So you want to look younger? Me too. If you are like me, you're constantly surprised when you find out how old some of Hollywood's hottest and still-working celebrities are.
Who knew Susan Sarandon was past 60, or Christie Brinkley (a face of Cover Girl) was born in 1954. Of course, looking young in Hollywood means avoiding an early, forced retirement, but just what ARE these celebrity skincare secrets? And better yet, how can you and I benefit from what they use and what they know?
Keeping skin in gorgeous condition is an incredibly time-consuming and expensive job requirement for the typical celebrity. But here are a few secrets I've uncovered for you, plus tips on how you too can get younger-looking skin.
Secret #1: Injectable fillersTo treat those deep smile lines, forehead wrinkles and crow's feet, celebrities turn to hyaluronic-acid fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm or Juvederm Ultra Plus (for deeper lines).
Procedures must be done by a professional and the cost is $600-$1,000 a needle. Results can last up to six months.
Secret #2: Botox is hotter than everBotox is certainly not a secret, but according to dermatologist Tina Alster of Washington, D.C., in Harper's Bazaar, "Botox remains the gold standard for treating crow's lines and wrinkles."
Botox works by paralyzing the muscles beneath wrinkles. If used too much, Botox use can be obvious, as witnessed by several actresses including Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman and Marcia Cross who've fallen victim to "unmoveable forehead" jokes. Botox costs about $300-$500 per treated area. Results last three to six months.Read more about Botox including my own experience with it in "5 Amazing Uses for Botox"
Secret #3: They go under the laserAs we age, our collage production slows down significantly making our faces appear thinner, and more gaunt (on the plus side, collagen depletion shows off great bone structure). Boosting collagen production is big business in Hollywood and more and more celebs are turning to laser skin resurfacing to boost theirs.
How it works: Lasers such as Fraxel -- currently the most popular laser on the market -- are able to penetrate deep within the skin to treat damaged skin. According to Fraxel's official Website, the laser creates microscopic tears deep within the skin which trigger the body to naturally produce more collagen in the repairing process.
Cost is about $1,000 a session. Like most laser therapies (including hair removal, which I underwent), you'll need three to five sessions spaced about a month apart.
Secret #4: They get chemical peelsYes, yes, yes, of course celebrities (the male ones as well) are constantly getting eye lifts and face lifts and the bags removed from under their eyes, but what so many of them are doing that you and I aren't is exfoliating, chemically. And therein lies our secret number four.
Ever notice how your foundation looks when it's applied to scaly, dry skin? You look older and ashier. The celebrities sheer a few years off their faces in under an hour with a professional chemical peel. Chemical peels work by removing the damaged top layers of skin.
A mild, glycolic acid chemical peel will set you back $150-$300, but you can get similar results in just one month with over-the-counter peels. I include peels in my list of the Best Scrubs and Peels.
Secret #5: Professional makeup artists do their makeup for big events"It is said that no star is a heroine to her makeup artist." -- Richard Corliss, American writer.
OK so you and I can't have Mally Roncal on hand every morning before we go to work, but even celebrities don't go out in full makeup every day. But for big events? Oh yes they do.
You and I can look red carpet perfect before events by hitting the makeup counters at department stores or beauty salons.
Usually it's proper etiquette to buy a few products when you get your makeup done at a beauty counter, but for a fee you can have your makeup done professionally (I advise calling ahead to schedule an appointment). If there's no charge, at least tip well. I had my makeup done professionally at the John Barrett Salon at Bergdorf Goodman and as I walked home a group of men outside a gay bar practically ransacked me with compliments. It made my night.
Secret #6: They are filmed in tons of makeupI have seen the papparazi shots of Heidi Klum without makeup and can I just say Girl Ain't All That. She's pretty of course, but she had major under-eye circles and pasty skin. Then there's my all-time favorite story about Tyra Banks told to me by a security guard at NY's Bliss Spa. Even Tyra admits she's not all that. So what can you learn from this? A little bit of the right makeup can go a long way.
Secret #7: They stay out of the sunNicole Kidman is famously afraid of the sun. She stays out of it at all costs. In fact, many celebrities simply avoid that sun by wearing hats and slathering on sunscreen. They know the sun is the No. 1 cause of prematurely aging skin.
You and I can avoid the sun by not only wearing hats, but getting in the habit of wearing sunscreen every day, no matter the weather. (I'm also a big fan of teaching sons and daughters about sunscreen very early in life). Find out what the best sunscreen in the world is here .
Secret #8: They are all about retinolsTo keep fine lines from becoming wrinkles, actresses in their 20s turn to retinoid creams. I have read of dermatologists who swear of all the antioxidants, peels, scrubs and injections, retinoids are the best way to wipe years off your face.
Secret #9: Their flaws are airbrushedThis is my favorite secret. Not all celebrities have perfect skin. In fact, so much of skincare is about genetics. If you have bad skin genes, then chances are no amount of lotions and potions and peels and lasers are going to help your skin look like bone china (which, by the way, I just found out is made out of real bone, ewwww). The fact is Britney Spears has horrible skin. So does Cameron Diaz. Jennifer Lopez supposedly has pimples (so say those in the know). Just like magazine pros can sculpt Mariah Carey into a Giselle look-alike, they can airbrush Cameron's erupting face into Nicole Kidman perfection. (Check out this amazing Dove commercial to see what happens to a plain model when she gets airbrushed). So there. Now we can all rest easy, basking in our perfectly normal imperfections.
More on anti-aging: