You see airbrushed photos of models on Instagram or in magazines, and you think, damn, her skin is just effortlessly perfect. It obviously doesn’t matter what products she uses, because the genetic lottery has blessed her with the complexion of an angel… right? Well, not quite.
I actually know from having the privilege of interviewing seemingly perfect women like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Emily Ratajkowski up close and personal that their skin is not, in fact, naturally flawless. Models have skin concerns just like anyone else, but in order to do their jobs well, they have to keep their skin looking hydrated, plump, and breakout-free. So it actually is quite useful to look to models for skincare recommendations because not only do they have access to some of the best beauty products and experts in the industry, but their careers also rest on the health of their skin.
Over the years, models have suggested a ton of great skincare products to me (and to some of my other talented beauty editor colleagues around the web). That’s what this list is dedicated to. Scroll through see the skincare products I’ve heard models mention the most.
Like so many fellow models, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley uses this beloved French micellar water. She learned about the product backstage at a fashion show over a decade ago, and told Vogue it is “one of the most gentle eye makeup removers” she’s ever used.
Up-and-comer Barbara Maldonado recently expressed her affection for the same cult French product, which she always uses to keep her skin clean and fresh.
Stella Maxwell is another French-skincare stan. “I love Bioderma,” the model said in a Byrdie interview. “That pure water is amazing for the skin.”
Model Xiao Wen Ju has an intense before-bed skincare routine, which also begins with Bioderma. “I have been using this since I started modeling,” she told Vogue earlier this year. “All the makeup artists use it!”
Gua sha is another skincare technique Ju swears by. She uses the small curved stone to massage her face for de-puffing and increased circulation.
Lindsay Ellingson has sung the praises of this traditional Chinese practice as well. As she told Byrdie, “I give myself a 20-minute gua sha facial massage every morning because, for me, the secret to a healthy, glowing complexion is proper lymphatic drainage. Too much salt, stress, dairy, or alcohol can leave my face puffy and dull. With my jade crystal board, I can achieve an instantly sculpted and more youthful-looking appearance.”
“I hate to be dry,” Kendall Jenner told us in a recent exclusive interview. “So [I love] a really good moisturizer, or even something more hard-core if you need it: Aquaphor is very multipurpose, so I’ll use that if I have a patch.”
You know who also loves Aquaphor’s versatility? Emily Ratajkowski, who told Glamour UK, “I’m obsessed. … I put it everywhere, especially when I’m flying as it’s the only thing that will seep in. And I put it under my eyes at night. It’s God’s gift to earth.”
Models are collectively smitten with the multi-use power of raw manuka honey—Petra Němcová included. “In the morning, make your face a little bit damp with honey and sort of cleanse your skin with it,” she told Byrdie. “It’s antibacterial and works like a cleanser, but at the same time, it plumps up your skin.”
Delilah Parillo also expressed her love for raw manuka honey to The Coveteur. She uses it as a face mask, a spot treatment, even a bath product: “[It] helps get rid of redness, inflammation—if I have a pimple, I’ll like spot treat it with honey. You can put it in your bath, too,” she says.
Winnie Harlow also swears by manuka honey as an all-purpose face mask: “Honey is a natural humectant so it draws moisture to the skin and its high hydrogen content kills bacteria that can give me breakouts,” she told Elle UK.
Turmeric is another DIY skincare staple in models’ routines. As Jourdan Dunn told Glamour UK, “I’ll mix up yogurt, honey and a few teaspoons of turmeric—it’s my favorite spice as it’s anti-inflammatory and great for acne, dull skin, and tired eyes.”
Instagram model Brianna Lopez, who struggles with severe acne, also lives and breathes by the antibacterial properties of turmeric. According to Allure, she mixes raw honey (told you models love the stuff!) with cinnamon and about half of a teaspoon of turmeric to treat her skin.
Adwoa Aboah is a big fan of this Sephora best-selling mask. “It’s one of the face masks I get instant gratification from and see an immediate change in my skin,” she told Byrdie.
For nixing breakouts on the go, former Burberry girl Neelam Gill also loves the same GlamGlow mask, which is formulated with six exfoliating acids to clear pores lickety-split. “I reserve GlamGlow’s Supermud Clearing Treatment when I have to fly to four different places in a week,” she told Into the Gloss. “Without a doubt, I’ll always get a spot. I use that, and it goes straight away every time. It’s my little trick.”
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