Kristen Bell takes beauty seriously — but nothing is more serious to her than safe sun. The actress is particularly committed to the cause as a mom of two, especially after discovering that one or two bad sunburns on a child almost doubles the risk of skin cancer. Which is why, as the face of Neutrogena‘s Choose Skin Health campaign, she’s sharing her SPF and beauty secrets in honor of Melanoma Monday. Here’s what we learned from the star.
1. Kids will love sunscreen if you do too.
“I know with my girls, they’re likely to do anything I do, especially in the bathroom mirror,” Bell tells PeopleStyle of imparting good habits to Lincoln, 3, and Delta, 15 months. “So one of the things this campaign is pushing is for moms to apply sunscreen to themselves in front of their children, so the kids realize that it’s something you should do and that they’ll want to do.”
2. And if they think it’s taboo.
“They want access to everything in the house,” she says, laughing. “I keep the sunscreen up on a high shelf so it seems like it’s forbidden. I pull the bottle out and I’ll start applying it to myself, and immediately they’re interested. They think they’re getting away with something. I make it a forbidden activity, and then I go, ‘Yes, you can spray it, you can spray mommy’s arms,’ and then they want to do it.”
3. For older kids, make it about their own beauty
“My mom is a nurse so she taught me the importance of skin health very early on,” Bell shares. “And she also phrased it in a way that appealed to my vanity. She said, ‘Your skin will look younger and fresher and be healthier the rest of your life if you protect it from the sun — not only will you not get skin cancer but you’ll get less wrinkles.”
4. The simpler the routine, the better
When it comes to her everyday skincare, Bell admits that her routine isn’t as complicated as you’d think. “I clean my face with a Clarisonic brush, and I use the Neutrogena Naturals purifying facial cleanser and the Hydroboost moisturizer. Beyond that I don’t really have time to do much because the kids are always pulling me away from the bathroom. Before I had kids, I loved the relaxation of taking time in the mirror and applying things, but now, I would much rather be reading books with them, so I’ve simplified it as much as possible so I can maximize my time with them.”
5. Sleep and hydration are key
The biggest lesson she’s taken from makeup artists over the years? “Hydrate,” she says. “I’ve learned that the majority of tips don’t have to do with makeup, it has to do with what you put in your body and how often you sleep.” As far as her daughters are concerned, “They’re pretty good sleepers, she says. “Everyone in my house is fairly lazy, so I strive and usually get eight hours a night.”
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6. It’s easy to fake sun-kissed skin
While she doesn’t bathe in the sun, she’s still a fan of a tanned look, saying that her must-have product is bronzer. “Because I do stay out of the sun, I don’t tend to get what we could all acknowledge as that beautiful sun-kissed glow, so I just fake it,” she says. And while she hasn’t played around with self-tanners, “that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t.”
7. A little mascara goes a long way
“If I need to look awake, I’ll often apply mascara with a slanted brush or a thin fan brush to the root of my lashes in addition to regular mascara,” Bell shares. “I find that darkening up the very base of my lash line opens my eyes so much.”
8. Date night doesn’t have to be glamorous
“My husband prefers me without makeup, and our date nights usually involve staying in and watching a TV show, so it’s identical to my regular bedtime routine,” Bell jokes about her quality time with husband Dax Shepard. “But I just got a paraffin wax machine, which is so much fun. It’s super relaxing, it’s really moisturizing for your skin, and it’s supposed to be really good for arthritis, so we’ve been trying to dip our hands in that — I’ve been spoiling him.”
9. Beauty is about what makes you feel good.
“It really does come from within,” she says of the message she wants to give her daughters about beauty. “As long as you feel good about yourself, whether that means you want to wear a ton of black eye makeup or a bright red lip or no makeup at all, it’s all about what makes you feel good, and if you feel good, that’s all that matters. I don’t think it says anything about the kind of kid she is or the kind of mom I am because we play around with fun colors on our faces.”
What do you think of her beauty tips? Tell us below.
— Jillian Ruffo