Susan Kelechi Watson prefers to keep her skin-care routine simple. Which makes sense if you’re working as hard as she is: In addition to starring as Beth Pearson on NBC’s hit TV series This Is Us, Watson also served as executive producer of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me for HBO last year, and is now marking her return to theater as a lead in this summer’s production of Merry Wives at New York City’s Shakespeare in the Park. This is a woman who is booked and busy, so she needs skin-care products that deliver quickly.
The actress recently learned she has sensitive skin which meant pivoting to a routine that would provide some instant TLC. “It was like I was treating my skin as if it were oily and needed to be beat up and dried out,” Watson tells Glamour. “I realized it responded better to things that were gentle and naturally nourishing, like cocoa butter or aloe. And so that kind of led me to using less and doing less to my skin, while letting it heal and repair.”
After some trial and error, Watson has come to rely on a handful of products she can count on. Below, she drops her skin-care routine.
After using the same face wash for seven years, I switched to April Skin’s Calendula cleanser and it’s working great. It gives me a deep clean while leaving my skin moisturized.
I’m not super picky about the exfoliant I use as long as it takes off that layer of dead skin. So I don’t necessarily have anything fancy. My go-to has been Trader Joe’s Nourish Microdermabrasion Scrub, and I use it about once a week, sometimes more if I need to.
My face oil
I use vitamin E oil, and there is this very basic one that I’ve used for years because it’s good for fine lines and any blemishes that show up. I put a little bit on my hands and kind of press it into areas around the eyes and mouth. This really helps to nourish the skin in those areas.
I use the Palmer’s cocoa butter moisturizer with vitamin E, the one in the jar. I’ve found it’s very healing, and it creates a good barrier between makeup and my skin because it helps the makeup not penetrate too deeply into the pores.
Another thing I love is Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream. I use it when I want to be fancy and, you know, really pretty without doing much. I apply it on my face and it creates this beautiful, natural glow almost immediately. So it is kind of magic.
My future facial massager
I’m here for any kind of massage. Shani Darden has this facial sculpting wand that I’ve been eyeing. I haven’t tried it, to be honest. I don’t have many tools I use for my face. But yeah, if I was going to use something I think this would be it.
One of the major things I do for my skin is take vitamins. I just started taking hyaluronic acid to boost moisture levels in my skin. I want to do some work from the inside out. I also like to take a women’s One A Day which also has some really nourishing vitamins for skin like vitamins A, C, and E.