Chloë Grace Moretz may only be 21 years old, but when it comes to skincare, she already knows what most of us have yet to figure out: “Simplicity is key.”
The actress is one of the five faces of SK-II’s new #BareFaceProject. For the Japanese skincare brand’s global campaign Moretz, along with Chun Xia, Kasumi Arimura, Mayu Matsuoka, Ni Ni, and Tang Wei, were photographed by Magnum photographers completely makeup-free and un-retouched. The only product used on their skin was SK-II’s cult-favorite Facial Treatment Essence ($99; Sephora.com), a gently exfoliating formula that refines pores, evens skin tone, prevents wrinkles, and gives skin a healthy glow.
It turns out that a stripped-down skincare and makeup routine wasn’t a stretch for Moretz. You won’t find a ton of products stashed in her medicine cabinet because she keeps things minimalist and low-key when she’s not filming.
Ahead of the short film documenting Moretz’s “crystal clear skin” journey dropping on SK-II’s Instagram and YouTube on June 29, InStyle sat down with the star to learn about the only three products she uses on her skin, along with her self-care routine, and secret for keeping blonde hair healthy.
I’ve read that you’ve been real about having hair extensions. Do you have one tip you swear by for keeping blonde hair healthy?
When I was younger, I lost so much hair because they put extensions in for a movie. I had no hair underneath when they took them all out after filming wrapped. I was like 14 and terrified. After that I became so shy about doing anything with my hair. At the same time, I love changing colors and going from blonde to a little bit darker. I’m a natural blonde so it boosts really quickly. I try not to wash it very much. Shower and all that, but the less you can wash your hair, the better. That, and I do coconut oil masks for hydration. Also, avoid using irons on it because, combined with the bleach, the heat will burn it off.
Do you have a favorite makeup product you can’t live without?
I don’t like to rely on makeup. The one thing I really love is brow gel. That’s the one thing I always need, along with mascara. Otherwise, just lip balm. I wanted to focus on getting my skin to a level where I didn’t have to wear a base. It’s hard, especially when you’re working all the time because they’ll put foundation on me for movies.
Tell me about a bit about why you wanted to be a part of this campaign, and why you thought it was important to go makeup-free.
SK-II came to me and told me what they wanted to do with the #BareSkinProject global campaign and that I would be in front of the camera completely bare-faced except for SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence, with no retouching. First and foremost it made me realize, ‘Oh wow, I’ve never had the opportunity to go bare-skinned in a campaign before.’ There’s always been a mood board provided with the look that they’re going to make me be. This was more, we like who you are as Chloë. That was exciting.
I underestimated the amount of confidence it really would give me [to go bare-skinned]. Now, seeing the photo and the rest of the campaign with the other girls, it’s really empowering. I think about that 13-year-old girl on Instagram who’s going to see this, and hopefully it’s that one moment for her where she’ll realize she can go bare-skinned and that you are enough the way you are when you wake up.
So many people on Instagram post makeup-free selfies, but they’re still filtered. Photo-editing apps are so good now that it’s hard to tell sometimes that these photos are even filtered. Do you have any advice for younger girls on how to tell what’s real versus what’s fake?
Accountability is key. Holding brands, companies, actors, and celebrities accountable is where it starts. I think this journey and this movement is really going to shake things up on Instagram.
What did your skincare routine entail to feel more confident about going makeup-free?
The only thing I added to my routine is the Facial Treatment Essence. I don’t use any other products other than olive oil to wash my face or honey—that’s it. I started using the Facial Treatment Essence a couple months before the shoot and was really shocked at how easy the application was. It feels like water, and all you have to do is pat it on your face with your hands. It really is a miracle because you start to see your skin change, which I really haven’t experienced with any other product I’ve tried before. I was pretty happy with my skin where it was, but I saw this make it more radiant and glow in its own way, and that made me more confident to be able to do this campaign.
I’ve given it to all of my family members who are all boys and they are obsessed with it. I had my brother come to me and say, ‘So, I actually really like that product. My skin looks better. I’ve just never liked products before, but this is great because it’s not really like a product.’
How do you use olive oil and honey on your skin?
It depends. If my skin is on the drier side, I try to use olive oil, and when my skin is on the oiler side I use the honey. The honey can be a little intense because it’s drying and live. But with olive oil it’s really easy. You just put it on your face and then take a cloth and wipe it off. You keep repeating this until the rag runs yellow with the olive oil. Same with the honey. I put on the Facial Treatment Essence after that and it just locks in the moisture.
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How long did it take for you to find that olive oil and honey were what worked the best for your skin?
It took me years. I used to have a crazy one-hour regimen because I went to a dermatologist and they gave me like 18 products to use. It was too many products, took too much time, and still wasn’t working. I had read online about stripping it all back and doing almost nothing. It was scary, but I did it. I found that simplicity, along with nutrition, working out, and adequate amounts of water, is key for my skin. Cutting dairy also really helps.
I cut out dairy too.
It changes your complexion. We’re not supposed to be able to digest it. It’s delicious, and cheat when you want to cheat, but for the most part, try to go dairy-free.
What changes did you notice to your skin?
I also went vegetarian and vegan for a little bit. Now I’m on and off meat, but cutting the hormones out really, really changed my skin. People don’t realize how much what we ingest really comes out in our skin.
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You mentioned that you make time for working out. Do you have a self-care routine you like to follow to stay balanced?
I used to think that yoga and meditation were so silly. Then I started doing it, and thought it was great. I’ve started doing a yoga routine every morning when I wake up before getting on my phone. Depending on the time I have, I’ll meditate too. That changed my life. Even though I was getting up 30 minutes earlier to do it, I felt like I had rested two extra hours when my brain was that clear going into the day.