All skin is good skin, which is why good skincare is more of a journey than a destination. We all love a one-off tip—but, at Byrdie, we’re more interested in how our skin evolves over time. The product we've used for a decade, the ingredient cocktail that made us glow, the step we never skip, and all the advice in between. This is the stuff that makes a real difference. With What I Put on My Face, we’re bringing you the rituals, recommendations, and failed experiments (we’ve all had them) straight from celebrities, founders, and influencers who’ve gone through it themselves.
If her slew of high-profile projects is any indication, Jenna Ortega is on her way to becoming a household name. The 18-year-old is already a regular fixture on Netflix's Top 10 list, thanks to her roles in You and Yes Day, and will soon return to the big screen when she stars in the highly-anticipated Scream 5 next year. Just last month, it was announced that Ortega will play the titular role in Wednesday, Netflix's upcoming live-action Addams Family series.
When I recently sat down with Ortega to talk skincare over Zoom, however, it was clear that despite her increasing stardom, the young actress still shares many of the same qualities as her non-famous peers. She’s candid, quick to laugh, and isn’t afraid to experiment (see her recent hair transformation as proof).
While we love to hear about delightfully extravagant celebrity skincare regimens, it was also refreshing to learn that most of Ortega’s minimal routine comes from the drugstore. She serves as an ambassador for Neutrogena, but she’s also a genuine long-time fan of the products. “I have older sisters, so I grew up with a lot of Neutrogena in my house,” she says of the start of her skincare journey. Keep reading to learn all about her most-used essentials, the skincare habit she finds “super disappointing,” and more.
Her Biggest Skincare Concerns
I don't have any specific skin issues. I do have combination skin, and during the summer, it tends to lean more on the oily side. So for me, it's just about making sure I keep my t-zone in check.
I also just got bangs, and it’s been a weird thing to navigate since bangs carry more oil because they’re rubbing on your face. I'm starting to notice that I’m breaking out a bit more often on my forehead, so it’s just been "How do I control this and keep it maintained while I’m keeping this hairstyle?"
The Thing That Made Skincare *Click* for Her
It was just my experience growing up in the industry. I started acting when I was a little bit younger, and they would do my hair and makeup on set. But because I was young, I wasn't really seeing any consequences and didn't put too much effort into my appearance because it wasn't necessary. My skin just naturally took care of itself.
It wasn't until I started going through puberty and dealing with hormone changes, and becoming insecure that I really started to pay more attention to what I was putting in my body and how I was taking care of my skin and hair.
Her Morning vs. Night Routine
They're exactly the same. However, these Freeze Tools from Georgia Louise are great for de-puffing in the morning, especially after a night of too much popcorn. And they’re just fun to use!
The Skincare Step She Never Skips
Sunscreen. I can't leave the house without it, especially during the summer. It’s just not smart.
How Her Routine Changed Over the Years
It was really just finding products that work for me. I'm very fortunate, though, since I grew up with a lot of Neutrogena in my house. Because Neutrogena is so accessible, it was always the number one skincare brand my sisters used, so I’ve just always been familiar with it.
Something new that I’ve been doing, and something that I never really considered before, is scalp care. Because your scalp is still technically your skin, Neutrogena just came out with a Clarify and Shine Scalp Scrub ($9). They have clarifying shampoo and conditioner as well, which are great, but the scalp scrub, in particular, was something I'd never really heard of before. It's really important during the summer when you're sweating, and there are a lot of oils, and dead skin getting backed up in your hair follicles. It makes my hair feel extra clean and also adds shine. I love it when my hair has a nice shine to it.
The Product That’s Made the Biggest Difference
Honestly, the Oil-Free Pink Grapefruit Acne Wash ($9). When I first started stressing out about my skin, like ‘Oh my goodness, something isn’t working,’ I started using it, and within a week, I saw a difference. And I can tell when I’m not as consistent with it, or if I stop washing my face at night or something like that, I can tell. So it’s just best that I stay consistent.
The Best Skincare Advice She’s Ever Received
Clean your pillowcases even more consistently than your bedsheets. That was something I had never really considered, and I remember it blowing my mind the first time I heard it. I heard that from a castmate who is very clean, very into skincare; her name is Kayla Maisonet. She gave me that advice, and it changed everything.
Her Biggest Skincare Pet Peeve
Falling asleep with my makeup on. That was something I used to do all the time carelessly when I was younger because I didn't realize it was going to become an issue for me. Anytime I do it, and I really don’t anymore, it’s just super disappointing. I’m like, "please, please, please don’t, your skin will thank you." You will see the difference.
The Product She Uses the Most
The Neutrogena Clarify & Shine Pink Grapefruit Shampoo ($12) and Conditioner ($12). I have really fine hair, and I have to wash it pretty consistently or it gets really greasy and oily.
The Best Skincare Product She’s Tried Recently
Neutrogena actually just came out with a skin-perfecting acid. I didn’t know what that was at all, but apparently, it’s a liquid treatment for your face. You can put it on with your hands or with a cotton ball, and you do it after you clean your skin and before you moisturize. It helps get rid of dead skin cells without being as abrasive as a brush or a scrub. It always makes my skin feel really soft. So even though I’m not entirely sure what a liquid acid is, it clearly is doing something because it feels really good.