Skin health expert Jasmina Vico worked with cast members including Margot Robbie, Hari Nef and Mette Towley to ensure their skin was camera-ready and Barbie perfect
Barbie has perfect skin. Which makes sense when you consider the fact that, like all dolls, she is indeed made out of plastic. That means none of those pesky “flaws” that come with having living, breathing human skin: no pores, no texture, no redness or shine. Of course, these are all just natural features of skin, and often have no bearing on how healthy or functional it is, but when you’re portraying a doll it helps to have that flawless silky-smooth complexion.
For the human actors of Barbie, the greatest movie of our time, this perfectly plastic look was achieved with help from skin health expert Jasmina Vico, who was brought in by lead hair and make-up artist on the film, Ivana Primorac. From Anya Taylor Joy to Jodie Comer, Vico has been working with actors on sets for years but Barbie was the first time she’s been hired as part of the wider hair and make-up team. Tasked by Primorac to achieve the “healthiest, most perfect skin,” she created skin protocols including weekly treatments, supplements and products for cast members including Margot Robbie, America Ferrera, Hari Nef and Mette Towley.
The task was not an easy or straightforward one. “I always say there is no such thing as a quick fix,” she says. “Advancements in camera technology mean that they pick up minutiae in the skin so we need to be ready!” There was also the added complication of busy filming schedules, with treatments that require downtime such as microneedling needing to be fit in around breaks in filming. “It’s definitely a balance meeting schedules and the demands of filming,” she says.
Vico’s approach goes beyond just the external, with a strong emphasis on working on internal health which is eventually reflected on the surface. “The skin is the largest organ. My skin health approach is always connected with the gut,” she explains. What’s happening in the body shows up on the skin. Because of this, Vico included supplements, teas and probiotics in the protocol as well as the treatments and products. “Our lifestyles, diet, lack of or poor quality of sleep and stress can all cause inflammation in our body, which is happening in our gut and then affects our skin.”
Each long-term, weekly treatment was customised to suit each actor’s individual skin needs, but there were key steps she stuck with during the process. Here is the protocol she created for Margot Robbie and Barbies including Nef and Towley with a step-by-step guide to achieving your best Barbie doll skin.
GET REGULAR TREATMENTS
Keeping a focus on a healthy skin barrier, Vico used treatments like lymphatic drainage, LED and cold laser to support the overall health of the skin. Different types of laser were used to target the deep connective tissue and strengthen the barrier, while cold lasers worked to reduce inflammation. “Alongside the lasers, we also targeted skin lifting and depuffing with lymphatic drainage, ice balls and pressure point massage, which all help to really open up the face. We also incorporated LED, another way of targeting skin inflammation and peels to support skin texture and radiance,” she says. Micro-needling was used to help with luminosity and skin texture.
VITAMIN C IS YOUR FRIEND
The Barbies were also given an at-home routine of skincare products including ones that Vico will be launching in September, “alongside specifically selected skincare actives including peptides, Vitamin C, Hydration Mask, Growth Factors and Oligoelements that all support skin health and strengthen the skin barrier.”
USE VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS
Alongside the external treatments and products, to keep the skin strong and healthy Vico also provided supplements plans and nutritional recommendations to help support the liver. This included organic milk thistle tea, native to Vico’s home in Croatia and shipped to the UK by her mother. Milk thistle helps cleanse your liver and encourage it to produce more glutathione which helps with skin radiance. Make sure to brew it for 20 minutes to ensure it is bitter.
Other recommendations included vitamin C and glutathione, along with gut-supporting foods such as ferments, kefir, goat milk and sauerkraut.
THIS BARBIE NEEDS TO RELAX
Another trick to help support skin health from within was a device called Sensate which emits infrasonic frequencies and sound and was placed on the chests of the Barbies during every facial treatment. “Reducing stress in the body as much as possible was key, in the clinic we use stress-reducing tech Sensate, which helps to stimulate the vagus nerve, reduces inflammation, improves stress resilience and supports sleep,” says Vico, “all important roles in the gut-brain-skin connection.”
POP AN ASPIRIN WITH WATER ON YOUR BREAKOUT
Finally, no matter how well you take care of your skin and body sometimes a blemish will pop up. When this happened, Vico had a special trick up her sleeve. “For any blemishes that the cast experienced, I shared my top trick with hair and make-up artist Ivana Primorac which combines salicylic acid, to unclog pores and ice to reduce the heat. My other go-to is crushing an aspirin and combining with water to make a paste and applying it to the spot to reduce redness and irritation fast.”