Jessica Alba Says This Instantly Plumping Moisturizer Is "Life-Changing"

The beauty founder gets honest about her skincare routine.

Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba

What I Put On My Face

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.

Jessica Alba is like a bottle of champagne personified. She's sweet, sharp, bubbly, and seems to only get better with time. For a certain generation, it's easy to feel like you grew up with Alba. She was on our screens from childhood, aging in real-time with the millennial cohort who watched her blossom from a young child actor working with Nickelodeon to a full-fledged film icon with impressive range who wasn't content to just be a (decade-defining) pretty face. Alba has a point of view and voice, and she was going to use them both the best way she knew how.

Just as the kids who watched her in Honey and Valentine's Day transitioned into adulthood and started to have kids of their own, Alba turned to her own second act: the wildly successful Honest Company. First founded when Alba couldn't find the baby care products she wanted for her first child, the brand has exploded into the kind of unicorn success story studied at universities. Does it surprise you to know that Alba does it all while maintaining a back-from-vacation glow despite her jam-packed schedule?

When I first got face-to-face (well, computer-to-computer) with Alba, it was the perfect chance to witness her grace-under-chaos abilities in action. Alba, camera-ready and palpably radiant (even through my smudged-up screen), was Zooming in from a room absolutely aflutter with activity— though you'd never know it from her serene calm, wry jokes, and seriously impressive product knowledge.

Together, we talked through her complete skincare history—from childhood allergies to her nighttime routines, beauty philosophies, and what she's focusing on next. I came away feeling like I had just taken a class in cosmetic chemistry and entrepreneurship. If she ever finds the time to do a full beauty masterclass, I'll be there on day one. Below is a complete breakdown of Jessica Alba's skincare routines, habits, and favorite products.

Jessica Alba Applying moisturizer

Jessica Alba

About Her Skin

I used to have pretty unpredictable skin and a lot of breakouts—even adult acne. When I started Honest, I was able to make my own beauty products and skincare products, and I really haven't had a ton of skin issues since. I would say my biggest ones now are just changing up my skincare depending on how much I'm flying, traveling, or sleeping (or not sleeping). So, it's really about hydration and things like that. Under my eyes, I get quite dry, so I make sure that is hydrated. I like to use tools with my moisturizer and serums, and I like to mask a lot.

How She Got Into Skincare

There weren't really a ton of derms or facialists that could help me because a lot of it had to do with the chemicals in products. And you know, with overly simple ingredient lists, I felt like it just wasn't effective. It didn't really work. The more active, luxurious, or scientific-based ones often gave me issues because there was fragrance or a bunch of things I'm allergic to—I'm allergic to petroleum, and that's the base of a lot of products. And I'm also allergic to any kind of adhesives or anything that has latex in it. So there's a lot of stuff I just couldn't even use because I would get rashes, breakouts, and things like that. I've always been obsessed with skin because—especially as an actress, you know—your face is huge on the screen. [LAUGHS] You can see every little thing, right? Yes, I was particularly obsessed with just having healthy skin, that's for sure.

Her Morning Vs Night Routines

I cleanse at night, and I like to use a more creamy, foaming cleanser. Our sensitive skin one is my favorite. It has prebiotics in it, so it smells a little funky (a little bit like that yogurt smell). But there's no fragrance in it, and it really is quite nourishing. I like to use our serum—I use the Honest Resurfacing Serum ($30). Then sometimes, I'll layer a moisturizing serum—I've been doing that lately on top of that. At night, I'll use the Calm and Heal Melting Balm ($33), and then I'll use the Calm and Renew Eye Balm ($28) around my eyes, and then the Gloss-C ($15) on my lips. We have these clear eyebrow and eyelash serums, and I just feel like my lashes and eyebrows haven't looked better. Just having that healthy serum applied every night is really nice.

Jessica Alba applying mask in pajamas

Jessica Alba

In the morning, I'll use the resurfacing serum again, and then I'll use Hydrogel ($20), which is a water-based cream with no fragrance in it. Immediately, I feel like it just plumps my face up. And then I like to use our Honestly Bright Eyes ($24), which is that same sort of water-based hydrogel cream, but it has pigments in it, so it reflects the light and makes my face look bright and awake. Then, I'll use the Gloss-C in the clear color on my lips. I usually use some type of mist, too. Like if I go to the gym, I use my sensitive skin one because it reduces the redness, otherwise, I use the extra-hydrating one.

How Her Philosophy Has Evolved Over The Years

I was frustrated with acne, but I didn't realize how much of it had to do with my diet, stress, and the products I was using. I would over-cleanse my skin and use really harsh ingredients, and then I was even putting on medicine for my skin, different types of medicines. And so [to my younger self], I would say that I probably wouldn't do it. [LAUGHS] It's a little late now! But now with my girls, I try to teach them the best I can how to care for their skin. You really have to care and make it your own. And I would say no matter how much my mom would tell me anything, I've had to sort of figure it out myself, but I do try to set those base standards for them.

The One Product That Makes The Biggest Difference

The Hydrogel is amazing. It's life-changing. Anyone that tries it is like, 'Oh my God!' because you don't rub it all the way, and you leave that little bit of a layer. It has this time-release moisturizer kind of vibe. And if you want to rub it in right away and get it into your skin, it's very watery and it feels very refreshing. It's like your face instantly drinks up that hydration. It's not greasy. It's not oily. It's not super heavy. Letting it sit on the face for like 10 minutes makes a world of difference.

The Best Skincare Advice She's Ever Received

I would say spot concealing was something that I learned on set. You know, not doing just one color across your whole face. You naturally will be a little darker around your hairline or where the sun hits your face, and you'll want to be a little brighter in other areas. So allow yourself to play with a couple of different shades to keep the dimension in your face. Otherwise, it just looks flat.

Her Most-Used Product

The concealer—that's one that I'll take with me. My cream blush and my concealer. Throughout the day, [I'll apply] a little under the nose. 'Oh, I got a little red' or 'I just blew my nose,' you know? Or 'Oh, a little blemish popped up.' I think that and mascara. I like looking fresh throughout the day and being able to do a little touch-up and not looking cakey.

Her Newest Skincare Obsession

My girlfriend, Shani Darden, she's a facialist and she just came out with this LED light mask that has a neck component, and that's pretty dope. And when you're my age, you appreciate the neck.

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