We all know it takes an army (meaning a few trusty glamsquaders on speed dial) to make the stars look flawless. And that a lot of smoke and mirrors can go into achieving that one perfect cover shot. But if you think celebs are all no makeup and chill in between big gigs and even bigger appearances, think again. They can most likely be found in their go-to derm’s chair when not walking the red carpet (or posting up-close selfies), working on their self-care.
That means lasers for smoothing fine lines, radiofrequency machines for melting fat, photofacials to destroy dark spots and pigmentation, and PRP injections to promote collagen production and improve skin texture… to name a few. Behold the most significant non-invasive beauty treatments of the past year and meet the doctors, estheticians, and wellness gurus who performed them. Saying “I woke up like this” might come at a cost, but thanks to these pros (and their trusty tools) it’s totally doable.
1. Photofacials (IPL)
When actresses, Insta influencers (and a bevy of New York City Ballet dancers) want to prepare for a big event – or a major photo opp – they turn to Gerald Imber, M.D.’s Youth Corridor Clinic. And his #1 treatment for a photo-ready face is a photofacial, obviously. “One of the most effective and modern treatments for treating surface irregularities is IPL,” he explains. An acronym for Intense Pulsed Light, IPL is also referred to as the photofacial, and is a device that uses light to diminish discoloration, while initiating collagen production and skin cell renewal at the same time. Aside from IPL’s long list of pros (it fades dark spots, evens out skin tone, shrinks pores, and can be a solution for rosacea), its popularity rise can really be attributed to the fact that it’s fast and painless. Two of our favorite words in the self-care language.
Celebs are always the first in the know about the latest laser treatments and one that blew up this past year was Fraxel. Even Jhené Aiko is a devotee and recently professed her Fraxel love on the ‘gram saying, “I get Fraxel about twice a year. It’s an intense laser treatment that improves texture, acne scars, and enlarged pores. It’s kinda expensive and hurts like shit and your face micro scabs, but the scabs fall off gradually over a period of seven days. And then a new layer of skin is revealed.” So is no pain no gain the motto when it comes to Fraxel? Aiko would vote yes: “Your face stays swollen for a week, but it’s all so worth it.” And there you have it.
3. Venus Freeze
Mrs. Bieber AKA Hailey Baldwin is no stranger to red carpets, photoshoots, and catwalks, and when she wants to look 100 for these mega moments she swings by NYC’s Skinney Medspa. According to founders Adriana and Marisa Martino, Hails is a big-time Skinney fan and one of the most requested treatments by celebs who frequent their wellness facility is the Venus Freeze: “This non-invasive treatment combines radiofrequency and heat and is tops for getting rid of cellulite.” Another bonus? It works on the face to smooth and tighten fine lines and wrinkles – like a temporary facelift, with no downtime. If Baldwin-esque beauty is the outcome, we’re here for it.
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Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer works with some of the biggest names in Hollywood (oh hey, Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, and Jennifer Lopez) and while these gorg ladies have access to the all-star fitness instructors and on-demand training sessions, sometimes us regular folk need a little extra help.
Enter Emsculpt, which according to Lancer “is the most cutting-edge technology in body shaping.” Em stands for electromagnetic and this sculpting machine only surfaced at his practice three months ago but has been in high demand with his high-profile clients ever since. “Emsculpt is used externally and painlessly to sculpt and lift two specific areas (the buttocks and the abdomen) and it can reduce fat by 5-10%,” he says. And while that’s good news for our post-holiday waistline, the real draw is that the process improves muscle definition (targeting excess ab fat) and shapes the booty, making #bodygoals way more attainable. Be prepared though since it will cost ya – around $1,000 per session – so start saving those coins.
5. Plasma Rich Plasma Facial aka The Vampire Facial
Dr. Debra Jaliman, board-certified NYC dermatologist and author of the book Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist, knows a thing or two about making her famous patients look good. And PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) injections is one of her top treatments to accomplish this feat. “PRP regenerates tissue and promotes your own collagen production, when your own plasma is injected back into your skin,” she says.
It also smoothes and tightens skin, plumps cheek indentations, softens under-eye hollows, and can even be a solution for hair loss, but if you’re freaked out about your own blood being injected into your money maker, you needn’t worry. “The PRP is sourced from the patient’s body, which eliminates the risk of an allergic reaction,” she adds. P.S –PRP is an alternative for hyaluronic acid fillers, so if you’re trying to live your life #fillerfree and #filterfree, definitely go this route.
6. Crystal Stone Scraping (Gua Sha)
While the ancient Chinese practice of Gua Sha (a lymphatic drainage technique with a crystal stone) isn’t exactly new, it has been garnering some serious buzz in the beauty world as of late. And celebrity facialist Georgia Louise (who tends to A-list visages like Jennifer Lawrence and Karlie Kloss) explains why: “Everybody should have beautiful skin and achieve professional results at home and a rose quartz butterfly-shaped stone has many healing and anti-aging benefits,” she says.
So just how do you use this magic little crystal? By applying facial oil and scraping (or massaging) the stone around the muscles and lymph drainage points on the face, i.e. the cheekbones, jawline, and neck. This miraculously banishes puffiness, remove excess fluid, and improves blood flow – you can see our tutorial here – so it’s no wonder supermodel Karlie Kloss can’t get enough. The best part? Compared to some of the other pricey procedures on this list, you can find Gua Sha facial tools for pennies! As little as $5 that is. Or, fancier versions at Sephora and department stores for $25 and up.
7. Exilis Ultra and Genesis Lasers
If you’re traveling over the holidays and need a little skincare boost (or have been hitting the spiked eggnog too hard and it’s starting to affect your skin), there’s help on the way. Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, celebrity cosmetic dermatologist and founder of PFRANKMD & Skin Salon, recommends treatments like Exilis Ultra for the face and body, as well as Laser Genesis for skin toning, to his leading ladies since they’re “quick procedures that provide real results.”
Exilis contours and melts fat via monopolar radiofrequency energy and ultrasound technology (vs. one or the other that’s been the case in most devices up until now). While Laser Genesis can be done in 20 minutes and solve a myriad of skin issues (think: scarring, redness, inflammation, and broken capillaries). Plus if you’re on the fence about scheduling multiple appointments, for different services, at all different times, you can rest assured. Most of these treatments can be mixed and matched for a maximum payoff in half the time.
Let us know if you’ve tried any of these treatments or whether you’d be keen to give them a go, in the comments below.