Emilia Clarke Just Dropped Her Skincare Routine and It’s Only Three Steps

Emilia Clarke looks over shoulder with radiant skin and pink top


The One Thing

Our series The One Thing is a Sparknotes version of the products, rituals, and moments your favorite celebrities and influencers swear by—their go-tos, must-haves, and can’t-live-withouts. So go ahead—take a brief, intimate peek into the lives of your favorites through the things (and people, and moments) they hold dear.

Emilia Clarke is on the brink of a transformative era. Best known for playing Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones as well as film roles in the likes of Solo: A Star Wars Story and Last Christmas, her upcoming moves include entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the upcoming miniseries Secret Invasion, plus starring in and executive producing The Pod Generation, a sci-fi rom-com film that premiered at Sundance in January. While Clarke may have her hands full with several high-profile projects, if one thing's clear, it's that the actress has major range and brings both talent and infectiously positive energy to everything she does. Naturally, she has a simple and rock-solid self-care routine to prepare her for whatever each day on set holds, and she shared a few key tips exclusively with Byrdie. Keep reading to learn Clarke's skincare favorites, how she prepares for a new role, and the daily practice that's transformed her life for the better.

The One Skincare Routine That Simplifies Her Busy Schedule

"My skincare routine is pretty simple. It’s cleanse, tone, and moisturize, and I do that in the morning and the evening. [For cleansing], I love Clinique's Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm ($38), especially if I’ve been doing heavy days on set—it’s so much makeup that they put on my skin, and using an oil or balm cleanser really makes it all come off. I also use the Clarifying Lotion ($20), and after that, my skin is really clean. The moisturizing bit is the Clinique Moisture Surge Broad Spectrum SPF 28 Sheer Hydrator ($48), and it’s so amazing that they’ve made one with SPF in it, because even if I forget to put my extra SPF on, which I would recommend people do, [I still] have a little bit of protection."

The One Step She Changes from Day to Night

"My morning and nighttime routines are really very similar. In the evening, I might do a double cleanse depending on how much makeup either I or someone else has put on my skin. I also put more moisturizing cream on my face at night than I do in the daytime. In the morning, if I have a big day or I have some stuff coming up, I also do a sheet mask and use a face roller. I keep all of those things in the fridge, which always helps."

Emilia Clarke poses with two Clinique Moisture Surge moisturizer jars


The One Thing She Adds to Her Routine on Set Days

"Honestly, I just clean my skin a lot more when I’m working. I obviously arrive on set with clean skin, and they put makeup on me. Most people get their makeup taken off in the chair, at work, [but] I’m the kind of person who’s like, 'I want to go home.' And then when I get home, I’ve got my sink and my products and I get to do the whole thing. It’s just heavier on the cleaning."

The One Thing She Always Does When Preparing for a Role

"How I prepare is so dependent on the project, the director in question, and [the role]—sometimes I'm going to be a historical figure and so therefore I’m going to need to do a lot of research, or if it’s not that and if I’ve got a director that is keen to have a very collaborative experience, then I’ll be communicating with them, designing the looks with the costume designer, and going in for hair and makeup tests. It’s a huge amount [of prep], but a lot of the stuff that I do on my own is I just work on the script, over and over and over again."

The One Workout She Does Every Day

"I've been doing yoga consistently every day for about four years, but I've always done it [in some capacity]. When I was little, I did gymnastics. I’m hypermobile, so people think I’m good at yoga and I’m like, 'No, I’m just naturally bendy!' So that’s why I’m always injuring myself, because people who are hypermobile [get injured] really easily. So basically in finding different ways of staying fit, yoga was always the one that I loved the most. Yoga and pilates always best suited my body. I don’t need stuff to hype me up; I need stuff to calm me down."

The One Self-Care Practice That Transformed Her Mindset

"For the past three years or so, I've done a yoga routine and a meditation every morning, and I’ll end that with an affirmation. And [what exactly that affirmation is] all will be dependent on how I'm feeling when I've woken up that day. You know how sometimes you wake up and you’re like, 'It’s the worst! Everything’s terrible and awful. Life’s terrible!' [On those days], my affirmation will be specifically [addressing and validating] how that feeling is, but normally between shaking it out in yoga and doing my meditation, the affirmation then is the final reminder of 'Okay, you can do this.'

'At night I journal, so I’ll end with affirmations there, and that just helps me [get to a place where] I’ve processed the day, I’ve gotten rid of it, and now I get to go to sleep feeling calm and in control, as much as possible. It’s made a huge difference because then, if you’ve got a minute on set and you’re feeling really scared or you’re feeling uncertain or under-confident, you can use that affirmation again as a kind of reminder. It’s almost like a sense memory—it brings you back to being like, 'Oh yeah, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. Everything’s good.'"

Related Stories