What do Mandy Moore, Naomi Watts, Debra Messing, and Elisabeth Moss have in common? Aside from acting, they all flock to celebrity esthetician Joanna Vargas. If you haven’t heard of the world-renowned facialist, don’t worry: her clients are usually Hollywood A-listers, pop stars, and supermodels. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn some red carpet-worthy tips from her to use at home.
I’ll even let you in on a little secret: even though I’ve been a beauty editor for quite some time, I recently learned about Joanna’s skin care powers last year. I know, shudder. When I wrote an article about how a non-celeb gets ready for the red carpet (aka me), I discovered that all the famous people go to Joanna when it’s awards season. So when you’re watching the Oscars this Sunday, March 4th, just know that Hollywood’s biggest stars went to Joanna.
However, you don’t need to be famous to get glowy, radiant skin like all of your fave celebs. Luckily for us, the celebrity esthetician has her own eponymous skin care line, and it’s packed with good-for-you ingredients. My personal favorite is the Miracle Bar (it has replaced my longtime soap cleanser).
If I’ve piqued your interest about Joanna and her star-studded clients, then you’re probably curious to know exactly what treatments A-listers get during awards season, and the biggest skin care mistakes most of us are making. Joanna spilled her best-kept beauty secrets with HelloGiggles, and yes, you’re going to want to take notes.
HelloGiggles: As the go-to esthetician in Hollywood, what does your own skin care routine consist of?
Joanna Vargas: I never go to bed without washing my face. I use my Vitamin C Face Wash, which is a foaming exfoliating cleanser. I take my makeup off with that as well because I hate fussing with tons of products. I follow up with the Rescue Serum, my vitamin C formula. Then, I layer my Daily Serum — the skin needs greens, and my formula is packed with vital greens for the skin. I apply it all over, even to my eye area. It makes the skin hydrated and lightens and brightens my face in the morning, and I then use the Rejuvenating Serum.
If I have a big event the next day, I will sometimes go to sleep with my Exfoliating Mask on my face. Since I always wash my face at night, in the morning, I simply rinse my face with tepid water. I don’t like using extreme temperatures on my skin because this tends to dry it out. Then, I apply my Rescue Serum and Rejuvenating Serum to my face, followed by my Daily Hydrating Cream.
HG: With awards season in full swing, what’s the number one service or treatment celebs come to you for?
JV: The Triple Crown Facial is my signature facial that speeds up collagen and elastin production to produce dramatic results. It will re-define your features from the first treatment. This microcurrent facial uses three unique steps to re-shape your face, and by the end of your treatment, your jawline will be more defined, your cheekbones more pronounced, and you will have younger-looking eyes. I also just launched my Super Nova Facial to hydrate and make their skin glow for miles.
HG: Has there been a celeb client of yours that made you starstruck?
JV: If I’m a big fan of their work, I will sometimes tell them. I am very lucky that my job has allowed me to meet incredible artists. But at the end of the day, many of my clients are my friends, so I haven’t ever really gotten that feeling.
HG: Of all the celebs you work with, whose skin care routine is closest to your own?
JV: I have a lot of clients who do as I do — Maggie Gyllenhaal, Elisabeth Moss, Gretchen Mol – we all kind of do similar steps.
HG: What are some skin care hacks or trends you’ve seen that need to go away?
JV: I’m not a huge fan of a wipes taking place of a cleanser, but I tell people all the time that a wipe is better than going to bed with an unwashed face.
HG: More often than not, what are we doing wrong when it comes to skin care?
JV: I think over-exfoliating is the worst mistake I repeatedly see. Somehow, women have gotten the impression that the more they use glycolic and scrubs, the better. However, we really need to understand that the skin can only take so much of that stuff. Time and time again, I see women who come in with red, inflamed skin, and they think they need more peels and microdermabrasion. The skin thins over time with all of that, and I think we can all agree that once you reach the point of inflammation, you really can’t expect anything good to result.
HG: With people focusing on their health more than ever and food being a factor in having great skin, what is the number one food item that affects our skin the most?
JV: Everyone can agree that sugar is somewhat of a toxin for the body because it causes inflammation. The digestive system has a direct effect on the way the skin looks and feels. If you eat things that are hard to digest, you will see it in your skin through puffiness in the face and eyes; your lymphatic system is not going to function properly and it will slow down in the delivery of nutrients to the skin’s DNA.
The skin needs basic vitamins and nutrients to achieve a glow from within. Eating greens will help to oxygenate your skin, encourage lymphatic drainage, and keep you de-puffed and glowing from within! Eating avocado, drinking green juices, and adding more flax to your diet will hydrate you from the inside out.
If you live in the NYC or LA area, you can schedule an appointment at Joanna’s salons. She even opened a new location in LA at the Sunset Tower.