Healthy Relationships and Healthy Skin with Kristina Shakht & José Goicoechea

In this episode of Couple’s Skincare Therapy, we asked our friend Kristina Shakht to photograph her partner José Goicoechea. You might have seen Kristina’s work in magazines like i-D, Another, Office, or PUSS PUSS. José is a product designer. Here these two Brooklynites share their beauty rituals, how they influence each other daily, and José talks about his way of taking care of his body and the worst parts of being a man.

photography — Kristina Shakht | producer — SASHA ZOOBRILIN | interview — MARK PRESTON

How old are you? If comfortable sharing, of course! What are your skin type and your hair type?

José: I’m 31 years old and feel pretty good about it. I would describe my skin as being oily in some places—like on my forehead and nose—and dry in others—like around my chin. My hair type is thick and wavy. I like to keep my hair short, so at the barber, I get a buzz cut with a soft fade to keep it low maintenance and easy.

How did your parents teach you about well-being and self-care? Is there a beauty lesson you learned or a habit you developed as a child that is still in use?

José: My parents taught me basic things like how you should wear sunscreen everyday and wash and moisturize your face. It was mostly my mom that would give me tips. I’ve picked up most of what I do today over time by trial and error mainly and have been trying to figure out what works for me and what doesn’t. I also feel like skincare has evolved so much in the last 10-20 years. There’s so many more skincare products and brands out there. It’s sometimes overwhelming to keep up with it all.

What’s your beauty routine like now? Could you walk us through your step-by-step morning and night rituals?

José: Honestly, it’s super pragmatic and nothing remarkable. In the morning, I usually start the day with a shower to wake me up. I exfoliate with a cleanser from Kiehl's. For the longest time, I have had a problem with dandruff and have tried multiple products like oils and stuff to tame it. What I feel has worked the best is just spending a minute or two scrubbing my scalp everyday and then conditioning it after. I’m not sure if that’s the correct thing to do, but it’s worked best for me and has drastically reduced my dandruff flares. When I get out of the shower, I usually just moisturize with a product by The Ordinary and then finish it off by applying sunscreen by Aesop. I love the way it smells and it just goes well on my skin. At night, I usually just exfoliate and moisturize. I did try a more complex routine with different acids and oils recommended by my girlfriend, but for some reason, I had some acne flare ups and just didn’t feel like my skin was receptive to it.

Do you have any makeup products in your arsenal? If not, what would you be interested in trying?

José: I actually don’t have any makeup products. The world of makeup kind of intimidates me and there’s so many products and techniques out there. I personally prefer a natural look on myself. At the end of the day, I think everyone should do what makes them feel good, whether that’s a complex makeup routine or an effortless look. No matter what, you do you.

How do you take care of your body and hair?

José: I’m big into staying active and exercising. I like to run and go to the gym a couple times a week. It makes me feel good when I move my body and exercise and I usually sleep better. Obviously, your diet has a big part to do with that, along with understanding that your body changes over time and goes through different phases as you get older. I’m pretty low maintenance with my hair. I shampoo it every other day, scrub my scalp and condition it everyday, which I’ve heard and read you’re not supposed to do, but that’s honestly what works best for my scalp to minimize dandruff flares.

Santal 33 Soap — LE LABO, Avail Body Lotion — AESOP and Lip Balm #1 – KIEHL’S

What brings you the most joy and pleasure in being a man? And what is the worst part of being a man?

José: I don’t really think about what brings me joy and pleasure about being solely just a man, but I certainly do think about the worst parts about being a man. I particularly think about the external pressures of being a man in our capitalist society, like the pressure of being able to support yourself financially and "making it" in life. I don’t really enjoy that part, and I feel like a lot of men fall vulnerable to that toxic trait in our society, and this leads to major issues like falling into homelessness, or alcohol/drug abuse. It makes me sad that in our society men seem to have less of a support system around them if things start going wrong or they get deemed a failure in life.

What is your definition of masculinity?

José: I do think about reframing modern masculinity and what role I play in that. I think about how it shapes my relationship and interactions with others. I do think about the patriarchy’s grip on society and things that result from it like income inequality and toxic social constructs. I still think the best way to influence it is by making a difference in your everyday life, being that with your partner, family, friends, community, and at work. That’s how I try to reframe what masculinity means to me. When I just look at what it meant in the past, I just can’t identify with it. I feel like if more and more people make that extra effort and push for change, then that’ll make more of an impact than any type of legislation can ever make. Obviously, we do need to address it with all the tools in our arsenal and that includes legislation and new laws, but I believe the change needs to come from within society instead of from above.

How did you guys meet?

José: We met online. I DMed her on Instagram, she responded, and we got to talking about art and photography.

Tell us about your cutest relationship rituals or activities!

José: My favorite thing she’s introduced to me are moisturizing masks.

Kristina: Face masks for sure!

How did you influence each others’ beauty routine?

José: Honestly, it was more one-way traffic. She definitely has given me a lot of tips and product recommendations to try.

Kristina: Jose likes nice hand soaps and hand sanitizers—if that counts.

Soap Bar — HERMES

Which products do you steal from each other’s drawers?

José: I definitely steal her moisturizing masks. Other than that, we have our own selfcare products because her needs are different from mine.

Kristina: Sunscreen. I barely use it, which I know you need to, but I have an anxiety disorder. For me it’s really a miracle when I’m able to wash my face and do some acids and serums. I’m trying to be very kind to myself in terms of a skin care routine and I’m just happy when I do anything at all—even if it’s just one thing. This has honestly been my first 9 months in 27 years where I’ve actually been able to keep up with a daily skincare routine thanks to therapy and medication. Before I would last maybe a week maximum.

Do you have any self-care activities that you developed together?

José: We started doing hot yoga together and try to go once a week.

Kristina: We tried running as well last year, but I’m too competitive, I go really quick from zero to a hundred. As a result, I basically got some knee injuries last summer and couldn’t run anymore.

What are the hallmarks of healthy relationships?

José: I would say being comfortable in your own skin while also accepting the other person for who they really are. We all have flaws and they tend to surface most in relationships, so it’s important to be tolerant and patient because you owe it to the other person if you want a healthy relationship.

Kristina: I feel like—besides the obvious—it’s what you together agree on being or doing. I say "together" because I don’t want to say "both" because a relationship can have more than 2 people in it. But yeah, whatever you mutually agree to, a lot of talking, sharing, and being vulnerable.

[object Object]
[object Object]
{"css":".editor {font-family: Helvetica Neue; font-size: 16px; font-weight: 400; line-height: 24px;}"}