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.
If you're looking for someone to chat about skincare with for hours, Kerry Washington is your girl. As soon as we hopped on Zoom, time flew by as Washington gushed about her tried-and-true products and working with Neutrogena. In 2013, the award-winning actress signed on as a creative consultant and ambassador for the skincare brand. While Washington has become known for her glowing complexion, her interest in skincare extends deeper than the surface.
Since joining Neutrogena, she's been laser-focused on sharpening her skincare knowledge and educating others in turn. She's worked hands-on with Neutrogena's scientists to learn about product development and helped the skincare brand produce In The Sun, a feature-length documentary about the dangers of prolonged sun exposure. "It's been fulfilling to work with a beauty company that's invested in skin health," Washington says.
Ahead, Washington discusses her skincare journey, the $20 eye cream that lets her skip concealer, and the three ingredients that have been game-changing for her skin. Keep scrolling to read everything Kerry Washington had to say.
About Her Skin
I've always had pretty sensitive skin and have had eczema my whole life. I've been going to dermatologists for years. My skin changes a lot with my diet, hormone levels, and the weather. I have to pay attention to my skin, but I've learned to find effective products that are not too overpowering for my sensitive skin.
The Moment Skincare *Clicked* For Her
When I started working professionally as an actor, I realized it was important for me to feel as beautiful when I got home and took my makeup off as I did when I spent two hours in the hair and makeup trailer. In many ways, Neutrogena is a great fit for me because the brand also wants you to feel as beautiful when you take your makeup off as when you put it on. You don't need our products to be beautiful. Our products are just there to assist you along your journey of becoming the healthiest version of yourself.
How Her Morning And Evening Routines Vary
During the day, I use the Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel ($12) and the Hydro Boost City Shield Water Gel Face Moisturizer SPF25 ($21). If I have time, I try to apply the Rapid Firming Collagen Triple Lift Face Serum ($40). But honestly, in the morning, I don't usually have time since I have three kids.
At night, it's a different story because I have more time. During the pandemic, I didn't have to set my alarm for 4:30 am to be on set. The kids weren't going to school; they were doing school in my living room on Zoom. So, I had more time to find a nighttime routine. At night, I double cleanse and use our new Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Pro+ .5% Power Serum ($40). I think it's a great entry point for people who haven't used retinol. At .5%, it's our strongest retinol, but it's very gentle and effective for deep lines and dark spots. After the retinol, I'll use the Rapid Firming Collagen Triple Lift Face Serum ($40), Rapid Firming Peptide Contour Lift Face Cream ($40), and the Neutrogena Rapid Firming Peptide Multi-Action Eye Cream ($20).
The Step She Never Skips
I tend to use the Rapid Firming Peptide Multi-Action Eye Cream ($20) in the morning and night. If I'm applying the eye cream in the morning and night, it actually saves me a step with concealer. I absolutely notice the difference.
The Best Skincare Tip She's Ever Got
It's about getting enough sleep and drinking enough water. Those things have more impact on how I look and feel than anything else. However, I will say that none of us are perfect. I do not get eight hours of sleep every night, and I don't always drink three liters of water a day. I strive for those things, but the reality is that I'm not always able to do those things. And that's where the products come in. My skincare routine is a supplement if I'm not getting enough rest or water.
The One Ingredient That Changed Everything
I know you asked for one, but there's a trifecta. Hyaluronic acid is a game-changer and has been so helpful for me in terms of maintaining my moisture throughout the day. Collagen and peptides help with firmness and elasticity. But retinol has been vital for me because it allows me to reveal all of that.
The Product That Has Been in Her Routine The Longest
I've been a devotee of our Hydroboost line for a long time. I'm obsessed with hyaluronic acid. When I first met with the Neutrogena scientists, they explained its efficacy to me, and it blew my mind.