This article was last updated in April 2019.
If there's one celeb who inspires skin envy, it's Cate Blanchett.
At nearly 50, the Australian actress is as well-known for her flawless, luminous complexion as she is for her Oscar-winning film roles.
So it's no surprise that for more than 15 years, she was the global ambassador for the revered Japanese skincare line SK-II.
"Initially, when I signed on with SK-II, some people would ask me, 'But you don’t use it, do you?' and I would honestly respond, 'Yes, I do actually,'" Cate told Gritty Pretty. "I understand that cynicism, but it's been a very organic relationship because the brand was only interested in talking to me because they knew I already used it."
Clearly, it WORKS. Here's what's involved in Cate's routine:
Cate's Morning Skincare Routine
"I just tend to cleanse [my skin] at night. [But] if I've had a particularly late night and gone to bed with my makeup on, I wash my face in the morning."
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence: "It has so many purposes. I use it over makeup and under makeup. It's a moisturizer, but the key ingredient, Pitera, also works on the clarity and the radiance and hydration of my skin. When I can only pack one thing, it'll be that. If I had the choice between spending a lot of money on a foundation or buying a bottle of Essence, I'd get the Essence because if you use it over time you need less foundation anyway."
SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Serum: "My regime in the morning is so simple, I don't even need to think about it. It's literally the Essence and then the LXP Ultimate Revival Serum. I was quite freckly as a child from being out in the sun, but then I used the SK-II whitening products and all those freckles went away."
SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Cream: "[My skincare] depends on the season. I always use good quality products and products that have a natural base. I use a cream moisturizer... every day. What I love about the moisturizer is that it's really hydrating. You can put your makeup over it and it’s not shiny. You feel it penetrates immediately. You don't feel like it cakes onto your skin."
5. Face Oil:
Giorgio Armani Crema Nera Supreme Recovery Oil: "What I've been using recently is Giorgio Armani Crema Nera... to give my skin an extra barrier from the weather."
Daylong Extreme SPF 50+: "I use a very strong sunscreen. Even on [winter] days... I put on something with an SPF.... I think it's just a process I’ve inherited from growing up. There's a sunscreen called Daylong and I use that."
SK-II Facial Treatment UV Protection: "If I'm in Australia I put on the UV protect essence. I was out for 15 minutes yesterday in the sun and it's just so intense. You really do have to put on 50 SPF and you have to walk in the shade."
7. Lip Balm:
Lucas' Papaw Ointment: "I use it on my lips, elbows and heels. During allergy season, it helps reduce redness around my nose and eyes."
8. Face Mist:
SK-II Mid-Day Essence: "I use it under makeup and over makeup to keep my skin hydrated during the day. It's the best way to stay hydrated because you don't want to slap moisturizer on over your makeup. For those of us who spend most of the day inside air-conditioned offices or air-conditioned artificial environments, it's an easy way of making your skin feel like it's been in the outdoors. Remember that stage in the '90s when people started spraying themselves with Evian? [The difference] is this actually penetrates the layers of your skin, and it's obviously great with makeup."
Cate's Nighttime Skincare Routine
SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil: "If I've had a particularly late night and gone to bed with my makeup on, I wash my face in the morning, but otherwise I just tend to cleanse it at night. I wash with their Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil because it takes off makeup too. It's a lazy girl's cleanser."
Clarisonic Device: "I started exfoliating. Look at men in their 40s and then look at women in their 40s—for men, their skin looks really good because they shave every day. So I exfoliate, and I have a Clarisonic brush, and it's great."
SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Essence: "It has become my number one product, not only because the packaging is gorgeous but the quality is so remarkable that a little goes a long way."
SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Serum: "[My skincare routine before bed] really is the Essence and the LXP Serum and the LXP Moisturizer."
SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Cream: "Then I put the LXP Ultimate Revival Cream on, every morning and night. You've got to really massage it into your skin and it stimulates your skin to receive the product; I've learned that from working with [the makeup artist] Mary Greenwell."
