After an allergic reaction to cosmetics landed Rose Byrne in her doctor’s office this summer, she was forced to rethink every product she owns. “I got contact dermatitis and excema on my eyes,” Byrne says. “After having tests done I found out that had I developed an allergy to three chemicals that are in pretty much everything.” Those three chemicals—propolis cera, propylene glycol, and tocopheryl—mixed with an allergy to vitamin E (which is in many natural products) left the actress with incredibly limited options. “It’s been really hard because they don’t always tell you everything that’s in products,” she says. After months of experimenting she’s amassed a collection of both drugstore and natural products that you may not think lack many common chemicals. But she swears by a CoverGirl mascara and L’Oreal foundation! Some things, however, have been hard to let go of. “My skin is getting a little better now,” she says. “So I have been able to wear my perfume on occasion!”
Byrne’s learned to avoid anything that has too much lather, the byproduct of added sulfates and a telltale sign it could irritate her skin. “I’ve been using Dermalogica’s Ultra Calming Cleanser ($35) on my face. It’s really mild and not frothy at all,” she says. And for her body? Pure olive oil bar soap she found at Whole Foods. (Try the Olive Oil Bar Soap ($3) By Kiss My Face.)
Weeding out chemical-laden products means the actress has adopted a range of nourishing oils. “At night I put rosehip oil on my face,” she says. She keeps pure jojoba oil around for her body, and John Master’s Organics’ Rose & Aloe Hydrating Toning Mist ($20) to freshen her face during the day. Try Beauty Oils’ 100% Rosehip Seed Oil ($10) and Desert Essence’s 100% Pure Jojoba Oil ($10).
"To be honest I don’t really wear deodorant all the time,” Byrne says with a laugh. “If I stay up on waxing I find I don’t really need it. When I do I just borrow my boyfriend’s Old Spice.”
It’s been no easy feat finding new eye makeup, Byrne says. Her first new addition is CoverGirl’s Professional All-In-One Mascara ($5).“In particular I really miss eye makeup,” she says. “I haven’t been able to do enough exploring for products that I can use, but this mascara has been great.”
“In the morning I use this drugstore lotion called CeraVe,” Byrne says. “And I can use ROC’s eye cream, which is great because it’s anti-aging.” She also keeps her new favorite lip balm—Dr. Hauschka’s Lip Balm ($18) on hand. Try CeraVe’s Moisturizing Lotion ($13) along with ROC’s Retinol Correction Eye Cream ($23).
Luckily Byrne hasn’t had to give up her go-to scent. “I wear Balenciaga’s signature scent,” she says. “I just use it sparingly now.”
"I go back and forth between two different foundations,” she says, referring to YSL’s Le Teint Touche Eclat Illuminizing Foundation SPF 19 ($55) and L’Oreal’s True Match Super Blendable Makeup ($10). “I have a yellow undertone, so the True Match is perfect for me.”