Sarah Kugelman founder of Skyn Iceland

Mom Interview: Sarah Kugelman, founder of breakthrough beauty brand Skyn Iceland, on the importance of self-care

When the stress of two decades spent as a successful beauty industry executive took a dire toll on Sarah Kugelman’s health, she knew some changes had to be made. She launched the Skyn Iceland brand out of a need to find a skincare solution to combat the ridiculously stressful life she was living.

When Sarah became a mom, the importance of self-care became even more apparent for her “For two years after I had my daughter, I felt really unattractive and frumpy,” says Sarah. “I just gave up on taking care of myself because I was so focused on my daughter."

Looking back at that time in her life, Sarah's advice to other mamas is: "Don’t lose yourself just because you are lost in the love of your new child. Figure out new routines and new ways to self-care and at the end of the day, give yourself a break—don’t’ be too hard on yourself.”

Read on for more of Sarah’s personal tips and insights on balancing self-care and motherhood.

As a busy mom, it's easy to push the idea of self-care down to the bottom of your priority list. Why do you think spending time on yourself is so important as a mom? 
Being a mom is the best job, but it’s also one of the most stressful. You do everything for your child and you can find yourself at a certain point not sleeping, not going to the gym and eating a steady diet of chicken fingers and pizza?! It’s important not only to take time for yourself and do a little self-pampering, but an important reminder that you’re not just a mom but a woman, too!

Skyn Iceland sarah Kugelman

What are some of the self-care rituals you make sure to do for yourself
Mani/pedis are a must. Even if I don’t have time, I will have a manicurist come to my office and do my mani in between meetings on a conference call—talk about multi-tasking! I work out a minimum of two days a week. If I can get two days in at least I feel like I can better manage my stress and stay healthy. I have a cup of hot tea every night while I’m washing up and prepping my skin for bed, it turns my nighttime routine into a beauty ritual that helps me unwind. I try to do regular massages, I haven’t been great at that lately, but I’m working on it! I also make regular visits to my kinesiologist and acupuncturist, they help keep me balanced.   

How do you find the time to squeeze these self-care into your crazy schedule?
It’s literally sometimes in between meetings or five minutes before bed.  I have zero extra time in my life so often it’s a question of multi-tasking.  But when it’s something that makes you feel good, it’s a pleasure and a welcome addition to your schedule.

Sarah Kugelman

You have a daughter, how are you teaching her to take care of herself?
We often do mother/daughter mani-pedis. I take her on shopping sprees to Ulta and Sephora, where I help her learn how to make smart, educated beauty purchases. I also let her get her hair blown out for special occasions. But mainly, I spend time teaching her good skincare rituals at home. She is a beauty junkie at heart, so she likes to use a lot of products and I have to explain to her that more is not always better, and that young skin has special needs.  It’s an education that will stand her in good stead as she gets older and will give her the knowledge she needs to take care of herself and to take pride in that ritual.

Skyn Iceland dockatot

Which products from Skyn Iceland are your favorites for new mamas?
For sure our Glacial Cleansing Cloths, which I developed when my daughter was a baby because I was so exhausted after putting her to bed (usually a 2-3hr/night routine!) that I just didn’t have the energy to wash my face.  Our self-foaming cloths are literally like having a sink on your night table! One cloth takes off makeup, deep cleans skin and treats it with soothing, hydrating ingredients. I like the Arctic Face Oil because it’s 100% natural and a beautiful facial oil that helps balance and hydrate hormonal skin. The Antidote Cooling Daily Lotion because it has a cooling sensation that wakes you up and a natural antibacterial that helps breakouts as well as calming ingredients to help with rosacea and irritation. Lastly, the Icelandic Relief Eye Cream for those sleepless nights – great for puffiness, dark circles and crow’s feet.

Sarah Kulgeman Skyn Iceland

Your line was built around the fact that stress can wreak havoc on the skin. What are some of your favorite de-stressing methods?

  • Lighting a candle, taking a hot bath and pouring a glass of wine on a Friday night.
  • Putting my favorite Spotify play list on at home and doing chores or playing with my daughter listening to great music.
  • Curling up on a free night with a great Netflix show or movie. It’s a total escape and allows me to really unplug (usually some ice cream goes along with that!).

These are simple, easy things that can be done anytime and really help break the stress cycle.  In turn, these things really help with the hormonal reaction in the body that stress creates and affects your skin. This calms the mind and body and helps revive the skin. If you spend a few minutes morning and night caring for your skin, you can really reverse the signs of stress and pamper yourself in the process

What is the best piece of parenting advice you've ever heard?
The days are long the years are short, appreciate and hold onto every moment. 


Now it’s your turn for some self-pampering from Skyn Iceland. You’ll receive complimentary trial sizes of some of Skyn Iceland’s most-loved products with the purchase of a DockATot. While supplies last.