Amid a world filled with airbrushed skin and PhotoShopped bodies, today Olay announced their #OlaySkinPromise to no longer retouch any of its ads across print, digital and TV (by 2021). The first—and likely most enthusiastic—partner to sign onto the campaign? None other than Busy Philipps. We chatted with the no-holds-barred celeb on her latest skin-positive partnership with Olay, her skin-care must haves and the in-office treatments she swears by.
NewBeauty: Congratulations on your Times Square billboard!
Busy Philipps: Oh my god, I know. It’s so exciting, right?
NB: How do you feel about being unretouched on a 20-foot-tall billboard in the middle of New York City?
BP: I am so proud that Olay has made this commitment to zero retouching on all of their advertisements with the Olay Skin Promise. I think the message they’re sending to women and anyone who sees the ads, which is literally everyone—we’re inundated all the time with images, especially from beauty brands—is so important. The message is one of empowerment, that you’re perfect in the skin that YOU are in. It was very surreal to see the Times Square ads all over and to see the unretouched ads in magazines and the commercials on TV—our Superbowl ad was unretouched, too. I think it’s an important step for a huge brand to make that kind of commitment and hopefully other brands—especially beauty brands—will follow.
NB: What is your stance on the skin- and body-shaming celebrities are put through on social media and in the press?
BP: It’s difficult. I mean look, I have faced it myself. I have been in this industry for 20-plus years. I was told very early on in my career that I should have all the moles removed from my body and my face, I’ve had them airbrushed off against my knowledge or wishes in photoshoots that I’ve participated in. I was told very unrealistic things about my body and the way that I looked, that I should make changes.
But I think we’re heading in the right direction and I think in the last decade or so when big celebrities and movie stars have spoken out against massive retouching on the covers of magazines and the ads that they’re participating in, it’s made a difference. And I think it’s important that even though it’s 2020 and we’re still having this conversation, that we’re heading in the right direction.
NB: How do you hope the industry looks in 10 years?
BP: I think there needs to be a cultural shift in how we view all of it. What beauty means and what it encompasses. That was part of the reason why, early on, I signed on and was so excited to work with Olay, because my first campaign was about sun care and protecting your skin from harmful UV rays. It was literally about protecting the skin that you are in for health reasons; not trying to stay young or looking like you’re 20 years old when you’re 40 years old, or like you have no fine lines or visible signs of aging. That’s an unrealistic expectation we’ve put on women for decades and decades.
Contractually [with Olay], I had to agree to not get Botox or any filler, which I never have done, and now I feel really great about that. It was a huge brand saying, ‘We love the way that you look you look just as you are.’ I think as more women see more women and other people who are embracing their natural look, the more that will shift the cultural norms.
NB: You haven’t had Botox or filler, but have you opted for any other in-office treatments?
BP: Yeah for sure. And before I would do anything, I would have them call and ask Olay if it was OK because I wanted to just make sure that it was OK with them first. [Laughs] I started doing microdermabrasion in my twenties as an addition to facials, and now I like the microneedling treatment. I have done PRP—you know what that is, obviously. [Laughs]
NB: How did you like PRP?
BP: I liked it. I mean, it hurt. [Laughs] It’s not a pleasant sensation, but what I liked about it and why I wanted to try it was I liked the idea of it sort of just slowing down the aging process. It doesn’t fill fine lines or wrinkles or change anything, but it does stimulate new cell growth and collagen production so there’s nothing wrong with that, I think.
Not that there’s anything wrong with anything—while it’s not my personal choice, I have no judgement about how people choose to look or what they want to look like. That’s not for me to say. But I do think that the images we see on social media and on advertisements influence us greatly in what we think we should be looking like. So I like PRP, microdermabrasion and microneedling—that’s about it. I haven’t done any of the lasers. I’m open to it, but I haven’t done it.
NB: You are the first person to post a raw, no-makeup selfie on Instagram, so we know your skin looks incredible. What do you do to care for it?
BP: SPF is a huge part of my routine. People are often shocked when I whip my Olay SPF out of my purse and apply it halfway through the day. Especially because I live in southern California and we spend so much time in our cars. And because I have two kids, I spend so much time outside, so sun care is a big deal for me.
I also drink a lot of water. I think people forget about that element for your skin, so I try to remain very hydrated. I sweat a lot everyday, which I think is healthy for your skin. I also do maintenance: I get facials, I really enjoy facials and I’ll do face masks, try different serums—the Olay serums that just came out, I’m obsessed with the hyaluronic one. I’ve had picking issues in the past and I’ve tried to really commit to not picking my skin.
NB: It can be so addicting.
BP: It’s hard not to do it. There’s a lot you can get into behind the reasons why people skin-pick and I had to really go deep on it and that has helped me not do it as much. But I still have my moments, and I’ve documented them, because I feel like that helps me to share. [Laughs]
NB: You’ve also shared about your love for Epsom salt baths online. Do you have any other wellness rituals you swear by?
BP: The Epsom baths have been a real thing for me in the past couple of years. It was born out of the fact that I was working out so much and my muscles were sore, and I also wasn’t sleeping well. It’s really relaxing to have that magnesium in the bath. That’s an immediate thing that relaxes me. Again I love face masks. I’m not a loyalist—I’ll try them all. I like dark chocolate a lot. I know that seems boring, but I do love that and gummy candy. Sometimes I need some sugar in my life. I’m not opposed to it.
NB: Life’s all about balance.