By far, the first thing we notice when we encounter a celebrity is, of course, their skin. We wander back from interviews in a cloudy trance, unable to recall a thing that was said, because we were too busy staring at their radiant complexions. (G-bless the Voice Memos app, right?)
Since maintaining a clear visage is practically in their job description, most celebs have dedicated facialists, aestheticians and world-class dermatologists at the ready. But being that they are surrounded by so many experts, they have acquired their own expert knowledge when it comes to keeping skin red carpet-ready. With that in mind, we dug up the most brilliant advice, via celebrities, for keeping complexions at goddess level.
To read the all-time best skincare secrets we’ve learned from Olivia Culpo, Cate Blanchett, Lea Michelle, and more, keep reading.
Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate
“I start every day by exfoliating my face," says Christie Brinkley." That’s something I’ve done for the past 40 years. I feel like it’s really contributed to my skin feeling fresh and smooth. Forty years ago, I read an article that said men always look five years younger than women who are their same age. They contributed that to them shaving every day, and the daily exfoliating with shaving making their skin look younger. I was like, I’m not going to let them get away with that! I use the exfoliator from my skincare line because it’s gentle. The whole line was modeled after the skincare ritual I already have.”
Exfoliation is key as it helps increase cell turnover and unclog pores, preventing breakouts and helping other products absorb more easily. And while Brinkley advocates for daily exfoliation, not every face can tolerate that. Those with sensitive skin or certain skin conditions should start slow (once a week) before building up to what they can tolerate.
Don’t Skimp on Water and Sleep
“Definitely drink a lot of water and get a lot of sleep. I know it’s cliché, but the most I ever see a difference in my skin is when I’m well rested… That makes the biggest difference in how your skin glows—the texture and coloring of your skin," says Lea Michele.
The benefits of drinking water can't really be overstated — it helps promote digestive health (also key for skin health) and hydrates the entire body, from the inside, out. The easiest way to calculate how much you need per day is by dividing your weight in half and drinking that amount in ounces.
Eat Your Greens
“After working with my esthetician, I began to understand that skin health goes far beyond how well you clean your skin every day or what you put on it topically. I realized the importance of a holistic skincare approach," says Olivia Culpo. "To help with my breakouts, I started by changing my diet. I tried to incorporate more greens and cut out dairy. This made such a difference. To be honest, I have a major sweet tooth and… I love ice cream. Ice cream has both sugar and dairy, which can be really hard for your body to digest. Once I cut this out of my diet for a while and added more greens, my skin began to clear up.”
Leafy greens such as spinach are loaded with zinc, which helps fight inflammation (and therefore, acne). Kale, collards and the like also contain zeaxanthin, an antioxidant that protects the skin from the elements.
De-Stress As Often As Possible
“I think that anything you can do to remove stress will give you a better glow. That’s the number one answer… I am big on massage, when I can," Cate Blanchett says.
Research has found that stress can have a major impact on the body, even leading to inflammation and early skin aging. As stress can aggravate skin conditions, taking time to indulge in a little self-care — via a spa day, time to yourself or even just a relaxing bath — can in turn help you skin stay clear and smooth.
Use High-Quality Ingredients
“My main products actually come from my mother’s kitchen. She is an herbalist, and we make our own moisturizers and oils. The key is the oil, though, which comes from my Guyanese grandmother. She had the most amazing skin, and I follow her regimen," says Leona Lewis.
Lewis is certainly on to something, as the quality of an ingredient can actually impact its efficacy. Higher-quality products are often more easily absorbed into the skin (and therefore work better than the not-so-high-quality stuff).
Adjust Your Routine as Your Skin Needs Change
“I change up my products depending on how I feel and how my skin reacts to the changing seasons. In summer, I like Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream Light ($45), and in winter, I’ll use something a little heavier like La Mer Crème de la Mer ($190). For body, I like Dr. Hauschka Almond Soothing Cream ($36) year-round," Jessica Hart says.
Skincare isn't one-size-fits-all. And skin type can change over time, depending on your age, what part of the world you live in, and the weather. Your skincare routine, by extension, should be open to evolve over time.
Brighten Dull Skin With a DIY Mask
“I have tons of beauty secrets and recipes that have been handed down from one generation to the next, so to speak, and they still continue to work like magic... A really easy mask to create that will help brighten your skin and take away the dullness uses yogurt as the key ingredient," says Priyanka Chopra. "Just mix equal parts of yogurt and oatmeal (about 1–2 tablespoons each) with turmeric (about 1–2 teaspoons). Mix, apply, and leave for half an hour and wash off with lukewarm water.”
Yogurt and oatmeal have both been found to have benefits for the skin. Studies have found that facial masks containing yogurt help the skin to retain moisture, appear brighter, and maintain elasticity. Oatmeal, meanwhile, is a scientifically proven anti-inflammatory, helping to ease redness, dryness and itchiness.
Don’t Overuse Products
“Sometimes using too many products can irritate the skin. A couple times a week, when my skin isn't terribly overworked, the best thing is to rinse my face with warm water. Also, eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin A to help keep skin clear," says Erin Heatherton.
Keeping it simple is sometimes best — and that goes for both the number of products in your arsenal, and the number of ingredients in those products. As experts can attest, only a handful of ingredients have been scientifically proven to benefit skin, so focusing on those key ingredients (rather than whatever might be trendy at the moment) can ensure you're reaping as many benefits as possible.
Maintain A Well-Rounded Approach
“Stay out of the sun, drink lots of water, and find creams that work best on your skin type. Also, eat lots of berries; they’re full of antioxidants," says Olivia Palermo.
As Palermo suggests, a well-rounded routine (one focused on nutrition, topical products, and hydration) takes into account all the factors that can impact the skin.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
“When I hear anybody commenting that a product is good or beneficial, I buy it," says Sofia Vergara. "I love trying everything. I love products… and I try to take care of myself as much as I can.”
Not all products (even the cult-followed ones) work for everyone. The best approach is to try a variety of products until you hit on the one that works best for you. Working with an expert can also help guide you on this journey.