6. Eye Cream:
SK-II R.N.A. Power Eye Cream: "I finish with eye cream."
Cate's Skincare Treatments
SK-II Facial Treatment Mask: "I'm on a long-haul flight unfortunately a bit more than I'd care for, so I will put two or three on. Like one dries out and you put the next one on. Or I'd put one on, and two hours later put another one on. And I just talk to everyone with them on. I don't know if that's weird, but I just, I don't care. I have no shame. They'll come around to take your food order, and I've just got this mask on."
SK-II Brightening Derm Revival Mask: "Before a red carpet event, I'll use [these] instead. That's the thing that has been so amazing for me and I believe it to be quite unique to the brand. It just gives your skin that extra bit of radiance."
Traumeel Ointment: "I'm often discovering useful products through my kids, like Traumeel Ointment. It's meant to help bruises heal, but I dab it anywhere I want to decrease puffiness."
"For me, my luxury is having a massage. I'll always ask them to massage my face. Anything that increases the blood circulation to relax your face [is good], because we carry so much stress in our face."
Red Light Therapy:
"My son was having some issues with his gut recently, so I took him to a naturopath. They used a red laser treatment on his stomach to get rid of any impurity and inflammation in his gut. I said, 'Oh, what other uses does this light have?' And the doctor told me that you can use it to treat acne or any impurities on the skin. So I had a red light treatment myself and it was quite amazing. It's really healing if you’ve got a bit of eczema, if your skin is inflamed, or you've been allergic to something."
"I occasionally have an oxygen facial—they're great."
"The biggest thing I took from [my mum] is putting spoons in the freezer for your eyes. If you haven't done that, you've got to try it! I flew into London and I was up with the children at 2am, so I got the hotel staff to put teaspoons in their freezer. I put them on before The Hobbit premiere; it's so brutal, you totally wake up!"
Cate's Diet, Exercise and Lifestyle
Chlorophyll: "In the morning I've been taking chlorophyll, so that's been fantastic. Hot water and lemon as well."
Apple cider vinegar: "A teaspoon of that. It just makes you feel clean—it's good for your gut. [It] makes me feel healthier from the inside. You do get used to it. It's just to make your system more alkaline. Stress makes it so acidic."
"I really like Pilates. I feel like it’s made for actors’ bodies. For me, I need to do it one-on-one. I find that when you go into a big class, you actually need a guiding hand. At home we have an elliptical trainer, which is good because that’s often the only exercise I get. But my job is very active—I end up stretching each day before I go on, so I feel very taken care of in that way."
"You can't turn back time but you can try and sleep longer."
"You know when someone has a migraine or a headache and they haven't done anything to their face, but their whole face constricts? I think that anything you can do to remove stress will give you a better glow. Stress ain't good for nothing. So you've got to find those little moments where you can literally just stop and take a breath. Spray some Essence on!"
"We often talk about quick beauty fixes, but sometimes you just need to sit down and turn your phone off for 20 minutes, and that's all you need to make your face relax. People think you look so much better, and it's just because you've gotten rid of the stress. Give up social media. That'll take 10 years off you."
Dr. Bo Wagner: "I've done a lymphatic cleanse a few times for liver, kidneys and gallbladder—there's a guy in Los Angles called Dr. Bo Wagner. It's not to lose weight, it's more of a detox but I felt fabulous after it. It's hardcore; it's a month long and all herbal and you detox, cleanse and then renew everything. You don't eat for a week but it really made me feel incredible."
"I think it's good every now and then to have a colonic. Yeah, not every day, but every now and again, because it's super hydrating. I know a couple of people who are much older than me who had big problems with their guts, and they'd had a series of colonics and taken probiotics. You have blockages. I notice it with my son—a lot of blockages have to do with what's going on in your gut. They call your gut your second brain."
Shop Cate's Skincare Routine
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