A dermatologist even called it “filler in a bottle”.
If you’re on the quest to turn back the hands of time, this buzzy new launch from Murad may be just the miracle you’ve been looking for.
After seeing the 32-year-old brand’s Targeted Wrinkle Corrector all over TikTok, editors decided to dive a little deeper and reach out to experts about the latest line-smoothing miracle worker that, according to an official release from the brand, promises to erase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles “instantly” — and they didn’t mince words.
“I would call this filler in a bottle,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Sheila Farhang tells PEOPLE. “It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid, which is what most filler products are made of, and when you apply this to the skin, it creates an anti-aging benefit by its ability to pull in water and plump fine lines.”
“This product is also formulated with peptides, which are proteins that contribute to the elasticity, or the ‘bounce back’ of the skin,” she says.
Buy It! Murad Targeted Wrinkle Corrector, $78; murad.com
Seconds Cassandra Bankson, skincare expert and medical aesthetician, “This is one of the best over-the-counter products you can get when it comes to combating fine lines and wrinkles. I see many clients who aren’t ready or interested in Botox or fillers, but are still looking to combat forehead wrinkles and fine lines. Skin care won’t give you the same results as injectables, [but] this one packs a punch.”
It does so thanks in part to plant-derived squalane, “which is phenomenal for skin barrier support and moisturization, so your skin is going to look noticeably better with each use,” Bankson adds.
We then turned to the pages (and pages) of rave Murad reviews praising the powerful peptide-meets-hyaluronic treatment.
One satisfied shopper said they saw “a noticeable difference right away,” while another reviewer said, “It worked so well for me [that] I immediately bought another tube in case it sold out. I am an older woman with significant frown lines, and those lines were immediately minimized after I applied the serum.”
Here’s how to use it: Tap a small amount of the cream on clean, dry skin (don’t rub) and watch it fill your wrinkles immediately — even stubborn, deep-set lines — flooding the vacant space with hydration and leaving behind smooth, plump, younger-looking skin. It’s ideal for anyone with glabella lines (more commonly referred to as “elevens”) around the forehead, as well as those with concerns around the eyes and lips.
Shop this anti-aging secret weapon at Murad for $78 and put your best face forward.
“Squalane — which is the vegan version of squalene — has wonderful hydrating properties and maintains our skin’s own moisture barrier,” triple board-certified dermatologist and Terasana Clinical‘s Skintellectual Dr. Mamina Turegano shares with InStyle. “Our skin naturally produces squalene (with an “e”), but production decreases as we age.“
Fortunately, squalane (with an “a”) absorbs well into the skin and helps to replenish lipids with no side effects. Plus, it’s non-comedogenic and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and microbiome-nourishing properties, according to Dr. Turegano.
What Are the Main Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid?
Ever been out all day in the summer, on a blazing hot day, then come back home and thanked God you stored a few water bottles in the fridge the night before so you can feel alive again? Think of hyaluronic acid as that same type of water storage — but for your skin.
“Hyaluronic acid is important for moisturizing and maintaining elasticity in the skin,” explains Dr. Turegano. “Our skin also naturally has hyaluronic acid. It serves as a humectant, meaning that it pulls in water or moisture in skin cells, which allows the skin to feel more hydrated and ‘plump.’ This not only gives your skin moisture and glow, but it can also diminish fine lines in the skin.”
Why Should I Pair These Two Ingredients Together?
Simple: the two work together as a team to help draw in moisture, then lock it in.
“While hyaluronic acid pulls in water to hydrate the cells, the squalane serves more to build the moisture barrier and keep the hydration in the skin, as opposed to evaporating,” Dr. Turegano shares. “I recommend using a hyaluronic acid serum, then layering the squalane on top of that.”
What Type of Skin Ailments Can Hyaluronic Acid and Squalane Relieve?
Pretty much anything that has to do with, or stems from, dryness. Dr. Turegano adds that squalane itself can help to soothe sunburns, treat acne (because of its anti-inflammatory properties), and can even be used for dry cuticles and nails. Hyaluronic acid, on the other hand, can help with wound healing.
Both ingredients can also be used to hydrate dry hair.
Which Skin Types Are These Ingredients Most Beneficial For?
Any and everyone who can get their hands on them, pretty much.
“Even acne-prone, oily, or sensitive skin would benefit from squalane and hyaluronic acid,” the derm shares, adding that it’s also helpful for anti-aging. “There are serums that make higher concentrations of hyaluronic acid that would be more helpful with advancing age to help replenish the natural hyaluronic acid that we naturally lose with age and to help diminish the appearance of fine.”
Is There a Catch?
Nope! It’s really not too good to be true — unless you’re just not a fan of oils in the case of squalane. But luckily, you’ll still have options.
“There are still plenty of creams, lotions, or gel-based moisturizers that incorporate squalene into the product,” says Dr. Turegano. “But not all squalane is also created equal. I would look for squalane derived from sugar cane — as opposed to olives or sharks — since it is more consistent in quality and is more sustainable. With hyaluronic acid, I do recommend adding a separate occlusive moisturizer layer over the hyaluronic acid product, which allows it to keep the moisture in place. This is more important for those with dry skin.”
Another plus? Both of these ingredients are non-irritating, even if you have sensitive skin.
In short, a lash lift is a perm for your eyelashes, that provides lift and curl for weeks. To get more details, ELLE tapped lash artist Paula Ocot from tattoo studio Laurel NYC to explain everything you need to know about getting a lash lift.
A lash lift is a perm for your lashes.
