Kate Walsh on Body Oil, Aging and Which of Her Characters Most Resembles Her

Kate Walsh on Body Oil, Aging and Which of Her Characters Most Resembles Her featured image
Derek Kettela

Kate Walsh has portrayed a slew of dynamic, interesting women on our screens for decades, including her roles in Emily in Paris, The Umbrella Academy, Private Practice and—of course—Grey’s Anatomy. After chatting with Walsh, we learned that she’s just as charismatic and compelling herself. While filming in Paris, Walsh shared with us via Zoom that she’d been struggling with dry eyes since 2015 until discovering SYSTANE COMPLETE Preservative-Free Lubricating Eye Drops. She also told us about her skin care, how she feels about aging and which character she most identifies with.

What does your skin-care routine consist of? Has it changed since hitting 50?

“Yes—hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I have always been prone to dry skin. I think it’s probably because I grew up in California and Arizona, which are very dry, but even when I lived in Chicago and New York in climates that are super cold in winter, my eyes dry with anything whether it’s radiator heat or forced air. So I hydrate inside and out. I drink a ton of water. My giant water bottle is here somewhere. I take omega oils. I make sure I get good, healthy fats. That’s all part of the internal dynamic, and then I use a ton of products on my skin. I use Crepe Erase. I use oils and exfoliate—I’m very fond of body oils.”

What do you do that’s just for yourself in the midst of your busy schedule?

“I’m a big fan of joy and pleasure. So I try to just do things for fun, and I know that sounds maybe kind of obvious or basic, but I think that a lot of times everyone gets so wrapped up in earning fun or leisure or pleasure, and I try to make it a part of my daily routine. So whether it’s just taking a walk, if I’m around my cat or a cat, any cat, I’ll probably cuddle with a cat. I’m in Paris right now, so I love walking around the city. I love going to museums. In day-to-day life I’m a big fan of just laying down and having a tiny nap or rest or meditate.”

You’ve played so many interesting women. Which of your characters do you feel you are most like?

“There’s a piece of me in all of them. The character I’m playing on Emily in Paris, there’s a lot of me in her, and definitely in Addison [Montgomery] too, in some ways. That’s just sort of what happens when you’re on a show for a long time, the character and you meld a little bit. Writers, the more they know you, the more they write to your voice and tonal inflections.”

Has your perspective on beauty changed at all as you’ve aged?

“Yeah, it’s weird. It’s weird to age, but I also feel really lucky. I’m healthy, and I think we’re in an interesting, great time in our culture where aging is more wellness-focused and health-focused than ‘if you don’t look a certain way, then you’re finished’ kind of mentality. And I wouldn’t subscribe to that anyway because it’s just not my personality. I really feel like people are embracing—I don’t know if my business is, but I am—aging well.”

Are there any beauty tips or tricks you’ve learned from makeup artists on set or while prepping for red carpets?

“Yes, it goes back to hydrating and layers of things to use. I always put oil in the bath. My longtime makeup artist, who is in his 50s now, he’s my age, he’s like, ‘The older I get, the more I just think oil, oil, oil.’ I think that some people are afraid of oil because they think it’s going to clog their pores, but it doesn’t if you’re using the right kind. So I’m a big fan of that, and doing it while your skin’s wet, it helps lock in the hydration.”

Tell us a bit about your experience with dry eyes and how these eye drops have helped.

“I’m super excited because I have actually suffered from dry eyes. In 2015 I went to the optometrist thinking I needed to have my LASIK redone or my prescription adjusted because I was having just a little bit of blurriness in my vision, and he told me, ‘Your prescription is perfect. Your eyesight is perfect, but you’ve got what we call dry eyes in the business.’ 

There’s plenty of prescription stuff to get, but I wasn’t interested in that. What I love about SYSTANE is that it’s a trusted brand that I’ve always worked with because I used to have contact lenses. I used to use their wetting solution. So when they approached me about partnering for SYSTANE COMPLETE Preservative-Free Lubricating Eye Drops, I was very excited because it’s something that I use, and it’s super easy, and also it’s Dry Eye Awareness Month in July. 

It’s an issue that affects 30 million Americans, twice as many women as men are affected by dry eye. It’s more prevalent in the culture than ever. Everyone’s fatigued, we’re all traveling a lot, we’re all in different seasons, we’re all on different screens. All these external elements can exacerbate the already existing condition of dry eyes.

I love it because it’s eight hours of relief. It’s one drop, it’s super easy. I love that it’s preservative-free. For me, I’m shooting right now in France and working long hours, and I definitely need them, but I love that I just have to use them basically once a day. It’s really cool—even my makeup artist has commented on the way it’s dispensed. It just sort of cleanly puts out one drop and doesn’t make a mess all over your face, so I don’t have to have touch-ups, but just in life for people, I think it’s really easy. I love this so much. It’s with me everywhere I go. I’ve got one of these in every little bag, and every little cosmetic case and one drop lasts eight hours.”

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