Jenna Elfman on Turning 50, Why C E Ferulic Is ‘Her Bedrock,’ and What Dharma Would Be Doing Now

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Jenna Elfman on Turning 50, Why C E Ferulic Is ‘Her Bedrock,’ and What Dharma Would Be Doing Now featured image
Ray Katchatorian

She may be forever associated with Dharma in our collective pop-culture minds (fun, unrelated 90’s fact: the classically trained ballerina began her career as a professional dancer, appearing in Depeche Mode and Anthrax music videos), and Jenna Elfman is totally on board with that. 

“I like to think we both share the trait of enjoying and loving life,” the 49-year-old—who stars in Fear the Walking Dead, returning for a new season tonight—says of her title character from the iconic sitcom Dharma & Greg. “I know Dharma would be out there helping people right now. I think she’d be volunteering a lot. She would be finding ways to get in there and help.”

You have Fear the Walking Dead airing tonight. What was it like making this show and coming out with it during a year that’s been so different than the norm?
We were in the middle of filming season six when COVID happened, so we went on a very long hiatus from mid-March until October, when we returned to filming. The production team did such a great job implementing all the protocols, and it felt so good to get back to a creative mind frame…being able to go to work and be productive and be creative just felt like the biggest gift ever. There’s some pretty intense storytelling coming up, which we’ve been sitting on for more than a year—really tumultuous scenes that are going to be revealed in the second half of season six are coming. It was intense to have all of that in your space and deal with COVID. 

Then, we moved the family to Austin, where we filmed. It was a lot, but I’m excited for the show to be out there and flowing into the world because it’s been in our minds for so long. It’s going to feel really good when it starts airing and we get to share it with everybody. I’m excited everyone is going to get to see all the hard work we put into it.

You recently said you think Dharma & Greg is still so relevant and now is a good time to re-watch it. Are you anything like Dharma? What do you think she’d be doing now?
Good question. I think there are definitely similarities, where I just really enjoy living life. I love life and I love the interactions that I encounter with people throughout the adventure of living. I consider living life an adventure; I see it as an adventure. I think I share that spirit with Dharma in that way. I don’t tend to be a highly neurotic person in most of the areas of my life…well, maybe there’s a couple of areas. I think I share that with her. What would she be doing right now? I think she’d be volunteering a lot. She would be finding ways to get in there and help. If she had kids, she’d probably be homeschooling them, much like I am now. I think she’d be probably using her volunteerism to build into school lessons. I could see her doing something like that.

You’ve done some interviews where you share a long list of beauty products you like. What are some of your current favorites?
I find as I’m moving through my 40s and looking ahead with 50 knocking on the door this year, skin care is really, really important. My interest regarding my face has changed from focusing less on makeup and more on skin care as I get older; I find I’m less interested in the style of makeup I’m doing at any given time and I’m really interested in taking care of my skin and making it endure—that is my focus.

My number-one is SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic. I can’t survive without it. It is bedrock for me. And then there’s Omayma Skin. The creator is a makeup artist friend of mine, and she has one product, it is an oil-serum, and I cannot exist without it. I do my C E Ferulic and then I do her oil. Then, another friend of mine created a moisturizer that I also cannot live without. It’s called In Your Face Cream and I never, ever, ever, ever run out of it because I always make sure I have a backup going. It’s so natural and healthy, you could almost eat it. I tend to run dry and it is so moisturizing—my skin soaks it up and I smell so good. I really noticed a difference when I started using it. Then, I love Joanna Vargas’ face masks. All of her face masks are totally incredible and they are the only ones I use. I won’t use any other face mask.

You’ll turn 50 this year, is aging something you think about or do you take it in stride? 
I think it’s a little bit of both, and it probably changes by the day depending on how much sleep I’ve had! When I first turned 40, it wasn’t a big deal for me because I was just in my 30s yesterday. At least, that was my thought process on it. My 40s really hit when I turned 41. It was very much, “Oh…I’m really in my 40s now.” It was a rough year for me in terms of coming to grips with the whole, “I am definitely no longer in my 30s.” That was a transition…41 and 42 were hard for me to wrap my head around.

That’s also when I really started seeing changes hormonally—as a side note, a huge part of my beauty routine is staying on top of my hormone levels. I noticed that my hormones—the estrogen, progesterone, as I’m near perimenopause, menopause—are really important to pay attention to. I would notice that if my hormone levels got off, my skin and the tone of it, would get a little slack and my pores would change, so, now I use bioidentical hormones. And the thyroid plays such a big part as well. I think women have to stay on top of their thyroid. A lot of times, the doctors just check TSH level, which is the thyroid suppressants., and they don’t always check the 3T3, there’s TSH T4 and T3. I really recommend women that are in the 40s and 50s to make sure their doctor does a full thyroid blood panel when they have their thyroid checked, not just TSH. It’s a huge player for me, beauty- and aging-wise, to stay on top of that.

Are there any 90’s beauty trends you’d really like to see come back?
I can tell you what I don’t want to see come back! It would be those skinny little eyebrows, but I’m always down for a vamp nail polish any day.

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