The secret to a good lash lift? A safely formulated chemical solution. “A lash lift is essentially a perm for your lashes that offers eye-popping results by creating a natural curl and lift to your lashes,” Ocot says. “Everyone has different lash lengths and growth direction. Some lashes grow down while others grow straight out. The lash lift process creates a natural eye-opening lash swoop that lasts for several weeks.”
It requires little preparation.
Arrive at your appointment au natural. “Come with a clean face and refrain from wearing any eye makeup,” Ocot advises. “Thoroughly wash your eyes with soap and water. If you wear mascara on the regular, specifically waterproof mascara, it’s recommended to stop use for at least 3 days prior to your appointment as it can leave a residue that prevents lashes to adhere to the adhesive.”
Expect noticeable results.
Get ready for lots of compliments. “A lash lift will enhance your eyes by making them look more open and awake,” Ocot says. “You can also ask your artist to tint your lashes after they’re lifted, for darker and thicker looking lashes. Be ready to say goodbye to your mascara and lash curler and shave some time off of your beauty routine.“
You can customize your lash lift.
All lash lifts are not created equal. “Your artist can alter the ‘tightness’ of lash curl and add a tint to make the lashes look darker and thicker,” Ocot explains. “During the consultation process, you and your artist can decide what look would best suit your eyes: a soft and natural lash curl or a tighter lash curl for a more dramatic look.“
The process is pretty straightforward.
Have an idea of what you want your lashes to look like. “Every lash lift service starts off with a consultation,” Ocot says. “During this consultation, your artist will ask for your desired results and assess your natural lashes and eye shape. Based on your answers, the artist will then pick the appropriately sized silicone curling rod to shape, lift and curl the lashes.”
Then sit back, close your eyes, and relax for about 45 minutes. “Your artist will begin by thoroughly cleaning the eye area,” Ocot explains. “Once the eyes are cleaned off of any residual makeup and oils, a silicone curling rod is placed with a gentle adhesive on the eyelids bordering the lash line. The natural lashes are then curled over top of the rod and set with an adhesive.”
Your eyes will be closed throughout the session, so try listening to a podcast or music. “Once the artist ensures that all lashes are combed up and separated in place, a lifting lotion is applied to the lashes,” Ocot adds. “The lifting lotion will then mold the lashes to the shape of the curling rod. Following this, a setting lotion is applied which sets the lash shape into place. Finally, a nourishing lotion is added to add moisture back into the lashes.“
Lash lifts typically cost $100 – $120 per session.
Pricing depends on which salon you go to, but the treatment is generally more affordable than lash extensions. Always make sure your lash artist is a licensed professional.
Results can last up to two months.
A lash lift will typically last about 6-8 weeks. Of course, this all depends on how you take care of your lashes.
The upkeep is low-maintenance.
The first 24 hours are crucial. “Keep your lash lift dry. No water, sweat (no heavy exercising), steam or sauna for the first 24 hours,” Ocot advises.
Keep your hands off! “Try not to rub your eyes too much as you can alter the curl with excessive rubbing of the eye,” she says. Ocot recommends using a clean spoolie to brush your lashes daily, to keep them airy, fluffy, separated, and tangle-free.
You can wear eye makeup and mascara but avoid waterproof formulas. “While using mascara isn’t necessary if you want to enhance your lift, sticking to water-based mascaras are the best option,” Ocot says. Water-proof eye makeup can weaken the effect of your lift and leave a residue. Only use oil-free makeup removers and cleansers.
Lastly, help your lashes stay healthy. “Nourish your lashes 2 to 3 times a week to keep your lashes hydrated,” Ocot says. She recommends castor oil for keeping hairs strong.
Among the many skin-care ingredients on the shelves, few have attained the hero status of retinoids. That’s the umbrella term for all forms of vitamin A, which include prescription-strength tretinoin along with over-the-counter derivatives. The very word retinol stirs a certain reverence, given its proven efficacy in minimizing wrinkles, speeding cell turnover, and clearing up acne—and that’s despite a well-known drawback. “Retinoids are very irritating to the skin,” says New Jersey dermatologist Naana Boayke, MD. It’s a testament to retinol’s abilities that many users have the patience to tolerate the mild discomfort, which often appears as redness, dryness, and occasional flaky skin.
But for some, retinol is simply too harsh. Plus, the ingredient can pose a challenge in the summer, given that it increases sun sensitivity, thereby making skin particularly prone to redness and burns. (SPF is a must.) That’s where retinol alternatives can be advantageous. These new, up-and-coming actives tout results comparable to retinol, but without the telltale side effects.
“Mineral-, marine-, and plant-derived ingredients have been found to have retinol-like biological pathways,” says Marisa Plescia, a research scientist at clean retailer NakedPoppy. Those shared effects range from stimulated cellular renewal to collagen synthesis, she points out.
Chief among these gentler substitutes is bakuchiol, which is derived from the babchi seed. “It’s a ‘functional analog’ to retinol, meaning it has similar chemical, physical, biochemical, or pharmacological properties,” Plescia says, noting a study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science. Another promising ingredient is rambutan, which, she says, supports natural collagen synthesis through a mechanism similar to retinol and bakuchiol. “We are seeing this with other botanical sources, such as moth bean extract and certain algaes,” she adds.
They’ve proven so appealing that some products even pair actual retinol with retinol alternatives, such as Dr. Dennis Gross’s Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Intense Wrinkle Cream, which offers a skin-renewing trio of rambutan, bakuchiol, and retinol. While the evidence behind retinol alternatives is still growing, there’s enough promise to make such a product worth incorporating into your routine.
Dermalogica Neck Fit Contour Serum
As the delicate neck and décolletage areas are particularly vulnerable to the effects of sunlight, this formula takes a strategic approach. Not only does it combine peptides and rambutan to smooth lines (a sign of the aptly named tech neck) and address discoloration, but it also features a dedicated Flex Lift Contour technology, which creates a mesh-like network on skin to lift and tighten.
