Celebrities are defined by their unique beauty and individual talents, but most of them have one thing in common. Even under the glare of unforgiving lights, their skin looks fabulous, often ageless. What’s their secret?
Hint: It isn’t necessarily good genes. While some skin problems are inherited, only about 30 percent of aging is determined by our genetics. The other 70 percent is shaped purely by lifestyle choices.
When it comes to maintaining a fresh face, the stars aren’t so different from the rest of us. Many of their skin care secrets are surprisingly straightforward and affordable, though they do require commitment. Glowing skin is always in regardless of your celebrity status. And what better time than the approaching holidays to mimic that A-list radiance at home? Try these five easy celebrity tricks below for a glow that will last all year long:
1. Stay Out of the Sun
Though Paris Hilton and Jennifer Aniston are known for their flowing blonde locks and sun-kissed good looks, both stars credit their wrinkle-free skin to a lifelong aversion to suntanning. (Their tans are strictly of the spray-on variety.) These stars don’t just rely on sunscreen to keep their skin protected. They also actively avoid damaging UV rays. “[My mom] told me to always stay out of the sun, so while all my friends as teenagers were laying out all day in the sun, in oil, I never joined them,” says Paris, 38. “And I thank her so much – my skin looks good and I’ve not had to do BOTOX®® yet.”
Kathy Hilton’s advice to her daughter is supported by solid scientific evidence: Modern research shows that between 80-90% of the visible signs of aging are caused by sun exposure. Ultraviolet radiation breaks down the compounds (like collagen and elastin) that keep our skin strong and supple, making it more prone to developing lines, creases, and areas of discoloration. Fair-skinned people like Paris and Jen must be especially careful outdoors because they have less natural melanin (pigment) in their skin to filter out the sun’s rays.
How to Use This Trick at Home
Paris and Jen understand something that most people overlook. Sunscreen, while vitally important, isn’t designed to extend the amount of time we can spend in direct sunlight. Instead, it’s supposed to protect us during periods of brief, unavoidable sun exposure. Changing when you engage in outdoor activities, and using sun protection properly when you do, is essential if you want to stop UV damage from slowly accumulating.
To keep your skin looking young and healthy, try to avoid the midday sun. Engage in outdoor activities either before 10 AM or after 3 PM, when the sun’s rays are weaker. Whenever you do go outside, wear medical-grade SPF 30+ sunscreen. This SPF blocks 97% of the sun’s damaging rays.
Use sun protection regardless of the weather, be generous, and re-apply it often. (The sun’s rays easily penetrate through cloud cover, so rainy days aren’t an excuse to ditch your usual skin care routine.) Cover up with loose, light-colored clothing and stick to shady areas when possible. If you can’t live without a golden glow, take a page out of Paris’s book and discuss spray tans with a certified professional. They can help you choose the right take-home product to match your skin tone.
For those who are already seeing the effects of past sun exposure, we have good news. You don’t have to live with your fine lines and age spots. Skin resurfacing treatments, like the chemical peel, can strip away sun-damaged cells and help your skin heal itself. Prevention is best, but for damage that has already occurred, repair is possible.
2. Find Products that Work for Your Skin and Stick with Them
Cate Blanchett has redefined looking naturally flawless at 50. Along with staying out of the sun, she credits her skincare success to product loyalty. She’s found the right products to suit her skin type and she uses them religiously. In fact, she’s represented her favorite skin care brand for over 15 years. “I love clothes and the idea of changing your hair and what you’re wearing – but I don’t do that with my skin,” Cate says. “It’s a very different thing. I think consistency is a big part of making your skin more resilient.”
How to Use this Trick at Home
Every effective skincare routine begins with a visit to the office of a board-certified Dermatologist or Facial Plastic Surgeon. At Faces, our expert medical aestheticians can tell you whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin, then recommend the best products to address your specific concerns. Once you’ve developed a routine that works, don’t give it up in favor of passing skin care fads (yes, even if they’re endorsed by celebrities).
Not only are these fads often costly and ineffective, they may exacerbate dryness, oiliness, or other problems. In rare cases, skin care fads have resulted in skin damage for patients with sensitive skin. Using something as harmless looking as lemon juice to reduce oiliness or fade age spots, for example, can accelerate the aging process by making your skin more susceptible to sun damage. If you’re curious about a new skin care trend, talk to a professional before you start experimenting on yourself.
