Madonna’s Little-Known Skin Secret

Written by: on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
Madonna with glowing skin

Madonna's 54, but you wouldn't guess it from her skin!

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!

Intraceuticals Daily Serum with oxygen

Your skin will drink in this oxygen-based serum!

“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; “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.

Madonna's facialist Michelle Peck

You won't ever see Michelle Peck with a tan—or a sunburn!

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.

Enough with the noise, already!

Written by: on Monday, February 6th, 2012
woman standing in silence

You don't need to be on a gorgeous beach like this to be silent; you can have five minutes of noise-free peace in your own living room.

As I lay in bed this morning, snuggled under my down comforter up to my nose while the frost lay on the ground outside, I prayed for a little more silence before the day’s craziness began.

The sun had yet to come up and the morning was quiet—kids still asleep, no alarms buzzing off, no phones ringing, yet. (And no, I did not immediately get out of bed to exercise—as I intended to do; I was quite happy to ensconce myself in my covers!)

It struck me, though, how little time we have in silence these days. We wake up with a jolt to alarms or music or our phone ringing or vibrating (or a baby crying, which is the case with me these days). We spend most of the day

Party in My Crib 3:00 am onesie for babies

This is my reality these days, my baby waking up at frequent times during the night, which means I have to enjoy every moment of silence I can get!

with smartphones connected to us at every moment—even by our beds—offering plenty of sound options (apps, music, different ring tones, and more!); at work in meetings, talking to people; in the car with the radio on; watching TV at home. We never have to be quiet anymore. In fact, so many people are seemingly afraid of silence, needing to be at home with the TV or music on…background noise as we so often call it. I even find it hard to be in the car a minute or two without reaching for the radio control knobs. And I know I’m not alone.

We need to try to relish silence more—particularly as our world becomes even more full of noise. I’m not saying we have to be monks, abstaining from all our electronic gadgets and toys and living in noise-free harmony, but there are some things we can do to help clear our heads of the cacophony of sounds from our daily lives. The end goal: bring more silence into our days to help reduce the stress and anxiety that we shoulder—and give us time to just think already!

1) When you’re exercising outdoors, leave your iPod at home. I remember the first time I ran outdoors without music; it was early in the morning and it was so invigorating and inspiring. I actually thought about different things while listening to the birds chirp (imagine that!). Next time you go for a walk, run, or bike ride, take time to listen to nature. (It’s safer this way, too, as noise prevents you from being 100 percent attentive to what’s happening around you—and can result in accidents.) I also think this is one of the reasons I like swimming: there is silence in the pool other than the noise my hands make when they cut through the water. But let’s be honest, though, I cannot live without my tunes on the treadmill or elliptical; I’d be bored out of my mind!!

2) Get the TV/computer out of your bedroom. You’ll find that you may get to sleep more quickly—and sleep more soundly—as a result. (Studies also show that the flickering of TV or computer lights—if you use either before bed or fall asleep watching TV, as some people do—actually interferes with our ability to sleep deeply.)

3) Allow time in your day, regularly, for silence. I truly believe this is one reason why meditation is so powerful when it comes to keeping your body healthy. It’s not just about clearing your mind; it’s about doing so without noise.

4) Give yourself permission to shut off your smart phone. Just put it away; that way, it won’t vibrate every time a new message or text comes in; it won’t ring; and it won’t tempt you to check it every couple of minutes. This is a simple solution to the noise of being “wired” 24/7.

For better health, let’s all take more time for silence. It may be just as important as diet and exercise when it comes to taking care of our bodies!