Herbivore Botanicals Moon Fruit Serum
Herbivore isn’t new to the world of retinol alternatives, but this addition to its portfolio is a welcome one. The formula pairs bakuchiol with plant-based peptides that help to further firm skin, and simultaneously hydrates to give skin a touch of radiance. Its fruity scent has proven polarizing, but early reviews suggest that it’s worth it.
The Outset Restorative Niacinamide Night Cream
One of the mainstays of Scarlett Johansson’s new, minimalist-minded skin-care line, this velvety night cream pairs bakuchiol with a proprietary Hyaluroset complex—a plant-based alternative to hyaluronic acid that deeply hydrates skin—giving it the power of a serum and moisturizer in one.
Elemis Pro-Collagen Renewal Serum
As Plescia mentioned, marine ingredients can often replicate the effects of retinol—as is the case with this serum, which is anchored in red algae, alfalfa, and stevia extracts. It’s designed to target signs of sun damage in particular, such as uneven tone and fine lines.
Tula Skincare Wrinkle Treatment Drops Retinol Alternative Serum
Delivered in an appealing dry-oil texture, which leaves behind no greasy or slick feel, this serum combines bakuchiol, alfalfa sprouts, and stevia to spur cellular turnover. Meanwhile, probiotic and prebiotic extracts (a hallmark of the brand) bring balance to the skin barrier.
Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum
Powered by bakuchiol, this elegant serum is ideal for more sensitive types: The blend of sugarcane-derived squalane and niacinamide work in equal measure to soothe skin, keeping it calm and comfortable.
Ole Henriksen Wrinkle Blur Bakuchiol Eye Gel Crème
One of the first brands to debut bakuchiol in skin care, Ole Henriksen has come to showcase the ingredient across its offerings. In this lightweight eye cream in particular, it works alongside orchid-derived stem cells to firm and brighten around the eyes, minimizing both crows’ feet and dark circles at once.
True Botanicals Phyto-Retinol Vitamin A Booster Serum
Encased in vegan capsules to guarantee freshness (and therefore efficacy), this serum offers a blend of vitamin A–rich botanical extracts, such as buriti and carrot root oils, which skin then converts into retinoic acid upon application. In other words, the formula works in concert with the skin’s natural processes.
Keys Soulcare Skin Transformation Cream
Formulated with guidance from a dermatologist rooted in clean beauty, this staple in singer Alicia Keys’s skin-care line delivers radiant skin with a blend of bakuchiol and ceramides. In keeping with the brand’s ritual-minded ethos, it also contains malachite, a stone that signifies transformation.
Of all the burning questions our minds have been inundated with this year (Who will date Pete next? Do I need curtain bangs?) perhaps the most common one asked is: Do we really need another celebrity beauty brand? It’s no secret we’ve hit peak celebrity beauty brand fatigue, with each release that enters the fold—seemingly every other week—eliciting constant eye rolls from consumers who are still trying to catch up to the last one. However, there’s a new celebrity brand from Ciara that might make you, dare I say it, 1, 2, step.
Like her other purpose-driven extracurricular ventures—House of LR&C (Love, Respect, and Care), which the star founded with husband Russell Wilson and entrepreneur Christine Day, and its in-house ready-to-wear brand LITA (Love Is The Answer)—Ciara is launching a skincare brand, OAM (On a Mission) that further drives the notion that love is at the root of everything, even skin.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #96 series on my blog.
How you view yourself in your most natural state sets the tone for how to speak to yourself and the level of confidence you radiate when you step out into the world. For a moment, the red carpet darling struggled with accepting her bare face, so she challenged herself to forgo makeup when necessary.
“When I was younger, I used to think that I needed to have a full face of makeup to love my most beautiful self. As I got older, I told myself I’m not going to allow myself to feel like I have to have makeup on all these different enhancements to feel beautiful and confident,” Ciara says. She admits she frequently used body wash and body lotion on her face, and dabbled in microdermabrasion occasionally. Despite efforts from her makeup artist, Yolonda Frederick, who serves on the OAM advisory board and suggested the singer start using eye creams (“I didn’t believe they actually worked”), it wasn’t until OAM’s inception that Ciara realized the power of a simple skincare routine, effective ingredients, and reliable skin experts.
It’s that three-pronged approach that OAM is based on. Two years in the making, OAM’s aim is to simplify your skincare routine with clinical-level formulas that make maintaining healthy skin less intimidating.
“When I talk about being on a mission to make clinical skincare simple, the idea is a simple, one-two step process is all that you need. We’re not going to overcomplicate things. Because honestly, when you go into the skincare stores, it is overwhelming. Where do I start?” she says. With the Vitamin C Hydrating Cleanser, of course. About 10 minutes into the interview, Ciara reaches for the interviewer’s hand to give an impromptu demonstration of the entire OAM regimen, starting with step one. Each bottle is designed with a numbering system (in the shape of a C) to help guide the consumer through the routine.
“The cleanser gets your makeup off really good, in one wash. If you have on eyeliner, that’s a little more tricky,” she warns. She’s correct; the rich foaming lather of the cleanser is a godsend for folks who typically wear more sheer foundation formulas or powders. Thicker formulas will need the assistance of cleansing oil, followed by the Vitamin C Hydrated Cleanser, which doesn’t leave your skin feeling stripped of its nutrients.
