Kerry Washington, star of breakout shows such as Scandal and Little Fires Everywhere, recently shared her beauty regimen with Vogue. In it, she lets us all in on her best beauty tips, walking us through a well-rounded AM routine of skin care, hair, and makeup practices that approach the art of daily toilette as a time to practice self-care.
Kerry became the face of beauty brand Neutrogena in 2013 and is well-known for her love of hyaluronic acid and non-compromising stance on proper SPF protection. Here are six beauty lessons we could learn from Kerry Washington today.
1. Pay Attention to Scalp Health
Her routine begins with a few spritzes of a scalp tonic made up of distilled water, non-alcoholic witch hazel, plus rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender essential oils to keep her scalp healthy. The essential oils are a great choice, as they are anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and promote hair growth. I was surprised to see witch hazel in the mix, as I’ve ever only known it to be used topically on skin. Turns out, it’s beneficial for scalps that produce a lot of sebum, can calm itching and painful inflammation, and clarifies the scalp of oil and hair product buildup, which is especially important when wearing a protective style like Kerry’s braids. Witch hazel can also increase circulation in the scalp, which, in turn, encourages follicular growth.
2. Think of Your Routine as Self-Love
It’s easy to get caught up in perceived imperfections and lose sight of the fact that beauty rituals are one way that we take care of ourselves. Yes, that serum will brighten up your skin and put you one step closer to your goal of a blemish-free face, but it will also make your skin healthier overall and give you an opportunity to practice kindness on yourself. “I do think of my skin care routine as self-love because our skin is our largest organ, and it’s important to take care of our skin in order to take care of our overall health,” says Kerry as she lights a candle to create a relaxing ambiance for the rest of her routine.
3. Use a Gentle Cleanser
Any skin care enthusiast worth their salt knows that the pH rating of their chosen cleanser is important. The skin’s pH is naturally between 4 and 6 on the scale and functions best that way. A good skin cleanser should leave skin in that balanced range, which protects its acid mantle and is less drying. Compared to just a few years ago, there are far many more low pH cleansers available, one of which is the Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Cleanser, which Kerry prefers. Some others are the First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser, Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, and The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser. As a person who has suffered from eczema for a long time, she understands the importance of a good foundational product for healthy skin.
4. Mist Away!
Before she moves on to the serum and moisturizer step, Kerry spritzes her face with a rosewater mist infused with crystals to cleanse her aura and amplify positive energy. Whether or not you subscribe to the healing power of crystals, your skin could most definitely benefit from the hydration boost and increased absorption of subsequent products.
5. Keep Your Hydration Game Solid
Kerry is big on hydration, both inside and out. She believes that moisture is the key to great skin and turns to hyaluronic acid serums and moisturizers for her skin’s needs. She credits her mother for helping her form that useful habit when she was young and still believes in the importance of optimal daily water intake for overall health and the right hydrating products to shore up the skin’s moisture barrier. This is definitely one bit of advice that we should all be taking note of and applying to our individual lives.
6. Find Balance and Stay True
Another great lesson Kerry learned from her mum is to find as much time to take care of herself as she spent taking care of others. It’s essential to find an activity that you enjoy and take that time for yourself alone, especially if your day-to-day involves looking after the needs of others.
She also emphasizes how absolutely critical it is to love the skin you’re in, and how important it is not to let people project insecurities onto you. To illustrate this point, she recounts the many instances when makeup artists on set would try to line her lips to look smaller than they actually were. But she put her foot down and refused to conform to the beauty standards that were being forced onto her. So remember, your body is beautiful no matter its size, whether or not you have body hair is your business and yours alone, and love the skin you’re in, no matter its color, tone, or condition.
What are your favorite beauty tips from Kerry Washington?