Exclusive: Lilly Singh on Skincare, Self-Esteem, and Living Authentically

Updated 07/16/19
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 @iisuperwomanii

Lilly Singh's brand of comedy is a special one. It's equal parts goofy, contemporary, and well-informed—and as such, it really resonates. For proof, look at her truly staggering fanbase. The YouTube star has amassed almost 15 million subscribers on the video sharing platform alone—not to mention another 9 million followers on Instagram. If you aren't already familiar with her (and her pithy and relatable videos like Three Girls, One Elevator or Expectations vs. Reality: Self Care), you're about to be, because it was recently announced that she's set to host her own late night show, called A Little Late with Lilly Singh (look out for it to premiere on NBC this fall).

Most recently, Singh has partnered with Olay to promote the brand's sun care products and share the message that firstly, self care isn't selfish, and secondly, sun care is self care (model and activist Mama Cax, actress Busy Philipps, and Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman are all also part of the campaign). Keep scrolling to read our full exclusive interview with the content creator, comedian, and late night host.

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"I grew up with Olay and learned about the brand via my mom," Singh tells us. "I was super stoked about the opportunity to work with them based on just that. But after getting to learn more about the brand, the science behind it, and what their values are I've come to see that our partnership couldn’t a better fit. They always let me be myself, challenge any doubts I have with the science behind their products and really care about the people that use them."

Olay's message of self care is what really spoke to Singh. "I've come to learn that when you don't take care of yourself, you can't bring your best self to everyone else in your life. Too often we prioritize other people before ourselves and that will really run you down over time. I do a few things on a daily basis to take care of myself and wearing sunscreen is one of those. For a while I didn’t wear sunscreen because I couldn’t find an SPF that blended into my skin. Olay Total Effects Whip SPF 25 changed the game for me."

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"Day to day I also try to schedule breaks whenever I can. I often have so much going on and I know that taking a beat to check in with myself and slow down makes me more mindful and productive overall. As a form of meditation, I like to write down my thoughts on paper to reflect. I also love a hot cup of ginger lemon tea or using one of Olay's Mists as a pick me up."

For Singh, authenticity seems to be the most important part of any partnership or project (and even each individual social media post). This partnership felt genuine because the product's help her feel better as she goes about her day. "Beauty to me means individuality," she says. "It means people living their truth and doing what fills their hearts and makes them excited. I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than seeing people live passionately."

Being an Internet superstar isn't all sunshine and butterflies. It comes with hardships, and by hardships, we mean haters. Singh is no stranger to the occasional nasty comment or spiteful message. Her advice? Ignore them. "Haters will always exist," she says. "It’s just the nature of the world we live in. I remind myself to not get caught up in what other people think. Usually, their negativity is coming from a place of insecurity and hurt, so instead of letting them get to me, I hope they can heal and find some peace."

Haters or not, social media is a tough landscape to navigate. When most everyone sticks to sharing their best moments, ignoring vulnerabilities and FaceTuning any insecurities away, it's hard to be (and stay) happy with yourself as you are in this moment. It can make you feel incomplete or inadequate. It creates a lot of pressure to act and look a certain way. Singh knows that. That's why she regularly accompanies her Instagram pictures with honest captions that detail her personal and emotional goals (like self-forgiveness) or encourage her follows to practice kindness and inclusiveness.

"Often times, we are our own worst enemy when instead, you have to be your own best friend. The minute you start putting yourself down or comparing yourself to someone else, stop. No one is perfect, even the people you think are perfect. It’s totally normal to have moments where you don’t feel great about yourself! We all do."

If that doesn't work, try to shift your perspective. "Pause, reflect, take a break," she says. "It’s so important to recognize when things get a little crazy so that I don’t feel like I’m spiraling out of control...step away from what's going on in your day and do something nice for someone else. It's amazing how a simple gesture like calling an old friend just to say hello or buying someone else a coffee can refocus your perspective."

Whether you're dealing with negativity that comes from others or yourself (hateful self talk is real, people), know that Singh has some confidence-boosting tips to share. "I love to give myself a little pump up chat in the morning when I wake up, making sure I know that I will be able to get through the day no matter what life might throw at me. It’s so important to believe in yourself. Business and anything related to money used to scare me because I didn't feel educated about it. I realized I had to get out of my comfort zone and learn about the business side of my career in order to succeed. It taught me that I should face what I don't know head on, instead of that instinct to run away."

She may be best known for being an entertainer and comedian, but her influence extends far past that. She's vocal about her vulnerabilities, she's real about her insecurities, and she's not afraid to share them with her followers. All jokes aside, she's becoming someone that fosters confidence, community, and inspiration among her enormous fanbase, and we're here for that.

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