You'd never guess it from looking at her, but even Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has skin issues.
"A lot of people don't know this, but I'm not someone who has perfect skin all the time," she told The Thick in 2015. "I have to be really diligent."
That makes sense, since the 30-year-old model and actress makes a living from her complexion. "It's the most important thing—it's my canvas for the makeup artists I work with—so that comes first. [But] it's not something that comes really easily for me. Travelling for sure messes it up."
To cope with her acne-prone skin and non-stop schedule, Rosie keeps her regimen "really simple. I don't like too many products in my cabinet. I don't want to confuse my skin too much. I don't want to travel with a million products, either—that's a nightmare."
Instead, she's loyal to a select few professional skincare lines ("I believe in investing in the best skincare you can afford," is her theory) and books in regularly with her facialist, dermatologist and naturopathic doctor.
Here's what's involved in Rosie's routine:
Rosie's Daytime Skincare Routine
iS Clinical Cleansing Complex: "I cleanse with iS Clinical Cleansing Complex that I'm really loyal to. It's the blue one."
Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-30 Clyceryl Cocoate, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Carboxymethylcellulose, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Madecassic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Phosphilipids, Tocopherol Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, DMDM Hydantion, Iodopropynl Butylcarbamate.
Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk: "[It's a] super-gentle milky cleanser, great for dry skin and removing makeup!"
Ingredients: Water, Isopropyl Isostearate*, Glycerin*, Butylene Glycol*, Dicaprylyl Carbonate*, Behenyl Alcohol*, Glyceryl Stearate*, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil*, Lecithin*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter Extract*, Fragrance, Caprylyl Glycol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Potassium Sorbate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols*, Tocopherol*, Xanthan Gum, Maltodextrin*, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract*, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract*. *Plant Origin.
iS Clinical Active Serum: "I'm very loyal to iS Clinical, but there is one product in particular that I would recommend to everyone, and that's the Active Serum. It's a bit of an investment product, but trust me, it changed my skin. It clears, brightens, and just gives my face that lift it needs."
Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Butylene Glycol, SD Alcohol 30, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Extract, Triethanolamine, Arbutin, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Polyporus Umbellatus (Mushroom) Extract, Menthol, Phenoxyethanol.
Ingredients: Water/ Aqua/ Eau, Ascorbic Acid, Laureth-4, Alcohol Denat., Pentylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Zinc Sulfate, Tocopherol, Polyporus Umbellatus (Mushroom) Extract, Arbutin, Glycerin, Bioflavonoids, Retinol, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol.
iS Clinical Hydra-Cool Serum: "If I'm dry, I might apply a little bit of iS Clinical's Hydra Cool Serum, which is a gel-based moisturizer. I don't do well with heavy creams; they break me out."
Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Sodium Hyaluronate, Propylene Glycol, Pantothenic Acid, Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Madecassic Acid, Polyporus Umbellatus (Mushroom) Extract, Menthol, Blue 1 (CI 42090), Phenoxyethanol.
Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Purified Water (Aqua Purificata), Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Squalane, Bentonite, Butylene Glycol, Soy Isoflavones, Tetrapeptide-21, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ubiquinone, Phospholipids, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium Lauriminodipropionate Tocopheryl Phosphates, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, Lecithin, Carbomer, Caprylyl Glycol, Ceramide 2, Dimethicone, Cyclodextrin, Disodium EDTA, Pentasodium Pentetate, Phytic Acid, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Gluconate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Ethylene Brassylate, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbic Acid.
Control Corrective Oil Free Sunscreen SPF 30: "Once [my moisturizer has] settled, I'll apply a Control Corrective sunscreen. I try and wear sun cream every day on my hands and face."
Active ingredients: Octinoxate (6.9%), Octisalate (3.0%), Zinc Oxide (4.0%) Other ingredients: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Isopropyl Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Squalane, Polysorbate 60, Acanthopanax Senticosus (Eleuthero) Root Extract, Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract, Citric Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium EDTA, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Methylisothiazolinone
5. Lip Balm:
Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm: "I really love just straight Burt's Bee's Lip Balm because it's easy and doesn't leave too much of a shine. I don't want my lips to be too shiny."
Ingredients: cera alba (beeswax, cire d'abeille), cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, mentha piperita (peppermint) oil, lanolin, tocopherol, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, glycine soja (soybean) oil, canola oil (huile de colza), limonene.
By Terry Baume de Rose: "I also like By Terry's Baume de Rose. It has a nice sheen to it, and I like the texture and the scent of that."
