Like she is about most things, Madonna is famously a perfectionist about her skin. She rarely spends time in the sun, and when she does, she is covered head to toe in scarves and hats, as many a paparazzi have found out. She reportedly not only travels with her own facialist when on tour—she happens to be the most successful touring solo artist of all time, so she can afford it—but she is an early adopter of beauty fads, like the obsession with oxygen facials. Back in the aughts, she was one of the first celebrities to buy into the trend, going as far as buying one of the machines for her personal use, or so it’s been reported. The result is that Madonna is one of those very famous women who seem to be aging backwards. So, it’s not at all a surprise that she would launch her own skincare line. Called MDNA Skin—a play on her 2012 album—the launch includes a face wash, a chrome clay mask with its removal device—a product she demonstrated on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Monday night—as well as a serum and a rose mist, an item she has spoofed in a series of promotional videos with the Fat Jewish. (The nine units, ranging in price from $50 to $600, will be available on the line’s site as well as Barneys New York counters.) Madonna boldly stepped into the beauty world with a trusted partner at her side, Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, the New York dermatologist whose Upper East Side office is hallowed ground for anti-aging obsessives. Here, Frank, who consulted on MDNA after working with Madonna on her personal skincare for some years, shares the pop star’s rules for better skin, the importance of consistency and discipline, and reveals the anti-aging product everyone should try.
How did you start working on the line? I met Madonna almost three years ago when I started consulting her on skincare as her dermatologist. I didn’t know it, but at the time she was working on her skincare line with [a company called] MTG that would launch in Asia. As a cosmetic dermatologist, I’ve had many years of formulation, product development, and marketing experience working with the Estée Lauder Companies. Understandably, we had quite a bit to talk about. Madonna is an extremely meticulous consumer who is eagerly interested in not only beauty, but science. Whatever I suggested led to extensive conversations about all aspects of skincare and beauty. So, after many months of picking my brain and working together, she asked me to work as a consultant and sort of middleman between her vision and MTG.
The products have been around for a few years in Asia—why is she bringing them to the U.S. now? It started in Asia mostly because MTG is a Japanese company. They make other products in the wellness and technology realm, but this type of line was relatively new to them. I think the ultimate goal for them and for Madonna was always to bring MDNA Skin to North America.
We all know that Madonna takes amazing care of her skin. What are her personal beauty rules? Madonna is dedicated to skincare and her routine of sun avoidance, her own products, regular oxygen and LED light facials, and, most importantly, staying positive and happy. All of these things have a dramatic effect on the aging process. What we agreed about most when discussing MDNA Skin was routine and dedication—consistency, simplicity, and discipline. It’s not about chasing fads and changing products constantly, but choosing high-end formulations and being diligent with them.
Celebrating Madonna’s 25 Most Iconic Red Carpet Hair Moments
A young Madonna is potted out in New York City in 1986 wearing her tousled up do with chic bandana and red lip.
Performing at Live Aid event, Madonna keeps her brunette waves in natural waves with a burgundy lip.
Wearing her voluminous high pony with a heavy cat eye and burgundy lip, Madonna arrives at the 12th Annual American Music Awards.
Sporting her new platinum blonde tousled pixie, Madonna arrives at the 2nd Commitment to Life AIDS Project Benefit in 1986.
Madonna keeps her look sporty wearing dual ponytails with her signature burgundy red lip at the Siesta premiere.
Embellishing her sleek brunette up do with a pink floral hair piece, Madonna arrives at the 1988 Tony Awards Party.
Back to her platinum blonde pixie, this time Madonna opts for voluminous curls at the 14th Annual American Music Awards.
On stage performing during her Girlie Show tour in 1993, Madonna keeps her pixie ultra sleek with a dark maroon red lip.
Madonna wears her golden blonde locks in a curled up with a vibrant red lip at The 22nd Annual American Music Awards.
Madonna keeps her look ultra feminine at the The 12th Annual MTV Video Music Awards with a voluminous half do.
Back to dark brunette locks, Madonna wears her natural waves with a mauve lip at the 1998 VH1 Fashion Awards.
Madonna channels boho chic vibes with her natural waves and twisted braids at the 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
A sleek brunette bob with a frosted magenta smokey eye was the look at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards.
Madonna takes on her honey brown locks in elegant curls with a dark smokey eye at the 1999 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
Wearing flipped out 70’s inspired curls with a natural glossy lip, Madonna attends the 2005 MTV European Music Awards.
Wearing blown out locks with side swept locks, Madonna arrives at the 2006 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
Madonna modernizes the standard bob with voluminous curls and a sleek cat eye at the screening of Revolver.
