November 26, 2020

Want to Look As Good As Martha Stewart? Now You Can

5 min read

We use the term “bless the feed” so casually it loses its magic. Your friend who posted a #tbt of a trip they took last year? No, not holy. Another sunset photo with an emoji caption? Have you considered blessing less?

Martha Stewart, business tycoon, writer, and Snoop Dogg’s BFF, soaking up the sun in her East Hampton pool, SERVING the most flawless beauty look we’ve seen in a minute? In the name of pomegranate margaritas, frosted lips, and floral design, amen.

Often imitated, never duplicated, the viral selfie sent Twitter and Instagram into a spiral. How can we all look as good as the 78-year-old legend? The secret is New York-based dermatologist Dhaval G. Bhanusali, of Hudson Dermatology & Laser Surgery. Dr. Bhanusali chatted with ELLE.com about how Stewart gets her skin looking so great (consider the routine officially dropped!), the importance of a good sunscreen, and the secret sauce to the perfect pool selfie.

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What’s Martha Stewart’s beauty routine?

“Everything begins and starts with sun protection,” explains Dr. Bhanusali. “She [Stewart] is a big fan of the Clea de peau 50+ SPF, which she mixes with her Cleau de peau foundation.”

UV Protective Cream SPF 50+

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Dr. Bhanusali and Stewart also work to customize products for her skin needs. Dr. Bhanusali, a formulation king, pulls from his past experience with Fast Beauty for Amazon, Skin Medicinals for prescription dermatology compounds, and HairStim for hair loss compounds and balances it with Stewart’s interest in CBD (something she is a huge fan of) to create skincare that hasn’t existed before. Stewart doesn’t just do recipes for crepes, folks!

The products are also formulated for Stewart’s outdoor lifestyle with options that can slow down collagen breakdown but don’t make her extra sun-sensitive.

“Over the last year or so, she uses our serum every morning, a calming mist throughout the day, and a rich CBD night cream in the evening,” he says. “This is actually what gave birth to our 86 Elm project, a community built around authenticity and science.”

Other key elements of Stewart’s routine include:

  • Sheet Masks—she starts her day at 4 a.m. with a face mask.
  • A drugstore eyeliner, the name of Stewart can’t remember.
  • SkinCeuticals Lip Repair.
  • Stila Lip Gloss, as seen in the iconic selfie.

    Stila Beauty Boss Lip Gloss

    Do you recommend a similar beauty routine for women over 60?

    “For most of my patients, I like great sun protection (minimum SPF 30) and a retinoid to stimulate collagen that starts breaking down with increased frequency,” says Dr. Bhanusali. “I also like thicker moisturizers for more mature skin to help maintain the epidermal integrity.”

    How can younger generations in their 20s, 30s, and 40s invest in our skin right now?

    “Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen,” says Dr. Bhanusali. “Beyond that, keeping it simple is key: cleanse daily, [use a] moisturizer with SPF 30, and a retinoid when you are in your 20s and early 30s.”

    For his mid-30s clients, Dr. Bhanusal likes adding in antioxidants and sometimes light lasers to maintain skin health in tone and texture. And for his clients in their 40s and beyond, he recommends that routine be followed with “some slightly more aggressive lasering if needed.”

    “Botox, fillers, etc. may be incorporated but it’s a person to person choice,” he added. “I tend to favor a light hand so sometimes less is more and our patients tend to reflect that.”

    Do you live by a miracle product for Martha?

    “The serum we made for her would be it,” says Dr. Bhanusali. While he couldn’t expand on the specifics of the product, he did share the excitement and involvement Stewart had in its creation. “The great thing about Martha is that she doesn’t believe in fluff,” he says. “She reads the science studies, would push back with thoughts and really took an active interest in creating something unique. What started as just a fun project turned into something really special.”

    How do you, and Martha, feel about anti-aging products?

    “The honest truth is you are as old as you feel,” says Dr. Bhanusali. “Martha is a great example of someone who lives life to the fullest and really shows us all that age is just a number. She eats incredibly healthy (her instagram is proof!), starts every morning with a green juice and she’s more active than anyone I know.”

    Dr. Bhanusali notes that a good skincare regimen is vital, but embracing wellness and self-care is the most important anti-aging secret out there.

    Any words of advice for those trying to achieve great skin in quarantine this summer?

    “Keep it simple and be easy on yourself,” says Dr. Bhanusali. “We are seeing more and more breakouts, a significant increase in hair loss, and lots of other issues during this time which is completely understandable. First and foremost, focus on your mental health and wellness. That is, and will always be, most important.”

    Dr. Bhanusali also reiterated the importance of wearing SPF, inside and outside.

    And if you’re new to the world of retinoids, isolation might be the right time to start. “It’s common to have some dryness/peeling when you begin but it normally subsides after a few days,” he says. “Starting a retinoid is one of the best things you can do for your skin and something pretty much every dermatologist on earth uses.”

    Any tips for achieving that perfect Martha Stewart selfie?

    “Confidence is the one thing that can make any picture pop,” according to Dr. Bhanusali. “When you are happy, the world can see it. Smile and be you!”

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