Like our favorite celebrities, we're lucky enough to have some of the best estheticians and dermatologists in the industry on speed-dial. (I'll even text a few of them somewhat regularly whenever my skin flares with weird and unusual behavior.) However, unlike celebrities, our skin isn't under a 24/7 microscope thanks to social media, paparazzi, photo-frenzied red carpets, or a blindingly well-lit award show stage. Remarkably, however, celebrities seem to have perpetually perfect skin—smooth, glowing, and virtually free of any hint they might actually be a member of the human species—a zit, a spot of sun damage, a wrinkle?!
Even though it's pretty much part of a celebrity's job description to have great skin, it's just the nature of their industry, after all, the flash-bulb-heavy season of award shows and red carpets automatically begs for increased attention to detail when it comes to maintaining the look and health of their gawked-at complexions. As what happens when you routinely work with the best skin pros and makeup artists in the industry, many of the celebrities we've chatted skincare and beauty with over the years have developed their own specialized know-how when it comes to curating a glow-inducing skincare routine, and they definitely know their way around the product market. That said, most of what they've learned has been gleaned from the skin professionals they work with who primp, prep, and help transform their skin on a regular basis.
Since this type of expert-level upkeep and preparation usually intensifies before red carpets and award shows, and since, ahem, the Oscars are this coming Sunday, we thought we'd tap six of the most sought-after and talented estheticians and dermatologists in the industry to reveal the specific skincare products they use on celebrity clientele before the big day—or any red carpet for that matter. Keep scrolling for 24 magical skincare products the skincare industry's best swear by for an A-list-level glow.
Biba de Sousa
Number of years in the industry: 15
Location: Beverly Hills, CA
Celebrity clients: Emily Blunt, Miley Cyrus, Michelle Monaghan, Emma Roberts, Alice Eve
Website: Biba Los Angeles
"I love using the Onerta Hydrating Collection because a celebrity's makeup needs to sit perfectly on top of their skin. Plus, since many awards shows are in the wintertime, when it can be cold and dry, and traveling can also do a number on my clients' skin. This toner in addition to my other favorite products below are expertly formulated and proven to help the skin stay well-hydrated, glowy, and nourished while on the red carpet."
Great for all skin types, this powerful serum is filled with organic plant peptides, hyaluronic acid, and stem cells to support skin-healing and a firm, healthy complexion.
Hyaluronic acid is the main ingredient in this moisture saver. It's fit for all skin types and features other helpful ingredients like lilac stem cell extract, spin trap, and other botanicals.
According to de Sousa, regular use of this vitamin C– and vitamin E–enriched serum will help restore the skin's collagen and hydration stores while lessening the appearance of pigmentation or dullness.
"This is my proud custom formulation!!!" exclaims de Sousa on her website. "Just a dab of this body lotion will provide deep moisture for the hands, feet, and entire body. For the dehydrated skin on the heels, reapply several times until you feel that the skin absorbed the lotion."
Featuring a red carpet–perfect mix of black mud and charcoal, this detoxifying mask enhances the skin's appearance while infusing it with moisture and a healthy kick of brightness. Plus, the formula plays nicely with even the most sensitive skin types.
Number of years in the industry: 22
Location: Beverly Hills, CA
Celebrity clients: Halle Berry, Eva Mendez, Jessica Biel, Viola Davis
Website: Olga Lorencin Skincare
"In my skincare clinic, the Olga Lorencin Red Carpet Facial is the most sought-after pre-event treatment for the stars. The Red Carpet Facial has continued to evolve, incorporating the latest anti-aging modalities, with the original effervescent glow-on-demand peel as a foundation.
"My Red Carpet Facial in a Box was designed to create the same skin-illuminating results at home, making it ideal for customers to use in between appointments or as a weekly treatment if you aren’t able to come in for facials on a regular basis. It includes a peel, neutralizer, polishing mask, brush, and mixing bowl for easy at-home use."
Harold Lancer, MD, FAAD
Number of years in the industry: 35
Location: Beverly Hills, CA
Celebrity clients: Emma Stone, Margot Robbie, Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian West, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé
Website: Lancer Skincare
"The Lancer Method is a three-step regimen that I prescribe to all of my patients, regardless of how sophisticated they are about cosmetics and how far they have gone with invasive procedures. The Lancer Method is simple: Step 1, Polish; Step 2, Cleanse; Step 3, Nourish.
"For the month around red carpet season, we switch all my celebrity patients to the sensitive line of The Method. Due to emotional stress, dietary changes and lifestyle changes (travel, sleep, etc.), skin can be more sensitive—blood flow is different, oil production is different, the immune system and recovery system are different. We go to a more sensitive, metered approach to skin care. I'll also prescribe vitamin C in the morning to brighten skin and reduce the appearance of sun damage, glycolic acid—an AHA—for deep exfoliation, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin. And then at night, retinol to increase cell turnover."
