Madonna is 54 and has pretty darn great skin, despite the fact that this material mom of four is currently on a grueling world tour. (I definitely want skin like this when I’m 54!) What’s her secret? We tracked down Madonna’s personal facialist Michelle Peck—recently back from Bora Bora. And while Peck wouldn’t reveal exactly what she does daily to the singer’s complexion (“that’s proprietary,” she told me), I did get Peck to admit that she uses oxygen at the end of each treatment. Why oxygen? “We’re all running around every day and our skin lacks oxygen,” says Peck. “Using oxygen on the skin gives it a healthy glow.” Because in essence, says Peck, when you give skin a little bit of oxygen, it is healthier.
“When we’re on tour, the schedule is grueling,” Peck explains. “We’re in and out of planes, we’re going from 90-degree weather to 30-degree weather, there’s a lack of sleep. My job is to help keep Madonna glowing and looking healthy.” A stressful task for anyone!
“I use hyperbaric pressure to get oxygen serums to the inner layers of the skin,” says Peck. “It visibly plumps the skin, starting with the first treatment, and the effect can last four to seven days. I use one on Madonna before every single show and before events like the Oscars.” Which oxygen serums are best? The Rejuvenate Daily Serum by Intraceuticals, along with the brand-new Boosters, targeted treatments that help target your skin problems ($149 for the serum, $49 for each booster; intraceuticals.com/us). “I use the Collagen Booster on Madonna,” says Peck. “That’s my favorite.”
But as we dug a little bit more, we realized that Peck’s ability to keep clients like Madonna glowing go deeper than just the skin. Peck regularly doles out healthy-living advice during her two-hour sessions with her clients. (This may be why some clients tell her she doesn’t just “do faces”, she “takes care of their souls, too”):
1) Find quiet time, every day. “Develop a practice that works for you, that works for your schedule,” says Peck. “If that’s meditation or yoga, that’s great. Whatever it is, you need to do it daily. “I like transcendental meditation,” she says, “because I can do it anywhere, including on the plane between tour stops, and it doesn’t involve chanting.”
2) Stay away from sugar. So many studies have shown that it’s just plain bad for you, for your immune system, for your skin, says Peck. A little around that time of the month is fine, but other than that, you—and your skin—will be better off without it.
3) Feed your skin. “It’s true that you are what you eat,” says Peck, who recommends that her clients to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, fish, chicken, and non-genetically modified food. “Don’t live to eat. Eat to live.”
4) Get at least 8 hours of sleep, no exceptions. “Your body really needs that rest for your cells to rejuvenate,” explains Peck, who stresses: “It’s so important. No matter what, I sleep 8 hours a night.”
5) Sleep on a silk pillowcase. Toss the cotton, no matter the thread count, and start sleeping on silk. It’s better for your skin—creating fewer wrinkles on your face, particularly if you’re a stomach sleeper. “My grandmother taught me this, and it works,” says Peck, who adds that it’s also good for the hair.
6) Avoid the sun. “I just got back from Bora Bora, and I’m still white as a ghost,” says Peck, who encourages all her private clients (including Madonna) to stay out of the sun.
7) Take care of your mental health. “Find ‘me’ time that includes fulfillment and purposefulness,” says Peck, who adds that this is particularly important for women. “Women are the spiritual centers of the universe.” Peck loves reading as one way to support mental health; books she’s reading now include: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, and The Brain that Changes Itself, by Norman Doidge, M.D.
“If you’re not taking care of your inside,” says Peck, “you’re just wasting your time and money on treatments.” With holistically minded advice like this at her beck-and-call, maybe this is the real reason Madonna glows—from the inside out.