In addition to treating model Rosie Huntington Whitely’s skin, celeb esthetician Shani Darden also pampers the complexions of Chrissy Teigen and Jessica Alba (do any glowier women exist on this very earth?!). Darden recently shared her best skin care tips with Harper’s Bazaar, and we’re all ears. Luckily, Darden’s recommendations can be applied by everyone—no A-lister budget required. Read on for her get-glowing secrets!
First things first—you can’t have amazing skin without a good diet. (Celeb esthetician Joanna Vargas would concur!) Drinking plenty of water is the best place to start: “Drinking water doesn’t hydrate the skin,” Darden says, “but it is the easiest health tip I can give my clients. It’s amazing for digestion and helps flush toxins from the body.”
Darden swears by drinking at least two liters of mineral water daily—and even a little more if she has something on the naughty list—like a glass of wine or cup of coffee. Not crazy about chugging back the H2O? Make sure you’re eating your water by consuming water-rich fresh produce. (When you do consume water, be sure to drink from a reusable bottle to minimize plastic waste!)
Next, follow a simple yet consistent skin care routine. Lasting results take time to occur, so be patient and stick with your routine. Just make sure your routine is compatible with your lifestyle—not everyone has time to layer 10 products in the morning!–this way, you’re more likely to stick with it. Fortunately, your regimen doesn’t have to be too complicated to transform your skin. Darden says you really only need three steps in the morning and the evening–cleanse, treat, moisturize/protect.
For a morning routine, Darden recommends gently cleansing skin, applying an antioxidant serum, and always following with sunscreen. “I never leave the house without first applying an SPF 30,” she says.
This gentle cleanser removes dirt and impurities without stripping skin’s moisture barrier.
Packed with skin-loving nutrients, this serum targets fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and uneven texture.
A green beauty cult favorite for a reason!
In the evening, Darden begins with a gentle cleanser followed by a retinol and moisturizer. Retinol is one of the most celebrated skin care ingredients—it targets lines *and* acne while generally restoring and smoothing skin. The key is to find a retinol product that works for your complexion (some can be a bit irritating)—and vegan & cruelty-free, of course. (This potent retinol treatment from Paula’s Choice fits the bill. I recommend using a small amount sparingly—once or twice a week—to allow your skin to get used to it; then, work up to applying more regularly if desired. The retinol in this serum is not animal-derived—a lot of retinol/retinoids are!)
A medium-weight cream that soothes weary skin.
Designed to be less irritating than other retinol products of the same concentration.
Darden suggests using a chemical exfoliant or chemical peel as a weekly treatment. A chemical exfoliant can help improve the appearance of pores while encouraging healthy cell turn over. (Here’s an amazing guide to finding the exfoliating acid that’s right for your skin.)
Got a big event coming up? Darden recommends stepping your skin care game up a notch by incorporating facials. “I typically recommend a facial two weeks before a red carpet event. Clients come in for a peel the week of an event (or sometimes the day of, depending on their skin type). I always avoid extractions immediately before an event so as not to irritate the skin.”
Bottom line: Darden says, drink plenty of water, keep your skin care routine simple, always wear SPF 30, and consider incorporating a retinol. Sounds pretty doable!
What’s your current skin care regimen? Have you tried any of Darden’s tips for glowing skin?
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