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Celebrity dermatologist spills tips for red carpet-ready skin

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While awards season will soon draw to a close, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer knows red carpet-ready skin never goes out of season.

After all, with a client list that’s practically a who’s who of Hollywood, he’s helped stars like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Victoria Beckham — to name just a few — keep their famous faces looking flawless year-round.

“[Celebrities] are always in [a] preparatory phase,” Lancer tells Page Six Style. “It’s not like all of a sudden, they wake up and decide they need skin care from head to toe. They need to be ready at a moment’s notice, and that means preparing always.”

As for what goes into that preparation? While the exact plan depends on the client and “what’s being perfected or restored,” the doc says stars start coming in “weeks or months” before the big day, receiving treatments every two or three weeks before ramping up to every-other-day visits right before the red carpet.

A blue tube of Lancer Skincare's The Polish
Lancer Skincare

The Method: Polish (from $40)

And at home, countless stars swear by products from Dr. Lancer’s skincare line; while all his patients receive “different packages” unique to their skin, he says “everyone will get some variation” of his famous Lancer Method, including the Polish ($120), Cleanse ($69) and Nourish ($130) steps focused on exfoliation, cleansing and moisturizing, respectively.

Many clients also receive “some form of vitamin C” (known for its antioxidant and brightening benefits) such as the Advanced C Radiance Treatment ($90), in addition to the the Ultra Hydrating Serum with Hyaluronic Complex – 7 ($95) and the Advanced Retinol Treatment ($95).

While Lancer and his skincare line have now been Hollywood mainstays for decades, however, his work with famous folks started back in 1980, when he was training at Harvard Medical School.

A set of skincare products
Lancer Skincare

Lancer Red Carpet Prep Set ($200)

“[I] had the pleasure of seeing my first celebrity, who happened to be Katharine Hepburn, and that’s quite a way to start a career from my viewpoint,” says Lancer.

“I think that since then, it’s grown by word of mouth in that community, and I’ve been able to see the majority of people in television, film, stage and athletics.”

While his slew of star clients are certainly on top of their beauty game, Lancer says the most common mistake he sees in his office these days is patients mixing products from multiple different skincare lines.

“This usually leads to a conflict in chemistry … where the manufacturing process in one product interferes with another, and that leads to irritation,” he says. 

Venus Williams in a white dress on the Oscars red carpet
Makeup artist Karina Milan got Venus Willams Oscar-ready last year using Lancer Skincare products.
AFP via Getty Images
Addison Rae’s makeup artist Shayna Goldberg prepped her skin for the 2022 Met Gala using Lancer’s line.
Getty Images

As for what’s most popular procedure-wise? The skincare expert says “invasive” treatments that involve “cutting and stitching” are “less trendy” as of late.

“The majority of the consuming public, celebrity and otherwise, wants to take the high road in terms of minimally invasive, noninvasive, perhaps preemptive treatments, rather than waiting for the axe to fall, so to speak, and needing an invasive procedure,” he explains.

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Instead, he says “composite treatments” — multiple treatments during a single visit — are rising in popularity in his office, which offers “38 energy-based device platforms” including the Morpheus8 model Kardashian has praised as “painful but worth it.”

“It turns out that combination treatments performed during the same procedure are significantly additive and may provide an overall benefit during the same healing period, rather than having multiple spaced-out healing periods,” Lancer adds.

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