Beyoncé’s proven she woke up like this, but she didn’t get there on her own. She, as well as Nicole Richie, Victoria Beckham, and Kim Kardashian are all regulars in Dr. Harold Lancer’s office, Hollywood’s top dermatologist.
With his new book, Younger: The Breakthrough Anti-Aging Method for Radiant Skin, the good doctor is breaking conventional thought on skincare. Though the beauty tome highlights the need to reduce stress, get enough sleep, keep the carbs to a minimum, and to skip the salt whenever possible, it’s his signature method that stars and skin savants alike are clamoring for. Consisting of three steps: a polish, cleanse, and moisturizer, he’s emphasizing exfoliating every day to get the youthful radiance we see on the red carpet. “It’s totally re-inventing the concept of skin care so the polish is always first,” he told The Cut. “If you have a tough stain on your kitchen counter, you need to scrub first before you can clean, it’s the same thing.”
Lancer recommends staying away from standard scrubs (aka “sandpaper in a bottle”); instead he favors the nightly use of Retinoic acid to increase skin-cell growth rate and cell membrane nutrients to help transport oxygen to the lower layers of the dermis and support collagen function. As cells run on a 21 days maturation cycle, the older cells need to be cleared constantly. “You need to exfoliate [the epidermal stratum corneum] before it can even tolerate proper cleansing,” Dr. Lancer explained. “Daily damage, age damage, and sun damage need to be exfoliated before [the face is] cleansed. It is just removing dull-skin debris and allowing oxygen to transfer the lower layers of skin.”
To accommodate the 30,000 active (and star-studded) patient files in his practice, he’s staffed his office with four medically trained aestheticians to provide his patients with on-site facials every three to four weeks as opposed to four times a year to maintain a gorgeous glow. While many believe that celebrities shouldn’t have problems with their skin, thanks to their ability to pick up any product they’d like, it’s actually everyone’s expectations of them that keeps them heading back to his L.A. office. “The stress of this alone is enough to wreak havoc on the skin, without even considering the constant makeup application it often takes to maintain this ideal,” he said. “The true difference between celebrity skin and non-celebrity skin is just what the skin is subjected to. Celebrities lead a very different life from the average person’s, and so their skin care must reflect that difference.”
We’ll keep that in mind the next time we see a star embracing their flaws – we’re all human after all.