Radiating with sun-kissed skin and beachy waves, Madonna arrives at the amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS 2008 benefit.
Attending the premiere of Nine, Madonna wears her luminous skin with hint of blush on the cheekbones.
Looking regal at the 68th Venice Film Festival, Madonna pairs her elegant waves with a glossy, cherry red lip.
A top hat with tousled curls and a vibrant red lip was the look at the Dolce & Gabbana and The Cinema Society screening of the Epix World premiere of Madonna: The MDNA Tour.
Madonna pairs her dark brunette bob with blunt bangs and her signature red lip at the 2013 Costume Institute Gala.
At the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, Madonna wears a black hat embellished with a chic face veil with her sleek cat eye.
Elevating her messy waves with an embellished hair piece and a natural eye, Madonna arrives at the 2016 Costume Institute Gala.
Wearing her side swept golden curls with a sleek cat eye and a nude lip, Madonna arrives at the 2017 Costume Institute Gala.
Beyond routine, what were her biggest priorities for the line? It had to work for her and her busy life. It wasn’t just about ingredients and results, but the textures, the smells, the packaging—what was involved in the application. Everything that makes you feel comfortable with a product.
How involved was she in formulating the products? What we really want to know is: Does Madonna geek out over skincare technology? She was intricately involved. Not a single aspect of formulation was without her approval. She experimented on herself tirelessly—sending sample after sample back and forth until she felt is was perfect. Her suggestions and needs dramatically helped shape the line. The best example is the eye mask: It [covers more of your face] and has the most unique feel. It’s unlike any other on the market. That’s because it had to cover the area she needed and it needed to stay on her face for a long period of time. This isn’t the first celebrity skincare line—what do you think sets MDNA Skin apart? Well, it’s the same thing that sets anything Madonna does apart. Once she associates her name with something, she throws herself in 100 percent. The products represent the most thorough, meticulous, advanced and different skincare experience—luxurious formulations that leave your skin feeling and smelling great, and cutting edge technologies to help deliver the ingredients.
About the products—is there one you’re particularly excited about? As a cosmetic dermatologist, I am obviously a tech guy. I love lasers and devices that can be used in anti-aging. So the Skin Rejuvenator ($180), [a magnet-like tool], which is used to remove the Chrome Clay Mask ($120) and infuse The Serum ($240) into your skin is my favorite. Get it and use it—you’ll see the difference. We also developed a handful of signature MDNA professional treatments associated with the products.
Madonna’s Been Rocking the Red Carpet for Thirty Years
Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Madonna at the 22nd Annual American Music Awards on January 30, 1995. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna attends the 55th Annual Golden Globes on January 18, 1998. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna and Guy Ritchie arrive at the UK Premiere of “Sin City” at the Empire Leicester Square on May 23, 2005 in London, England. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna attends the screening of her new documentary film “I’m Going To Tell You A Secret” at Loews Lincoln Square on October 18, 2005 in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Guy Ritchie and Madonna, at the “Swept Away” Screening on October 07, 2002. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna at the “Reinvention Tour” opening night after party on May 24, 2004. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna attends the Grammy Awards press room on February 08, 2006. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna attends the “Lotsa De Casha” book party at Bergdorf Goodman on June 07, 2005. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna and Guy Oseary attend the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna during the 23rd Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria on March 10, 2008 in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna arrives at amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS 2008 benefit held at Le Moulin de Mougins during the 61st International Cannes Film Festival on May 22, 2008 in Mougins, France. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna attends MTV’s Europe Music Awards in 2005. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna arrives at the 2009 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at the Sunset Tower on February 22, 2009 in West Hollywood, California. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna attends the 70th Annual Academy Awards on March 23, 1998. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna attends “The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion” Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2009 in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna attends the “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2011 in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna attends the “I Am Because We Are” premiere at the Palais des Festivals during the 61st International Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2008 in Cannes, France. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna attends the UK premiere of W.E. at ODEON Kensington on January 11, 2012 in London, England. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna poses in the press room at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna launches her first signature fragrance, Truth Or Dare By Madonna at Macy’s Herald Square on April 12, 2012 in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna attends the press room at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards held at MGM Grand Resort and Casino on May 19, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna attends the Costume Institute Gala for the “PUNK: Chaos to Couture” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2013 in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna and son David Banda Mwale Ciccone Ritchie attend the 56th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna attends The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna attends the “Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology” Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna attends the “China: Through The Looking Glass” Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City. Photo courtesy Getty Images.
