With an A-list roster of clients including Cate Blanchett, Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore, Kim Kardashian-West, Mandy Moore, Amanda Seyfried, Allison Janney, Debra Messing, Olivia Coleman, Laura Linney, Kristen Bell, Michelle Yeoh, Erika Janye, Edgar Ramirez, Helena Bonham-Carter, Gwendoline Christie, and Susan Sarandon, Gavin McLeod-Valentine is a, if not THE, facialist to the stars.
McLeod-Valentine, the director of studio services at Intraceuticals, came about this career organically. Plagued by acne during his younger years, he was frustrated and on the verge of becoming a shut-in when a colleague suggested he try some of Intraceuticalâ€™s low-weight hyaluronicÂ serums.
This recommendation turned his skin, his career and life around. Everywhere he went people would ask what he was doing to achieve such a blemish-free and dewy glow. Â McLeod-Valentine, a publicist at the time, reached out to the Australian-based company and asked to help them tell their story â€“ one which involved many celebrities who were as big of fans of the serums and the companyâ€™s oxygen facial as he had become. The oxygen facial involves the use of low-pressure oxygen to enhance the delivery of the serumâ€™s active ingredients into the skin.
He was persistent and eventually the company heard him and hired him. McLeod-Valentine went back to school to get his aestheticianâ€™s license and the rest is history.
He took time to talk to Beauty In The Bag about celebsâ€™ biggest skin mistakes, getting that red-carpet glow and more. Here’s what we learned:
What skincare mistakes do your clients make most often and what advice do you give them?
Like most people my clients are extremely dehydrated from the hectic lives that they are living. A common misunderstanding that they have, as so many people do, is believing that using a thick moisturizing cream will resolve their dehydration. No cream will do this.Â Itâ€™s really important to invest time and money in serums rich with hyaluronic acid and blended with skin-enhancing peptides, vitamins and Actives. With all my clients I prescribe a regime of Retouch serums, comprised of micro molecules of hyaluronic acid and next-generation peptides for both hydrating benefits and long-term skin improvement.
Please share your top red carpet-ready skin secrets?
For major red-carpet moments such as the Oscars, itâ€™s important to start prepping skin two three weeks out. This involves doing a weekly Intraceuticals oxygen facial with the final treatment right before hair and makeup for maximum radiance and glow. I advise my clients to do a light chemical peel three weeks out and regularly exfoliate. I also encourage clients to adopt a dairy-free diet in the run up to the event. Collagen drinks and green juices are also good at detoxifying the skin. We are working to minimize redness and skin sensitivity through allergens.
How does dehydration affect the skin and what can we do about it?
Dehydration results in dry, grey, ashy skin that loses are glow and vitality. Skin can also becomeÂ quickly sensitized and red. Fine lines and wrinkles are appearing deeper and moreÂ dramatic. Generally, dehydration causes our skin to look flat and dull and lifeless which makes us look considerably older. The best solution is to use products that are rich in hyaluronic acid to not only revive the skin but continue to replenish with serious hydration. Skin appears more bouncy, glowy and radiant. Lines and wrinkles appear minimized and the whole appearance looks less â€œlived-in.â€