Our expert panel reveals how stars keep their complexions flawless.
Nicole Kidman’s porcelain perfection and Scarlett Johansson’s smooth creamy tones aside, great-looking skin is not easy to achieve. “We are exposed to sun, stress, smoke, pollution and even diet and alcohol on a daily basis, which induce free radicals to attack our healthy skin, causing four out of five wrinkles,” says renowned New York dermatologist Dr. Fredric Brandt. So how does Kate Beckinsale tend to her English-rose complexion? How does Jennifer Lopez achieve that much-envied glow? Hello! consulted five top dermatologists, both north and south of the border, for Hollywood’s top tips and information about non-invasive treatments to ensure your skin’s star status.
Tip No. 1 Wear sunscreen
The one tip our panel couldn’t stress enough: wear sunscreen year-round. “The cumulative effects of the sun cause skin to wrinkle faster, develop a brown patchy discoloration, small spider veins and a weather-beaten leathery appearance,” says Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Fred Weksberg. So slather on an SPF of at least 15 and be sure it protects you from both wrinkle-inducing UVA and sunburn-causing UVB rays.
Tip No. 2 Exfoliate regularly
“Celebrities always have skin that glows because they’re exfoliating,” says Dr. Lisa Kellett of Toronto’s DLK on Avenue. She recommends using a gel-based exfoliator twice a day, which doesn’t foam and cause dryness. “Diamond peels, done in a dermatologist’s office, are Hollywood’s latest craze for achieving glowing skin,” says Kellett. “This form of microdermabrasion uses real diamonds to exfoliate the skin in one step with no downtime.”
“Washing off makeup at the end of the day is crucial because it can clog pores, cause oily buildup and aggravate acne,” says Dr. Kucy Pon, a dermatologist at Sunnybrook and Women’s College hospitals. Choose a mild cleanser, says dermatologist Paul Cohen of Toronto’s Rosedale Dermatology Centre, and stay away from soap, which can dry out your skin.
Tip No. 4 Always moisturize
“Moisturizing helps to restore the natural oils and moisture in your skin,” says Pon. “A common misconception about oily skin is that moisturizers are not necessary, but oil-free moisturizers can actually decrease the overproduction of oil.” Equally important is using an eye cream to help prevent puffiness, under-eye circles, bags and fine lines, says Cohen, because aging eyes can add years to your face.
Tip No. 5 Take vitamins
The antioxidant and anti-aging properties of wonder vitamins A, C and E have boosted their popularity as skin-care ingredients. “Boost your own products by adding a couple drops of these concentrated vitamins to your moisturizer or eye cream,” says Kellett. Retinol (vitamin A) concentrations range from 0.15 per cent to a potent one per cent. High-potency vitamin C ranges from 20 to 35 per cent. Try Clear Clinical Vitamin A Booster $250, DLK on Avenue, 416-440-2597.
Tip No. 6 Go high-tech
Intense pulse light, also known as photo-rejuvenation or PhotoFacial, is a laser procedure that works to reverse sun damage and the effects of aging. “It allows the same instrument to decrease red spots, brown spots and spider veins – all at the same time,” says Kellett. And for those plagued by adult acne, photodynamic therapy uses a topically applied medicine (Levulan) activated by a blue laser light. According to Weksberg, “This causes pimples to shrink and fade and can prevent the need for strong pills such as Accutane.”
Tip No. 7 Eat well and exercise
“Eat a healthy diet and stay physically active,” says Brandt. Entertaining and attending events can lead to over-indulgence, so it’s important to avoid factors known to decrease radiance, such as smoking, drinking, stress and lack of sleep. As Brandt notes, “Good lifestyle habits can contribute to the healthy glow of your skin.”