If there's one celeb who inspires skin envy, it's Cate Blanchett. At 51 years old, the Australian actress is as well-known for her flawless, luminous complexion as she is for her Oscar-winning film roles.
"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."
It was her makeup artist, Mary Greenwell, who introduced her to the range back in 2001, when Cate was pregnant with her first child and had developed melasma. "After that... I was completely stunned by the results. I don't know how to describe it, but SK-II sort of turns a light on in your skin. It illuminates it. I noticed a decrease in my skin's pigmentation probably after a month. I really started to notice the difference when I would have close-ups on film. Using SK-II made me feel more confident at work. And, as soon as I felt more confident at work and I didn't have to worry about breakouts, I was addicted.”
All these years later, the line's products—plus plenty of SPF—have kept Cate's skin looking like this:
"My skin is in pretty good condition and has been stable, because I found something that really works for me, and I’ve stuck with it," she explained to The Cut. "I think my skin is a lot more resilient. I have fewer breakouts than I did in my 20s, which you can say is partially hormonal, but also because I'm not changing it up."
Here's what's involved in Cate's skincare routine:
Cate’s Morning Skincare Routine
"I just tend to cleanse 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: "I have been using the SK-II Essence for about 15 years now. 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: "In terms of my regime every morning, it's so simple I don't even have to think about it. It's literally the essence [and] the 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. It's not necessarily about bleaching the skin which is a long, ancient tradition in Japan. It's more about evenness of tone and that's what I find the range does. It just works on the luminescence of the skin."
Giorgio Armani Crema Nera Supreme Reviving Cream: "[My skincare] depends on the season. I always use good quality products and products that have a natural base. What I've been using recently because of the weather is Giorgio Armani Crema Nera. I use a cream moisturizer... every day."
SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Cream: "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: "I use... a recovery oil every day to give my skin an extra barrier from the weather."
Daylong Extreme SPF 50+: "I'm eternally grateful that my mother always encouraged me to stay out of the sun and wear sunscreen [when I was growing up]. With very pale skin, it was especially important not to become a bronzed sun bunny. I think 90 percent of people who have issues with their skin—health-wise and also in terms of satisfaction with their complexion—are actually talking about sun damage. 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."
Neutrogena Sunscreen: "The best piece of advice is to wear sunscreen and not go out in the harsh Australian sun. 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. I use a good one by Neutrogena."
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."
Cate’s Nighttime Skincare Routine
1. Makeup Remover:
SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil: "When I'm on stage or on a film set, I'll use the oil-based cleanser, which is really like an eye makeup remover as well—it's a lazy girl's cleanser. [It] really takes everything off. I am removing makeup three times a night, eight times a week. My eye area takes a bit of beating, but the oil cleanser is really gentle."
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant: "I never used to exfoliate, but now that I do, I think it's a good thing to do regularly. You can't treat a problem unless you get the top layer of dead skin off, and we're constantly covered in dead skin. So it's important to get it off. 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. I would exfoliate every day if I'm filming, because you spend the entire day in makeup. I just need to do it psychologically, as well, to end the day. SK-II doesn't do an exfoliator, so I use one from Dermalogica...."
Intraceuticals Rejuvenate Enzyme Exfoliant: "Or this Australian company called Intraceuticals."
SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Essence: "Pitera is the essential core so in the end, my desert island treatment would be the Facial Treatment Essence. Recently they rebooted it with extra Pitera to make the LXP version, which is what I use. 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 [makeup artist] Mary Greenwell."
6. Eye Cream:
SK-II R.N.A. Power Eye Cream: "I finish with eye cream."
Cate’s Skincare Treatments
Georgia Louise: "Cate is a natural beauty so she's all about natural-looking skin. I've been creating lots of custom facial treatments for her using micro-currents and radio-frequency, mostly non-invasive modalities to tighten and stimulate collagen. We keep her skin looking like glass, with lots of vitamin C to help brighten and a big emphasis on detoxing and de-puffing." — Georgia Louise, Cate's facialist
"I occasionally have an oxygen facial—they're great."
"Always make time for a face and body massage. It's the best beauty tip I've learnt over the years and the one I continually tell my friends. It relieves the day-to-day stress we carry in our faces and bodies. Anything that increases the blood circulation to relax your face [is good], because we carry so much stress in our face."
GLOLite LED Mask: "For on-the-go, I recommend devices, like my LED mask. There's no reason you can't do a treatment at home when you can't make it to an esthetician. Cate's really thankful for the devices because they can maintain a glow on the go." — Georgia Louise
SK-II Brightening Derm Revival Mask: "I love to do a Brightening Mask [before appearances], because it evens out your skin tone and it helps to luminize it. It gives your skin more radiance."
SK-II Facial Treatment Mask: "For a big event like a red carpet, I might do a Treatment Mask [to moisturize] the day before and then do a Brightening Mask while getting ready. And when I'm travelling, I'll do a Facial Treatment Mask because it's really hydrating."
"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
"There's no grand diet plan but I try to stay away from wheat, even though I love bread as much as the next person, and I avoid additives. Then again, you also need to live your life and there'll be evenings when I drink five glasses of champagne!"
"Even though it's very boring, just try to drink water."
"I know when I don't have coffee my skin is much better."
Aethern Advanced Skin Beauty Program: "I just started taking these really great skin vitamins. It's called Aethern. I've never heard of it before, but someone recommended it to me. It's a liquid vitamin. I do think it's what you ingest. I've always been very big on my kids taking vitamins, but I often forget myself."
Probiotics: "The health of your gut is really, really important. To help your gut, take a probiotic—that's a thing I take. What I would say is good for everybody is taking a probiotic; if your gut is healthy, then you're more likely to have healthier skin."
Chlorophyll: "My son's digestive system has been quite challenged so I've been doing quite a lot of investigation and have started to take chlorophyll in the morning. The only way that I can get him to drink it is if I do, too. I put a couple of tablespoons into water and I also have it at night. That's been fantastic. My son quite likes it because they must drink some potion in the Harry Potter films that looks similar! It doesn't taste bad, but it doesn't look great!"
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."
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."
"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."
"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."
"There's a big difference between altering your appearance and trying to work with what you got. My philosophy is to work with what you got. It's about feeling comfortable in your own skin. It doesn't seem natural to me. But that's just me—ultimately, I believe women have judged other women too long."
Thanks to InStyle, Town & Country, Allure, Elle, Byrdie, Glamour, Yahoo! Beauty, Well+Good, The Telegraph, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, British Vogue, E! News, Get the Gloss, Refinery29, The Cut, PopSugar and Gritty Pretty.
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