“I wanted a line that tells me the key things that I need for my skin to be radiant, to have that glow up, to be as smooth and even as possible, and to eliminate the dark circles and the lines,” she says. Enter: Vitamin C Brightening Pads. Designed to be the second step in the routine, these pads are lightly doused with OAM’s signature Tri-C Pro-Peptide Complex, which contains a mixture of peptides and three different forms of vitamin C, along with other active ingredients (like ascorbic acid in the Vitamin C Serum—step three). The potent use of vitamin C isn’t just a clever spin on the singer’s first initial.
“Our bodies don’t produce vitamin C, so I wanted to create products with very unique, very special forms of vitamin C. The way it performs in our products is different. With the Tri-C Pro-Peptide Complex in all of the products, it releases vitamin C in micro doses throughout the day so your skin’s not getting irritated with the amount of vitamin C that it’s receiving. I call these the liquid gold for the face because it really is game-changing,” she explains. Don’t be intimidated by all this vitamin C talk—OAM is safe for sensitive skin. Ciara sampled the range throughout the pandemic and even during her pregnancy with her youngest child, Win. “More than anything, this stuff works. I literally was building up my line when I was pregnant in the pandemic, and that was the most sensitive skin I possibly ever had,” she says.
The singer speaks of the products’ ingredients and benefits with the knowledge of a student who’s never missed a day of class. It’s a testament to the board of trusted skin experts she personally selected to help her along this journey. Ciara, along with board-certified Dr. Tiffany Libby, former Sally Beauty VP of Digital Strategy and Innovation JC Johnson, celebrity makeup artist Yolonda Frederick, and a cosmetic chemist named Maha, married their respective passions to produce a line that’s not only backed by experts, but also addresses the concerns of women of color.
Ciara admits she’s well aware of celebrity brand fatigue, but what sets OAM apart, she says, is that commitment to women of color.
“When I was preparing to launch, I had no idea there were that many celebrity skincare lines. But what I also realized is that there are only a few women of color skincare brands in this space. And for me, being a woman of color, I thought hopefully I can be a part of that great space where you’ll see more women of color-led brands. I don’t think that one person has to be doing it and only one person can win,” she adds.
OAM’s range is priced between $28 to $62 for single products, with the option to buy the complete bundle for $160, available now on oamskin.com.
From acne and rosacea to simply not knowing where to start with a good skincare routine, we turn to dermatologists for all manner of skincare concerns. Given that they have seen, done and experienced it all when it comes to the skin, what are the questions they get asked most often? And what advice do they give? British Vogue sat down with three experts to find out.
Does your diet affect acne?
“For the vast majority of people, acne purely comes down to your hormones and genetics,” says Dr Anjali Mahto. “That said, there is a small, select group of people that may be sensitive to dairy and refined sugars. I don’t recommend people cut things out of their diet at random because I think that can lead to issues around food restriction and disordered eating. But if you are noticing that your skin is breaking out when you eat dairy – and I’m not talking about a splash in your coffee, but huge amounts or taking whey protein supplements – there is probably some benefit in switching to a plant-based alternative that’s got a low GI index. Think unsweetened soy milk or almond milk, which are both better than oat milk.” Dr Justine Kluk agrees, stating that dietary changes alone are not enough to control acne. “They can form part of the management approach alongside prescription treatment, but don’t replace it in most cases,” she says.
Is the SPF in moisturiser equivalent to the one in sunscreen?
“The SPF in your moisturiser is tested the same way as an SPF in sunscreen, so an SPF 30 moisturiser should provide an SPF of 30,” explains Dr Justine Kluk. “The main issue is that these formulas are less likely to be rub and water resistant and may be applied a lot more thinly than sunscreen. It’s for this reason that they may not offer the same level of protection. It is also worth noting that moisturisers containing an SPF may not contain any UVA protection and, as a result, will not protect against UV ageing.”
Do collagen supplements actually work?
“If you look at the majority of data, at this moment in time, there isn’t any really good evidence that collagen supplements actually work,” says Dr Mahto. “That’s essentially because collagen is a protein – just like eating a piece of steak or tofu is protein. All that will happen is your gut breaks it down into constituent amino acids and doesn’t think, ‘I need to send it to the skin’, so it gets passed around the body. Also, if you’ve got enough expendable cash to be buying collagen supplements – they’re not cheap – you’re probably also the kind of person who is wearing sunscreen and following a good, healthy diet and using a retinol, so it becomes tricky to figure out whether it’s the collagen supplement working or the other things. I’m sceptical, but if you can show me good data that works, I’m willing to change my position on it.”
Will my breakouts ever go away?
“They might, but the reality for many women is that they often continue into the thirties and beyond,” says Dr Sam Bunting. “The good news is that the right anti-acne skincare routine will often be a highly effective plan for tackling premature ageing too, so your skin may well look better and better as time goes on.”
What is the right age to start having injectables?
“Lots of people ask if they’re too young or too old for injectables,” says Dr Mahto. “Generally, people that are in their mid-thirties onwards have figured out whether it’s a reasonable time to get started. Usually what I say in this scenario, is that it’s not actually about your age, it’s more about how your skin is ageing. That depends on your individual genetics – how your parents age – as well as how much sun exposure you’ve had, your diet, how stressed out you are and how you sleep. You can have somebody in their late twenties who’s had very little sun and their skin is ageing beautifully and they don’t need any injectable treatments. On the other hand, you could have a 28-year-old who has a really expressive face, they’ve enjoyed sunny holidays and outdoor sport, and they’re starting to get lines when their forehead is at rest or noticing a loss of volume in fat in their face. For someone like that, it might be a reasonable time to start. Different ethnic groups also age differently – somebody who has really fair skin, blonde hair and blue eyes will start to get wrinkles more quickly than somebody who has Asian or Black skin, because their melanin will protect them. The flip-side is that those with Asian and Black skin tend to start losing volume in their faces more quickly, so they tend to need filler before they need Botox.”
