We sat down (via Zoom of course) with one of our favorite leading ladies, Kerry Washington—a longtime Neutrogena ambassador and self-proclaimed beauty-obsessive—to catch up on all things skin, hair and self-care.
What does your skin-care routine look like right now?
“People know I’ve been really obsessed with Neutrogena’s HydroBoost collection for a long time, and I mostly stick to that in the daytime for a few reasons: I really love the impact that hyaluronic acid has on my skin, but I also really like the multitasking component with the SPF. I do use the new Rapid Firming Serum though in the daytime, to help support with the peptides and collagen, before I layer on HydroBoost Water Gel SPF.
The Rapid Firming products have completely revolutionized my nighttime routine though. So different. One of the things Neutrogena is really proud of with this collection is that the size of the peptides is actually two and half times smaller than those in a lot of comparable products, which means it absorbs into the skin more effectively. The boost to your natural collagen is so strong and you really see the difference. I didn’t know a lot about peptides or collagen before, but the one-two punch of both of them in the product is so effective. I was like, ‘why is this called a contour cream,’ but then I started using it and it all made sense. It really does help with firmness and elasticity, and giving those youthful qualities to the skin. The eye cream [Rapid Firming Peptide Multi Action Eye Cream] is a total game changer! It’s actually made my morning routine so much better because I need less concealer, to be totally honest with you.”
Is retinol part of your routine, too?
“Yes! I love the new serum [Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol PRO 0.5%], which is the brand’s strongest retinol, but it’s also really gentle. I’m somebody who’s had eczema my whole life, so I have to be really careful—my skin is volatile and sensitive—and this serum is really effective for dark spots and fine lines, but also gentle. If you’ve heard about retinol and you want to try it, this is the perfect product to try. Or if you already love retinol, this is great for you too. It’s really lightweight, but it has a real power punch. I think it’s important to use products at night that don’t weigh your skin down.”
Do you switch up your skin-care routine as the seasons change?
“I do like to switch things up. In the summertime, I often use a stronger cleanser, but right now I’m using the HydroBoost Cleanser at night because it’s so nourishing and hydrating. And for me, this is the time of year to layer product. I do the serum, I do the eye cream, I do the contour cream. And because they’re all so lightweight and easily absorbed by the skin, I don’t go to bed feeling like I have a mask sitting on my face. It’s just layers of nourishment, almost like courses in a dinner.”
What about hair-care?
“I’m a big experimenter with hair. Part of it is because of my daughter—we’re always trying new conditioners especially. You know, with more coarse, coily, natural hair, you cannot pour in enough moisture. I love Pattern products, but I’m also super bias because Tracee [Ellis Ross] is one of my best friends and I’m really proud of her—but I really love them.”
Speaking of Tracee, are there any other celebrities or beauty bloggers you look to for beauty inspiration?
“I was actually joking about this with America Ferrara yesterday. I was like, ‘I miss you so much and it feels like we’re stalking each other on social media just to stay abreast of what’s happening in each other’s lives.’ So if anything, I’d probably say I gravitate toward my friends, like my real girlfriends. It’s Tracee, it’s Eva Longoria, America Ferrara, Reese Witherspoon, Alicia Keys, who is also creating incredible products for self-care—her candles are insane and so beautiful and healing. It’s the people I trust outside of social media. I try to stay current with them on there because we’re all so busy.”
Are there any beauty trends you’re loving right now?
“You know what I rediscovered during the pandemic: baths. The luxury of a bath, and it can be as simple as an Epsom salt bath, or a fancy crystal bath with oils and salts. I love a bath and a good book—it’s just so, so nourishing.”