Victoria Beckham recently credited her flawless skin to LA-based celebrity dermatologist Dr Harold Lancer. "I've known him for years – he sorted my skin out. I used to have really problematic skin and he said to me, "You have to eat salmon every single day'," she said in an interview. Kim Kardashian is also a regular client.
So, naturally, we jumped at the chance to chat to the man himself as he launches his innovative new Younger Revealing Mask in Harrods – he revealed his ultimate skincare tips, how his celebrity clients prep for the Oscars (just FYI, they've already started), and, of course, why salmon...
Victoria Beckham is one of Dr Lancer's most famous clients
Victoria Beckham recently name-checked you as her skincare guru in an interview – she said you transformed her skin?
Firstly, Victoria is a natural beauty and has no synthetic components to her. She is a perfect example of someone who follows their home skincare advice to a tee. She is disciplined with her skincare, her diet, and her health, and this shows on her skin. Victoria is a product of discipline – not a product of surgery.
You told her to eat salmon every day...
I suggest eating salmon because when you are trying to get enough protein into your diet, it can be very difficult. The recommended protein intake is 40 per cent of your diet and getting there with nuts, eggs, seeds can be very hard. Salmon is loaded with protein and omega fats, which are good, useable fats. You could eat a variety of other fish like trout or mackerel, but salmon is the most accessible.
The dermatologist has a huge celebrity clientele
You count lots of other celebrities as clients, how did this come about?
I suspect this is through the fact that we do not advertise. We started from scratch nearly 30 years ago and now we’re at 35,000 patients, all through word of mouth and referral. I work with celebrities and affluent members of society who tend to run in the same circles and only speak to one another so that’s probably helped grow the business as it has.
What's your top tip for red carpet-ready skin?
Whether a celeb or bride-to-be is looking for 'event-ready' skin, my top tip is to understand that this is not something you prepare for the day before; it is a lifestyle. For instance, there are some people who I am already seeing in preparation for the February 2017 Oscars. They are undergoing the Method programme, micro-polishing, body firming treatments, etc. a whole 5 months before the big night. The same goes for brides; preparation begins as soon as he puts the ring on her finger – not the day before the wedding.
If you could narrow down your skincare tips to the best three, what would they be?
1. Develop a skincare program and stick to it
2. Always use the minimal amount of cosmetic colour makeup. If you are going to use it, the less you use the better as the synthetic ingredients used in makeup are toxic to the skin.
3. Always thoroughly remove all makeup from the face and entire body. It amazes me the number of people who don’t remove cosmetic colour on a daily basis.
Kim Kardashian also regularly visits his clinic
What's the most common mistake women make with their skincare routine?
The biggest mistake is that they don’t realise the importance of removing their makeup. I hear from women who apply a similar view to household chores as they do with their skin: "why bother making the bed if I am just going to sleep in it tomorrow? Why bother doing dishes when I can simply rinse the plate and use it again tomorrow?" Too many women neglect the hygiene component of cleansing the skin properly, and using a dedicated skincare, like the Lancer Method, to do so.
What's your advice for women in their 20s and 30s who want to halt the ageing process?
Skin stops naturally repairing itself by age 20-25. In your twenties, biological shifts begin although they might not be visible on the surface yet so your twenties are the age of prevention. During this decade, most skin problems are the result of a lack of skincare and a party lifestyle, including smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, not enough sleep, and stress.
So first of all, you have to have a system of skincare and balance that with lifestyle, stress management, relaxation, nutrition and exercise because all of that contributes to the radiance and appearance of your skin. I believe that the essential skin care tools are retinol for general anti-aging, vitamin C for brightening, and glycolic acid for regulating tone and texture.
What are some skincare myths that you hear often?
The first is that you still need sun exposure to get vitamin D. This is not true as a good diet will give you enough vitamin D, and you can always take vitamin D supplements instead of sitting in the sun if you are lacking Vitamin D.
Dr Lancer recently launched his new Younger Revealing Mask, which launches Saturday 15th at Harrods
Secondly, the idea that sunscreen use is a once a day event. Even if SPF says ‘all day protection’ on the bottle, it needs to be reapplied every 2 hours to be most effective.
And finally, the myth that sunscreen is fully protective. It is not. Sun avoidance is better than sunscreen.
How big a part does diet really play as far as our skin is concerned, and what is the ideal diet for a radiant complexion?
Diet is a huge part of healthy, glowing skin. The skin requires protein, fat, and oxygen to maintain cell function, build collagen and repair itself. My advice is to reduce caffeine, reduce dairy, reduce gluten intake and severely reduce carbohydrates. But the key food group to avoid for a healthy complexion is sugar. White sugar and processed carbs, which become sugar in the body, bind to beneficial nutrients and rob our bodies of the vitamins and minerals it needs to keep us healthy.
The optimal diet for skin health is approximately 40% lean protein like chicken or fish, 40% greens like spinach, kale, and broccoli, 10% healthy fats like nuts and avocado, and 10% whole grains or legumes like quinoa or lentils.
How did you come up with the idea for the Younger Revealing Mask?
I came up with the idea about 5 years ago when someone showed me this magnetic application powder that had nothing to do with skincare and I realised it was a really interesting way to use technology to transmit active ingredients to and from the skin.
The concept of using an iron-oxide powder specifically tuned to a magnetic device, to help deliver an active ingredient, was really interesting to me. The Younger Revealing Mask uses a harmonic sequence between the magnet and the removal wand to ensure the active ingredients get through to the epidermis. They are designed so that the uniqueness of the mask’s composition and the magnetic force that manages the removal is matched in sequence, offering the ultimate payload in anti-aging benefits. Use once weekly or more frequently if desired to remove impurities and deposit long-acting Vitamin derivatives to increase skin cell repair mechanisms.
Imagine you’re trying to plug in a hairdryer with a UK plug into a European outlet; you won’t get results. So it’s not just any ordinary magnet, and some random formula – they are designed to work together in sequence.