Is my skincare routine working?
“I think there is still a basic lack of understanding around what you actually need in a skincare routine and what you don’t,” Dr Mahto says. “People buy into the buzz about the latest ingredients – whether that’s niacinamide or tranexamic acid – but actually the average person does not need to be using every single one of those ingredients. What you’re trying to do is use as little as possible on your skin, and to look for ingredients that target multiple things. Vitamin A is anti-ageing, good for acne and pigmentation – so why use niacinamide and tranexamic acid and retinol when you’ve got one ingredient that will do a really good job of that? I spend a lot of time stripping back people’s routines, rather than adding things in.”
Will anyone be able to tell if I’ve had Botox?
“Not if it’s done well,” points out Dr Bunting. “I talk to patients about softening strong expression lines and releasing the tension from the face nowadays – it’s a far cry from the frozen faces of the ’90s. Microdosing means no one else ever has to know.”
“I Love What Gwyneth Has Done With Goop”: Brad Pitt Unveils His Genderless Skincare Line Exclusively To Vogue.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #93 series on my blog.
Brad Pitt has not read the beauty tutorial memo. Vogue dives 25 minutes into an exclusive interview with the actor, producer, philanthropist, wine producer, and newly-minted skincare brand founder at Château Miraval, the sprawling property and vineyard in the South of France that Pitt bought with his ex-wife Angelina Jolie in 2012, and after a few quick-fire questions they arrive at the inevitable part of any skincare founder interview: “What’s your regimen?”, with a certain amount of trepidation. “Can we have a product demonstration?”
Pitt baulks, smiling. “I’m not doing that!”
“Maybe just talk about how your routine has evolved, then? Just don’t make it too QVC,” Vogue suggests to the Academy Award-winner, hoping he might warm to the idea of applying face creams while being filmed.
“I wouldn’t know how to do that, unless it was a comedy,” Pitt says, laughing. “Actually, Sandy [Sandra Bullock] and I did once try to develop a whole idea of a husband and wife team, who were QVC’s most successful salespeople, but we’re getting a divorce, we hate each other, and we’re taking it out on air as we sell things… That’s as far as we got.”
While the world never got the Pitt-Bullock rom-com it deserves, the 58-year-old isgiving us Le Domaine, a science-meets-nature line of genderless skin care essentials that he developed in partnership with the Perrin family, the renowned Château Beaucastel vintners who are also Pitt’s partners in the fan-favourite Château Miraval Côtes de Provence Rose.
While he made a conscious decision not to front the brand as the “face” of Le Domaine (there will be no campaign portraits, no Brad on TikTok, and very few interviews after this one), Pitt has been as hands-on as it gets with its concept and development, which is based around the familiar story of grape-based antioxidants that has long been mined by more established brands. But Le Domaine has approached the science in its own way, appointing one of the world’s leading wine and human health specialists, University of Bordeaux Professor of Oenology Pierre-Louis Teissedre, to determine which of the 13 grape varieties the Perrin family grows on their estates in Provence had the most relevant antioxidant properties.
That research began over 15 years ago, and may have resulted in the next big thing in skincare: GSM10, an exclusive molecule in Le Domaine’s Serum, Cream, Fluid Cream and Cleansing Emulsion that combines potent properties from the seeds of Grenache grapes with the seeds and skin of Syrah and Mourvedre grapes. It serves as a powerful antidote to oxidative stress, which can break down collagen and contribute to the myriad physical signs of ageing. Professor Nicolas Lévy, a leading scientist in progeria – an extremely rare genetic disorder that speeds up ageing in small children – provided additional insights for the project. Having identified the way progeria affects the natural ageing process, he developed ProGr3 – Le Domaine’s other patented active ingredient – which is derived from grapevine tendril resveratrol, and aims to keep skin cells healthier, longer.
Finally, there’s the magical nature of Miraval’s soil itself – the terroir, as it’s called by oenologists when discussing the growing conditions unique to specific grapevines. In this case: terrace upon terrace of olive trees; miles and miles of otherworldly lichen-encrusted woodland; and air so thick with lavender that at one point one seriously wonders if it’s being artificially pumped in. No pesticides are used at Miraval, where all farming is done biodynamically. The clay and limestone-rich soil is ploughed and the vines aren’t irrigated, which encourages their roots to reach deep down into the ground for moisture. The deeper the roots grow, the better their interaction with the soil, which creates that much sought-after complexity in Miraval’s grapes, as well as in the olive oil that’s produced on the property, the combination of which makes up the base of the 96% natural, vegan and sustainable line. Refillable bottles are punctuated by a clever packaging detail: wooden caps recycled from old wine casks.
Later, while stuck at the EasyJet terminal in Marseille with Teissedre, he tells Vogue that the research into this project has been incredible, even by his standards. And that’s something Pitt is more than happy to be a part of. “Through the ages, Château Miraval has always been this hub of creativity, it has so many places within it where you want to sit and think and expand and explore, and make beautiful things,” he says from one such vantage point in the well-appointed outdoor living area, which overlooks a football pitch he created for his family. That’s not necessarily reason enough to get into what is already a very saturated skincare market, Pitt concedes. But Le Domaine’s efficacy just might be. “I know there are new products nearly every day that people are trying to launch, but if I hadn’t seen a real difference visually in my skin, we wouldn’t have bothered.”
Here, Pitt reveals his “little, simple regimen”, how Gwyneth Paltrow influenced his early skincare habits, and why self-love just may be the best secret to ageing well.
How did the Le Domaine project come about?
