Neilson Barnard

During a recent chat with the Shondaland star, we picked up a few tips that are impossible to mess up. 

May, 12, 2017

Kerry Washington rarely misses a mark on the red carpet and her expert beauty knowledge may have something to do with it. Besides collaborating with a dedicated glam team, the Scandal star is also a skincare authority in her own right.

As Creative Consultant for Neutrogena, she's helped launch a slew of products that not only make our routines way less daunting, but are actually healthy, too. And during a recent chat with the mother of two, we quickly learned that, well...she's just like us! Although she spends a lot of time in front of the camera, the truth is she appreciates a multi-tasker like any other working mom. 

"The more a product can multi-task, the more able we are to take care of ourselves," Washington told ESSENCE. That could explain why a host of Neutrogena's latest products check all of the boxes: coverage, hydration and sun protection, to name a few. 

"There's for sure a myth in communities of color that we don't have to protect our skin because of melanin," she emphasized. "And we're actually very vulnerable when it comes to skin cancer (the most avoidable kind)."

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Of course, SPF isn't the only sought-after ingredient for beauty products. Counting hyaluronic acid as one of her absolute favorite ingredients, Washington emphasizes the importance of hydration as we brave an unpredicable transition from spring to summer. 

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"I'm a big believer in hydration and worked with the company to put hyaluronic acid in our full range of makeup products," she told ESSENCE. "I never go to sleep with makeup on. I'm a big believer in double cleansing. Those two stages allow my skin to be cleansed to the maximum. A lot of times, if I go straight to the cleanser, I feel it just works to take the makeup off. That's something I learned from my mother."

Describing her mom, Valerie Washington, as "elegant and classy," Washington credits the matriarch of her family with teaching holistic beauty habits that are less about vanity and more concerned with healing the body from the inside out (i.e. drinking enough water and getting plenty of rest). 

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"I've always known that for her, she puts her value in mind and heart, instead of looks. And she's been a very important role model to me in that way. She cares about how she looks and putting her best self forward. But she knows her worth is in who she is as a person, as opposed to her looks."

With another Mother's Day upon us, we'll be sure to pass Washington's no-frills beauty tips onto the important women in our lives. Learn more about Neutrogena's latest launch, the Rainbath Fresh Plum Shower & Bath Gel, here