Skin Secrets From Hollywood's Top Aestheticians

In most areas of life, it’s mother who knows best. But, when it comes to the topic of skin, we'd have to say it’s Hollywood’s top aestheticians who have the answers. (Sorry, mom!) Yep, we’re talking about the impossible-to-afford, year-long-wait-list, Miley Cyrus-in-the-waiting-room type of facialists. They perfect the skin of Los Angeles’ elite and are up to date on the latest and greatest in both product and technology. The only downside? Trying to get an appointment.

Luckily, we've tapped five of the most in-demand experts in L.A. to answer our top complexion questions. From exfoliating tips to anti-aging tricks, their knowledge really is priceless. Let's get right into it, shall we?
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Name: Shani Darden
Clients:
Jessica Alba, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Chrissy Teigen

What’s the biggest skin mistake you see people make?
"Using the wrong products for their skin type. Most people have no idea what type of skin they have, so they use products that don’t work well, which can cause breakouts. It’s important to see a professional and ask them to recommend the types of products that will work best for you."

What age should people start using anti-aging products?
"Ideally, you should start using anti-aging products in your early 20s as a preventative measure. Taking care of your skin early on means you’ll have less to do later!"

What are your go-to products?
"I find that many products are not necessary, and people tend to use too many, which can actually do more harm than good. The most important product to add to your routine is one with active ingredients, like iS Clinical Active Serum. My absolute go-to product is my Retinol Reform! Not only does it help boost collagen and reduce discoloration and fine lines, it also is great for treating acne."

How should multiple products be layered?
"When layering products, apply from thinnest to thickest consistency."

How often should one exfoliate? What kind do you recommend?
"I recommend only doing so one to two times per week, depending on your skin type. I am not a big fan of rough scrubs, because it is easy to overdo it, which can contribute to redness. Instead, I love a good at-home peel, such as Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peels."

Name:
Biba De Sousa
Clients: Miley Cyrus, Emily Blunt, Michelle Monaghan

What is one interesting thing you've learned about skin care in your career?
"There is definitely a correlation between stress and aging..."

How often does one need a facial?

"That greatly depends on the skin condition and age, but in general, younger individuals without problem skin could come in three or four times a year. Acne-prone individuals should get a facial anywhere from once a month to once every other month, and aging clients (those above 50 years old) should get a facial about twice a month."

What is the biggest mistake people make when caring for their skin?
"One big mistake people make is not washing their face at night because they are tired. Also, leaving the house without applying sunscreen on the face, neck, décolleté, and back of the hands. Even those who wear sunscreen on their face every day seem to forget the décolleté and hands."

How do you instruct your clients to layer their skin-care products?

"Always start with clear or water-based, liquid products and build up to solid, opaque products."

What are a few of your go-to products?
"I love The Max Cleanser by Image because it removes heavy makeup in one cleansing, and it doesn't over-dry or leave the skin feeling sticky."

Is there anything on the market that you warn your clients to avoid?
"The Clarisonic brush is overrated. If used occasionally, it could be fine as an additional exfoliant, but using it daily or twice a day, as often suggested, leads to over-exfoliation that causes skin to go into overdrive and produce more oil, irritation, or dryness."

Name: Cristina Radu
Clients: Cindy Crawford, Brad Pitt, Rosamund Pike

What’s your biggest skin secret?
"Exfoliating is a must! The cleaner your skin is, the deeper the products you apply on your face will penetrate. I tell my clients to exfoliate every day, but remember to be gentle and take your time. It’s also important to saturate your face with the products of your choice. Skimping on the quantity of a product doesn't allow for the maximum effect of the serum or cream."

Besides an exfoliant, what other products should one be using daily?
"Always clean your skin thoroughly with a cleansing milk or a scrub, followed by a non-alcoholic tonic (astringent). Next, apply serum, then cream moisturizer, and follow with an eye cream. This should be done in the morning and at bedtime."

At what age should one start applying anti-aging products?
"Start at 28 years old with an anti-aging eye cream, and use an anti-aging face cream around 30 years old. Of course, you can start earlier if you have any skin damage."

What’s your secret to treating a blemish?
"If you break out, mix your moisturizer with a bit of an anti-breakout product and apply it to the problem area. This will help, but also prevent the skin from drying out and forming any dark scabs."
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Name: Gina Mari
Clients: Undisclosed

What is the biggest mistake people make when caring for their skin?
“The biggest mistake I see people make is over-cleansing. This habit can really dry out the skin, which can lead to an acceleration in oil production, thus causing breakouts. Aim to cleanse your face twice a day — once in the morning and a good, thorough cleansing in the evening."

What is the key to a good skin-care regime?
"Less is more! It's very important to establish a simple, daily routine while using products designed for your specific skin type. Your goal should be to keep the skin thoroughly cleansed and properly moisturized, but proper sun protection is the most important thing. My personal favorite sunblock is an SPF 30 by Amore Pacific; it’s non-comedogenic and moisturizing enough to help keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay."

What are a few of your go-to products?
"iS Clinical Active Serum is an amazing vitamin C serum that’s perfect for every skin type. For exfoliation, I recommend Goldfaden MD's Fresh-a-Peel; it’s a gentle exfoliant that you can use three times a week. Simply apply it to the skin for five minutes, and the lactic and enzymes do all the work for you. It’s very important not to forget that UV rays hit your lips as well as the rest of your skin, so make sure you use something like Brave Soldiers Lip Defender with SPF 15. It will not only protect your lips from the sun, but also give you a hint of color so you look naturally radiant."

Do you have any advice for body breakouts?
"Sometimes, hair conditioner will remain on your body even after you rinse. To avoid breakouts on areas like your back, make sure to put long hair up and give your body an extra rinse before getting out of the shower. From there, throw your hair up in a towel and give your back a spritz with Murad’s Clarifying Spray."

Name: Terri Lawton
Clients: Lena Dunham, Michelle Williams, Demi Moore

How does a person's diet impact their skin?
"For my clients that are starting to see the effects of aging, I advise them to curb their sugar intake, including wine. They see a big difference in the skin’s luster and health, and we really see the skin start to perk up. We also do food-allergy testing on our clients. For some, detecting allergies (and avoiding those foods) has reduced problems."

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned about skin care in your career?
"The biggest thing I have learned is that balancing the skin gives the best results. I personally don’t use strong chemicals and peels. Instead, I choose nourishing serums with high-quality ingredients."

What are a few of your go-to products?
"Crème Dermo-RL by Biologique Recherche is great for skin that is dehydrated because it hydrates and is very nourishing. Pure Enzymes by Cosmedix is a light and gentle mask and exfoliant that offers a healthy, smoother appearance to skin."

What are the most important parts to a good at-home routine?
"A good routine includes a cleanser, toner (optional), a serum, an eye cream, a moisturizer for day and night, and a light sunblock for daytime."

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