For deeply exfoliated skin, Lancer recommends alternating his glycolic treatment every other day.
He'll also prescribe this waterless vitamin C and retinol antiaging elixir for a super-bright complexion.
According to Lancer, you'll want to use this retinol with the above vitamin C serum one night and then the glycolic acid treatment and vitamin C serum the other. This way, you're alternating your doubled-up treatments for the ultimate, A-list glow.
"A couple of nights before the event, I have my celebrity patients use this peel that contains glycolic acid, retinol, and phytic acid," says Lancer.
"In the days leading up to a red carpet or event, I also recommend they use this intensive mask," he adds. "They're both used for increasing skin radiance. They work differently but work better when combined. For best results, use these three days before an event."
Number of years in the industry: 13
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Celebrity clients: Jessica Alba, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Emily Ratajkowski, Chrissy Teigen, Shay Mitchell
Website: Shani Darden
"I always recommend that my clients use Texture Reform. Everyone should use a retinol if they can. It's an amazing product to speed up cellular turnover and to bring fresh, new skin to the surface. It boosts collagen in the skin, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and minimizes pigmentation. It also has lactic acid in it to gently exfoliate and coffee arabica seed extract to provide antioxidant protection!
"For application, I suggest starting with one night a week and adding just one additional night a week, building up to as often as your skin can tolerate."
"I also recommend incorporating a hyaluronic acid serum into your routine. iS Clinical’s Hydra-Cool will help to plump up and hydrate the skin. It also contains menthol, which soothes the skin and reduces redness. Use a hyaluronic acid serum in the morning before sunscreen and at night before moisturizer."
"When it comes to a chemical exfoliant, I recommend exfoliating one to two times a week depending on your skin type and the other products you’re using. The Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads are a great choice for exfoliating at home once a week in between facials.
"But, just before an event, I love to see my clients for a light chemical peel. Lactic acid is a great one because it doesn’t dry out the skin."
Number of years in the industry: 25
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Celebrity clients: Rose Byrne, Anna Kendrick, Ruby Rose, Vanessa Hudgens
Website: Kate Somerville
"ExfoliKate gets rid of dead skin and helps the products used afterward permeate the skin more effectively. This product exfoliates both chemically and physically, which smooths the skin texture and helps avoid subsequent makeup looking too cakey or heavy.
"I recommend incorporating products like this into a daily skin routine that involves cleansing properly, exfoliating, hydrating, and moisturizing to get a glowing, camera-worthy complexion. Exfoliate two to three times a week with ExfoliKate to see maximum results. I like to steam my face with a hot towel and then apply ExfoliKate, leaving it on for about two minutes for the best results."
"DermalQuench Liquid Lift creates deep hydration, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and immediately plumps the skin. I love how lightweight the formula is, making it ideal for providing long-lasting hydration and radiance. The exfoliation hydration combination is the key to getting that red carpet glow! You'll see immediate results, and your moisturizer will work even better after you hydrate with this product."
"This last product, Deep Tissue Repair, helps to seal in the hydration and has peptides to keep your skin looking youthful and plump. It's perfect for the moisturization step and can be used both day and night for improvements in lines and wrinkles as well as overall smoother texture and tone."
Number of years in the industry: 21
Location: Upper East Side, NYC
Celebrity clients: Molly Sims, Sarah Paulson, Anne Hathaway, Emilia Clarke
Website: Georgia Louise
"La Mer is a brand I've used for years on my clients, and as its global skincare advisor, I often reach for the brand's products to prep celebrities for award shows. I love the Miracle Broth elixir that is found in the products. It's created through a fermentation process that uses energy from sound waves, and I find that combining it with my favorite signature techniques like ultrasound therapy works synergistically to really get the product deep down in the dermis for incredibly effective results.
"I really love the Cleansing Micellar Water for all skin types—it's incredibly gentle and wonderfully hydrating when you cleanse, and it prepares skin for treatment."
"When I'm massaging during a facial, if someone's skin looks dull or feels depleted, this luxe oil glides on like a dream with a lovely scent and nourishes skin to make it look instantly more radiant."
"I like to finish treatments with this ultra-concentrated formula since it's packed with Concentrated Miracle Broth. People really want that glow after a facial, and the Concentrate always delivers to help soothe skin and signs of inflammation. I warm it up in my hand, apply it, and then follow with LED light to brighten skin up even more."
"A cult classic, I love this iconic cream for extreme nourishment and hydration to give a glow."
"The secret to really radiant skin that glows every day begins at home. Yes, a great facial will give you a beautiful boost, but you see longer-term results with quality products. I recommend using this stone to massage, sculpt, and lift the skin at home."