Jessica Alba Gets Breakouts, Too
We spoke to the Honest Beauty founder about face masking as a family, her fall skincare must-haves, dealing with maskne—and a very good mascara tip
Jessica Alba has lived at least three different lives: Teen TV star turned blockbuster action heroine; modern domestic goddess and mom of three; and clean beauty pioneer. The founder of Honest Beauty, the clean beauty brand now available in Canada exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart—is using these Unprecedented COVID Times to focus on the nucleus of her life that matters to her most: her family. Here, Alba shares the skincare routine that her whole family partakes in, how she’s mastering TikTok dances with her daughters and why she’s urging her fellow Americans to vote on November 3.
Relatable: Jessica Alba had to hit reset on wellness this fall after “like four months of nonstop treats”
Alba tells me that after a summer of road trips with the family and endless “fun breakfasts,” she’s refocusing on her and her brood’s health. “I definitely put my health and wellness on the back burner and I just got into this mode of like ‘is it summer? Is it vacation? I don’t know,'” she tells me. “It was sort of a way to combat the monotony [of quarantine]. And then school was starting and I felt like getting into that routine was such a battle that I didn’t really take the health and wellness side into account the way that I should have. And now, I’m like, You know what? I’m ready to create those new, good, healthy habits. We’ve only got this one life and who knows how long we get to be here? I’m going to make the most of it.”
Yes, Jessica Alba gets maskne, too
“2020,” Alba tells me with a laugh and an “of course I do” when I ask if she’s had to deal with another hallmark of this pandemic year: maskne. She says for her, the key to fighting face mask-related breakouts is with masking. “What’s nice about our Honest Beauty Detox Mud Mask is that it pulls out all the things you want with the activated charcoal and white bentonite but it also has shea butter and Manuka honey that keep you hydrated. I find there’s so much overkill with products that dry your skin out and don’t think about the nourishing aspect. So when I was formulating the mask with the team, my big ask was making sure it didn’t overly dry the skin.” She calls the deep cleansing mask a fan favourite.
Alba uses the purifying mask on the obvious areas affected by non-medical face mask wearing like the chin and jawline but says it does a great job on regular old breakouts as well. (Yes, she gets those, too.) “I also use it on my forehead. I have this really amazing spot, right between my eyebrows on my forehead, that really loves to break out,” she shares with a laugh.
The family that does their skincare together together, stays together
On the topic of face masks, Alba shares that doing a regular home facial has become a bit of a family affair. “I usually do a cleansing facial with Honor (12) and Haven (9). Haven doesn’t really need it, but she feels left out, and even my husband Cash [joins us] and we all use the Detox Mask.”
The fam gets in on mom’s cleansing routine, too. “I use the Gentle Gel Cleanser, which doesn’t overly dry the skin. It’s great for everyone—Honor uses it, I use it, Cash uses it. Haven even uses it,” the clean beauty entrepreneur says with a laugh.
Face oil is the GOAT
Alba typically follows a three-step skincare routine consisting of her brand’s gel cleanser, vitamin C serum and Hydrogel Cream. She layers on an indulgent facial oil, like Honest Beauty’s Beauty Facial Oil with avocado oil, apricot kernel, rose, ylang ylang and clove oils, for added hydrating when the California weather transitions from summer to “fall.”
“For the fall in particular when it’s more windy—that’s kind of the difference between summer and fall [here], it goes from like 100 to 75 and then it’s more windy—I’ll incorporate our organic facial oil,” she told me with a chuckle, noting that those weather conditions are likely very different from Canada’s fall where we “actually get a real season.” We sure do *grimaces at the prospect of patio season ending.* She adds of her autumn skincare regimen: “I’ll give myself a quick little massage on the face and then I use the Hydrogel Cream which I leave on in a layer on my face, almost like icing on a cake, at night and it slowly penetrates as I’m sleeping.”
She’s relishing this time at home
“[Quarantine] has really allowed me to spend quality time with my son. I remember I was back to work with Honor and Haven pretty full-time by the time they were three, four months old. And I didn’t get to really spend the toddler time with them,” she tells me of the silver lining of lockdown: time with her youngest, Hayes, who was born in 2017. “I’m not in the office every day, my husband’s not at his office every day, I’m usually on a plane travelling when I’m not shooting as well. So just being able to hunker down with the kids and be with them so much, especially Hayes, because he’s at the tail end of his baby stage, getting into this little boy phase—it’s just so special.”
Alba says that being together 24/7, through all of life’s daily mundanities, has allowed the family of five to get to know each other even better—for better or for worse. “We’ve all gone through phases of being sick of each other, and it being too much, and then we went through phases of watching movies until midnight every night, and just learned so much about each other.”
Alba, like most of us, says she’s a bad dancer
If you follow the mom of three on social media, you’ve likely seen her nailing TikTok dances with her daughters, something she started doing with them while filming the show L.A.’s Finest. “I would shoot for six months and the hours were so long that I just didn’t get the time to spend with the kids. I was seeing they were really into TikTok and so I wanted to do something that was out of my comfort zone, that I’m not good at, and they were going to teach me,” she says. “I thought it would build their confidence, so that they can be in charge and be the one to show me what to do. And it did. They’re so confident. They had to learn how to be patient with me because I’m not a quick learner.” We’ve seen Honey so we’re betting those moves came back quickly.
PSA: Honest Beauty Mascara is *honestly* amazing
“I love big, fat, fluffy lashes—I have pretty decent full lashes, but I want them to be even bigger,” she told me and honestly, absolutely same. But it wasn’t easy to develop a clean formula that met Alba’s standards. “It was really difficult to create a clean-formula mascara that gave me the volume and the length that I wanted,” Alba says. “When you’re formulating clean, you can’t just take a formula right off the shelf,” she explains. But develop a wildly effective formula, she did; a two-in-one wand that has both a lash primer and clean mascara that’s gentle on sensitive eyes. I, Jennifer Berry, Known Mascara Fanatic, decided upon first application this this mascara was truly one of the best I’d ever tried. After two months of use, it’s now a staple in my makeup bag.
And Alba’s got a very good application tip to share: “The trick is to have the primer dry for 30 seconds before you apply the mascara. It’s basically hair extensions but for your lashes.”
But Alba’s best tip? Get engaged in politics
You know that little U.S. presidential election happening November 3? Alba feels pretty strongly about the power of voting. “I’m cynical. I’m jaded. But the only thing you can do to even have a chance at having a seat at the table or to create change is to vote,” Alba tells me. “That’s the power that we have. You can complain about things and you can take a stand if you’re actually doing something about it. The only way that you’re going to change the course of your life and your future is by taking action, not by being passive.”
Alba says that while she’s verging on cynical, it’s not “in a way that’s doomsday.” She just considers herself realistic about the facts. “And still, I have hope that if we can, in some way, shape or form, get it together and vote, then we’ll be able to live at least in a version of the world that feels closer to our values, versus what’s happening right now.”