3. Have a Monthly Facial
Facials have been a celebrity skin care staple since their inception, and for good reason. These non-invasive treatments really can work wonders to prevent breakouts, smooth out fine lines, and give your face an all-over glow.
Candice Swanepoel, the stunning model and Victoria’s Secret angel, keeps her skin in runway-ready condition with monthly extraction facials. Extraction facials work by gently removing built-up debris from pores and skin follicles before infusing the skin with a nutrient-rich protective serum. At Faces, we use the revolutionary Hydrafacial system to give our patients silky-smooth, angel-worthy skin. The OxyGeneo 3-in-1 Super Facial is another popular option our patients love.
How to Use this Trick at Home
Though it isn’t possible to perform a full extraction facial at home, using a daily cleanser that contains gentle exfoliating acids (e.g., salicylic acid) can help your pores stay clear. Mixing 1-2 sprinkles of Baking Soda with your cleanser, once or twice a week, is another exfoliating trick for all skin types. Make sure you apply your favorite topical products immediately after you cleanse to maximize their absorption.
These treatments won’t confer the same anti-aging benefits as a Hydrafacial or a OxyGeneo Super Facial, but they can reduce the incidence of breakouts and keep your skin hydrated.
And don’t forget about regular in-office treatments to keep your skin at its best. The skincare experts at Faces can ensure your skin stays on track with state-of-the-art treatments.
4. Get a Full Eight Hours of Sleep Each Night
Few celebrities have maintained a perfect complexion as long as Jennifer Lopez. At age 50, she still looks exactly like she did during her Jenny on the Block days. The star, who says she’s never had plastic surgery, frequently extols the skin-repairing virtues of a sound night’s sleep. “Sleep is my weapon,” Lopez claims. “I try to get eight hours a night. I think what works best is sleep, water, and a good cleanser.”
The idea that adequate sleep can support skin health is hardly surprising. Getting eight hours of good-quality sleep every night has been shown to protect against illness and slow down the aging process. According to a study performed at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, volunteers who regularly got enough sleep had significantly lower intrinsic aging scores. (Intrinsic aging is aging that occurs as a result of internal physical processes, not environmental damage.) Their skin also demonstrated an increased ability to repair itself after being exposed to ultraviolet light.
How to Use this Trick at Home
The best way to get a good night’s sleep is to practice proper sleep hygiene every night. While medication can be helpful for temporary insomnia, it doesn’t tend to produce good-quality sleep, and it often stops working after a few weeks or months.
To improve both the duration and the quality of your sleep, try to exercise each day, preferably in the morning. Turn off back-lit devices (like cell phones and computers) at least two hours before you settle down for the night. If anxiety is keeping you up at night, try meditation.
To maximize the skin-regenerating properties of sleep, use corrective or replenishing products that reverse the damage done during the day. We carry several lines of product options and our aestheticians can recommend the ones best you for. Ideally, you should look for products that contain hyaluronic acid. This natural compound, which is used in many popular dermal fillers, is peerless when it comes to stimulating the renewal of collagen and elastin.
Additionally, aloe vera lotions are a safe bet for smoother, younger-looking skin. Aloe vera contains numerous rejuvenating antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, along with breakout-fighting salicylic acid.
5. Use (But Don’t Overuse) a Serum that Contains Retinol
Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, and Sandra Bullock all swear by the age-fighting power of retinol, a form of vitamin A. Retinol has been shown to help the skin rejuvenate itself by encouraging dermal basal cells to proliferate. As these new cells build up, they force the top layer of the skin to shed, effectively eliminating old, damaged cells.
How to Use this Trick at Home
Retinol serums are available from most skin care professionals, and less-potent varieties can even be purchased over the counter. When using these serums, it’s important to remember that more isn’t necessarily better. Using retinol too frequently can weaken your skin’s protective barrier, making it more susceptible to damage. Some people who use too much retinol also experience redness, irritation, and skin flaking. Read the instructions carefully before applying any product that contains retinol, or better yet, ask a professional for precise instructions.
Still Have Questions About Skin Care? Ask the Experts at Faces
Though many celebrity skin care tricks can be performed at home, the stars don’t trust the health of their skin to home care alone. All celebrities work with certified cosmetic professionals to keep their skin looking flawless, even if they don’t want to have surgery. If you have additional questions about how to incorporate these celebrity skincare secrets into your daily routine, contact Dr. J. Randall Jordan and the skin care professionals at Faces in Ridgeland, MS for personalized advice.