Valerie Monore - Jonathan Skow, O magazine

Truth In Beauty: Val Monroe On Retinoids

O magazine beauty editor Val Monroe reveals how she stays looking fresh.

Valerie Monore - Jonathan Skow, O magazineSAVING FACE | Look at that fabulous face. Can you believe that Val  Monroe, the beauty editor at O: The Oprah Magazine, just turned 60? Last month, when Monroe revealed to readers that she was becoming a sexagenarian, jaws dropped everywhere. I’d assumed that Monroe was in her late 40s. “She’s got to have had work done,” my girlfriend remarked when I showed her Monroe’s photo. “Either that or her picture was heavily photoshopped.”

“I can’t believe she’d do either of those things without telling readers,” I said. “Obviously, she’s had a great makeup job, but otherwise I think we’re looking at the real deal.”

Being the real deal is what makes her beauty column, Ask Val, in O magazine a trusted source for information on beauty products and procedures for women of all ages. Not one to tout the benefits of something she has not researched or tested, you never get the feeling that Monroe is shilling for Big Cosmetics. After reading in her column that “A drugstore mask or moisturizer can have the same concentrations of active ingredients as one from a department store or spa,” I switched from Chanel moisturizer to Boots No7 serum and moisturizer, and see no significant difference between the effectiveness of the two brands.

Val Monroe’s Beauty Secrets

One product Monroe swears by is retinoid cream, a vitamin A derivative that unclogs pores, boosts collagen to reduce fine lines and speeds cell turnover to even out discolouration and smooth the skin. “Because I’ve had a serious love relationship with a prescription retinoid for the past seven years (Tazorac, and it’s an every-night affair), I don’t have a lot of wrinkles on my face,” she reports. You can buy retinoid cream over the counter, but Monroe prefers prescription-strength because these formulas yield the most impressive results. (Read what O magazine has to say about retinoids here.)

Two other treatments Monroe does routinely to keep herself looking fresh are “a bit of Botox and a regular flash of skin-toning laser.” She doubts she’ll do anything more invasive. “I’ve always wanted to look pretty, and I still want to, but age-appropriately,” she says. —Annabel Lee

Read Val Monroe’s Ask Val columns on

Photo: Johnathon Skow, O: The Oprah Magazine

1 reply
  1. Roxana
    Roxana says:

    She has inspired me to start looking after my skin. I have already made an appt with my family doc to get a prescription for Tazorac. I hope that it will work a little bit of magic on my neglected skin.
    Thank you for the article.


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