Hollywood's Favorite Facialist Prescribed Me a Skincare Routine for Dewy Skin

Best Shani Darden products


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I often see photos of celebrities with flawless, glass-like skin and think, "How on earth do they get their skin to look that good?" The answer is obviously multipronged: You can chalk it up to skincare, filters, a good makeup artist, and even genetics. One thing is for sure, though. Celebrities with the absolute best skin have a really, really good aesthetician

One of the most sought-after and well-known celebrity aestheticians is Shani Darden, whose impressive roster of clients includes the likes of Shay Mitchell, Laura Harrier, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and more. Darden uses a results-focused approach to skincare, which is part of the reason why all of the faces she touches look so flawless. She adjusts her services to address her clients' individual needs. 

Luckily, we regular people can get a taste of Darden's magic touch with Shani Darden Skin Care, a line of products created by Darden herself. You've probably heard of her much-lauded Retinol Reform, an instant hit that is now a vanity staple for many celebrities. All of Darden's products are high-performing and made to provide tangible results. 

I'd be happy to give you a rundown of Darden's best products myself, but I figured it might be better to let her do it. After all, no one knows the products better than she does! Darden walked me through a basic skincare routine using her favorite products and let me know why they work so well and why she likes them. She also told me about the other products she recommends to her clients for a holistic routine, including sunscreen and a $5 micellar water. Keep reading for Darden's best recommendations.

The Best Shani Darden Products for Your A.M. Skincare Routine

Shani Darden Skin Care Cleansing Serum

"In the morning, I recommend starting with Cleansing Serum, which is a gentle cleanser that has hyaluronic acid and glycerin, which draw moisture to the skin and help it hold on to it. It also has oat-bran extract to repair the skin's barrier, protecting from future moisture loss along with olive and chicory-leaf extract to fight inflammation and calm the skin."

Shani Darden Skin Care Facial Sculpting Wand

"After cleansing, I recommend using my Facial Sculpting Wand to start the day lifted and glowing. It is a vibration-therapy device that transmits acoustic sound waves up to six centimeters below the skin's surface, which helps to increase the skin's oxygen uptake, resulting in more glowing, youthful skin. It provides deep muscle stimulation to target crow's-feet, eyebrow furrows, and nasolabial lines under the surface at the source rather than on a superficial level, helping to achieve long-term as well as immediate benefits. Overall, it helps skin to appear firmer, more contoured, and radiant."

Shani Darden Skin Care Intensive Eye Renewal Cream With Firming Peptides

"Intensive Eye Renewal Cream is a luxurious formula that melts into the skin. It's formulated with peptides to plump and firm, silk tree extract to brighten, squalene to hydrate, and niacinamide to fight wrinkles. It softens the appearance of crow's-feet and dark circles, leaving the eye area visibly firmer and brighter. It's an amazing treatment that works just as well in the morning as it does at night, and it's great underneath makeup."

Other Products Darden Recommends for Your Morning Routine

"I always recommend using a vitamin C during the day, such as IS Clinical's Pro-Heal Serum for antioxidant protection. It's an amazing vitamin C serum that helps to offset the effects of environmental stressors like pollution and UV exposure. It can also help reverse the signs of sun damage by brightening skin and boosting collagen."

"Wearing sunscreen every single day is the most important thing you can do for your skin to keep it youthful and healthy, so it's a step I never skip. I love Supergoop!'s Play Everyday Lotion with SPF 50. It's lightly hydrating yet doesn't cause congestion and also doubles as your daily moisturizer to keep your morning routine easy."

The Best Shani Darden Products for Your P.M. Skincare Routine

Shani Darden Skin Care Retinol Reform

"The most important step! Retinol Reform has become the go-to serum my clients swear by, and I can't live without it either. It's clinically proven to address multiple anti-aging concerns from the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to uneven texture, dullness, and even loss of firmness. Utilizing a time-release encapsulated retinol, this formula delivers a consistent stream of retinol throughout the night to minimize irritation often experienced with retinol products. It also contains an AHA, which helps to brighten and smooth skin, so you get both immediate benefits and long-term results. It's an essential treatment for glowing, youthful-looking skin and is well tolerated by most skin types."

Shani Darden Skin Care Lactic Acid AHA Exfoliating Serum

"On nights when I'm not using retinol, I use my Lactic Acid Exfoliating Serum, which is formulated with gluconolactone, a PHA that also helps to polish the surface of the skin while boosting natural cell turnover. It's formulated with extra hydrating ingredients like a four-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid and an aloe vera concentrate that adds extra hydration and soothing benefits, which help to prevent any irritation that comes from exfoliation."

Shani Darden Skin Care Intensive Eye Renewal Cream With Firming Peptides

"I use it morning and night. I worked on this for years, and after testing so many different eye creams over the years, I am so excited to finally have my own! It's a super-hydrating formula that is amazing at reducing dark circles and deeply hydrating the under-eye, without being overly heavy. Also, you can use it on your eyelids! It was really important to me to be able to use it on the eyelids because it's a really neglected area that is prone to sagging, and this formula really helps to firm up the skin."

Shani Darden Skin Care Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer

"I finish up my nighttime routine with Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer. For normal to oily skin like mine, I prefer a lightweight oil-free moisturizer like this one, which is formulated with hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate the skin without causing any congestion. It also has hydrolyzed collagen to help keep the skin supple."

Other Products Darden Recommends for Your Nighttime Routine

"For anyone who wears makeup or just wants a deeper cleanse, I recommend starting your evening routine with Garnier's micellar water to remove makeup and impurities from the day. It's a great, gentle formula that isn't harsh on the skin whatsoever. It removes everything thoroughly without the need to tug on the skin."

"One to two times a week, I use the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads. Exfoliation is necessary to remove the dead layer of skin on the surface so that your treatment products can do their job! I've used these for years because they combine both AHAs and BHAs to exfoliate and clear out congestion in your pores."

"Following my treatment products and before moisturizer, I use Dr. Nigma's Serum No 1, a hydrating serum that helps to deeply hydrate and plump up the skin." —Darden

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