Brad Pitt: We had been talking about it for so long I don’t remember now how it originally started. I remember reading about the health properties of grape skins as something we wanted to investigate. But the initial idea, right from the beginning, comes back to this place. It’s just steeped in creativity and it’s so fertile. We make olive oil, truffles and honey here. Reinforced concrete began here. Reinforced concrete! That’s insane! In the 1840s Joseph-Louis Lambot invented ferro-cement, a precursor to reinforced concrete, and made a concrete boat that was eventually pulled out of the pond here and now resides in a museum in Brignoles. We had some pillars – test pillars – up in the courtyard. He went on to make the first two buildings in reinforced concrete, and now of course everything is built that way. It’s pretty extraordinary.
And was skincare meant to be a part of this creativity? Had you been secretly thinking all this time, “I must have a skincare brand?”
No, and truthfully we wouldn’t have done it unless we felt there was something valid here, something original, something that worked. I get sent stuff all the time and… ugh. It’s just all the same for me. But this last year we have been testing Le Domaine and I was really surprised by the results, and that for me, made it worth going forward.
Have you always had a good skincare routine?
[Very long pause]. No.
I was so sure you were going to say yes, because one imagines you would be well looked-after…
Well, when I’m looked after, I do [have a good skincare routine]. I just want to keep it simple, you know what I mean? That said, I’m actually thorough now. I’ve been whipped into shape by my dear make-up artist friend – we started together 30 years ago – Jean Black. She is pretty special. So whenever we’re on a film she keeps me healthy, and then she’s like, “try this”, and, “try that”.
You look like you have great skin anyway. I can’t imagine it takes much!
No, not really, I don’t, but now… I mean I have my little, simple regimen.
So, what do you do? Gua Sha?
I don’t even know what that is.
Rarely. I get antsy.
Did you ever imagine yourself as a beauty baron?
[Laughs]. I’m not sure what a beauty baron is…
It’s like if you were to achieve Estée Lauder-level success.
If Le Domaine is successful, do we get baron status? Yeah, no, I didn’t [imagine that]. Landing here – at Château Miraval – opened up a lot of ideas that I wouldn’t have normally considered. And a big part of it is sustainability, this idea of zero waste is something that is really important to this area and important to me. But listen, when we first got here, I mean, I never thought about having a winery either! I just wanted a beautiful base in this area and it happened to have a winery. And it happened to be hemorrhaging tonnes of money. So we had to go to work. And then we went out on a search and found Marc [Perrin] and his family.
A clever idea. You majored in journalism, I’ve read..
I did, I didn’t graduate, but I did.
Do you wish you had followed that career path?
[Laughs]. I think I’m pretty happy with where things landed! I wouldn’t have objected to that, but I’m feeling alright about my day job.
How do you feel about film star-fronted business enterprises in general?
When I started out it seemed shameful to do a commercial, for some reason. You were called a sell-out. I really think the hip-hop guys changed all of that. They made it okay – even cool – to spread your wings a bit, to try some other things. And now it’s really exciting that you can, you know, explore other corners [of your creativity] like the old Renaissance artists in a way. And I love what Gwyneth’s done [with Goop]. She is still a really dear friend, and she has built this empire. She has always had that in her as a curator, and it’s been a lovely creative outlet for her. In fact, come to think about it, she was probably the first one who got me to even wash my face twice a day… maybe.
What pressures have you felt personally around ageing in the film business?
I don’t want to be running from ageing. It’s a concept we can’t escape, and I would like to see our culture embracing it a bit more, talking about it in those terms. Something we discussed [in founding Le Domaine] was this headline of “anti-ageing”. It’s ridiculous. It’s a fairytale. But what is real is treating your skin in a healthy manner. And it’s something I’ve learnt to do for my business, but it kinda makes you feel better. I grew up with a country mentality, kind of you know, Dial Soap once a day and then move on. And I think that we’re learning that if we love ourselves, if we treat ourselves a little better, then there are long lasting benefits to that. So just age healthy, age in a healthy manner.
Speaking of, I watched Benjamin Button last night. Was it strange to see yourself looking older in that role?
No, no, it wasn’t at all, I was kind of fascinated by it, really. And by the way? All those prosthetics, six hours of prosthetics? Tore up my skin. They destroyed my skin!
How and why is it important to you that Le Domaine’s approach is genderless?
Again, I don’t know if it’s just that I believe in being all-inclusive as much as possible? Or maybe it’s about us guys needing help from others in understanding how we can treat our skin better? I mean, I probably got more from my female partners in the past. We kept the smell very neutral, very fresh, and very, verysubtle. I mean, I’m the kind of person who will change hotel rooms if I can smell the cologne of the last person who stayed there! It’s too much! It’s too strong! Keep it subtle. Let people come to you. Don’t force it on others. That’s my feeling (laughs). For smells, I mean. I stand by that for smells!
Do you have any special memories of Miraval?
This past spring was special. We had a good five or six weeks out here. The stories you hear about Provence in the spring, why people come here. Well, it’s real. And I can’t quite describe it, other than the freshness in the air, the light, the… I don’t know, it’s just a real feeling of peace and harmony and the nights are so soothing. In summer you get the symphony of frogs, they lull you to sleep. I have a lot of artist friends from different disciplines, and they were here this spring, we were having a laugh. One was working on his music [at Studio Miraval], one was painting, one was designing a clothing line, and so on and so forth. They’d go off to their respective corners to work on their respective things, and then we’d come back here to cross-pollinate over a meal, or a game of petanques, in the spot we’re sitting in now. Making an artist community has always been the idea here, and it’s really nice to see that happen.
What’s the future looking like for you?
The older I get the more I think about quality of life, and time expenditure, and I sure would like to point it more in this direction. I think after lockdown it seemed to be on a lot of people’s minds, like, how are we spending our time, why are we grinding so much, what are we dedicating our lives to? And I think that family and friends at the end of the day is all that matters.
