Exclusive: Cate Blanchett Reveals Her Glowing Skincare Secrets
Mar 01, 2012 - by Amanda Gabriele
When it comes to skincare, choosing a routine right for your complexion can be a difficult task with hundreds of products thrown in our faces throughout the year. But when we think of beautiful, radiant skin, none other than talented actress and Australian beauty Cate Blanchett comes to mind. Her crystal clear, flawlessly fair complexion is the most covetable we can think of, and we've always wanted to know her deepest beauty secrets. With the launch of a new technology behind SK-II's most luxurious line LXP, who better to talk about this beauty evolution than the SK-II global ambassador and Academy Award winner herself. I caught up with Cate during New York Fashion Week, as a select few fashion journalists gathered at the Mandarin Oriental to talk about her role with SK-II, what she keeps in her beauty arsenal and skincare on the go.
Can you tell us a little bit about your involvement with SK-II? We obviously know youre a big component of the brand, but how did you get started with them? Ive been using it for a long time, about 10 years now, and Ive been the face for about eight years. A makeup artist friend of mine in London originally got me onto it. Ive always used the Facial Treatment Essence, and then I got onto the Pitera-rich LXP line. They just re-launched the product, containing the most concentrated form of Pitera, and the wonderful thing about working with SK-II is I get to try it in advance. So Ive actually been using the new LXP Moist Softening Serum for a couple of months. I don't know whether its the rose accent, Im not a scientist, but its stronger and even more hydrating than it was before.
Did you really see a difference in your skin after switching to the new product? I think so because its about consistency. And it's difficult because we look at ourselves in the mirror every day, and all we see is the flaws. But having used it for a decade now, Ive definitely seen a difference. And only time, really, will tell with the sun being as harsh as it is. We were away on a Christmas holiday for a week in the tropics, and in the rush of packing for the kids, I didn't bring anything with me. When I came back, I really noticed I hadnt been using the SK-II products. So in instances like that, I definitely do notice a difference in my skin's appearance.
What about the condition of your skin made you notice the difference? My skin wasnt as hydrated, actually. The problem with getting on an airplane now is you have to pack everything in tiny mystery bottles, and I normally pack the Facial Treatment Essence in one but ran out of time before the flight. I use it three times a day, so the difference was noticeable.
It seems skincare is always getting more complicated. Ive heard in Asia, someone will go through fifteen steps for their skincare. What is your regimen? Can you take us through the steps? There are definitely a lot more products in the line than when I first started using it, but in the end, theyre all stemming from the same trunk of the tree. I always use the Essence. I used to use the Facial Treatment Repair C, but now I use the LXP Ultimate Revival Cream for more hydration with the new, more concentrated form of Pitera. Then I use the Serum, which is all about skin texture, and a sunscreen. SK-II doesn't have a designated eye makeup remover, but the oil-based cleanser will remove eye makeup. And that's basically the routine, its quite simple. It works, so I've just continued to use the products all these years.
What, aside from SK-II, is in your beauty arsenal? The only other things I use are essential oils and Emu oil. Derived from the fat of the emu, indigenous Australian culture, it's the first oil they put onto a baby because its so hydrating. It's an incredible remedy for sunburns and scars, so Ill use it on the kids too. It's great for dry patches on the elbows as well. My routine is all pretty basic.
Youre on set a lot. Does your regimen change when you have to wear stage makeup night after night? Well, the great thing about SK-II is they make foundation. With most foundations, you think "oh no, I just cleansed my skin and now I have to put all this crap on my face." But their formula contains Pitera. You sweat so much on stage, and think "oh god, my pores are opening and its all going in." But the Pitera is beneficial, so I think thats actually a really good thing. But I just cleanse more often, use more Essence and drink more water. Ive been drinking a lot of coconut water actually; it's what I tend to live on when Im on stage.
It seems in Hollywood theres such pressure to cosmetically enhance yourself, but you're an advocate for a healthy skincare routine rather than buying into this era of taking the easy way out with plastic surgery. What made you go down this road? Oh, I don't think it's just pressure in Hollywood but on women in general, don't you? I think theres been a decade, or probably more, of people really altering their faces and their bodies, and I think now were emerging and realizing its actually not so great looking long-term. Im not sitting on a soapbox telling women what they should and shouldn't do, I just know what works for me. But I dont think the pressure is just on people who work in the film industry; I think its on women everywhere, and men too!
Do you have a special routine you go through before hitting the red carpet? Are there any additions to your everyday skincare regimen? Oh god, I usually just fly in and fly out. Because my skin has been very balanced since Ive been using SK-II, I dont need to do anything else. When it gets dark on the plane, Ill put on a Whitening Mask. The only thing different Ill occasionally do is get a pure oxygen facial. Oh, and order a vodka tonic. [laughs]
Whats the best beauty advice youve received? Usually its dont do this," coming from women who have done it. It's not particularly revolutionary advice but sound all the same. Like don't curl your eyelashes because they'll end up growing straight; dont over-pluck your eyebrows because they wont grow back - that's the kind of advice I've received and listen to. I think we do so much to ourselves, and maybe its out of boredom. Just do less work, read a book or go for a walk instead when you feel like occupying your mind.
Outside of using SK-II, are there any other best kept beauty secrets you rely on to look your absolute best? I wish there was something; people are always looking for the new thing and Im very old fashioned. I think the old glass of lemon water in the morning is a good thing, it keeps your metabolism going strong.
Are you a healthy eater by nature? Do you ever cheat here and there? It comes and goes, but Im pretty stable. Nevertheless, you end up eating more with three boys around. Theres a lot of garbage in the house, but you end up running after the kids - it balances out.
Do you use the Facial Treatment Essence anywhere else besides your face? My mother was really big on moisturizing the backs of her hands, so yes I use the Essence there. They do make a body moisturizer with the Essence and Whitening as well, but Im not sure if its in the States yet. The whole focus on white skin is really big in Asia. You can tell its an Asian brand because its all about that luminescence. I feel like western products are all about the dermis. In Asia, its about the radiance.
Speaking of light, radiant skin, you are a beauty icon to us girls with fair skin. What are your thoughts on the sun? People used to say it was evil, to stay out of it, but now there's this whole Vitamin D debate. You're going to get sun, and therefore Vitamin D, even while wearing sunscreen. It's always so back and forth when it comes to what's healthy and what's not. I do think you get a lot of sun damage and don't really realize until you reach your 20s. I started using SK-II when I was about 30, so I suppose that counteracted any sun damage I had. And my mother was big on sunscreen from the beginning. I had pale skin and realized pretty quickly I was never really going to tan, so I went the other way.