Reese Witherspoon reveals her biggest beauty secrets
She learnt from the best on the set of multiple high-profile Hollywood films, but her favourite tips come from closer to home.
In this exclusive interview with Body+Soul, the Biossance ambassador reveals how her skin-care philosophy has changed during her career and why investing in yourself is the biggest beauty lesson of all.
What are some of your first memories of experimenting with and falling in love with beauty? Is it something you’ve always been interested in?
From a very young age, I used to watch my mother do her make-up every morning, and I just thought the ritual of preparing herself for the day and presenting her best self to the world was a big part of her self-esteem.
So I think that’s where I learnt my love of beauty and skin care.
And then in growing up, it’s been about business, wearing make-up every single day and learning how to properly take care of my skin because, honestly, cameras are sometimes five inches from my face and I like to feel confident that I’m taking care of myself and that I have the best skin quality that I can have.
How has your personal beauty philosophy evolved over the years?
I’m 45 now, so my skin and beauty philosophies have changed over the years. I was lucky to have women in my life who loved ageing and getting older – like my mother and grandmother – and I saw it wasn’t something that should be looked at like a setback.
There’s something empowering about ageing gracefully.
I see so many women who have that self-critical voice, which can start with how your mother, grandmother or sisters see themselves.
The most important thing I want women to know is it’s about being the best version of yourself that you can possibly be. And that you should be investing in yourself and really carving out some time to care for your skin and yourself. It’s so important.
What beauty lessons do you hope to teach your 22-year-old daughter, Ava?
Well, she actually teaches me. She’s so knowledgeable about skin care and make-up, and I think she comes from a generation of YouTube tutorials and these kids are very savvy about product and application. So I learn a lot from her.
We do talk about sunscreen a lot, too.
Whatever you do for your skin in your early 20s is really going to show up later in life. So sunscreen twice a day is a really important part of our routine.
You’ve recently signed a five-year partnership deal with beauty biotech company Biossance as their global brand ambassador. Clean, sustainable and eco-friendly skincare is at the heart of the brand. Why are those aspects so important to you?
Increasingly, we’re more aware that products should be clean. You should be able to put it on your skin and not worry about where the ingredients are coming from or if they have been ethically sourced.
I think there wasn’t a lot of transparency in the beauty industry up until now, but customers are becoming more savvy about these things. They’re definitely more discerning about how products are made as well as the efficacy.
Outside of your basic skincare routine and using clean beauty products, what other rituals and practices do you attribute to your glowing skin?
I just try to be good about taking care of my skin morning and night. I really invest in that, especially on my neck and my hands.
But it’s really about, “How do I feel?” Not about how it’s perceived, but “How am I taking care of myself?” And I think when you make the time, that investment in yourself really shows up on your skin.
I think also trying to get outside a lot more, spending time in nature, in the outdoors, with my husband and kids.
I feel my most naturally beautiful self when I’m outdoors, connected deeply to who I am and to nature.’
What are some of the best beauty tips that you’ve received from family, friends or industry professionals throughout the course of your career?
The importance of taking off your eye make-up can’t be minimised. It’s really important. I think you have to really take care of the skin around your eyes and properly cleanse your face before you go to bed at night because there’s just so much debris and dirt that gets kicked around all day.
And I think it’s important just as a meditative routine to take the day off of your face and prepare yourself for sleep.
What are the things you’ve learnt about your skin as you’ve aged?
I have very dry skin, so it’s important to regularly moisturise. I also have a bit of hyperpigmentation from pregnancy, so they have a great dark spot treatment in the Biossance line of products that I use every day and it really minimises those brown spots.
Could you share your one beauty non-negotiable with us?
During quarantine, I found I was wearing much less make-up and really focused on my skin, so I’d say I have to take my make-up off from the day and apply my skincare before bed.
Reese’s step-by-step skincare routine
Skin care has always been an important part of my life, especially as I wear make-up on camera. I have to make sure that base is super hydrated, so I’m very diligent about applying my skincare products morning and night.
I must start off by saying my favourite two products are the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil and the Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream.
I use these the most. Neither are greasy and both are deeply moisturising.
In the morning, I cleanse and use the moisturising cream first, then put the rose oil on top, and finish with sunscreen, of course.
The Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil is amazing because it also brightens. I have some hyperpigmentation from pregnancy, which has been a little stubborn, so it’s great to have this vitamin C (rose oil) incorporated into my skincare routine because it’s been helping with the dark spots.
It’s also hydrating. I have dry skin, especially during the winter, so I use this all the time.
At night, I usually have make-up on from the day, so I like something that works hard but isn’t harsh. A jelly cleanser is good to massage into the skin and break down the oils and everything else.
I use the Biossance Squalane + Elderberry Cleanser, which emulsifies when you add water so it all washes off and doesn’t strip or leave your skin feeling dry. Then I follow up with my moisturiser first and then the oil on top to lock all that hydration in.