The Neurologist With A Three-Step Masking Routine


The #ITGTopShelfie interview series focuses on the beauty routines of Into The Gloss' lovely, accomplished, and loyal community of readers. Submit your own on Instagram—post your Top Shelfie (tag us @intothegloss!) and include the hashtag #ITGTopShelfie for a chance to be featured on ITG.

“Grüezi! My name is Maja Strasser (@scrofa.s) and I’m a 47-year-old Swiss neurologist—I wouldn’t want to work in any other profession. Neurology is an über complex field, and for a long time, progress was rather slow. But so many recent discoveries in the fields of genetics, molecular biology, and radiology have had implications on the brain that helped speed up research significantly. I know that my work can really make a difference in people’s lives, which is what I really love about it.

Like running a marathon, diligent skincare is a long-term endeavor. When I finally committed to it, boy, did I get results. I base my routine on what my skin needs. In the morning I cleanse with Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant—ever since I’ve been using it, I’ve had way fewer clogged pores and blackheads. I follow that with lots of hydration: Sulwhasoo Essential Balancing Water, Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner, and The Chemistry Brand Hyaluronic Concentrate are all staples. Obagi’s Vitamin C Serum 25 Neo is my end-all be-all vitamin C, and I think it’s better than SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic by far. I seal in that goodness with a face oil—at the moment, it’s the gorgeous Sisley Huile Précieuse à la Rose Noire. And lastly, plenty of sunscreen. Most people are not aware that broken DNA fragments are actually the stimulus for melanocytes to churn out melanin—that means every tan is actually a sign of DNA damage. Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen makes a great, lightweight base for makeup, and has SPF 50 with excellent UVA protection. Because I wear sunscreen religiously, I supplement my vitamin D with 800 to 1000 IUs per day. Did you know vitamin D is not actually a vitamin? It’s really a hormone produced in your skin when it’s exposed to sun—you might also have a vitamin D deficiency if you use certain medications, or are overweight.

At night, I do a double cleanse: the Oskia Perfect Cleanser is beautifully lush, and I follow it with the same Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant I use in the morning. Like many skincare addicts, I swear by BR Lotion P50 V and the original lactic acid Good Genes from Sunday Riley. When I’m feeling particularly fancy (or my complexion needs a little help), I do a skincare ‘triathlon’. First, an acid mask like REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask or The Ordinary’s AHA 30% & BHA 2%. Next, a vitamin C mask like SVR’s Hydracid C50. The third step is a hydrating sheet mask—I tend to use the ones from LuLuLun, because they sell them in bulk packs of 30. I also love May Lindstrom’s Problem Solver, Fresh’s Rose Mask, and Alpha-H’s Beauty Sleep Power Peel. That’s a holy grail product—I actually prefer it over tretinoin.

Nowadays I’m all about dewy skin—when I was younger I liked flawless, matte makeup, but since I’ve gotten into skincare, my makeup has become much lighter on the day-to-day. My current favorite lippie is Velvet Ribbon by the endlessly elegant Lisa Eldridge, and I use Lumigan as a lash serum, which is the same as Latisse. Both are actually treatments for glaucoma. I have Japanese roots, and like many Asians, my eyelashes are naturally very short and straight—I call them ‘elephant lashes.’ Now they’re still straight, but at least they’re super long.

After not seeing me for two years, one of my patients was totally stumped by how much younger I looked. Was it a different haircut? Something else? She couldn’t get over the difference in my skin and complimented me several times during the appointment. Still, I don’t like the term ‘anti-aging’ because I love being my age. I’ve become so much more confident and calm as the years pass, and I’ll take a few wrinkles compared to the alternative. To unwind, I like to do yoga and meditate. My love is a conductor (of music, not trains) who’s often on the road, and when I’m traveling to see him, the apps Headspace and Down Dog make keeping up with those things easier. I also use Yoga Paws instead of traveling with a mat. If you’re healthy, be grateful—seize the day, enjoy life, laugh, have a glass of Bordeaux, and say ‘thank you’ and ‘I love you’ whenever appropriate.”

—as told to ITG

Photos via the author. You can keep up with Maja and other members of ITG’s wonderful readership community on Into The Gloss: The Group.