The thought that went through my head when I first saw Sydney Sweeney, on screen in Euphoria, was, This girl is a star. Shortly after, it was followed by, Damn, her skin is incredible. But according to her, it hasn’t always been this way. She’s dealt with cystic acne for most of her adolescence, and while she mostly has it in check now thanks to a routine from her makeup artist and dermatologist (and some key French pharmacy products), she’s constantly playing a balancing game to keep her combination skin happy.
“I think that for skin care, it’s such a personalized journey,” says the 23-year-old. “You can never compare yourself to anyone else.” For Sweeney, that journey has been heavy on exfoliation. “When I’m filming I tend to exfoliate more,” she says. “I’m wearing so much more makeup, especially on Euphoria. My skin does tend to ‘eat’ makeup, which is weird, so I exfoliate more and make sure I’m drinking more water.”
Though she goes hard on the exfoliation, she keeps her routine pretty low-key elsewhere so as not to irritate her super-sensitive skin. “I actually don’t get facials or anything,” she says. “Every time I go to facialist, I always felt that my face would break out more. I know they say it’s supposed to break out because they cleared your skin, but I feel like no one knows my skin better than I do.”
For example, she’s discovered that the products her skin loves don’t have to be expensive. “I love French pharmacy products; I filmed a movie in Montreal and was introduced to them, and they have helped my skin immensely,” she says. She’s also a fan of American drugstore staples like Nivea Creme as well as Bic razors, which she recently partnered with. “They have such premium quality, they’re at such a great value, and they do such a great shave.”
Ahead of her new series The White Lotus premiering this July, I chatted with Sweeney and had her drop her skin-care routine. Read on for the only moisturizer she’s ever liked, the product that saved her from acne scars, and the sunscreen she calls her saving grace.
My Body Care
I usually take showers in the morning, because my hair gets really greasy. While my conditioner is sitting in my hair, I usually shave my legs with the Bic Soleil Click 3; it’s such an amazing shave, and it’s easy to use. Some shavers actually freak out my skin—I don’t know why, but sometimes whatever they put around the shaver does it. Bic’s doesn’t, and because I have such sensitive skin, I like using those because I don’t have any rashes or any problems after I use it.
And then—this is a huge thing—I used to wash my body and then wash my face in the shower while products were sitting in my hair, but my body would still break out from the conditioner. And I learned that washing everything out of my hair first, and then washing my body with Nivea’s body wash is the way to go.
In the shower, I wash my face with Avène cleansing gel. I like this one because I’ve found different cleansers are either too strong or not strong enough, but this one is nice and gentle. Sometimes I’ll mix in an exfoliator, just to help, because I do have combination skin. If I don’t exfoliate the dry skin off, then my makeup will sit weird on my face, and my face will break out—I get really bad cystic acne. I use Caudalie’s because it’s not too harsh; it just works perfectly.
When I’m out of the shower, I use the SkinCeuticles H.A. Intensifier because my skin does get dry, so it helps soak everything in. I use it every day and night.
Then I’ll use this French cream; it’s a cream concentrate. What’s crazy is it’s actually for dry skin to make it more oily, so I didn’t think it would work on me. But my makeup artist used it on me about a year and a half ago, and it’s the only lotion that works for my skin when I’m wearing makeup. Usually makeup will split on my face, especially around my nose, and I could never figure out why, but it doesn’t happen with this one.
I use the Elta MD sunscreen on top. This sounds horrible, but I never used to wear sunscreen because my skin is so sensitive, and sunscreens would usually break me out. I started using this over the past year and a half, and my face doesn’t break out, so it’s been my saving grace.
My Makeup Remover
I found that depending on where I am in the world and the season, I have to change my products because my skin will just be completely different. So right now, at night, I tend to wipe off my face with the Bioderma Sensibio Cleansing Water. I love French pharmacy products; I filmed a movie in Montreal and found them, and they have helped my skin immensely.
My Night Creams
My Acne Secret
I was a horrible picker [when my acne was bad], and my mom was always like, ‘Your face is going to get scarred!’ And now every day she’s like, “I don’t know how you don’t have scars.” It’s because I would lather my face with Neosporin and aloe, and it saved my skin.
I have this ice roller that I got off of Amazon, that is the size of my face. Every day literally while I’m in my car heading to set, I’m just rolling my entire face with this ice roller. It helps immensely.
Bella Cacciatore is the beauty writer at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore_.