I Tried Mandy Moore's Skincare Routine & It Really Helped Ease My Stress
You've been there before: You're scrolling through your Instagram feed when you see your favorite celeb post about their favorite new product — a face serum, vitamins that will make your skin brighter, or a specialty food service. You can't help but want to be like the stars, but are the products worth it? In Elite Daily's new series, I Tried, we put it all to the test. We're trying those products as well as celebrities' health and wellness tips, recipes, and life hacks. We'll do the leg work and tell you what living like your fave star is really like.
Who would've thought that the mean cheerleader in The Princess Diaries would grow up to be one of 2018's biggest style and beauty icons? Many of us first met Mandy Moore as a teen pop star gravitating around the likes of Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears, but nowadays she's the determined, soft-spoken matriarch who connects all of This Is Us' timelines with her often heartbreaking performance as Rebecca Pearson. Despite the strenuous makeup routine she undergoes to play Rebecca at different ages, Moore's skin is enviable, and I was intrigued to know why. I tried Mandy Moore's skincare routine, and I totally get why she resembles a glowing sunbeam.
In April 2018, Moore appeared on the cover of NewBeauty, sharing her everyday beauty products with the magazine. Fitting smoothly with her usual Instagram Story aesthetic of musical jam sessions and California views, the 34-year-old star admitted to wearing little makeup on her days off. What else would you expect from the woman who covered the low-key "Moonshadow" long before it was Rebecca's This Is Us staple?
People's comprehensive list of her typical products also included several skincare items that Moore used to unwind at the end of the day. Moore's Instagram Stories frequently capture her wearing a face mask, soaking in a bathtub, or streaming music, and if I happen to scroll through her Stories while on a packed commuter train, I definitely long for a similarly soothing atmosphere. Based on these clips, Moore may also be the only person whose "no makeup" look genuinely involves no makeup. With her calming presence and flawless skin in mind, I decided to try out a hybrid of her skin and self-care tricks with special emphasis on skincare.
Firstly, I narrowed down her list of favorite items to four products that sounded like they would benefit my goal the most.
Goop Bath Salts in G.Nite Bedtime Bath Soak - $35
Moore uses this in a bath at the end of long days, and I selected the G.Nite blend because I associate skincare and relaxation with winding down before bed. While other products directly involved skin, this was the most indulgent, firmly "self-care" product.
Like many others, Moore applies coconut oil to her body following a bath or a shower. I'm no stranger to moisturizers and body lotions, but I had yet to try out this universally-loved skincare hack.
Moore actually uses the Dr. Barbara Sturm Glow Drops while wearing a sheet mask, but the Glow Drops retailed for more than $100. As the Glow Drops aim for brighter-looking skin, I found this cheaper alternative that also shoots for a glowing finish.
Again, this was a similar, inexpensive product to replicate what Moore actually has. To exfoliate at the end of the day, she uses the Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, which she admits can be a little harsh on skin. Customer reviews for the Glossier product also mention that, while effective, the solution can be rough on sensitive skin, so using it seemed like an accurate match.
Moore detailed using her exfoliator once a day in the evenings, so I followed in her footsteps. While it wasn't quite my bedtime yet, I set forth in washing off my makeup and swiping a solution-soaked tissue across my face. At the moment, my face is fairly clear, but it tends to break out leading up to and during my period. While I'll use an exfoliator when bad acne pops up, my normal skin-cleaning routine just involves makeup wipes, face wash, and moisturizer. I obviously wasn't expecting to see a direct result after using the Glossier exfoliator just once, but an even application led to a nice tingle across my face. I may not be able to relate to the supposed harshness of Moore's choice, but the Glossier solution felt perfectly suited for my combination skin.
Next came Moore's tips for a bath. Full disclosure: I couldn't even remember the last time I took a bath rather than a shower. Those Instagram pictures of someone in bathwater while precariously reading a book or drinking wine make me nervous, and a hot shower has always been more than enough in relaxing me. I was skeptical about liking the process, but figured that perhaps the fancy essence of a Gwyneth Paltrow-approved product would break me down.
According to her NewBeauty article, Moore bathes with a glass of wine and a Miles Davis or Wayne Shorter record playing nearby. She also utilizes the Goop bath salts, which appear in the package in a chunky, clay-like form. The substance gave off a smell of sandalwood and earthiness, but when I dumped the recommended cup of salts into the bathwater, it dissolved into a pretty unappealing dirt color. Following the Goop instructions, I let the salts dissolve for almost 20 minutes in running water.
As my water developed a brown tinge, a foil in my plan emerged. Blame it on my house's old pipes or my bathing inexperience, but this water would not cool down. I attempted to climb into the tub several times before the intense heat settled on my body and I had to scurry out. After partially draining the tub and trying to add more cold water, I finally decided to just soak my feet, and even that was a little too hot for me.
Although I did queue up Miles Davis tunes on Spotify, my bath wasn't quite as luxurious as Moore's sounds. However, the smell of the salts was soothing and pleasant, and even after I drained all of the water, the sandalwood scent lingered in the bathroom for the rest of the day. I may not be a bathing fan, but I'd definitely be interested in a candle resembling the salts' smell. As for my feet, it was hard to notice any other aftermath underneath the redness from the water heat.
Applying coconut oil after the soak was the most familiar skin procedure to me, and following the bath fail, I finally started to feel relaxed. I'm accustomed to slathering myself with lotion from Bath & Body Works, which gets the job done, but in the week before this experiment, I did delve into the coconut oil to ease dry patches on my lips. Feeling obligated to apply this all over my body officially made me a coconut oil convert. The day after this routine, my skin still felt soft and hydrated, which I'm always desperate to achieve in the winter.
To close off my replica of Moore's skincare, it was time to apply a sheet mask laden with drops from the Physicians Formula serum. I am definitely more of a clay mask girl, and I try to avoid sheet masks at all costs. My attempts to apply them evenly always fail disastrously, and I don't like feeling that I can't really move around while wearing a sheet mask. Still, in the name of Moore, I was game to try one out and picked up a $2 generic mask from Target's beauty section.
Moore described her ultimate decompression as wearing a sheet mask with her Glow Drops "on top." I chose to interpret this as putting the product on top of the mask, but also rubbed some serum into my skin underneath the sheet. I let the inevitably crooked mask rest on my face for about 15 minutes before removing it and patting the remaining substance into my skin. If I can't manage a picturesque pic while wearing a sheet mask, I should stick to clay, right?
While it's too soon to determine what these products could do for me in the long run, my skin felt fresh and smooth for hours after finishing these steps. When I woke up the next morning, I cleaned my face with its typical makeup wipe (I save the more comprehensive wash for night) and noticed that my skin felt much cleaner than normal. I can't say whether it was an individual item or the group combination that left this lasting effect, but if Moore sticks to this process regularly, I definitely understand why her skin seems so healthy.
Going through these motions also provided great stress relief during the building hype of the holiday season. I usually resort to a face mask after a non-stop stint of busy days, but I don't prioritize time that benefits both my mental state and the status of my skin. Having to sit with a mask on, wait for the tub to fill, and watch salts dissolve forced me to slow down and just take in the moment. Cue my life-affirming This Is Us monologue about the passing of time!
While I'll probably sneak my own preferences into the routine in the future (clay all day), I will start using the Physicians Formula serum and Glossier exfoliator to see their results after a few weeks. Maybe one day I'll even graduate to the stage of pulling off a perfect Instagram Story selfie of myself in a mask and make Moore proud.