What’s that you hear? Beauty vloggers around the world shaking as Jonathan Van Ness enters the YouTube arena. Van Ness, the grooming expert on Queer Eye and host of his very own podcast “Getting Curious,” is joining the ranks of the mascara-wielding and palette swatching elites with the debut of his new YouTube channel entitled JVN Beauty. The industry vet (he’s been doing hair professionally for over ten years) will do what he does best— chop, curl, dye, and braid his hair and that of his family and friends. But, Van Ness wants to ensure us all that it doesn’t stop just there. The channel will cover all types of beauty, from skincare to wellness, with the ultimate goal of each viewer feeling seen in the content.
Ahead of the launch, JVN sat down with ELLE.com to share a few of his beauty commandments. Plus, take an exclusive first look a the new channel above.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #92 series on my blog.
Always Have a Mantra Moment
As an added rite to combine inner and outer beauty, Van Ness turns to mantras. “You want to be present when you’re putting on your skincare. Often, it’s going into a positive affirmation, mantra moment where it’s like, I’d just be saying like, ‘Thank you body. Thank you for getting me through. Thank you for doing everything you’re doing.’“
For Van Ness, celebrating skincare or hair rituals is more than just the end result. “Part of what makes you look beautiful is when you’re experiencing life and connected to your joy and your passion,” he says. “Sometimes, that’s not all skincare and haircare and makeup. Sometimes for me, it’s a lot of cats. It’s a lot of gardening. It’s a lot of figure skating and a lot of gymnastics.” Paired with therapy, a soothing beauty ritual works wonders for JVN’s mental health. “It’s a time where I’m giving myself a look over and just getting into gratitude and clearing my mind.“
Go Back to Your Roots
Though Van Ness has become a pioneer in every sphere he enters, his background is behind the salon chair. “I want to share what I’ve learned. I did hair full time from the time I graduated from hair school in October of 2006 until April 2018. That five and six days a week for 12 years.” So be prepared for some high-quality hair content coming from JVN’s channel. “It’s been such a long time since I had my hands in hair. I was like, I miss doing hair, and I miss salon life. I miss talking about hair and thinking more about hair.“
Slather On SPF
No UVA or UVB rays are allowed in this house. Van Ness’ best skincare advice? Wear sunscreen every day. “The sun does not come into play anymore,” Van Ness warns. “I really, really, really love a gorgeous mineral based sunscreen because I just love that thick protective vibe that mineral sunscreen can give me. I love them. I also just got really into the powder sunscreen to refresh, so I don’t have to go over my skin with a cream every few hours outside, which I really wish that I would have used sooner.”
Invest In A Good Haircut
While some people may be horrified about a three-digit price tag on a haircut, for JVN a good haircut is like a wise investment. “I think that people that aren’t hairdressers do take for granted and don’t realize that especially if it’s a long layer haircut, like this 150 bucks, you shouldn’t need to get another haircut for six months. Really, it ends up being 150 divided by six. It’s like 30 bucks a month. Honey, it’s a fire sale.”
“Everyone Is Gorgeous”
Though he’s known for giving off-the-cuff beauty advice in his Instagram comment section, Van Ness hopes that this new medium will become a reference guide for all things haircare, skincare, and self-care. “I can’t wait to share it with everyone,” he tells ELLE.com. “Whether you’re like a brand new beauty beginner or you’re someone who has been into this for decades, I want there to be something that’s in there for everyone and a place for everyone to feel welcome and to learn.”
JVN’s channel is dedicated to making sure everyone feels welcome and beautiful for anyone who feels like the beauty community has often had a narrow focus. “Everyone is gorgeous. I want everyone to know that they’re gorgeous.“
It’s been a pleasant phenomenon over the past few years to see celebrities champion cleaner beauty products. The evidence on endocrine-disrupting chemicals like parabens, phthalates, and PFAS is there, thanks to research over the last two decades — so to see figures like Jennifer Garner, Brooke Shields, and Scarlett Johansson discuss their favorite clean products is wonderful. The downside: Many cost a significant chunk of change. But drugstore brands like Cocokind and Acure offer smart, safe products for less money, as does OG player Burt’s Bees. And according to shoppers, the latter sells a rosehip Facial Oil that leaves wrinkles “almost completely gone.”
The minimalist vial of golden oil calls in a mix of ingredients to help skin look its best, with rose seed extract at top billing. Jojoba oil, borage oil, and vitamin E make up a supporting cast of smoothing moisturizers, and bakuchiol lends an anti-aging angle. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Melanie Palm, MD, previously told InStyle that bakuchiol helps improve the appearance of skin texture, photo-aging, and wrinkles, and rejuvenates the expression of collagen in the skin — essentially handing you many of the end goals of retinol without the irritation.
With just a single drop of the oil nightly, one Amazon reviewer saw the frown line on their forehead smooth out, and their laugh lines turn less pronounced — plus, the moisturized look “lasts for days” rather than dissipating as you blink. A 44-year-old said two weeks of use likewise left their wrinkles smoother and face clearer, and a third person recognized a difference immediately. “The small wrinkles around my eyes were almost completely gone,” they wrote. “People cannot believe my age.”
Per the same thrilled reviewer, the under-$20 face oil rivals “very expensive” products’ effect on crow’s feet. Fans report its brightening power is just as excellent: A 36-year-old who “smoked for many years” wrote that the oil has “changed [their] life” — it toned down their persistent dark circles to such a degree, they said they’d give it 10 stars if they could.
