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Based on Bella Hadid’s firm, bouncy skin, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the 24-year-old owes her unreal-collagen to the same genes that make Yolanda and Gigi look so good. And that she does — yet in a refreshing bit of candor, Hadid’s not above posting a mid-facial shot to Instagram showcasing the painful reality of what goes on behind the scenes.
“Yes, I get bad breakouts,” Hadid captioned the selfie of her lying on facialist Kristyn Smith’s table. “And Miss Kristyn knows how to heal them right back up.” Commence the deep dive into Smith’s Instagram for the intel. Thankfully, we didn’t have to go 143 weeks deep to come across a veritable must-buy list of products Smith swears by. Instead, we went straight to the source for Smith’s recommendations on exactly how to cultivate ad campaign-worthy skin.
Product-wise, Smith says she advises clients to double cleanse and use a gentle toner, followed by an antioxidant serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Pretty standard, except for one caveat: Where vitamin C serums are incredible antioxidants for people with mature skin looking to treat serious sun damage, Smith says they can be overstimulating for those with oily and combination skin who struggle with breakouts.
A serum with antioxidants like vitamin E, rosehip oil, turmeric, or blue tansy is better for those under 25, with vitamin C reserved as a spot treatment for trouble areas like scars (or just a drop on wrinkles). Peptide serums, on the other hand, are an undersung category for keeping skin firm and tight, per Smith. One like Amazon cult favorite Eva Naturals’ Peptide Complex Serum uses the ingredient and hyaluronic acid, another Smith favorite, to diminish fine lines.
Eye cream is a likewise smart addition, where face masks with irritating fragrance ingredients are a no-go for her clients, especially in the wake of acne and dermatitis flare-ups (as tempting as it is to slap a mask on acne and hope for a miracle). Exfoliating “with caution” two times a week is best for glowing skin, Smith says; her favorites include Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask and Goldfaden MD’s Fresh A Peel, the enzymes “little Pac-men” that eat away excess skin cells without disrupting the skin’s defenses.
Yet Smith’s all-time favorite, desert-island secret weapon doesn’t come in a bottle, but in the form of an LED light mask, a “game changer” for those whose skin has become wrinkled and less bouncy over time. Red LED light can “reverse a lot of aging, damage, and stress in the skin,” Smith says, while blue is ″life-giving″ for reducing acne.
Her last supermodel tip? A microcurrent facial helps celebrities look “absolutely amazing” for the red carpet, but if you want the firming effects to last, a microcurrent device like the NuFace is the best way to keep your skin firm and fine line-free. Smith compares it to going to the gym, and “it really does work.” We haven’t been to the gym in quite some time (thanks to Covid-19, more or less), but with an end result like Bella Hadid’s taut skin, we’d be down to commit.
Shop Smith’s favorites below.