America Ferrera on Her Secret to Glowing Skin and Changing the Beauty Narrative

And I love that you said “glowing skin” because your skin is absolutely radiant in the new campaign! It just looks so fresh, authentic, and natural. Do you have any glowy-skin secret weapons that you can share with us? 

I think a lot of that has to do with the cleanser and the moisturizer because some cleansers can just leave you dry, you know? Some cleansers feel like they’re working deeply (and they are) but don’t necessarily leave you feeling moisturized. So I think it’s about not stripping away everything. And I don’t like the feeling of thick moisturizers or sunscreens that leave me feeling like if you were to perspire a little bit you’d have film all over your face! I just love things that really let my skin breathe. Personally—now having had to look at myself in a camera for over 20 years—I think that anything that doesn’t let my skin breathe actually makes me look older and drier. So I think that, when it comes to glowy skin, less is more.

And shine isn’t always bad. I think we’ve come to look at shine as a bad thing and immediately say, “Oh god, put some powder on it,” but I think too much powder makes your skin look dull sometimes. So foundations and moisturizers that let your skin breathe are the key. And of course, drink lots of water! Drinking a lot of water makes a difference. And with sweating, I feel like my skin looks better when I work out in the morning. My skin looks glowy and amazing the rest of the day. I bet that just has to do with blood circulation. I’m not sure if that’s a trick necessarily, but it works. And I have another secretacupuncture facials.

I was just talking to someone about those, so I would love to hear about your experience!

I started doing acupuncture when I was pregnant because you have all kinds of fun, exciting things happening to your body when you’re pregnant. [Laughs] I felt such an amazing, huge difference in circulation and the opening up of tight parts of my body. My acupuncturist was doing stuff around my head to open things up, and I was like, “Ooh that feels like a facial,” and she was like, “I can give you a facial!” So she gave me a whole acupuncture facial. Apparently, it’s cumulative, so the more you do it, the better the benefits. It’s all about circulation and bringing that new, fresh blood to the surface. I’ve only done it a couple times, and there was definitely a new glow. So maybe that’s a secret weapon to pull out for special occasions.

I’m definitely going to have to try that for myself! And what would you say is the best piece of skincare advice you’ve ever received?

Wear sunscreen every single day! I’m a freckly person. I love my freckles and don’t try to hide them, but I feel like that can translate into sunspots. It’s hard to find that balance because I want to tan in the summer, but I don’t want to damage my skin. I think a good sunscreen is just so important. Another great piece of skincare advice I’ve gotten is to always do to your neck what you do to your face.

That’s all great advice and contributes to having glowing skin I’m sure! That being said, what made you say yes to your debut campaign as a Covergirl? What attracted you specifically to the new Clean Fresh skincare line?

I mean, Covergirl is just iconic. We all know Covergirl and can conjure up an image of what a Covergirl is and looks likethat fresh, natural beauty. What really attracted me to being an ambassador for Covergirl is that I thought it really said something that they were interested in someone like me to be the face of their brand. Growing up, I never saw anyone who looked like me in the dominant conversation about mainstream beauty. I’m in my 30s now, I’m a mother of two children, I know myself more than I ever have, and I feel more beautiful than I ever have before. I feel stronger, more confident, and like I know myself now more than I ever have. 

I do believe that’s where beauty comes from. It shines from within. Yes, I’ve been younger. Yes, I’ve had more of those markers of youth and beauty in years past, but I think as a woman who knows herself and who feels beautiful, I am more interested in having a conversation about the source of beauty—about how beauty can be and feel empowering. 

In all my conversations with the Covergirl team about a partnership, that’s what they wanted to lean into. They wanted to have that conversation with me. It wasn’t about me becoming something that I’m not, which, for a lot of young women, it can be when trying to meet mainstream expectations of beauty. A lot of the time, it feels like it’s about, How do I change myself? How do I fit the box, mold, or standard? And it isn’t. It’s about embracing what’s unique about you. I do think that the conversation around beauty, fashion, and self-expression is moving in the direction of what makes us unique. There’s beauty in age. There’s beauty in youth. There’s beauty in all skin colors and gender expressions.

I was thrilled that such an iconic brand like Covergirl was ready to really expand that narrative and get involved in that conversation about who has yet to be included in our story about what is beautiful. And that includes what we see in our culture and what we see in our world reflected back at us. It’s especially important when we’re young and shaping our identities. It teaches us what to believe about ourselves. It teaches us whether we belong or we don’t belong, whether we’re visible or invisible. So my deepest hope is that, as a Covergirl ambassador, I can give many people a new image of what beautiful is and what beautiful means.

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