A final 69-year-old commented that there’s “simply no comparison” for soft, supple, pliable skin. Between the results, ingredients, and price, it seems like Burt’s Bees Facial Oil is a velvet hammer that does no wrong. Get it for $19 at Amazon or Ulta Beauty.
Nothing compares to the sheer joy one feels when it’s time to lay down under steam for a facial. Of course, that relaxation only takes place after long hours of researching and scrolling through the facial services menu to determine what treatment is worth the money and the hour-long block in your day. Allow me to help make your search easier: Get a HydraFacial.
Apparently this magical 30- to 60-minute treatment tackles everything from dehydration to discoloration, aging to acne, and uneven skin texture. Ready to book? Honestly same. But here’s a brief explainer on everything to know before your first HydraFacial.
What is a HydraFacial?
According to board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Ariel Ostad, “The HydraFacial is the only hydra-dermabrasion procedure that uses patented technology to cleanse, extract, and hydrate.” And yes, HydraFacial is a branded experience. Spas have to be registered and licensed to market themselves as offering HydraFacials.
The 60-minute treatment is divided into three key sections, the first being Cleanse + Peel. “HydraFacial uncovers a new layer of skin with gentle exfoliation and relaxing resurfacing. The Activ-4™ serum removes dead skin cells to reveal healthy skin and the GlySal™, a mixture of glycolic and salicylic acids, delivers the benefits of a peel without post-peel scaling,” he explains.
The second step is to Extract + Hydrate. The HydraFacial removes debris from pores with painless suction and nourishes with intense moisturizers that quench skin. “The patented, automated vortex suction painlessly cleans out pores with the exclusive Beta-HD™ serum and Antiox+™ serum nourishes and protects with antioxidants, peptides, and hyaluronic acid,” Ostad continues.
And finally, the third step is to Fuse + Protect. “A HydraFacial saturates the skin’s surface with antioxidants and peptides to maximize your glow. Targeted, proprietary skin solutions are delivered to address specific skin concerns. Patients maintain results at home with Daily Essentials™ featuring the same ingredients used in the treatments,” he adds.
What do HydraFacials do for your face?
For those who wear makeup a lot or simply want a deeper clean than usual, HydraFacials are a great way to cleanse the skin. According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Anthony Rossi Jr., “facials such as HydraFacials are a way to remove the buildup of sebum and debris that cover the top of our skin. It helps to loosen and unclog pores, and combines an exfoliation process of removing the top layer of dead skin cells, the stratum corneum, with hydration and cleansing of water.”
HydraFacials help to brighten the skin. “After treatments like [HydraFacial] or any that help to exfoliate the top layer, skincare will penetrate better and makeup will be applied easier. The stratum corneum is the epidermis’ layer of protection and one of the main barriers to the penetration of topicals,” he adds.
How does a HydraFacial differ from microdermabrasion or a traditional chemical facial peel?
There are a few key differences. For example, microdermabrasion treatments use manual extractions, while a HydraFacial uses a vacuum-like tip to cleanse deeper down than traditional extraction. Additionally, chemical peels use acids and are most effective on lighter skin tones, whereas HydraFacials can be used on all shades.
“[The treatment] takes its name from the root word hydrate—this ability to moisturize the skin separates the HydraFacial™ from all other skin resurfacing procedures,” explains Boston-based, board-certified dermatopathologist Dr. Gretchen Frieling. “The treatment is soothing, refreshing, non-irritating, and immediately effective.”
Do HydraFacials hurt?
HydraFacials shouldn’t be painful. Essentially, the machine’s handpiece holds spiralized treatment tips with vortex technology which, as acts like a mini vacuum on your skin. The most uncomfortable part of the treatment is definitely the exfoliation in section one. Camkiran likened the feeling to a “cat licking my face.” That’s a cute way of saying it was sandpapery, but not excruciating.
Despite the official website’s claim that “patients compare the sensation to a light massage,” I would say it’s a bit more like a dental cleansing for your skin (and p.s. I love the dentist). Somewhere between not painful and not pleasant lies the HydraFacial. However, this is an active facial, meaning in the words of another prominent beauty editor, Deanna Pai: “The HydraFacial device is a huge machine with various attachments that whirr and suck and spin.” In summary, it’s noisy—and if you fall asleep during this treatment you are on a different level of zen that I definitely envy.
Is it safe for all skin types?
HydraFacials can be performed on most skin types, including very sensitive complexions. But, those with active rashes, sunburns, or rosacea should abstain from HydraFacials, which can cause further damage or flare ups. “You also should not do this if you have open wounds or excoriated areas. These areas are already prone to inflammation,” Dr. Rossi adds. Also, pregnant woman should always consult with their doctor first. “Some of the ingredients used during the HydraFacial, such as salicylic acid, haven’t been tested or proven safe during pregnancy,” adds Frieling.
Can you customize your treatment?
“The treatment is highly customizable,” explains Ostad. “Your skincare professional will work with you to understand your unique skin concerns and recommend a personalized treatment for you.” An aesthetician can use the exfoliator at varying intensities, and leave acids on the face for differing durations.
How many treatments do I need to see results?
“Many patients report seeing visible skin refinement and an even, radiant skin tone after just one treatment,” explains Frieling. And yes, I co-sign this. My skin has receipts. 60-minutes and change later I emerged a glow-ier, dewier version of myself that lasted into the latter half of the week.
The good news? The smooth results and hydration may last five to seven days or even longer. The bad news? One treatment per month is recommended for improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, brown spots, oily and congested skin…which ain’t cheap people!
Are HydraFacials worth the money?
With a price tag ranging from $199-$300, it’s certainly an investment. It’s wise to book a treatment before a big event or quarterly to reset your skin after a seasonal change. But if you have the bread, ball out because your skin will look lovely.