Today’s supermodels are many things, but people to look to for skincare advice they are not. And why should they be? Just as the ones in the ’90s, during their heyday, were generally blessed with good skin, so too are the ones of today. Carolyn Murphy said it herself, “[In the past] skincare wasn’t a priority because I had great skin; I maybe took it for granted a little bit, too.” As did Naomi Campbell, in no uncertain terms; back in 1999, she told Playboy, “I never diet. I smoke. I drink now and then. I never work out. I work very hard and I am worth every cent.” Go on any ’90s supermodel-themed Tumblr and see for yourself! They all basically followed the same beauty routine: champagne, cigarettes, very little sleep (aside for the occasional days when they’re not getting paid $10,000 — whatup Linda!), bubble baths (preferably with more than one of them piled in at once), and maybe the occasional Pepsi.
It’s the beauty of youth: being able to sandpaper your face with a Stridex pad, step away from the mirror, and say “ta-da!” Rare are the 18 – 23-year-olds who can offer reliable skincare advice. But a former supermodel who has since grown up? Could be the most credible source around. They’re still devoted to looking good, except now with the thorough understanding of what it takes to look good — taught to them by the most celebrated beauty and skincare experts no less.
Below you’ll find the skincare regimens that twelve of the top ’90s supermodels follow today. The general takeaways? Beauty starts from the inside out — as in, you really are what you eat, which I guess makes me a brown sugar cinnamon frosted Pop-Tart; despite some of them nearing fifty years old, they’re all still pretty much blessed with perfect skin (for God’s sake, Carolyn Murphy washes her face by “splashing it with cold water”); and Amber Valleta says “dope.”
1. Elle MacPherson
She’s all about the alkalizing greens, particularly Super Elixir, an all-natural alkalizing green supplement which is said to “fight fatigue, cell stress, and premature aging.” As someone with dry skin, Elle told Into The Gloss that she tries to focus on “stripping back the skin and remoisturizing it.” To moisturize, she uses Dr. Brandt’s Do Not Age Transforming Pearl Serum before applying Natura Bissé’s Diamond Cream and Diamond Life Infusion Retinol Eye Serum. She has little patience for spas and masks, but she does enjoy the occasional dermabrasion.
2. Jaime King
If I didn’t know any better I would think Jaime King was a full on feline – the girl seems to have already lived multiple lives. But to be fair: she did start modeling in the ’90s when she was only 14 (and going by James, RIP).
The one rule she rigorously sticks to is washing her face before bed. “Don’t be lazy,” she told Into The Gloss, “I don’t care how tired you are or how long your day has been. I don’t care what you’ve consumed that evening—just do it.” After years of having heaps of makeup piled onto her face, she’s learned what kind of makeup removers work. Elemental Herbology, for instance, “which is like a salve,” she says, “I love salves because they can remove eye makeup without you having to rub your eyes very hard.” And Koh Gen Do Cleansing Water too – apparently a couple swipes of this bad boy and your makeup is gone. She exfoliates three or four times a week, either with Somerville’s ExfoliKate or La Prairie’s Cellular Hydrating Firming Mask. And as for creams, La Mer Soft Cream is apparently a given, however she still uses less expensive products too. Like Alba Botanicals face cream and Oriental Plants cream by Koh Gen Do.
3. Kate Moss.
I really truly believe that researching Kate Moss’s skincare regimen required more work than the research needed for my senior thesis. I should’ve known that the skincare regimen I would eventually uncover would not be a regimen at all, but just a couple tricks she has up her sleeve and likes to wield when the mood strikes. I almost wanted to slap myself against the head with a disciplinary “duh” – of course ice and cucumber is all she needs if she wakes up puffy! Of course she enjoys “that Moroccan oil stuff” for her hair (and now I will exclusively refer to it as “that Moroccan oil stuff” as well). But barring that, she told W that she enjoys Crème de la Mer, as well as oils at night and the Super Elixir in her juices.
4. Carolyn Murphy.
To maintain her soft skin, Carolyn told Into The Gloss that she uses Cetaphil to wash her face (she knows that it’s “not natural,” but she’s “gotten used to certain things” and “believe[s] everything in moderation.”) She then balances the Cetaphil out with the all-natural Weleda Soothing Cleansing Lotion. For her, hydration is crucial; she drinks alkaline water, chlorophyll, and she even sleeps with a humidifier next to her bed. And if she had to choose one product that’s her “number one, can’t-live-without item,” it would be Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair.
