Michelle Obama is my everything guru. Whether she’s doling out advice on how to be your best self, revealing how to get the most out of your arm workouts, or showing off how to slay a pair of $4,000 sparkly boots, you better believe I am paying damn close attention. So when her own skin guru Jennifer Brodeur recently spilled the secrets behind the former First Lady’s gorgeous glow, my ears pricked up. And—spoiler alert—her go-to skin savior happens to be a real favorite around the Well+Good offices.
Drumroll, please: Michelle Obama is just as obsessed with collagen as everybody else is, and uses both topical and ingestible iterations of the stuff as a way to add some extra oomph to her skin.
According to Brodeur (who also works with Oprah, because of course Michelle Obama and Oprah share an esthetician), Obama credits collagen for giving her the inside-out radiance she’s known for. “The one thing I always make sure we have on hand is withinUs ($60)—it’s a collagen supplement that’s vital for flying. It has great electrolytes and hydrates from within,” Brodeur tells Refinery29.
Whenever Obama’s complexion needs an extra boost, Brodeur will reportedly treat her to a collagen facial in which she mixes the cure-all ingredient with vitamin C. “Usually before a speaking engagement, I love to give her a collagen-based vitamin C facial. I use a gel-based collagen in which I’ll infuse vitamin C, and then I’ll use oxygen to make sure the skin absorbs as much as possible,” she says.
“Collagen does bring in water, so it can act as a kind of moisturizing agent on top of the skin,” says Austin, Texas-based dermatologist Dr. Ted Lain, noting that topical collagen isn’t one of his favorite ingredients on the skin-care menu. If you do want to replicate Michelle O.’s go-to facial on your own, though, he suggests applying vitamin C serum first before layering on collagen (instead of mixing them) for best results. If you’re looking to ingest it à la Mrs. Obama—which research has shown can help with aging skin—look for collagen supplements derived from bovine or marine sources (types “1” and “3” collagen), which are easier to digest and thus more likely to show their benefits on your skin.
One other important piece of skin-care advice worth stealing from the #queen? “She learned from a very young age that she needed to put herself first,” says Brodeur. “The whole gesture of cleansing your skin and applying your serums and creams, all of those things you can do for yourself and it’s the best display of self-love—it’s not vanity.” Amen.
Start your own Obama-glow routine off right by sipping on drinkable collagen. And in addition to stealing her skin-care tips, feel free to copy Michelle Obama’s (surprisingly easy) self-care routine, too.
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