If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing a model up close and personal, take our word for it: nearly every single one has flawless skin that looks like it’s been photoshopped. But when we’ve asked these catwalkers what products they use in order to achieve complexion perfection, the answers have been impossibly simplistic. No peels or retinoids here — we’ve found that most models stick to the holy trinity of rosewater, Bioderma, and coconut oil.
Turns out, we were asking the wrong question — it’s not what they use on their skin but what they do that keeps their faces fabulous. And who better to get the scoop from than a model-approved facialist? We asked Ildi Pekar, the esthetician of Lindsay Ellingson, Miranda Kerr, and Irina Shayk (just to name a glamorous few) what her clients do on the regular for glowing skin.
1. They use toner instead of face wash in the morning.
If you’ve noticed that you get intensely greasy and suffer from breakouts despite all efforts to stop producing sebum, you only have yourself to blame. Washing your face too frequently can strip your skin of its natural oils, throwing your complexion’s balance out of whack. (And yes, that can lead to overproduction of face grease.)
“I recommend cleansing your skin at night only,” Pekar suggested. Swap your morning face wash for a toner, which will gently cleanse and refresh your complexion. “Most importantly, it will balance your skin’s pH so it is not too oily and not dry.”
2. They reduce their sugar intake and keep their weight consistent.
Besides being excellent for your health, cutting back on sugar benefits your skin. “It causes breakouts and actually speeds up aging, prematurely showing wrinkles and fine lines,” Pekar explained. This is due to a natural process called glycation. The sugar in your bloodstream forms molecules that destroy collagen and elastin (which keeps skin firm). Avoiding sweet treats can actually help you avoid aging.
Yo-yo dieting can also wreak havoc on your complexion. “When your weight fluctuates, you are constantly stretching out your skin, which will affect its appearance,” Pekar said. This is true for your face as well as your body — though stretch marks may be an especially obvious side effect.
3. They make regular facial appointments.
When Pekar first emigrated from Hungary to the United States, she was surprised that facials weren’t a standard part of most women’s beauty regimen. “You can heal your skin and prevent a lot of damage receiving monthly facials,” Pekar said. “Most people wait until they have the problem to treat it, but they should just take the basic steps in caring for it to prevent it.”
4. They occasionally skip sunscreen.
We know, this sounds like total blasphemy, but Pekar insists it isn’t always necessary. “Most people don’t understand how much it clogs their skin, especially if they don’t need it,” she remarked. If you’re spending the day at home or in the office with no sun exposure or are just making a quick errand outside, forgo the SPF.
Not only will this prevent breakouts (typically caused by physical sunscreens), but you’ll also be able to get your
daily dose of vitamin D. Sun exposure produces this nutrient in the body. Millions of Americans suffer from vitamin D deficiency, which can result in cancer, asthma, and cognitive impairment, so get a little bit of sunlight into your regular routine.
5. They moisturize and keep hydrated daily.
You’ve heard it countless times, but drinking half your bodyweight in fluid ounces in water is as good for your complexion as it is for your body. “I preach to my clients that the key to healthy skin is hydration,” Pekar revealed. Drinking water plus applying moisturizer regularly will keep your skin radiant, clear, and wrinkle free.
6. They exercise.
As if you needed another reason to drag yourself to Zumba class! According to Pekar, that flushed glow you get post-workout is actually good for you. “When you exercise, blood and nutrients rush to the surface of your skin, stimulating it and keeping your appearance young and healthy!”