Actress Tia Mowry—I loved her on Sister, Sister as a kid—is teaming up with Aveeno and opening up about her personal skin struggles in an effort to educate and inspire. I recently met with the mother of two via Zoom, and let me just say, her energy is so positive and bright. Here, Mowry gets candid about her ongoing battle with eczema, her go-to stress relievers and more.
What was your relationship with your skin like growing up?
“Growing up, I had some skin sensitivities, and I also saw my mother experience them. But, eczema was never talked about—we didn’t even know what that was, so I suffered for a long time. I experienced a lot of insecurities and anxiety because I didn’t know what was going on and I didn’t have a proper diagnosis. I didn’t have the proper educational tools and there was no visibility of what eczema looked like on black skin. This seems to be true for a lot of African American cultures, and a lot of African American people are affected by eczema.
My mom would scratch her hands a lot, and I know now that that was actually a symptom of eczema. That’s what was happening to me too. Some of the ways my flare-ups would come about would be that the skin on my hands would peel, and then my hands would itch. It would start with these tiny bumps and then I’d have these round, white patches on my arms. I ended up going to a doctor—a black woman—in my 20s, and I showed her my hands, and she told me it was eczema. She sent me to a dermatologist and I was finally properly diagnosed. That’s when I was also introduced to Aveeno, and it’s been a part of my life ever since.”
What are your go-to products for soothing your eczema?
“One product I’m using right now is the Aveeno Eczema Relief Therapy Gel Cream, and colloidal oatmeal is the superpower ingredient that helps soothe, protect and heal itchy, dry skin. That is one ingredient I look for in products for my skin sensitivities, both for myself and my children. When I need extra moisture, I also use the Tone & Texture Daily Renewing Lotion. It really hydrates your skin, especially in California where it’s very dry.”
Your also helping to spread the word about Aveeno’s new campaign. Tell me more.
“What I love about Aveeno is that they’re all about changing the narrative and bringing awareness to people to show them what eczema looks like on all skin types. The brand also just announced the results of its first-ever Aveeno Skin Sensitivity Report, which had 1,000 participants of all ethnicities, and takes a closer look at the causes of skin sensitivities, as well as explores the connection between our mind and skin. In the study, they found that 71 percent of adults report they have some sort of skin sensitivity, and that’s an increase of 55 percent in the past two decades, which is mind-blowing. The findings also showed that skin sensitivities can have a huge impact on the quality of one’s life and their emotional well-being. Aveeno wants to destigmatize these conditions and encourage people to be vulnerable and share their own stories online using the hashtag #ProudlySensitiveSkin. Social media can be a scary place, but with campaigns like this, it’s all about inspiring and encouraging.
What are your go-to products for your eczema?”
By the way, you’re doing something right because your skin looks incredible. What else do you do to keep it healthy and beautiful?
“I’m very intentional when it comes to my skin care. I’m constantly focusing on how I feel, and if I’m stressed, I do things to make me relax, like meditation, hiking or taking a bath. I meditate every day, and I do it for 10 minutes. I breathe in for four seconds, hold my breath, and then release for eight seconds. I’m also a huge believer in affirmations and depending on my mood—whether I’m anxious, sad or having a hard time letting go—I’ll focus on meditations with that topic, and it really, really helps with my mood.
I’m also focused on my diet and what I eat. I drink lots of water to flush out toxins in my body. I went to an allergist years ago who was able to pinpoint certain foods that caused flare-ups and inflammatory responses within my body. I’m not plant-based, but I eat mainly protein and vegetables. Bison is a really great protein, and salmon is full of omegas that are good for your skin—and all types of vegetables. All of those factors combined affect how I view and treat my skin.”
What projects do you have going on right now that fans can look forward to?
“I have a lot going on! The third and final season of Family Reunion is coming out tomorrow on Netflix, which I’m so excited about. I also have a new show on Tastemade called Weekend Refresh, which is about how people can use DIY techniques to refresh their space in 48 hours— it’s very practical. I also have my Spice by Tia line, plus a huge announcement that I’ll be revealing the second week of January—I’m incredibly excited about it. And of course, I’m looking forward to spending quality time with my family during the holidays. It’s my favorite time of year. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s—I live for those moments.”