We asked the actress to share her top beauty secrets, favorite products, and more. Read on for at least a dozen new reasons to fall in love with Jennifer Garner all over again.

By Heather Muir Maffei
September 16, 2020
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This week, I had 10 virtual minutes with Neutrogena spokeswoman Jennifer Garner (meep!). I used the wrong Zoom link (#nightmare), but not only did the actress and mom-of-three wait for me, she was sweet as pie, just as you’d hope she would be. I got the lowdown on what she does for self-care, the things she can’t live without, and the beauty products she swears by. 

What are your top tips for self-care?

Jennifer Garner: “Hmm…work out every day—I like Limit Fit or Body By Simone; some sort of cardio with music; I make sure I sweat. I like on-demand workouts because you’ll say you’ll do 15 minutes then add some. On days that I take off [from working out], I treat it as a treat. Same with food. I usually take one meal ‘off’ a day. I think people need to eat more good food. When I take off, I like wine and chocolate. I [also] take walks with girlfriends and reading.”

Name three (or more) things you can’t live without?

JG: Wine and chocolate count as one because they go together. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Oil ($36; ulta.com)—because it really makes a difference and the consistency is so nice. I’ve gotten Botox a few times and I don’t like it—I don’t want a frozen face. The oil is hydrating and gentle. I can’t live without the Broadway Chanel on Sirius XM; and a few food things: arugula, parmesan, and pizza.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

JG: When someone says that they feel good when they see me or tells me my kids are nice.

When you’re having a blah skin (or hair) day when you’re getting photographed or doing press, what do you do to overcome it?

JG: Pretty much every day is like that for me because whenever I go out, I get photographed. By the way, I breastfed three times and it did a number on my skin—way worse than puberty. Pregnancy into breastfeeding and coming out of it. [LOVE YOU, JEN!] But normally it means I need to sleep more and drink more water to reset, and when all else fails, wear extra blush.

What are a few beauty lessons you want to pass on to the next generation?

JG: Nothing looks better in your 50s than SPF in your 20s—Doris Day, MD, a board-certified derm in New York, told me that and I asked her if I could steal it because it’s so true. In your 20s, you don’t care what you’ll look like in your 50s, but someday you will! That and cleansing your face every night, at least use the face wipes; people laugh when I say that because I’ve used them for so long but I use them, even in the middle of the day, after a hike and wearing SPF, they give you a fresh start. And take care of your neck. Enjoy your neck.

RS: When do you feel most beautiful?

JG: When all my kids are piled on top of me, and after a workout and shower when you’re a little rosy.

RS: What’s your biggest beauty regret?

JG: I’m haunted by pictures in college. I didn’t know how to wear makeup so I wore theater makeup to formals—pancake makeup so I’d have a big circle around my face. There’s not one pretty pic of me in college, I swear.