Ingredients: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Synthetic Wax, Diiosostearyl Malate, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Methyl Hydrogenated Rosinate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Polyethylene, C10-30 Cholesterol/Lanesterol Esters, Petrolatum, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Extract, Stearalkonium Hectorite, C20-40 Acid, Corylus Avellana (Haeel) Seed Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Tocopherol, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Propylene Carbonate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Lanolin, Sodium PCA, Aqua (Water), Polysorbate 85, Rosa Centifolia Flower (Wax) Cera, Rosa Damascena Flower (Wax) Cera, Trohydroxypalmitamidohydroxypropyl Myristyl Ether, Alumina, Aluminium Stearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Mica, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Methylparaben, BHT, Butylene Glycol, Propylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, CI 75470 (Carmine), Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Geraniol, Citronellol, Benzylbenzoate, Eugenol, Cotral.
Rosie's Evening Skincare Routine
1. Makeup Remover:
Bioderma Sensibio H2O: "I always take my makeup religiously off at night. It doesn't matter how late of a night it is—or how intoxicated I might be—the makeup always comes off. I remove it with Bioderma Crealine [Sensibio] Solution. It's really gentle and has no fragrance or perfume. It's something I've used for years and years now. I picked it up backstage at one of my first fashion weeks. It's French, and I always pick it up from a pharmacy whenever I am in France, but you can now get it here. It's just really gentle and removes makeup very smoothly."
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Propylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Cetrimonium Bromide.
Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water: "I put it on a cotton pad and then I remove my eye makeup. I think it's always very important when removing your eye makeup to try to be gentle and not rub too much. That way you aren't going to wake up with puffy eyes in the morning."
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin*, Poloxamer 188, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Water*, Heptyl Glucoside*, Capryl/Capramidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Levulinate*, Sodium Anisate*, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Citric Acid*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice*, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate (067/178) *Plant Origin.
3. Cleansing Brush:
Clarisonic: "One of my favourite things to do—especially when I come back from work or from a night out—is to use the Clarisonic Brush. It's great for really, really cleaning the skin of any makeup, impurities, or any dirt that has built up throughout the day."
4. Acid Exfoliator:
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel: "I'm a big fan of Dr. Dennis Gross peel pads when traveling. I really see the difference when I use them on my skin. They are gentle but strong enough that you can use them every day and see a difference. They're great for deep cleaning and removing any impurities or dirt off your skin."
Step 1 ingredients: Water, Alcohol Denat. (SD Alcohol 40-B), Glycolic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Salicylic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Soy Isoflavones, Copper PCA, Zinc PCA, Lecithin, Disodium EDTA, Alcohol, Polysorbate 80, Fragrance, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Benzoic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate. Step 2 ingredients: Water, Sodium Bicarbonate, Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate, Retinol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Resveratrol, Ubiquinone, Achillea Millefolium Extract , Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Raphanus Sativus (Radish) Root Extract, Soy Isoflavones, Phospholipids, Copper PCA, Sodium PCA, Zinc PCA, Lecithin, Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 80, Octoxynol-9, Simethicone, Alcohol, BHT, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol.
iS Clinical Active Serum: "And then I use iS Clinical Active Serum, which is brilliant."
6. Acne Treatment:
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo +: "If I get a spot, people say, 'It doesn't matter—you can get it airbrushed at work.' That's true, but I also want to look fresh when I'm with my mum, or I'm having a romantic night in. That's why I'm diligent with my skincare."
Ingredients: Aqua / Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Isocetyl Stearate, Niacinamide, Isopropyl, Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Silica, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyl Tauramide / Ammonium, Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Zinc PCA, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Isohexadecane, Sodium Hydroxide, Myristyl Myristate, 2, Oleamido-1, 3-Octadecanediol, Nylon-12, Poloxamer 338, Linoleic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 80, Acrylamide/Sodium, Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Salicylic Acid, Piroctone, Olamine, Parfum / Fragrance
Resurface by Shani Darden Retinol Reform: "And then I also use a bit of my facialist Shani Darden's Resurface retinol cream. For fine lines, pores, acne and scars. [It] is my favourite product of all time. It leaves skin flawless. It's a product everybody should have."
