5 Cult Creams Coveted by Hollywood Execs and Stars

Amber Heard_Salma Hayek_Sienna Miller_Lucy Boynton_Split - Getty - H 2019
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Amber Heard, Salma Hayek, Oscar-winning directors and high-ranking female studio executives are paying hundreds of dollars for these anti-aging moisturizers: "It works."

Hollywood has had a long and burning romance with the cult cream. Whether it was Marilyn Monroe’s reported love for Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream, Ingrid Bergman’s favoring of Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrate or the legions who have hoarded Crème de la Mer, cult creams are the beauty staple of stars’ beauty regimens. More recently, everyone from Kerry Washington and Amy Adams to Blake Lively and Constance Wu have touted their glow-inducing creams.  

"The cult cream is what everyone wants to produce," says Jenni Middleton, director of beauty at WGSN, the world’s largest trend forecasting service for beauty companies. "It’s what encourages customers to cling to a brand. It’s the unicorn of any skin care portfolio that keeps people talking about you."

Even with social media driving a high rate of beauty-trend turnover in this "thank you, next" era, transformational creams are still occupying the top of most-wanted lists year after year. The Hollywood Reporter breaks down the five cult creams coveted by entertainment industry insiders today:

Macrene Actives High Performance Face Cream – $225; drmacrene.com

Dr. Macrene Alexiades, a New York-based dermatologist and associate clinical professor at Yale University School Of Medicine, researched her skin care collection, the newly rebranded Macrene Actives, over the course of 16 years. Loaded with over 50 of what she refers to as "the world’s most effective anti-aging actives," including blue algae, amino acids and plankton, High Performance Face Cream is the hero of her toxin-free line that counts Sienna Miller, Free Solo co-director Chai Vasarhelyi and screenwriter Melissa London Hilfers as devotees.

Says Vasarhelyi: "This high performance cream is exactly that — high performing." London Hilfers agrees. "I’m addicted to this magical product,” she says. "It’s moisturizing, but not heavy or oily, and it calms my sensitive skin leaving it dewy and luminous." Perhaps these results are to be expected from the triple-Harvard-degreed Dr. Macrene, who says, "I set out to make procedures obsolete with these active ingredients in my skin care line."

Ecologica of Malibu Regenerative Cream – $65; ecologica.com

A pioneer of holistic skin care, Vicki Cooper opened her first natural skin spa in Malibu over 30 years ago, catering to a robust clientele of Hollywood power players and royalty. Today, she operates out of a private space just a few days a week for those able to get in for one of her custom facials.

Her industry clients clamor for the "100 percent natural" Regenerative Cream, which Cooper says "deeply nourishes the skin with hyaluronic acid, and vitamins A, D and E in a seaweed-base." Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Elizabeth Gabler has been a "blessed client and friend" of Cooper’s for many years. "I’ve used this cream, along with all of her magical products since she first developed them," she says. "Every element that goes into ecologica has been researched and tested by Vicki for its restorative qualities, and the results from using them are immensely rewarding."

Royal Fern PhytoActive Anti-Aging Rich Cream – $280; royalfern.com

In his research, Germany-based dermatologist Dr. Timm Golueke discovered that fern plant extract is not only an effective antioxidant, but also protects skin cell DNA and stimulates the production of collagen. Golueke built an entire range of skin care around his patented Royal Fern Complex, which also includes voacanga tree oil (a moisturizing anti-inflammatory), wild rose oil (to help regenerate skin) and mineral oxides (to protect the skin from environmental pollutants).

Hollywood facialist Cynthia Franco is a fan of the PhytoActive Anti-Aging Cream. "I absolutely love this product," she says. "It’s extremely hydrating and helps even skin tone." Lucy Boynton, Amber Heard and Salma Hayek are some of Franco’s clients who have been treated to glowing effect.    

La Prairie White Caviar Crème Extraordinaire – $725; laprairie.com

La Prairie has long reigned in the cult cream realm, and the White Crème Extraordinaire is no exception. A proprietary compound is said to reduce the appearance of brown spots, smooth lines and illuminate the skin. One fan is Hollywood makeup artist Mai Quynh, who uses the cream on CAA’s Hylda Queally, Alison Brie and Taylor Schilling. "It lightens discolorations and evens the skin enough that I don’t need to use much concealer on my clients," she says. "Plus, it’s super hydrating and makes the skin more supple, which is perfect before applying makeup.”  

 8-in-1 BioSerum – $220; defenage.com

Step foot into any industry-frequented anti-aging clinic and you’re likely to spot DefenAge. Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon Dr. Ben Talei, who keeps the names of his numerous industry clients closely guarded, can’t keep the 8-in-1 BioSerum in stock. "I see great results with my patients who are using it,” he says. Laurie Zaks, president of Mandeville Television, is also a fan. "It works," she says.