Top Hollywood Facialists Reveal Their Secrets to Getting Glowing Skin
The aestheticians favored by Oscar nominees including Carey Mulligan and Amanda Seyfried unveil their rejuvenating skin-care arsenals.
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As Hollywood emerges from pandemic-induced cloistering at home, skin-care specialists to some of the town’s most famous faces — including Dr. Barbara Sturm, Joanna Vargas and Shani Darden — share the latest glow-getting tools, products, tricks and treatments.
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The Spa by Joanna Vargas at Sunset Tower Hotel
Bicoastal skin-care guru Joanna Vargas says that her Hollywood clients (Rachel Brosnahan, Daniel Levy) tend to request her signature Triple Crown Facial ($250) — a punch of microdermabrasion, microcurrent and oxygen infusion — or the Twilight Facial ($1,200), a recipe of radio frequency, microneedling, cryotherapy and LED therapy.
For self-care between treatments, Vargas recommends her Exfoliating Mask ($75) to calm inflammation and even pigmentation; a Twilight Face Mask ($75, set of five) with epidermal growth factor to speed wound healing on the cellular level; and the healing vitamin C-focused Rescue Serum ($150).
Her new Magic Glow Wand facial massage device ($285) is a multi-use tool that has hot and cool modes which help deep cleanse, firm and soothe. “It helps boost your glow, makes the most out of a mask and feels great on the skin,” says Vargas. 8358 Sunset Blvd., joannavargas.com
Shani Darden Skin Care
So in demand that she is not taking on any new clients at her Beverly Hills studio (other aestheticians are available), Shani Darden is known for her personalized facials that combine light chemical peels with vibration and oxygen therapy, microcurrents and LED light. Her clients include Amanda Seyfried (who recently lamented her lack of facetime with Darden during the pandemic), Laura Harrier and Jessica Alba.
Her new Facial Sculpting Wand ($399) uses sound-wave therapy to boost circulation and stimulate muscles. “I’ve been using vibration therapy in all my facials for many years and have seen the amazing benefits it provides,” Darden tells THR.
She also recommends her Retinol Reform serum ($88) for between facials. “It combines retinol and lactic acid to boost collagen in the skin, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, even out the skin, and keep it blemish-free.” Facials from $500. Address provided upon booking, shanidarden.com
Dr. Barbara Sturm Boutique & Spa
In November, Hollywood-loved German skin-care specialist Dr. Barbara Sturm opened her third and largest location, a West Coast flagship in West Hollywood that boasts five treatment rooms and two infrared saunas.
Angela Bassett, Naomi Watts, Emma Roberts and Gwyneth Paltrow are among the devotees of Sturm’s anti-inflammatory treatments, such as the Instant Glow Facial ($175 for 45 minutes, which includes lymphatic drainage massage and is personalized to skin type) and products (Carey Mulligan swears by Sturm’s Night Serum, $310). “Microdermabrasion, mesotherapy and microneedling are favorites among my patients,” Sturm tells THR, citing how these services strengthen elastic skin tissue. She advises against “aggressive treatments like lasers.”
For red carpet prep, Sturm suggests applying her Face Mask ($120) on the arms “if wearing a sleeveless dress. After 10 minutes, rub it off — don’t use water — and it generates a super-hydrating glow.”
To keep skin looking radiant during an event, Sturm recommends Glow Drops ($145), infused with shimmer particles, and Hydrating Face Mist ($95). Her latest release is a powerhouse Super Anti-Aging Face Cream ($360) that debuted in March. 515 N. Almont Drive, drsturm.com
Mila Moursi Skin Care Institute
In October, beloved Parisian skincare veteran Mila Moursi (whose loyalists include Jennifer Aniston and Charlize Theron) renovated the decor and upgraded all machines at her West Hollywood spa.
Clients detox with a thermic heat blanket and infrared dome followed by a G5 vibrational massager. A $100,000 EndyMed radiofrequency machine and new LightStim LED red light therapy bed boost skin regeneration. Clients also wear pressotherapy boots to assist with lymphatic drainage to contour and slim in conjunction with cryotherapy sessions.
“Most clients are here all year round, but we go the extra mile a month before the Academy Awards with a boot camp of four or five personalized treatments very close together for glow and smoothness,” says Moursi, who pioneered a dry contouring and hand sculpting facial massage technique.
In December, she released her Intensive Renewal Booster ($575), a one-month supply of at-home skin care three years in the making that includes blister packs of exfoliating bio-retinols, illuminating vitamin C serum and hydrating hyaluronic acids.
“Our clients use it seasonally for a complete rebooting of cellular regeneration,” Moursi tells THR, “They all dry brush, apply cellulite cream and nourishing oils at home — it is a partnership.” Facials start at $200. 9255 Sunset Blvd., Suite 102, milamoursi.com
Australian skin-care star (and Chanel skin expert) Melanie Grant’s boutique studio in West Hollywood is designed to mirror features of Coco Chanel’s apartment at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris and is open to just one client at a time, as it has always been. (She has additional locations in Sydney and Melbourne and a seasonal residency in Paris.)
Her Camera Ready Facial ($390) includes a mix of microdermabrasion, massage, LED light therapy and an antioxidant peel, plus an exclusive Melanie Grant x Augustinus Bader Treatment in collaboration with the German biomedical scientist’s luxury skin care brand (bipolar radiofrequency is an add-on).
To keep Hollywood faces looking fresh during the pandemic, Grant (whose clients include director Taika Waititi, Cate Blanchett and Phoebe Tonkin) created Melanie Grant at Home kits with curated collections of her professional-grade products to target various needs, complete with a gua sha stone, mask brush, headband and spa gown ($200-$450). 8438 Melrose Place, melaniegrant.com
Adeela Crown London
Adeela Crown, the London-based facialist known for her trademarked “skindance” sculpting massage technique, counted Julia Garner, Letitia Wright and Daisy Ridley as clients when they were filming in the U.K. during this awards season.
Designed to “propel skin health to a stratospheric level,” says Crown, her new NASA-inspired Lift Off facial ($775 for 120 minutes) consists of a hyperbaric-like oxygen dome curtained by BioPhotas LED light to enhance the oxygen injections, followed by nano needling, radio frequency, growth factors and a freeze-dried collagen infusion.
For at-home and on-set touch-ups, Crown recommends an LED mask and two high-performance handheld devices: The LYMA Laser ($2499), using cold infrared light to rejuvenate skin at the cellular level, and the Tripollar Stop X ($399), combining radio frequency with dynamic sound activation to tone and lift, “delivering razor-sharp jawlines and cheekbones,” adds Crown.
Crown recently worked as the on-set facialist for Jurassic World: Dominion, Fast & Furious 9 and Death on the Nile — adding Annette Bening, Sir Kenneth Branagh and Tom Bateman to her roster. She’s planning a residency at the Hotel Bel-Air next year. The Dorchester Spa, Park Lane, London, adeelacrown.com
A version of this story first appeared in the May 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.