Oprah, Cher, Madonna, Beyonce, Britney… these are a few of the people who are so good, only their first name needs to be dropped into conversation. Where it comes to beauty, things have felt impersonal for a while. But Ayla breaks the mold, one customer at a time. Where other retailers pride themselves on carrying the largest assortment of brands, Ayla meticulously combs through the noise, curating only brands that pass their muster of truly effective, healthy products from around the globe. Most importantly, they want to pass all the information they have onto their customer, helping them make informed choices. They do this by having a team of guides provide one-on-one attention to customers, inviting and checking in with experts in their network across nutrition, dermatology, and even Traditional Chinese Medicine to get to the bottom of formulas, ingredients, and how a product actually performs.
And their leader through all this is Dara, the founder of Ayla, and someone who think deserves to be one of the people in beauty that only needs to go her first name. First of all, her background is as impeccable as it gets. Dara is a Princeton grad, with an MBA from Harvard. She worked in beauty product development for over 10 years, so she knows the industry inside out. And although she’s selective about what products make it on her store shelves, she shares sincere, genuine, and always deeply informative insights when she talks about products that she loves. Want proof? Check out Dara’s picks for Father’s Day below, we think you’ll agree.
This deliciously foamy, creamy, exfoliating cleanser is designed to provide an effective but gentle daily wash while prepping the skin for a closer and more comfortable shave. The fragrance free formula, which smells delightfully like just plain soap, features lactic acid (AHA) to exfoliate for fresher-looking, less congested skin, while willow bark (BHA) penetrates deeply into pores to soften hair follicles. It was designed specifically for men’s oilier, thicker skin, which can use a little foam.
TWELVE Beauty Ideal Rebalancing Level Serum
This ultra-light, oil-free, water-based serum helps reduce the production of sebum while at the same time reducing pore size and providing just the right amount of hydration. Oily, combination, and acne-prone complexions will welcome its moisture-regulating abilities: unlike many moisturizers and hydrating serums made for these skin types, this one truly helps balance moisture levels over time rather than drying out the skin.
Elave Intense Moisture Surge is a comforting, soufflé-like cream that has been specially designed to care for dry, red, and sensitive complexions. This extraordinarily soothing formula was developed by a family run pharmaceutical company in Ireland that is well known for its treatments for dry, sensitive skin. Intense Moisture Surge boasts super hydrating and skin-barrier-repairing power, yet sinks instantly into skin, leaving it feeling clean and residue-free. It’s a great fit for those that spend a lot of time outdoors.
Marie Veronique Louis Pierre Finishing Oil is an oil, yes, but it has a beautifully creamy, non-greasy texture and mattified finish — perfect for men who might ordinarily shy away from moisturizing creams and other heavy-feeling products. This moisturizer absorbs quickly yet feels protective, making it the perfect final step in a guy’s skincare routine. This might just be the perfect moisturizer for men. It’s appropriate for faces, bald heads, and beards, too (massage it in well to get all of those great ingredients into the skin).
This is the most nourishing soap bar we’ve ever laid our hands on, a true savior for those with dry and sensitive skin. The secret of this soap, as with all things MyHavtorn, lies in the sea buckthorn: in its production, MyHavtorn founder Robin (who does the whole process, from start to finish, himself) adds the sea buckthorn oil later so that it isn’t entirely saponified. This means that more of it is available to soothe and moisturize skin, which makes it our favorite soap for dry hands and body. It also has an invigorating light scent of Juniper and Lemongrass, which you can’t help but adore.
YULI Mr. Incredible
YULI Mr. Incredible is a beautifully multipurpose shave oil, beard oil, and face serum in one bottle. Part of its secret is a perfectly chosen blend of base oils. YULI then worked with a perfumer in Grasse to add a blend of skin-friendly, performance-focused essential oils that sneakily provide it with a heavenly scent while delivering anti-inflammatory relief, sweeping away dull skin, and invigorating the complexion: Black Calla Lily, Lavender, Vetiver, and Sandalwood. The result is simple, luxurious, and perfect. It makes a fabulous gift, too.
We simply adore MyHavtorn’s Organic Facial Cream. This lightweight but cushy cream features nourishing and soothing ingredients, combined in a formula that absorbs well into skin, leaving a perfectly balanced finish with no shininess. It’s the ideal anti-aging, non-greasy face cream for sensitive skin.
Elave Sensitive Rejuvenating Cleansing Treatment is a marvelous hypoallergenic formula that sweeps away dead skin cells without causing irritation, revealing soft skin that more effectively drinks in whatever moisturizer you apply afterwards. It’s a must-have for anyone who finds their skin looking a little dull and dried out. It’s also a winner with dry skin that experiences acne.
If you’d like to check out AYLA’s San Francisco store: 1825 Bush St, SF CA 94109.