Michelle Obama has undeniably amazing skin. We now know that is in part due to Jennifer Brodeur, the Montreal-based skincare guru who has been treating Obama since 2014. Brodeur was introduced to the former American first lady through another longtime client of hers: Oprah Winfrey. “We often say (Ms. Winfrey and I), that it was one of the best introductions ever,” says Brodeur. “One of a lifetime.”
After an initial meeting (that Brodeur says she was “oddly not nervous, just very honoured” to have), one facial treatment quickly turned into four. “Once I flew back home her team reached out to me, it seemed surreal,” says Brodeur. “We took care of all the important steps to ensure we could offer the best skincare strategy.”
While Brodeur won’t share the exact step-by-step routine she uses on Obama, she does note that all of her treatments are bespoke, and tailored to the specific skin concerns of each client. “I can say everything is natural and non-invasive. Priority number one is to always respect the integrity of the epidermis,” says Brodeur. “That said, all of my treatments include Max+, my secret weapon, and Peoni.”
“Max” (technically called “Max+,” but she always refers to it as a person) is the LED-light-therapy machine that Brodeur designed in 2003. The device is used by skincare professionals around the world, including those at Bella Clinique, the Montreal-based clinic she founded and continues to mentor at. It uses UV-free light wavelengths to treat skin concerns: red-light wavelengths are said to stimulate fibroblasts to create collagen, yellow light tightens skin, etc.
Peoni is Brodeur’s recently launched line of mineral oil, paraben, colour and dye-free skincare, all based around the ingredient peony—a super antioxidant that also contains anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. The four-piece set includes a cleanser, toner, oil and moisturizer; the entire line made Oprah’s list of favourite things in 2016. Brodeur says Obama was one of her “greatest sources of inspiration” for the line, and also one of the first in the world to use it.
“Michelle Obama is incredibly inspiring and reminds me that regardless of what you set out to do it needs to be done with great passion. Everything is in the details and hard work,” says Brodeur of what it was like to work so closely with Obama. “I feel privileged to work with some of the most inspirational women in the world. Part of that means I have a responsibility to educate, and inspire right back.”
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