After suffering from a stress-related illness in 2003, 20-year beauty industry veteran Sarah Kugelman retreated to Iceland to recover. Inspired by the low-stress environment and the Icelanders’ vibrant, healthy skin, Sarah set out to create an antidote for stressed skin using the healing properties of the country’s natural resources. After conducting expansive research on the connection between stress and skin, Sarah drew upon Iceland’s abundant unspoiled resources to develop skyn ICELAND, the only skin care brand specifically formulated to address the effects of stress on skin.
Q: What’s the best thing about your job?
A: Getting to work with product. I started skyn ICELAND because I’m obsessed with skin care and I love developing and working with new formulas – I love the textures, the scents, the technology, the packaging – and it’s great when you work on something truly groundbreaking and see all of these aspects come together.
Q: What’s the must-have product from your brand?
A: Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels. They are our #1 cult item. They have a huge makeup artist and celebrity following because they’re a 10-minute quick fix for under-eye circles, bags and wrinkles. We¹ve used them every season at Fashion Week for eight years and the models LOVE them. And, they’ve been featured on The Today Show and The Doctors. There’s nothing else on the market like them and if you have eye issues, these really work!
Q: What’s the most commonly asked skin care question you hear?
A: Hands down it’s either about breakouts or wrinkles. People are always saying to me “This product made me break out” or “I never break out but I am breaking out HERE” or “Is there anything that REALLY gets rid of wrinkles?”
Q: skyn ICELAND has a very unique assortment of products to address stressed skin. What is your best advice for addressing stress?
A: We are the ONLY skincare line that truly addresses the effects of stress on skin. We focus on specific symptoms and attributes of stressed skin and then I develop products with specific ingredients and technologies that really address those problems. We have special antioxidants that address free radicals created when we’re stressed, and I use potent, natural anti-inflammatories that reduce irritation associated with stress, special peptides that make skin happy by releasing endorphins on the skin, and more.
For me, reducing stress has to be a holistic approach: eight hours of sleep a night, a healthy and nutrient-rich diet, eight glasses of water a day and a good exercise program. It’s the simple things that really help me alleviate stress and it’s how we take care of the inside that shows on the outside. When I slip into a period of extreme stress I know I have to get more sleep, cut out the refined sugar and white flour and load up on omega-rich foods, antioxidants, magnesium and vitamin B complex and vitamin D. I try to work out three times a week and I treat myself to regular massages. Last night, I got home from a long day and after I put my daughter to bed, I took a long hot shower, did a body scrub, used our new Fresh Start Face Mask followed by our new Arctic Elixir with Raspberry Stem Cell Complex, had a hot cup of tea and did my stretching routine before bed. It was only about an hour out of my day and I felt totally renewed and restored.
Q: Who is your beauty icon?
A: Sienna Miller because she is modern, sexy, smart, fresh, cool and has a great sense of style along with a great sense of humor. And, of course Grace Kelly because you just couldn’t take your eyes off of her.
Q: What’s your biggest beauty indulgence?
A: Regular massages. When I get stressed, my back freezes up. I really need it to help loosen the tight muscles in my shoulders and back and it’s just the ultimate in relaxation and pampering!
Q: What’s your latest Beauty.com discovery?
A: Right now I’m sort of obsessed with butter LONDON 3 Free Nail Lacquer in Giddy Kipper and Hampton Sun SPF 35 Continuous Mist Sunscreen.
Q: Where do you get your beauty advice?
A: So many places. It’s a compilation of advice from friends, magazines (print & online), doctors, makeup artists, estheticians and hair stylists.