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Sure, celebs have access to world-class skin docs, facialists with month-long waiting lists, and nutritionists who plot out (and even deliver!) their every meal. But that doesn’t mean their stay-young strategies are out of reach for the rest of us.
Here, Hollywood’s most celebrated skin experts reveal the everyday habits and tricks that keep stars looking so great long-term.
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Invest in a cleansing brush
Nothing beats it for removing makeup and providing a light, daily exfoliation, says Ava Shamban, MD, a celebrity dermatologist in Los Angeles. That means you’ll get better absorption of the skin-care ingredients you apply after washing.
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Treat your skin from the neck down
"Whatever you do on your face, do on your neck and chest, toowhether it’s exfoliating, using brighteners, or applying sunscreen," says Jessica Wu, MD, a Los Angeles–based dermatologist. "When a celebrity goes strapless or does nude scenes, it looks bad if her face is clear and her chest is spotted with sun damage."
Another tip: Try dry-brushing, suggests Hollywood derm Howard Murad, MD, whose skin-care formulas are a hit with Kristin Davis. Not only do the
natural bristles of a body brush shed dead skin cells, but they also increase blood flow and stimulate the lymphatic system’s ability to remove built-up toxins.
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Cleanse before you snooze
Remember the glam-girl golden rule: "You can’t go to sleep with your makeup on and have good skinit’s just impossible!" says Olga Lorencin-Northrup, founder and lead aesthetician of Kinara Spa in Los Angeles. "Skin renews itself overnight, so if you want to change the way your skin functions, the most important ingredients should be applied before bed."
No matter how exhausted you are, take five minutes at the end of the day, put a little spa music on your iPod, and go through your nighttime cleansing and skin-care ritual, suggests Palm Beach, Florida, facialist Tammy Fender, who has treated Julianne Moore and Alicia Silverstone.
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Stick to proven anti-agers: Retinoids and AHAs
"Incorporating these ingredients can make the difference between mediocre and phenomenal skin," says Lorencin-Northrup, whose celeb fans have included It girls Minka Kelly, Eva Mendes, and Sofia Vergara. It’s just a matter of finding the combo that works for you.
Retinoids are necessary for collagen stimulation, but they can be drying, so baby-step your way in, beginning with a low percentage and working your way up. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are the best for sloughing dull, dead skin: Look for either glycolic acid, which works best on oily skin, or more hydrating lactic acid if you’re dry.
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Know the benefits of brightening
"Everyone’s got an age mark or dark spot they want to lightenand people in Hollywood tend to gravitate to natural ingredients," says Dr. Wu, whose book Feed Your Face includes food diaries specially created for stars like Kimora Lee Simmons and Lisa Ling.
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Swear by vitamin C
It’s the antioxidant every pro raves about. "To combat long hours spent outside being exposed to environmental elements like the sun and smog, celebrities use products with heavy doses of vitamin C to protect and repair their skin," says Dr. Murad, whose products are also popular with Emily Blunt. "It can brighten your complexion tremendously."
An A-lister favorite: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($144; skinceuticals.com), which offers powerful protection from damaging free radicals; apply a few drops over your face and neck, then layer on sunscreen.
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Become a fan of facials
"You don’t have to break the bank, but take this cue from celebrities, and invest a little time and money in getting a good facial," Dr. Murad says. Look for a treatment that includes enzymes or acids for smooth, glowing skin.
Kate Somerville’s DermalQuench Oxygen Therapy ($260 for 60 minutes at her Melrose Place clinic) is celeb-adored; fans include Kerry Washington, Molly Sims, and Felicity Huffman. An enzyme- and acid-based exfoliation is followed by a serum loaded with vitamins and hyaluronic acid delivered deeper into the skin. Can’t make it to the spa? Get glowing results at home with Mario Badescu Enzyme Revitalizing Mask ($20; mariobadescu.com).