Madonna attends the Billboard Women in Music 2016 event on December 9, 2016 in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna attends ‘Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons:Art of the In-Between’ Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna seen out in Manhattan on September 26, 2017 in New York, New York. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Madonna attends the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2018 in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
The Chrome Clay Mask, and the process of removing it with the Skin Rejuvenator, is very sci-fi. How does the technology work and what are the benefits? It is the perfect combination of formulation and technology. Until now, it’s something I have only seen professionally (in offices like mine) with drugs and lasers. The chrome clay formulation allows the mask to be removed magnetically without any residue other than the dewy remains of an active serum, while electric vibrations deliver the active ingredients into skin using what is called dermal infusion. The rejuvenator acquires feedback from the skin in regards to its variable thicknesses to help deliver the product effectively. It is actually quite amazing.
The key ingredient comes from thermal waters in Tuscany. What are the benefits? Montecatini Terme and its waters have been visited for generations for its healing properties. They are studied by university physicians and have an established place in therapeutic care. “M.T. PARCA” is a formulation of minerals from the thermal waters that MTG laboratories developed and harnessed for the MDNA line [exclusively], and it has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects on the skin.
That’s serious! We’ve heard a more affordable line will be launching next fall. Any teasers you can share? We are well into it. The only thing I can share is it will all be very different from what we’ve seen in the skin care market to date.
Celebrating Madonna’s Most Show-Stopping, Jaw-Dropping Live Performances
June 10, 1985: American musician Madonna performs onstage during ‘The Virgin Tour’ at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images.
May 21, 1985: Madonna performs on the Virgin Tour at the St. Paul Civic Center. Photo by Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images.
July 13, 1987: Madonna performing on stage during her Who’s That Girl tour. Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns.
July 29, 1987: Madonna performs on the Who’s That Girl Tour at the St. Paul Civic Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Photo by Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images.
November 6, 1990: Madonna’s Blond Ambition World Tour. Photo by Kevin Mazur Archive/WireImage.
July 24, 1990: Madonna performs at the Feijenoord Stadium during her Blonde Ambition tour in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns.
October 14, 1993: Madonna performs during her Girlie Show Tour at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Ke.Mazur/WireImage.
October 14, 1993: Madonna performs during her Girlie Show Tour at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Photo by Steve Eichner/WireImage.
September 2,1993: Madonna performs the Girlie Show at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles,California. Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images.
July 21, 2001: Madonna performing during the first show in the North American leg of her ‘Drowned World Tour 2001’ at the First Union Center. Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect.
July 21, 2001: Madonna performs at the kickoff of the U.S. leg of her ‘Drowned World Tour’ at the First Union Center. Photo by Harry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images.
August 28, 2003: Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera perform the opening act at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. Photo by Kevin Kane/WireImage.
May 26, 2004: Madonna performs onstage during her ‘Re-Invention’ World Tour at The Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. The outfit she is wearing is designed by Christian LaCroix. Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images.
June 2, 2004: Madonna performs onstage during her ‘Re-Invention’ World Tour 2004 at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California. Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images.
September 1, 2004: Madonna performs on stage at the Palais Omnisports de Bercy in Paris, during the France opening concert of her ‘Re-Invention’ World tour. Photo by Bertrand Guay/AFP/GettyImages.
September 20, 2006: Madonna performs during her ‘Confessions’ Tour at th Tokyo Dome. Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage.
August 1, 2006: Madonna performs onstage at the first London concert of her ‘Confessions’ World Tour at Wembley Arena. Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images.
September 1, 2009: Madonna performs on stage during her ‘Sticky and Sweet’ tour concert in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park. Photo by Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images.
November 6, 2008: Britney Spears sings a song with Madonna on stage during the Sticky and Sweet tour at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Joe Scarnici/WireImage.
February 5, 2012: Madonna performs during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show at Lucas Oil Stadium. Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage.
February 5, 2012: Madonna performs with Nicki Minaj during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show at Lucas Oil Stadium. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.
August 28, 2012: Madonna performs during the MDNA North America tour opener at the Wells Fargo Center. Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage.
November 20, 2012: Madonna performs her final performance of her U.S. ‘MDNA’ tour at American Airlines Arena. Photo by Larry Marano/Getty Images.
September 10, 2015: Madonna performs onstage during her ‘Rebel Heart’ tour at Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation.
January 27, 2016: Madonna performs during the “Rebel Heart Tour” at Coliseo Jose M. Agrelot in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo by GV Cruz/WireImage.
November 7, 2016: Madonna holds a rally to support Hillary Clinton at Washington Square Park in New York City. Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images.
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