Inside my carry on: Celebrity facialist Shani Darden’s skincare secrets

Shani Darden is so beloved in LA, the beauty insiders of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop coop have declared the former hip-hop dancer one of California’s best. It’s just one in a very long list of accolades touting her transformational abilities, but her client list speaks for itself really. Apart from Chrissy Teigen and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, regulars include Suki Waterhouse, Shay Mitchell and Jessica Alba, a veritable who’s-who of Those Who Have Great Skin.

For these women, the magic happens at Shani’s guesthouse, where she conducts her famously meticulous, merciless sessions, rolling out an edit of peels, extractions, infrared-light treatments and microdermabrasion, each tailored to the individual client’s needs.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Shani’s own complexion is nothing short of extraordinary, having been described by those who have had the fortune of meeting her as “near poreless”. But how? In the face of her surely hectic schedule traveling coast-to-coast and then some? Wouldn’t you like to know? We definitely do, and Shani was cool enough to let us in on the skincare kit she never leaves home without — from essentials she developed for her own label to innovative must-haves and a timeless hat to keep the rays out.

The Lowdown

Supergoop Everyday SPF, USD 20

Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen

“I wear sunscreen every single day, and when I’m traveling, it is especially important! When you’re travelling by plane, the UV rays are that much more intense, so keeping yourself protected is essential. I love the Supergoop Everyday SPF. It’s oil free, but it’s still hydrating. It doesn’t clog your pores either!”

Read also: Sunscreen for every part of your body (and hair)

Lumity, USD 105

Lumity Skincare Supplement

“I’m always advising my clients and friends to stick to their skincare routines while traveling. It can really challenge your skin and overall health, so keeping up with a dedicated routine is important. I always travel with my Lumity supplements now too. They help to offset to effects of travel so that my skin stays looking healthy and I feel my best.”

Deesse Pro LED Mask, USD 2,300

Deesse Pro LED Mask

“I can’t live without the age reversing benefits of my Deesse Mask so into my suitcase it goes! LED Light gives your skin an amazing glow and I always want to look my best when I’m on vacation!”

Intraceuticals Rejuvenate Eye Masks, USD 49

Intraceuticals Rejuvenate Eye Masks

“Eye masks are a great way to hydrate and depuff the under eye area while travelling! I keep mine in the fridge before I use them. The chilled eye masks are extra helpful for depuffing my under eyes!”

Read also: Inside My Carry On: Diane Chia from GuavaPass

Shani Darden Daily Cleansing Serum
“A gentle cleanser is extremely important to keep your skin balanced. I formulated this one to be gentle yet effective at taking all of your makeup off, but won’t strip your skin!”

Shani Darden Daily Oil-Free Moisturizer
“I formulated this lightweight moisturizer after struggling to find the perfect oil-free yet still ultra hydrating moisturizer. Keeping your skin hydrated while traveling is important for keeping skin balanced and clear.”

Rag & Bone floppy brim fedora, USD 195

Rag & Bone Fedora

“I love this hat to keep my face protected from the sun. I’m prone to melasma so making sure my face is shaded from the sun is really important for keeping my melasma away!”

Read also: The 7 hats of highly relaxed holiday-goers

iS Clinical Hydra-Cool Serum, USD 90

iS Clinical Hydra-Cool Serum

“Hyaluronic Acid is one of my favourite travel items because your skin is in dire need of hydration after being in that dry airplane air. This one is especially good for calming skin and hydrating it after airplane travel!”

Read also: Skincare multitaskers for your next island getaway

Grace Wong


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