Ingredients: Retinol Rx, Lactic Acid, Deionized Water, Aloe Vera, Glycerth-26, Octyl Dimethyl, Polysorbate-80, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA, Niacinimide, Sodium Benzoate, Inositrol, Quaternium-15
Ingredients: Deionized Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Propylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Methyl Glyceth-20, Polysorbate 60, Trithanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Carbomer, Panthenol, Allantoin, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Disodium EDTA, Glycosaminoglycans, Methylisothiazolinone
Rosie's Skincare Treatments
Control Corrective Sulfur Calming Mask: "There is one mask I really like; it's Control Corrective's Sulfur Calming Mask. It's a drying mask, good for getting rid of any impurities."
Active ingredient: Sulfur 10%. Other ingredients: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf juice, Kaolin, Bentonite, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Magnesium Aluminum Silcate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Simmondsia Chinesis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone
LightStim: "There's a thing called the LightStim, which I'm obsessed with at the moment. It's at my dermatologist, Dr. Lancer's office, and it is basically a LED light, which is so rejuvenating for the skin. It's great for collagen and bringing back all the nutrients that you need in your face. I've found it to be a really good thing."
Shani Darden: "[Shani is my] true skin saviour. She has a no-nonsense attitude. You are in and out in an hour, and you are glowing!"
Rosie's Diet, Exercise and Lifestyle
Younger Skin Starts in the Gut by Nigma Talib, ND: "Right now I'm on Nigma's plan, which is: no dairy, no gluten, no sugar and no alcohol! And it's been really tough, it is, [but] it's been transformative for me. Once you change some things in your diet and you remove certain things you're going to see a difference in your skin and a difference in your well-being."
"I drink so much water you wouldn't believe and find that it has so many benefits, not only for my skin but for general well-being, dealing with jet-lag and weight loss. Water is the key to so much. I believe many of the issues we have with our bodies are down to dehydration."
Body By Simone and Ballet Bodies: "Beauty for me is about a good workout routine. I'm a fitness fanatic. It's where everything starts for me. [Body By Simone] is not for the faint of heart! I love it—the music is blasting; it's kind of my new nightclubbing."
Justin Gelband and Toby Huntington-Whiteley: "The majority of [Justin's] clients are Victoria's Secret Angels, so he's obviously doing something right. When I'm in London, I train with my brother, who is a personal trainer. I am flying all of the time and always jet-lagged, so it's important that my body is strong and healthy."
"I see massage as part of my exercise routine. I work out quite aggressively, and it's really important for me to have that time for my body as well."
Even if Rosie has to be strict with her routine, it's clearly working for her. (And now that she's expecting, she looks glowier than ever!)
There's a lot to be said for consistency. She never goes to bed without doing her skincare steps, and she doesn't take the risk of experimenting with new products that her skin might not like. In fact, she's been using basically the same things for at least three or four years now.
I'm also impressed that Rosie sticks with professional-grade products, likely chosen by her facialist and well-tailored to her skin type. Yes, they are more expensive, but this routine includes tons of amazing actives, such as botanical AHAs and BHAs (in the iS Clinical Active Serum); vitamin C; hyaluronic acid and retinol. At the same time, she's doing a great job of avoiding problematic ingredients like silicones, sulfates and oils.
What would I change here? The main skincare swap I'd make is the sunscreen, to a high-zinc one without the chemical filters (I like Cyberderm, Derma E and Juice Beauty). I also think it's odd for an acne spot treatment to be so high in dimethicone... but if it works for her, fine.
As for the "extras," I'm a big believer in red LED lights, so those treatments are no doubt benefitting her as well. (Note: Red Light Man's devices are far more powerful, with better wavelengths, than LightStim.)
One thing I don't entirely agree with is the ND's approach—especially its restrictiveness (Rosie called the plan "brutal" and "a big challenge"). I'm always wary when I hear about diets like this, as they may encourage disordered eating and insufficient calories, which could lead to much worse problems than bad skin in the future.
I also have an alternate viewpoint on why eliminating certain foods may have improved Rosie's skin. As I explained here, dairy (along with sugar and caffeine) are often blamed for "causing" acne and other skin issues. Actually, this happens because these substances are all potent metabolism boosters that can expose nutrient deficiencies—particularly of vitamin A, the "skin vitamin."
With a baby on the way, I doubt Rosie is eating this way now, but I think it's important to know that good skin does NOT require such drastic dietary measures!
Sign up below for Better Skin in 7, my FREE seven-day email course, to understand the fundamentals of beautiful skin. (Hint: They include keeping metabolism high, becoming nutrient replete, and balancing hormones, along with using the right topical products!)
What do you think of Rosie's skincare routine and diet?
Have you tried any of the products she uses?