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A Beauty Minute with Shizu Okusa

5 months ago by

Photos David Law

We are popping over to San Francisco to spend a Beauty Minute with Shizu Okusa, the founder & CEO of Apothékary, an online herbal apothecary company that uses science and plant-based medicine to heal modern day ailments and whose mission is to be the natural pharmacy of the future. Here she runs down her daily beauty outlook!

What is your morning beauty routine?

I wake up around 4-5am every day (I know, every day!). No alarm needed – it’s completely natural and has been my running wake up time since 2010 when my first job out of college was working on the trading floor of Goldman Sachs — the market hours are constant!

After I wake up, the very first thing I do is grab my giant water bottle and drink at least 20 oz of room temperature water. I’m so dehydrated when I wake up and drinking water signals to my body, “it’s time to rise!” Then I go brush my teeth (Quip toothbrush + homemade charcoal herbal toothpaste), wash my face (DHC cleansing oil) and then go straight to my Nespresso machine (haha).

My morning drink usually contains Mind Over Matter for a mental boost, Maca for a mood boost, and espresso for a good ol’ energy boost. I simply add everything to my coffee and mix it using my hand frother. If I’m not feeling coffee that day (it really depends on the palate) then I’ll reach for our Slay All Day blend with Matcha, Ginseng, Pea Protein, Chlorella & Coconut for energy and immunity boosting, coupled with Lion’s Mane for a good mental boost. I swear by these products! (Tip: if you have no idea where to start, you can take our Fix Finder Quiz for personalized recommendations.)

What beauty products do you use throughout the day?

My beauty routine tends to err to whenever I have time. Here are a few of my favorites currently:

DHC cleansing oil.

Depending on how well I slept, I’ll use Tatcha’s eye repair cream or Sunday Riley’s Auto-Correct for any under eye dark spots.

My skin tends to be driest in the morning so I usually do an oil right after cleansing and skip the toner / serum part.

Celery juice for clearer skin! This happens around 9-10am before breakfast.

Glow Getter and You Dew You both in my mid-day smoothie with an extra boost of collagen, blueberries, frozen banana, a handful of greens (whatever I have on-hand), and coconut milk or water.

What is your evening beauty routine?

Evening skin care:

Milk + Honey cleansing balm at night.

I LOVE a good face mask (we’re about to launch something soon..stay tuned!) that just totally gets me in the “wind down mood” to signal to my body it’s time to decompress and take it down 10 notches. I’m not a big “single use sheet mask” kinda gal given how environmentally detrimental those products are, but rather blend and make my own herbal natural masks. I love a good exfoliating clay formula since I have combination skin and “maskne” after wearing masks all year long.

Drunk Elephant night serum – just a few drops goes a long way!

Another oil I like is Herbivore’s Lapis oil or Youth To The People’s Reishi moisturizing cream.

Evening body care:

OK, this is not sexy but I’ve been using this very ergonomically friendly back strap for my nightly posture correction. I promise you your back will feel very different by week 2 or 3 of using this everyday!

I use Theragun to relax my muscles at night. I am a big believer in looking at our body parts for body ailments, and one way to do that is to look at our feet. That’s why reflexology is a common form of body art and massage. I like to use Jojoba or another grounding oil to massage around stress points like under the ball of my feet, my forehead, and neck / shoulders. I’m a Vata dosha, meaning that I tend to need a lot of oils / grounding ingredients to pacify my otherwise creative, “airy” personality.

What has your family taught you about beauty?

That beauty comes from within. This sounds so corny but it really is true. It’s how you think, smile, the words that come out of your mouth, how you treat others, and how you rise up against difficult moments. Some of the most “beautiful” people you meet are just glowing…they’ve straight up come out of the fire or gone through some very difficult moments in life that just make them so grateful to be here on earth.

As woo woo as this sounds, we “wear” what’s going on inside on the outside.

When do you feel most beautiful?

When I’ve slept well, am laughing, and in good company. For me, I like to celebrate such moments by being with people — that’s the true difference between joy (shared with others) and happiness (could be momentary, often could be in solitude).

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