5. Amber Valleta
She’s as queenly as she is smart and down to earth. For skincare, she seems to favor the all-natural route. She told Into The Gloss that she loves the Ayur-Medic products. She uses the Vacha Cleanaser to wash off her makeup, scrubs with their Anti-Bacterial wash, and finishes with their Clarifying Cream. She’s also “obsessed with eye creams.” For awhile she was using Natura Bissé’s Diamond Extreme Eye Cream, but recently switched to Goldfaden MD Bright Eyes Dark Circle Radiance Concentrate. And because she “doesn’t have major lines” (bless her), she likes to focus “on plumping and hydrating” with sheet masks. “I’ll go to the Japanese grocery store and pick out any sheet masks that promise moisture. I like the Wei East face masks, and I’ll get a pack of thirty-five for fifteen bucks. I have no idea what’s inside them, but I enjoy them anyway.”
6. Cindy Crawford.
And here we have the unofficial Wonder Woman’s skincare routine. For her, sunscreen is of utmost importance; if she’s going to be in the sun, she uses an spf 100 with a hat and something to cover her chest. She also happens to favor her own line of skincare, Meaningful Beauty. She told Into The Gloss that she uses the Crème de Serum, which contains “antioxidant peptides and hyaluronic acid,” but “still feels really light.”
7. Naomi Campbell
The woman is full of tips. “Hydration and enough sleep” is what she told Shape Magazine, and went a little more in depth for Future Derm, touting Susan Ciminelli’s products: her Algae Fine Powder, Algae Deep Cleanse, and Marine Lotion. She also really believes in the power of a dermatologist – going so far as to urge Pharell to see one and stop buying drugstore products. She told Harper’s Bazaar that she “only uses baby soap” in the shower, and afterwards applies Biofirm’s Lift Cream and Eye Cream. Then, the kicker: “I have probably two or three green juices a day.”
8. Claudia Schiffer.
“It’s all about exfoliation,” she told Glamour, citing Clinique for Men Face Scrub as her favorite, which she uses at least two to three times per week. According to Harper’s Bazaar, she washes her face with L’Oréal Paris Triple Active Re-Nourish Cleansing Milk, in addition to a rather indulgent step: rinsing her face with Evian water. Apparently it really helps to soften her skin. She finishes off with Wrinkle De-Crease by L’Oréal Paris, sometimes following with a CellCosmet Anti-Stress Mask to make her skin really glow.
9. Christy Turlington.
The leading advocate of Imedeen, Christy Turlington swears by these supplements. “What is unique about Imedeen,” she told Harper’s Bazaar, “is that it really is specific to skin regeneration and it is incredibly difficult to access its ingredients through diet alone.” Christy told Marie Claire that she used to take “omega-3 capsules,” but now gets her essential fatty acids “through food — cod is [her] absolute favorite.”
During her modeling years (from about fourteen to twenty-five), Christy told Harper’s Bazaar, she was a heavy smoker. After she quit smoking, her skin cleared up immediately. She also claims to be an “oil fiend.” She loves Rodin’s olio lusso and lets the oil soak in while she reads “every night before bed.” Sundari Nighttime Nourishing Oil is another one of her favorites.
10. Helena Christensen.
Another devotee of microdermabrasion, Helena keeps her skincare routine relatively simple. She uses Crème de la Mer to keep her skin hydrated and swears by Nude, “a natural brand that works wonders for my skin,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “It’s my newest beauty discovery. They pack in all the actives while avoiding all the chemicals.” Particularly the Miracle Mask — “it’s fantastic,” she says.
11. Angela Lindvall.
Angela follows an all-natural lifestyle. She believes in alkaline water — “our body heals and is most efficient when following an Alkaline diet,” she said — and even uses a Kangen water filtration. Other products she recommends include Puréedy Bio-ceuticals’ Face Cream, Eucalyptus Chest Rub, Calendula + Echinacea, and Eczema Free; everything Josie Maran; and Amazon Rain Skin Care from Amazon Herb Company — “made from pure botanicals found in the rainforest.”
12. Stephanie Seymour
Most of her skincare secrets were inherited from her mother. Such as serums: “I am the queen of serums,” she told The Kit, particularly “the Re-Nutriv one.” She told Vogue that her mother taught her how to use serums correctly, “one for firming, one for brightening, one for hydration—they enter your skin immediately. Then you put a cream on at the end.” She also uses Estée Lauder’s Re-Nutriv cream, in addition to a mask every other day “to tighten and to hydrate.”