I never thought I would find myself relating to Rosie Huntington-Whitely—have you seen the woman?—but just minutes into our call, I couldn’t help myself from nodding along to everything she said as she told me about her experience with adult acne, and the extremely thorough routine she’s built to keep it under control.
“It’s really frustrating,” she says of the condition, which she’s struggled with since she was a teenager. “I really feel for people that deal with acne; it really affects everything—your confidence, your well-being. Everybody wants to put their best face forward and whatever setting and whatever environment they’re walking into, whether it’s a red carpet or just simply a family function, going on a date with their partner or meeting up with friends. It really is challenging.”
The model and Rose Inc. founder credits switching to all noncomedogenic products for keeping her acne manageable. That, and a steady stream of exfoliating products. “I really lean into my AHAs: salicylic acid, glycolic, lactic,” she says. “That’s really going to help with cell turnover and exfoliation because obviously that’s the thing that gets really sluggish. When you have acne, you have a sort of slower rate of cell turnover, and that’s why my pores get blocked.”
Now Huntington-Whiteley is careful to stick to a consistent routine developed with her facialists or dermatologists. Pre-COVID, she was seeing a facialist twice a month (she goes to Shani Darden, Melanie Grant, and Biba, if you’re curious). “A lot of people think it’s very indulgent, but for me, first [my face is] my work, it’s necessary,” she says. “And it kind of keeps me away from squeezing and attacking my skin, and it keeps that communication open for me on a regular basis with the expert who can help me with my skin-care routine as I need.”
So what makes the cut for her self-described “slightly neurotic” routine? Read on for the cleansers she swears by, the acne pads she uses twice a day, and the mask that got her through a year without a facial. Rosie Huntington-Whitely drops her skin-care routine, below.
My Face Towels
So the first thing I do in the morning is run my basin with some warm water, and dampen my face cloth in it. I really just take a deep breath and move it around my face and kind of soften up the skin. I use my Resoré face cloths, which are amazing because they’re antibacterial. If I don’t get around to washing them every day, I don’t have to feel like I’m using a dirty towel. I’m really picky about my towels because I often find that toweling can feel too soft and slippery and there’s not, like, an exfoliating quality to it, or they can sort of feel kind of thin and flimsy. And I really like that there is still a roughness to it while it still feels really powdery and soft and cloudlike.
I’ve been using the ZO Skin Health product line. I start with their Exfoliating Cleanser, and this is for normal to oily skin. It’s a really beautiful cleanser that’s very indulgent and gel-like, and it’s got little exfoliating beads in it. And then in the morning I use the Exfoliating Polish, and this I do every day, unless I’m dealing with dry skin or a raw breakout. This is probably one of the most intense scrubs I’ve ever used. It’s very, very granular, but it’s amazing. My skin feels so smooth afterward, and it just kind of removes those dead skin cells.
I also love iS Clinical’s Cleansing Complex; it’s a favorite of mine. It’s so easy to use; it’s a low-lather gel cleanser. And it has a little bit of salicylic in it, so it’s fantastic for my skin.
My Toner Pads
My next step is the Oil Control Pads. This was the first product that I ever tried from ZO Skin Health, and I used it for about two years before I switched over to the full product line. These have all your AHAs in them. I use these twice a day—that’s what’s recommended. They leave my skin feeling really tingly and fresh and clean.
My Eye Cream
And then I have introduced an eye cream into my routine—I use La Mer’s. I mean, this is like the O.G. of eye cream. I love the way that makeup lays over the top of this. It’s a really beautiful eye cream.
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