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.
I know it's the opposite of what you're supposed to do with an artist and their work, but thanks to my love for Sydney Sweeney's entire filmography, I may have come to this interview with a few preconceived notions about the young star. On-screen, Sweeney nearly always plays the popular "girl's girl." In her most recent mega-hit, HBO's The White Lotus, Sweeney is a sarcastic, Freud-reading teen with enough vocal fry to cook a funnel cake. But, in person, she's open, friendly, and slightly goofy with her buddies.
For that reason, it came as an (albeit, very minimal) surprise that Sydney Sweeney approached this interview with the kind of casual enthusiasm typically reserved for brunches and group chats. The subject matter was spot-on, too: an in-depth discussion on the frustrations of teenage (and adult) acne, skincare misfires, holy grail products, and how it all impacted her childhood in Idaho.
Read on for the latest installment of What I Put On My Face with breakout Gen Z star Sydney Sweeney.
About Her Skin
I have dealt with the most insane sensitive skin—I'm even allergic to fake jewelry. On-set most of the time, you're just wearing whatever comes at you. I break out on my chest; my ears will start to bleed, like, it's a thing. I get terrible cystic acne, I get rashes, I get red splotches that then turn dry and sting—it's just all over the place. And growing up, when I started shaving, I would get terrible bumps and razor burns, and I couldn't figure out what it was.
I found out that it was a mixture of not shaving correctly and my shaving cream—I was allergic to a lot of the ingredients. So my parents switched me over to BIC Soleil Sensitive Advanced Razors ($6) because it's affordable but works like a premium razor. And it's great for sensitive skin. I didn't have to use shaving cream since it's infused with shea butter and aloe—it just works for me. So I figured out the bottom half of my body. But the top, my face... it's been a long journey.
I also think acne is just one of those things, especially when you're young. When it comes to your face, it's going to break out. No matter how many products, treatments, really anything you do... your hormones are so in play that it's not something that you can easily "figure out" unless you're blessed with good genes.
The Moment Skincare *Clicked* For Her
I didn't grow up with the access or means to use dermatologists or high-end treatments, so it was a lot of trial and error. Whatever was in my mom's closet, I played with it. It wasn't until about recently, at 19 years old, when I was working on all these different shows—like The Handmaid's Tale and Sharp Objects—that I met amazing makeup artists who do take skincare seriously. You're on a show, and it's not like you can Photoshop your face. So they started giving me products and telling me to try this or that. I got more into the skincare space through the makeup artists on different shows.
How Her Morning And Evening Routines Vary
I use some of the same products morning and night, but it all depends on where I am and how my skin is. Because I have combination skin, it can get oily, and it can also get dry. If I'm in Hawaii [filming The White Lotus], it's luscious and great, and I don't have to worry about much. But if I'm back home in Idaho, it's really dry. Every night and morning, I always use Bioderma Micellar Water ($15). It's water, but it's better than water! I use that even if I don't have makeup on just to clean my face.
In the morning, I use both an exfoliator and gel cleanser—I used to only use one or the other, but I found that mixing the two is actually key for my skin type. I don't even know if I'm doing it correctly, but it works for me. I use the SkinCeuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier HA ($105) and C E Ferulic ($166).
At night, I usually do two different SkinCeuticals oils: the HA Intensifier Serum ($102) and the Hydrating B5 Gel ($83). Then I use a collagen cream, which is new. I used to lavish so much lotion on, but I've started using this very small tube of collagen cream instead, and I like it. And then I use La Mer. I mix the Ole Henriksen eye cream ($40) and the La Mer eye cream ($245). I like to mix things because why not? I'm in my bathroom with my fingers mixing all these products!
The One Step She Never, Ever Skips
I always, every single morning, use eye gel masks. Right now, I'm obsessed with the Peter Thomas Roth ones—either the gold ones or the blue ones. But every morning, no matter what I'm doing, I put those on. So many times, I'll come to set with my mask on and my eye gels, and they're like, "What's wrong with your face?!"
How Her Skin Routine Changed Over Time
There was a time in middle school when I was really struggling. I would go to the drugstore and just buy every possible zit cream you could find and cover my entire face with it. I would get the most horrible, irritated, dry skin patches. I would try and pop cystic acne that you could not pop and then get welts on my face. And I'm so blessed—I don't know how, but I don't have scars on my face. Because I dug, and I put Neosporin and then band-aids on my face and went to school. Like it was bad, It was really bad.
The Best Skincare Tip She's Ever Got
Don't ever forget sunscreen! In the morning, I always put on the EltaMD Sunscreen ($30). I used to break out horribly from sunscreen and I could not find one that worked, but this one's great for sensitive skin.
The One Product That Changed Everything
It's the SkinCeuticals serum because it took me a long time to figure out the right mix. Finding products to prime before you put on makeup was really difficult. And so I really think the HA serum has changed the game for me.
The Product She Uses The Most
Burt's Bees chapstick ($5), just the original. I have so many.
The Product She's Most Loyal To
Honestly, the BIC Soliel razor. I didn't start using serious skincare products until recently, and BIC Soliel is something you can afford, and my parents were able to afford it—we were always looking for good value. So that was that's been in my shower since day one.
Her Newest Skincare Obsession
I have been using this thing called a SolaWave ($149). I put my oils on, and then there's this red light that vibrates, and you put it over your face. I do it for five minutes every night, and I love it. I love a good end-of-day cooldown.