & irritation to many people. It's equally effective & completely natural alternative is BAKUCHIOL. Bakuchiol is a wonder active that is suitable for all skin types, is equally potent as retinol and it is 100% natural & plant based. It's used at a concentration of 1-2% in serums.
  2. Kojic & Arbutin (aka the All Starts Actives):The most loved active out there! It is great for skin brightening, depigmentation, skin hydration and cellular turnover for a brighter & smoother skin. All of the above, and suitable for all skin types. This combination helps you get a luminous glow instantaneously.
  3. Hyaluronic Acid (aka The Holy Grail of Hydration):By far, the best & safest active for anti-ageing! The holy grail of hydration, Hyaluronic Acid is capable of holding 1,000 times its weight in water. It delivers intense hydration and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Instantly quenches skin's hydration thirst to breathe new life to dry, rough & dull skin.
  4. AHA (Mild Fruit Acids):Mild exfoliating acids extracted from fruits that work gently to remove dead skin cells surface to reveal a brighter and softer skin. They also help in reducing fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots.

Step 4 :Moisturizer: Seal all the actives with a good moisturizer. The hydration and nourishment provided by a good moisturizer (suitable for your skin types) coupled with all the actives used in previous steps give a balanced concoction to skin for its great health!  Healthy skin glows!

Step 5: Sunscreen /Overnight Mask & Face Oil: This step is dependent on the AM/PM part of the day. If you're stepping out in the Sun, ALWAYS wear your sunscreen! No amount of skincare will help you if you don't wear a good Sunscreen with at least 30 SPF! However, during your bedtime, follow all the above steps with an overnight mask or a face oil. You can alternate between both the products every other day. An overnight mask actually does a slow facial, exfoliation & provides extra nourishment to your face so that you wake with a red-carpet ready skin! Whereas, a face oil provides extra moisturization to your face for an extra soft & bouncy skin! I prefer alternating between both the products. You can try and see what routine works the best for your skin.  

Gina Robinson
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Let's talk cleansers. - Freshly Plum

Let's talk cleansers.


Your cleanser is the most important part of your daily beauty routine because its the first thing to touch your face. That means quality ingredients is key. We have made finding the best toxic-free cleansers easy.

You may be dealing with dry and mature skin, sensitive red skin or combination skin. We can all admit it is difficult to sift through all the products on the market and get caught in what we call the Hollywood Creators. These are products created by people we love to watch on Instagram, see in the movies and on stage. They really have no passion for skincare or frankly the experience working with all skin types and conditions. So while we admire them from afar, it may not be the best decision to believe they had your exact skin in mind.

What Exactly Is The Right Balance?

No matter if your oily, have blackheads, or the exact opposite, dry, dehydrated in need of anti-aging benefits; your skin deserves to feel healthy, youthful and balanced. The best description of balance skin is a plump, hydrated and calm appearance and free of debris. I love the word PLUMp because it celebrates that fullness is a thing of beauty, ha ha and in a world of picture perfect, we need to embrace PLUMp, not only on our faces, but in all the right places!

When Will My Skin Change?

I know, I know, your have heard this before, but here goes.


In strive to choose the right products, we often  compromise our skins barrier. It is important to protect the skin barrier, because it is the primary determinant of how healthy and even your skin looks. If it's functioning properly, your skin barrier will retain water to keep your skin hydrated, smooth, and elastic.

It will  also fend off environmental aggressors, like pollution, and be less prone to sensitivity and irritation. But, what does that mean for you? It is simple, it may take a few days, or yes, weeks to undo the do. Be patient.  Be consistent. Be loyal. Your skin will go through changes, and some might surprise you and cause you to toss your new cleanser aside. DON'T DO THAT! Give your new product a chance to get in and get to work. Generally speaking, it takes about 28 days for skin cells to turn over, which means that majority of products need at least one month of use before you'll see results.

Gina Robinson
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Are you doing this? - Freshly Plum

Are you doing this?

Never wear makeup to bed

You must have heard this a ton and read it in almost every skincare blog, and that's how bad it is to wear your makeup to bed. Makeup sits on the outermost layer of the skin, and when it sits there for as long as the entire day and night, it starts to clog the pores. Once the pores are blocked, you increase the probability of facing multiple problems, from skin breakouts, rashes, rosacea flair-ups, and increased acne. Give your skin a gift and make sure you remove all your makeup each night; it will also shave a few years of your appearance!  Remember your body is renewing itself when you rest, including your skin, so let your face have the best night ever and add your serums too!

Avoid over-drying oily skin

Oily skin needs love too. Please stop over-drying your skin with harsh cleansing products. You have been given incorrect information, saying you have to dry out your skin’s natural sebum; this myth is wrong for so many reasons. Our skin produces sebum which has a multitude of benefits. It protects us from harsh environments, makes us less prone to skin irritations, provides a good supply of vitamin E, and prevents bacteria from invading other layers of our skin. The best choice is balance.

Be sure to give it time to balance by being consistent with your routine; no more jumping around from product to product and overstimulating your skin. 

More the better

It is unnecessary to have a twenty-step skincare routine or hoard a closet full of the latest beauty products. It’s not the number of products that counts; it’s choosing the right products for your current skin conditions and making sure they create healthy changes in your skin. 

 If you’re starting with a new line, or perhaps you need a change, it’s best to start with a few products and slowly add additional when necessary. This way, you experience a visible difference with your new products and get used to a new routine. 

Picking at your skin

I know how tempting it is to pick at your skin when an unfortunate pimple shows up, but try to keep your hands away as much as possible. It worsens the appearance of your skin and can also leave permanent scars and spread bacteria around your face. 


Over exfoliating

While your skin barrier is quite good at its job, it can also be easily compromised. While stress, pollution, and UV exposure contribute to damage, a lot of the damage comes from over-exfoliating and stripping your skin of its natural oils with overuse of things like harsh chemically based acids, too many chemical peels, sulfate laden cleansers, and excessive retinoid use.  

Most people can tolerate a balance of these products in their skincare routine, and when a product is formulated correctly, they certainly offer benefits.  

Here’s an example of how someone might overdo it:

You use a high dose of retinol every night without giving your skin a break; when your cleansers, toners, and moisturizers all contain harsh acids as their active ingredient and then are layered over your skin again in the morning this creates an unbalanced barrier. 

A damaged skin barrier can express itself in various ways, but at the core of the issue is water loss. The good news is, it’s pretty easy to spot! If you’re curious about what to look t it often appears dry and flakey, can be itchy or painful, and feel rough to the touch.

Breakouts and inflamed, red skin might also indicate that your skin barrier is damaged. Also, if your skin is burning and stinging when applying non-active products, that’s a pretty good sign your skin is compromised.

When healing your skin barrier, less is more. Take a couple of weeks off of active ingredients like harsh acids chemical peels, and retinoids. Especially avoid products with harsher chemicals designed to treat acne, exfoliate, or help with aging skin. We highly recommend using moisturizers that contain ceramides to help restore and replenish.

Once you’re ready to add an active back in or try a new product, go slow and introduce one at a time. Give it three to four weeks before adding more, especially if you have sensitive skin.


Gina Robinson
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