Celebrity Secrets

You don’t have to attend the Academy Awards to achieve their red-carpet glow

Secrets of the Stars

How celebrities keep their skin looking good under the bright lights of Hollywood.

The Celebrity Secret to Flawless Skin

We may not be able to afford their trainers, personal chefs or on-call makeup artists, but there is one celebrity skin care secret that’s attainable for most: Microdermabrasion. The treatment, beloved by the most gorgeous actresses in Hollywood, most frequently uses a diamond-based head (What else?) to exfoliate skin leaving it immediately clearer and brighter with zero down time. No wonder A-list celebrities often opt for this treatment before a red carpet event.

“Microdermabrasion is a miracle,” says the always flawless Gwyneth Paltrow, who is a devotee of Frederic Brandt, MD, who practices in New York and Florida. When she can’t make it to his office, she relies on his at home Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant. “I use it once a week to maintain a smooth, bright complexion,” she says.

Facialist to the stars, Christine Chin, based in New York City, recommends a course of glycolic peels followed by microdermabrasions for the most photogenic results. “If a celebrity is going out that night, we go a little bit lighter,” says Chin who regularly attends to the gorgeous faces of Rachel Weisz, Penelope Cruz and Giselle Bundchen. “Your skin will look five years younger after regular treatments,” she promises.

And therein lies the beauty of microdermabrasion: There’s no downtime (at the most your skin may look a little pink immediately following the treatment), it gets results, it’s affordable (about $150 per treatment, says the American Society of Plastic Surgeons), and you can even do a version of it at home.

Out with the Old

“Microdermabrasion is a physical way to exfoliate dead skin and induce a little inflammation and stimulate cell turnover”, explains Eric Bernstein, MD, of Ardmore, Pennsylvania. “The real value of microdermabrasion is to dramatically enhance the effect of topical treatments such as AHAs and retinoids.” Once the dead skin is removed and the younger, fresher layer is revealed, your daily moisturizer will penetrate deeper to be that much more effective.

In addition to the face, microdermabrasion can be used on the décolletage, arms and hands, says Dr. Bernstein.

Diamonds Really Are a Girls’ Best Friend

A new variety of microdermabrasion machines recently entered the market and celebrities from Mary Kate Olsen to Katie Couric are taking advantage of the luxe treatment. The Lumixyl SilkPeel facial, also known as a “pre-Oscar facial miracle,” combines high-quality diamond-assisted microdermabrasion with a Lumixyl peptide infusion to hydrate and brighten tired, stressed skin and reduce hyperpigmentation. It’s literally adding good stuff to your skin as the dead layers are being buffed away. And who doesn’t love the feel of diamonds on her skin?

Another microdermabrasion product that is popular among the celebrity crowds because of its efficiency and proven results is Vibraderm™. Aside from traditional methods, this crystal-free, or particle-free method involves a patented paddle technology that covers a larger surface area and reduces fine lines, wrinkles, acne, acne scars, age spots, dullness and poor size.

Become a Celebrity at Home

For an affordable at-home option, try Neutrogena Advanced Solutions At Home Microdermabrasion System. It combines ultra-fine crystals with massaging micro-vibrations to give you impressive results.

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Word of Warning

If you do experience any redness, Chin recommends using a mask with licorice, such as her own Soothing Hydration Masque for instant soothing—keep it in the refrigerator for an added chill. Naomi Campbell is a fan of this calming treat.

Because the skin is being removed and may become temporarily more sensitive, Sendogan recommends using a SPF moisturizer immediately afterward, no matter what type of microdermabrasion you are indulging in. (You already have one in your regimen, or course!)


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