The Best Celebrity Skin-Care Tips from A-List Esthetician Shani Darden
The A-list facialist shares the tips and products she recommends to Chrissy Teigen, Jessica Alba, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and more.
Before Jessica Alba, Shay Mitchell, and Laura Harrier stepped on the 2019 Oscars red carpet, they saw celebrity facialist and esthetician Shani Darden. When model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley needs everyday glow tips, she calls Shani Darden. And much of the elaborate skin-care routines that make Chrissy Teigen, January Jones, and Kelly Rowland shine can be credited to-you know it-Shani Darden.
While your red carpet may be the office hallway and your weekend date isn't quite as ripped as Jason Statham, there's no reason you don't deserve the same glowing skin as A-listers. Darden shares the celebrity facial tips and products her clients use daily that you can include in your mere-mortal routines. (More of Darden's tips: What One Celebrity Esthetician Puts On Her Face Every Day)
1. Start using retinol (like, today).
"For all of my clients, it's kind of a must," says Darden. "Especially if you start in your early 20s, it makes a huge difference with decreasing fine lines and wrinkles and helping texture and pigmentation." (Related: Everything You Need to Know About Retinol and Its Skin-Care Benefits)
Darden is so passionate about retinol that she released her own. Resurface by Shani Darden Retinol Reform ($95, shanidarden.com) is a cult favorite among celebrities because you can see the effects after a single night (brighter, smoother, softer, and less congested skin). Plus it's gentle enough for skin that is über-sensitive.
2. Add a hydrating serum.
To balance the drying effects of retinol, Darden also recommends her clients use a serum to plump the skin. "It's great as an extra boost of hydration," she says. Bonus: You can use it every day, even if you have oily skin, she says.
Darden's all-time favorite, No. 1 Serum, is created by naturopathic doctor Nigma Talib ($185, net-a-porter.com), which packs plant stem cells, hyaluronic acid, and marine peptides, plumping up the skin for a more youthful complexion. Running at a high price tag of $205 per 1oz, you can test out less expensive alternatives (this hydrating serum is only $7!). Just make sure you see hyaluronic acid listed, which is the miracle ingredient Darden swears by.
3. Add this skin-friendly supplement.
The old adage "what you eat shows up on your skin" is true, says Darden. In addition to staying away from salty foods and cutting dairy for a better complexion (especially before a big event), Darden is a believer in supercharging your facial routine with a nutritional supplement. (As with any supplement, be sure to ask your doc first before adding one into your routine.)
Darden personally uses Lumity's morning and night softgels ($115, lumitylife.com) which contain omega-3s and amino acids to help your skin remain elastic and radiant, as well as selenium and zinc to protect against oxidative stress. (Everyone knows how stress wreaks havoc on skin…hello short-deadline pimple.)
4. Slather on SPF every. single. day.
"Everyone today is trying to get laser treatments to fix the damage from being out in the sun," says Darden. Which is why she tells her celeb clients to stay shady. Even if you're avoiding the sun, Darden still says sunscreen is essential every day. "I'm never without it," she adds.
Even a few minutes in the sun is harmful-and retreating indoors doesn't always help. Blue light from phones and computers also damages your skin. That's why Darden swears by Supergoop matte sunscreen ($38, sephora.com), which acts as a super-light primer and includes butterfly bush extract to protect from blue light.
5. Use powerful at-home facials.
Sure, Darden's celebrity clients travel from around the world to see her in LA, but they also do facials at home once or twice a week for the purpose of exfoliating, she says. She recommends alpha and beta hydroxy acid peels, which are especially useful the night before a special event to help firm and smooth skin. These exfoliant peels also help keep pores clear to help prevent acne, she adds. (Just don't peel and use retinol on the same night!)
The number-one product Darden recommends is Dr. Dennis Gross' at-home peels ($88, sephora.com), which, along with alpha and beta hydroxy acid, have a nonabrasive chemical exfoliant that brightens your skin.