Ariel Mortman is recovering from the sniffles, so her voice is raspy, but her attitude has never been more chipper. It's not every day that the 22-year-old American-Israeli actress gets to talk about her skincare routine: Media attention is still a novel thing for the star of Netflix’s new quirky teen drama Greenhouse Academy, the American version of a smash-hit Israeli show that premiered last September. Spunky and wide-eyed Mortman, who splits her time between New York City and Tel Aviv, was a natural fit for the lead—and, incidentally, for Byrdie.
Catching someone as gregarious and plucky as Mortman on the precipice of a big Hollywood career is always a pleasure, especially when they're as passionate about skincare as Mortman seems to be. Even while battling a cold, the actress is delighted to tell me all about her international skincare regimen, which involves just a few simple products from Scandinavia, France, and her home country of Israel to keep her breakout-prone skin looking clear and glowy.
Want to know what Netflix’s newest It girl uses to keep her complexion camera-ready? Just keep reading for our conversation with Ariel Mortman.
Your skin is obviously very, very beautiful. Tell us all the things you do, please!
The first thing I do in the morning, which is really important and definitely shows up on the skin, is to drink a huge glass of water. I definitely make that a part of my routine. Especially with photo shoots and filming, it’s really important just to stay hydrated. Usually, after I wake up, I wash and moisturize my face using the Ole Henriksen line. You can literally buy a little set ($48) at Sephora. I think sticking to one brand consistently is important—just not to mix things too much. Ole has these morning and night serums, and I’ve been using those for three or four years now. This is something a dermatologist recommended for my skin type, and it works really well.
So in the morning, I use the morning serum ($48), the anti-wrinkle cream ($38), and an eye cream ($38), just to keep the under-eye area moisturized. I have really bad dark circles under my eyes—especially if I’m filming. The YSL Touche Eclat ($38) is probably the best concealer for that, in my opinion. It’s a little bit expensive, but for someone with dark circles like mine, just getting the better product definitely makes a difference.
Another funny tip I got from a makeup artist is I’ll put spoons in the freezer—it’s weird, I know, but it really works for people with puffy eyes—then I take the spoons out and keep them under my eyes for five minutes. Something about the cold takes down all the puffiness. It really does work. Then in the morning, I will definitely put on sunscreen, which is really important, especially because I have a really freckly face. I’ll take it in my bag and put it on throughout the day. I just bought the Glossier one ($25), which I’m really excited to use. The French brand Avène also makes amazing SPF.
And every single day I use Lucas’s Paw Paw Ointment ($10). A makeup artist also recommended this to me, and I’m absolutely obsessed with it. It clears your lips, I use it on mosquito bites or rashes, and everything disappears in a minute.
What about your evening routine?
In the evening, if I’ve been working that day, to take off all my makeup I use the Bioderma H2O ($15) in the pink bottle. I just order it on Amazon. I have about a million bottles—I keep a big one at home and carry around a tiny one in my bag. So I take all my makeup off with that and then use a Neutrogena face scrub ($5) in the shower to exfoliate my face. And before I go to sleep, I think it’s important to put on night serum ($48); I use the Ole Henriksen one. Then I make sure moisturizer is the last thing I put on my face, and I go to sleep like that.
But overall, I think it’s just really important to go to the dermatologist and have them recommend what would be best for your skin type. I’m not a big fan of facials, I have to say. I mean, there may be times when you’re stressed or when the weather sucks when you just have bad skin, and it stinks, but everyone gets it. But I don’t really like facials personally. I don’t have anything against people doing it. But for me, I just keep following my routine and washing my face. That’s why I keep a little bottle of Bioderma with a cotton ball in my bag, so if it’s really hot and sticky and you’re sweating, you can just clean your face throughout the day.
Spending so much time in Tel Aviv growing up, did you pick up any Israeli skincare secrets?
The sun there is really strong, so growing up, everyone has such awareness of SPF. Everyone puts on sunscreen, so I think I’ve had that in the back of my mind ever since I was little. SPF prevents wrinkles and dry skin, and health-wise, it’s obviously really important. Also in Israel, we have the Dead Sea, and I know Dead Sea products are sold all over the world, but going back, it’s always fun to purchase a Dead Sea mask ($15). It smells so bad—the worst smell ever—but it’s amazing. When we were filming Greenhouse Academy in Israel, we spent two days by the Dead Sea, and the whole cast and I were so excited because we had the chance to do that together. And you can literally go to the Dead Sea and put the mud from the sea on yourself, and suddenly they understood that this was the best thing that you can put on your skin.
If you could go back in time and give some skincare advice to your teenage self, what would it be?
Pimples are okay. Everyone gets them. Don’t freak out. And if you don’t need to, don’t wear so much makeup. I just remember piling things on my face. I would just say it’s okay to wear less. I would also say don’t ever pluck your eyebrows. I’m obsessed with eyebrows—I think they’re the prettiest thing. I wear Glossier’s Boy Brow ($16) almost every single day. I just think natural brows are the most beautiful thing on a girl’s face.
Opening Image: Tal Karp