Beauty Hacks for Red-Carpet Ready Skin

The derm behind Michelle Williams’ perfect pores shares his tips

“What are you wearing?” is a classic Oscars red carpet question. “What’s primer is under your concealer?” not so much. Which is disappointing, because I’m obsessively curious about how the stars make their skin look so perfect while under so much pressure.

To find out, I chatted with NY-based dermatologist Dr. David Colbert, who has prepped the pore-perfect faces of Michelle Williams, Naomi Watts, and Rachel Weisz for Hollywood’s big night. What’s immensely likeable about his anti-aging philosophy is how simple it is. “I have learned that less is more,” he says. “Simple skincare, great nutrition, lots of water, good sleep, and a positive attitude will give you ‘that glow’. I believe in listening to what your skin tells you. If you wake up and feel oily, wash your face.”

Whether we’re headed to a red carpet or not, we can all use a skin pick-me-up this season. Here are Colbert’s star-tested secrets to steal:

Hydration comes first.
Dr. Colbert (like me) is a fan of weekly microdermabrasion to increase surface cell turnover. Colbert MD Intensify Facial Discs ($64) are soft cotton pads pre-soaked with lactic acid and exfoliate without any grit. Just dampen a disc with a touch of water and use gentle, circular motions for about minute. I love how soft my skin feels immediately the rinse.

The fill up on oil.
Colbert’s Illumino Face Oil ($138) with vitamin C esters and Retinol is versatile enough it can be used as a primer under makeup. He says Michelle, Rachel, and Naomi all use it to get a healthful glow. I’m duly impressed with a doc putting his whole scientific weight behind the use of oils as women age. Illumino is pretty darn weightless and the formula is super concentrated. Pump out a bit, tilt your palm, and you’ll actually see the thin oil spill like water. My skin laps the silky stuff up.

Give your diet a workout.
Colbert suggests eliminating alcohol and minimizing sodium intake to reduce puffiness and water retention plus “increasing the consumption of super-foods, such as berries, for their antioxidant effects; nuts and seeds for reparative vitamin E; and oily fish such as salmon because omega-3 fatty acids help fight inflammation and skin aging.” These super-foods provide an anti-inflammatory healing environment that promotes cell repair and renewal—no prescription or application necessary.