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Celebrity Facialist Joanna Vargas Has the Best Skincare Advice

Welcome to Behind The Glow, Lively's new series spotlighting Hollywood's amazing stars, stylists & more as they celebrate notable achievements and cool career moments. 

behind the glow

Joanna Vargas knows glowing skin. In fact, the celebrity facialist is so lauded, she was tapped to pen Glow From Within – a must-read guide for those who want “to achieve healthy, glowing skin from the inside out,” she tells Lively.

(With a beauty-loving philosophy like that, it’s no surprise Vargas is also a fan of Vital Proteins’ collagen products!) 

We caught up with one of Hollywood’s favorite skincare experts, as she preps the stars ahead of this Sunday's Golden Globes, to chat about her new book (available Feb. 11), her daily skincare routine, the collagen powder she just can’t live without and so much more. Read on for the full interview.

Lively's Interview with Celebrity Facialist Joanna Vargas

joanna vargas

Lively: You’re about to release Glow From Within – congrats! What should people expect? Why do you think it’s important for everyone to check it out?

Joanna Vargas: Thank you! I’m so excited to release my first book. It’s my go-to guide for anyone to achieve healthy, glowing skin from the inside out. The advice on every page is grounded in the science and lifestyle-based wisdom I’ve studied and learned over the past few decades working with celebrities, editors and it-girls throughout the world. The most important thing I learned is that you can get the skin you want, it just takes practical applications of wellness routines – steps than anyone can follow, no matter what life stage you’re in. 

L: We have to ask: What does your daily skincare routine look like?

JV: I think a good routine is anything you can follow consistently. I personally stick to the following daily: Every morning, I use tepid (not hot) water to gently cleanse with my Cloud Bar, followed by my “green juice for the skin” Daily Serum. It’s full of vitamins, nutrients and hyaluronic acid to keep me nourished and moisturized all day long. Then I get my glow daily with my Rejuvenating Serum, topped with my Daily Hydrating Cream to lock in moisture and prevent sun damage. I never walk out of the house without sunscreen either! The most important daily skincare ritual for everyone is to cleanse at night, no matter what. I use my Vitamin C Face Wash to remove makeup and detoxify in one step. After patting skin dry, I apply my Supernova Serum to expedite cell turnover (it contains retinol to renew skin for a youthful glow) and finish with my Revitalizing Eye Cream. That’s it! Just 4 products in the morning and 3 at night.

L: What are some easy fixes you think everyone should be implementing in their skincare routine?

JV: My number one easy fix that works for every skin type is dry brushing! Not only does dry brushing gently exfoliate dead skin and increase circulation, it also increases collagen production. It drains excess water out of your tissues, making you look less puffy and bloated. And it gives your skin a little workout, making it thicker and more resilient, which helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite toward the surface of your skin.

dry brushing

Dry brushing is as straightforward and simple as it sounds; all you need is a natural-fiber, firm-bristled brush, which should be available in almost all drugstores and online. Before you begin brushing, your body should be completely dry and free of any products. I like to dry brush before a shower simply because I can immediately wash off any dead skin when I’m done brushing, but you may prefer to do it right before bed as a way to relax. Whatever you decide, take the brush firmly in your hand and brush in short, upward strokes toward your heart, applying firm yet gentle pressure so you don’t irritate your skin. In order to make sure you don’t miss any part of your body, start at your feet and work your way up your legs. As you move on to your arms — making sure to brush your underarms — you’ll notice how warm you feel. That’s because, like a massage, dry brushing increases your circulation. Brush your backside, your back, your tummy, your neck and your chest. You can skip your face; it’s a sensitive area, and you can exfoliate it with a gentle product instead.

Also, a big mistake people make with their skin in the winter is showering with water that is simply too hot. Extreme temperatures of any kind on the skin can throw off its delicate balance. This can lead to dry patches and uncomfortably dehydrated skin. Shower in lukewarm water instead. Your skin will thank you by staying smooth and hydrated all winter long.

facial microcurrent

L: We love facials here! Is there one you think everyone can benefit from? And is there one that’s the most requested among celebrities?

JV: I created my first and now most popular facial, the Triple Crown Facial, for everyone to get red-carpet ready without any irritation or downtime. In my signature Triple Crown Facial, I use microcurrent to drain out excess puffiness, tighten the muscle and tighten the skin. The electricity increases lymphatic drainage and increases collagen production. First, I provide microdermabrasion with a diamond-tipped wand to remove impurities and dead skin. Then, I use microcurrent to drain puffiness, tone muscle and tighten skin. This portion of the facial lasts over 50 minutes. Lastly, I deliver a vitamin-spiked, pure oxygen treatment to boost radiance and supplement the skin with nutrients. It's a 60-minute facial and there is absolutely no downtime. Although it's a non-invasive treatment, microcurrent is like going to the gym for the face. When I do my Triple Crown Facial here in the salon, I’ll do half of the face and show the client in the mirror, so they can get a strong sense of a before and after on their own skin. ​It's super relaxing; it usually makes people fall asleep!

L: You’re headed to the Golden Globes this weekend! What does a pre-award show celebrity facial look like? What can we be doing to score that glow?

JV: Most of my celebrity clients like to come every three to four weeks to really get the cumulative benefit. Long term, just like the gym, you get a real lift from the microcurrent procedure. This week, I’ve been doing the Supernova Facial on celebrities, because it’s dry here in January and our gold mask locks in moisture before hitting the red carpet. The Supernova Facial also incorporates lymphatic drainage massage, which instantly depuffs the face, no matter how many pre-awards parties my clients have been to! You can learn how to lymphatic drainage massage as well, I’ve outlined it in my book, and there are many how-to videos on YouTube. It’s an inexpensive and easy way to get a healthy glow. I also like to stash my Rejuvenating Serum in my bag for mid-day glow touchups on the cheekbones. 

collagen peptides

L: We know you’re a fan of Vital Proteins! Can you share what your collagen routine looks like?

JV: I’ve been a huge fan of Vital Proteins for many years. My go-to is the Collagen Peptides. Every day for lunch, I have a green smoothie and add a scoop of Collagen Peptides. I even have a whole section in my book about how important protein and amino acids are to skin health. Incorporating Collagen Peptides into my diet has made a significant improvement on my skin and overall health.

L: We love hearing that! What would you say is your favorite Vital Proteins product and why?

JV: I’m obsessed with the travel-friendly Stick Packs. I have spas in LA and NY, and clients worldwide, so I’m on a plane weekly. It’s so hard to stick to a healthy routine when traveling, and the Stick Packs allow me to get my collagen on the go, no matter where I am.

Grab a copy of Glow From Within, available on Feb. 11!