Celebrity Dermatologists Reveal Skin Care Secrets

Celebrity Skin Secrets

Whether on screen or caught in the paparazzi's lenses, a celebrity's skin must always look flawless. But like us, Hollywood stars can wake up with breakouts, flaky skin, and fine lines. When celebrities urgently need skin care, they send an SOS to the best dermatologists in the country. Here, some of these renowned skin doctors reveal their secrets on how to give your skin the celebrity treatment and discuss which remedies keep the celebs' complexions calm. While they don't always divulge the names of their A-list clients, these superstar skin doctors do share their most effective treatments.

Mask Breakouts

Making a seven-figure salary for a movie can't save you from breakouts. And throwing money at the problem won't necessarily provide a cure. "I tell my clients to steer clear of toners and avoid products with benzoyl peroxide, says Harold Lancer, MD, a dermatologist whose clients include JLo and Kim Kardashian. "Oil is not the enemy; bacteria are what cause breakouts," he explains. "Drying agents create redness and irritation, and encourage increased sebum production, which is the opposite of what you want to achieve. Use a natural absorber like clay to prevent breakouts and mattify skin." Dr. Lancer recommends his own Lancer Skin Care Oil Absorber ($35), or you might try Fresh's Umbrian Clay Face Treatment ($48).

Stick With a Program

With so much buzz surrounding new, "miracle" ingredients, it's hard not to succumb to the temptation to try them all. But piling on products can ruin your good intentions. "Great, healthy skin requires a synergy of ingredients," Lancer says. Keep it simple — it's more important to be consistent with the products you do use. Also, layering on a number of products can be counterproductive — for example, if you apply a product with glycolic acid and then add a retinol or a vitamin C product, the two can cancel out each other's effects, ensuring you won't get the results you're after.

For an anti-aging dream team, Lancer suggests a vitamin C day cream and a retinol (we like SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0) for night to improve skin's tone. He also likes green tea extract's anti-inflammatory properties, and recommends stem cell formulas to promote the production of collagen, glycoproteins, and elastin.

Eat Your Water

We've all heard the mantra that we should drink eight glasses of water a day. But drowning your sorrows in water won't save your skin, because you're actually purging vital minerals from your body, according to Howard Murad, MD, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Murad, whose patients are rumored to include Kristin Cavallari and Kim Cattrall, advocates getting hydration from raw fruits and vegetables.

The best water for your cells is found in foods like fruits and vegetables, Murad says. "Not only will you get a boost of important antioxidants, fiber, and nutrients, but it stays in your system long enough for your body to put it to good use," he explains. That means you should stock your refrigerator with cucumbers, pomegranates, avocados, apricots, mangoes, broccoli, and spinach.

Ditch Under-Eye Baggage

There are only so many miracles you can expect from your makeup if you don't pay attention to the eye area. To protect this delicate skin, you should apply eye cream twice a day and use sun protection. A few lifestyle tweaks can also make a dramatic improvement in how you look. Jessica Wu, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Southern California, advises sleeping with your head elevated on two pillows the night before a big event and avoiding salty foods for a few days. These steps will prevent fluid from collecting around the eyes and causing bags.

Give Your Skin Some Air

"Intraceuticals' oxygen-infusing facial is celebrities' secret weapon because it immediately and dramatically plumps skin for an incredibly fresh appearance," says Shamban. "It also revitalizes skin cells and encourages topical antioxidant absorption for smoother, softer skin, helping acne, as well as age-related changes such as fine wrinkling and brown spots." Reap the benefits of oxygen in your home with Philosophy's Take a Deep Breath Oil-Free Energizing Oxygen Gel Cream Moisturizer ($34) or Bliss Triple Oxygen Mask ($54).

Cover Up

"One of the best ways to prevent sagging skin is to wear a UVA- and UVB-blocking sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 each and every day," says dermatologist Fredric Brandt, MD, whose VIP client list includes Madonna and Kelly Ripa. "This habit should become part of your lifestyle."

Get Your Fill

Injectable hyaluronic acid treatments such as Restylane, Juvéderm, Hylaform, and Perlane are great tools for adding volume to nasolabial folds (the parentheses that form between the nose and the outer corners of the lips), crow's-feet, and lip lines. But why stop there? asks Pat Wexler, MD, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, who's been said to count Donna Karan, Christie Brinkley, Ellen Barkin, and Barbra Streisand among her clients. "Using these hyaluronic acid fillers along the jawline and cheeks, we can create a liquid lift to laterally tighten and fill the face," she says. "The result can be very natural looking."

Treat Yourself From Head to Toe

There are areas below your chin that can show the signs of aging too. "Taking care of your neck and décolleté is important, as this area often gives a more revealing indication of a woman's age," says Dr. Brandt. "The skin here is extremely delicate and contains fewer oil glands, so it's more prone to damage and scarring than the face." To ward off wrinkles, slather the area daily with an anti-aging moisturizer and a sunscreen.

Try DIY Treatments

There are many new devices that promise to bring the dermatologist's office into your home, and though pricey, they can offset the cost of repeated doctor visits — provided they deliver results. One device that's getting good buzz is the FDA- cleared PaloVia Skin Renewing Laser ($500); it delivers short pulses of micro- fine laser light to kick-start collagen production around the eyes. "The PaloVia laser is one of my best-kept skin secrets because it takes the same fractional- laser technology I use on my patients and adapts it for at-home use," says Tina Alster, MD, a clinical professor of dermatology at Georgetown University Medical School, who's worked with many dignitaries and celebs.

Tighten Up

Saggy, drooping skin will definitely lower anyone's Q score. But a full-on face- lift is an extreme measure few can commit to. "For immediate skin tightening around the eyes and mouth, the Pellevé wrinkle reduction system is my go-to," says Shamban. This procedure, which uses radio-frequency waves to "melt" fat, visibly tightens and tones skin over the course of two to six visits, resulting in a smoother, more svelte appearance, without recovery time. A lower-tech alternative is Lancôme's Rénergie Lift Volumetry ($90) — its ingredients are designed to lift and contour sagging skin after four weeks of use.

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