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My name is: Julia Barna.

I’m known as: Lead Ricari specialist.

My expertise is in: Face massage, clinical skincare (I’m a licensed esthetician), lymphatic drainage and parasympathetic nervous system support. 

I stay physically healthy with: Movement and nourishment. I enjoy going to my gym four or five days a week to feel myself in my body. It gives me energy and feeds my brain endorphins. As I begin to see friends more frequently, coming out of the pandemic, I suggest activities like hikes and long walks to enjoy fresh air and sunshine. I’m grateful to live in California for the reliably lovely weather and access to nature.

I try to prepare most of the food I eat for myself. I like to know precisely what’s going into it.  I’ve never aligned myself with a strict diet, and I don’t believe in depriving myself of things I enjoy, but I do like to think about how my food is fueling my body and mind. Feeding myself wholesome food is the ultimate self-care. I also stopped drinking over a year ago, which I highly recommend if you want to feel your best.

Moon Juice’s supplements Super Power and Super Beauty support me feeling well. Oh, and, of course, Ricari treatments! I may be biased, but I really think it’s the best treatment around. 

I keep my emotions balanced with: I try to write a gratitude list every morning. A few years ago, I was so jaded that I would have made fun of myself for doing so, but practicing gratitude changes all that; I find myself less critical and more openminded to the subtle gifts life offers us.

About 10 years ago, I trained to practice Transcendental Meditation, but, in recent years, felt disconnected from it. I’ve enjoyed diversifying and strengthening my mediation practice with Sam Harris’s Waking Up app. Through this app, I found I deeply connect to Buddhist “loving kindness” meditation. If you think meditation isn’t for you, explore other practices. The neurological benefits improve the quality of life to a substantial degree.

To manage my anxiety, I take two Moon Juice Super You supplements, twice a day. I swear they make a major difference in my experience of life, moment to moment.

I’ve also worked with my therapist on my urge to “feel productive” during my downtime. This pressure wreaks havoc on my nervous system, so I have to intentionally allow myself to veg out, watch crappy TV if I want to, take a siesta—all ideally with my phone off and in another room. 

I’m intellectually stimulated by: I read books and listen to podcasts all the time. I feel lucky to truly love reading. I love reading non-fiction about the body and mind to further inform my work. I also love learning about natural and social sciences and am happiest when satiating my curiosity.  I enjoy challenging my belief system with opposing viewpoints and challenging myself to understand concepts foreign to my personal experience.

In the past year, I started using Audible to expand opportunities to take in literature and interesting information. While I prefer giving my undivided attention to a physical book, the convenience and practicality of audiobooks is undeniable.  And so, even with my background in music (I’m a classically trained singer and flutist), if I’m in my car or using my AirPods, 9 out of 10 times I’m listening to a book or podcast.

Currently reading: This is Your Brain on Food by Uma Naidoo and The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van der Kolk. Listening to: Revelation by Russell Brand. Tuning into podcasts: Pivot, Sway, Making Sense and The Doctor’s Farmacy.

I was recently transformed by: Surrender. Letting go of things I don’t have control over. Highly recommend David Hawkins’ book, Letting Go, for a deep dive into this philosophy. 

In the last six months, the ritual that has become so important for me is: In the morning, I write my gratitude list and meditate. This is my effort to offer the best version of myself to my loved ones, my colleagues and clients. Moon Juice’s Super You is my non-negotiable supplement. It’s like magic.

Silly as it sounds, my skincare routine is very grounding to me, too. I like to think of this personal time in the bathroom as a gift to my self. It’s for me. It’s an opportunity to lovingly massage my face and to thank my body for taking care of me.

In the morning, I splash my face with water. Spritz with Aesop Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol. Apply 2 pumps of Marie Veronique Vitamin C+E+ Ferulic serum. Massage a small dollop of Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm and top my skin off with SPF. I’m currently enjoying Korean Bioré UV Watery Essence SPF 50 and my old trusted favorite Epicuren X-Treme Cream Propolis SPF 45.

At night, I cleanse my skin with Moon Juice’s Milk Cleanse. A couple of months ago, I started using Protocol’s Oxidated Retinol Serum, and I’m obsessed with it. It’s the best retinol product I’ve ever used and the results are noticeable to strangers. Not kidding—I get stopped on the street! After applying this serum and letting it set for 30 min, I massage in more of Rosebrook’s Vital Balm Cream. I apply Skinceuticals A.G.E. eye cream and call it a day.

A couple of nights a week, I don’t use Protocol and instead exfoliate with Biologique Reserche Lotion P50 PIGM 400. On these nights, I follow up exfoliation with Aesop’s Sublime Replenishing Night Masque.

For me, achieving beautiful healthy skin has been figuring out how to keep my moisture barrier as strong as possible and sticking to a routine. As a licensed esthetician, I recommend collaborating with a professional to find the most effective and streamlined regimen for you. It’s so easy to become distracted by pretty packaging and wellness influencers, but, in my experience, misguided skincare purchases lead to graveyards of wasted product and packaging, wasted money, and unbalanced skin. 

Here’s how you can do it too: What works for me might not work for you, just as what works for others hasn’t always worked for me. Be gentle with yourself because finding balance in life is an intimate process and it requires a lot of trial and error. In response to this process, try to adopt a growth-mindset—for example: Transcendental Meditation not working for me isn’t reason to give up on meditation altogether; it is an opportunity to try a different practice!

Play with ways to find “pause” in your day-to-day, to take a “time out” from the demanding pace of it all. Care for your nervous system cannot be undervalued.  Modern life will keep you stimulated, so what positive coping skill(s) can you employ to counteract this? Luxuriate in the time you spend away from technology, work and stressful relationships. I often ask, “How have I mothered myself today?” Because we tend to not treat ourselves with the loving care with which we would treat a beloved child. And we really should.

It helps me live my process because: Life doesn’t become easier just because you’ve decided how you want it to look. Rituals work when you work at them. A practice is just that—a consistent application of an idea or belief. The nature of this is a growing, breathing, ongoing process. I’ve got to be active in this process; it is a way of life. 

Photography via Alex Dozois

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