Hollywood Facialist Shani Darden Talks Retinol and Glowing Skin

  • Written By:Alexandra Perron, Managing Editor
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I believe that skin care is not about having the most products, but the right products.

When the client list includes names like Chrissy Teigen, Jessica Alba, and January Jones, you know you (and your skin) is in good hands. Hollywood facialist Shani Darden is the woman behind those glowing faces. Her interest in skincare dates back to childhood (she made her own face masks) and grew into a career after she moved to Los Angeles in her early 20s. After working with dermatologist Dr. Erma Benitez, Darden was motivated to go out and help people with their skin. Today, she has an Instagram-worthy studio space in Los Angeles and a product line with a cult following. We caught up to talk to her about all things skincare, wellness and retinol.

Big Break

I launched Retinol Reform and it became a cult favorite, which I’m still so grateful for to this day. It was around this time that I also went out on my own and started doing facials out of the guest house of my former home. Great clients led to other great clients and the rest is history!

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Currently Working On

Last month I opened my first studio in Beverly Hills. I had launched 4 more products last year, Texture Reform, a gentle retinyl palmitate serum, along with a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. As the business continued to grow, it only made sense to open my own studio and expand my facial practice as well. This is also where the office for the skin care company is. I am always brainstorming new products and I love having the skin care team close by so we can discuss things right away.

Beauty Philosophy

I believe that skin care is not about having the most products, but the RIGHT products. Having a consistent skin care routine with the best products for your skin type is the key to great skin.

Products & Tools you can’t live without

Retinol Reform was my first product that I launched. Retinol is one of my favorite ingredients for flawless, glowing skin. It boosts collagen, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, minimizes pigmentation, and can even help with blemishes. It combines retinol and lactic acid for both long and short term benefits.

I also cannot live without my Deesse Mask! LED light is hands down my favorite treatment for the skin. It also boosts collagen to minimize wrinkles and plump up the skin along with boosting circulation to give you an amazing glow! I use my mask every single day for all of the aging in reverse benefits.

Skincare ingredient you can’t live without:

Always retinol! And Sunscreen too. You have to wear sunscreen every single day to keep your skin healthy and youthful.

Skincare Approach

Some people switch up the products they use a lot, but my routine has pretty much stayed the same for a long time. I will try out new products, but the core products in my routine stay the same. I like less is more. I have two small kids so the easier my routine, the better. That’s why it’s so important for me to have products with ingredients that really work.

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Retinol is one of my favorite ingredients for flawless, glowing skin.

Spa Goals

The main goal was to create a space that evoked a sense of calm and serenity while maintaining the feel of a high end spa. I worked with my great friend who happens to be a designer, Jake Arnold. His inspiration was taken from a European sensibility, particularly Belgian, as they use a lot of natural, raw materials. This worked very well given the bones of the space. The mix of clean lines and polished finishes was inspired by Vincent Van Duysen. Jake did an amazing job of bringing in elements that reflect my personality like the Calacatta Viola reception desk and bathroom sink. That really brought everything to life.

SWEAT SESSION

I love to see Nichelle at Cycle House whenever I can!

FUEL

I take Lumity Supplements morning and night. They’re filled with antioxidants, amino acids, and omegas to nourish the skin from the inside out and help you feel your best!

Best Advice

Never be afraid to put yourself out there and chase after your dreams.

Future Goals

I’m excited to continue creating more products. We have some really exciting things in the works that I can’t discuss just yet, but they’ll be launching soon!

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