Say hello to Unfiltered, a fresh, new beauty series where you’ll get an exclusive glimpse into the dressed-down beauty routines of our favorite celebrities. They’ll reveal their guilty-pleasure beauty practices, the five-minute routine product lineup they can’t live without, the one good-skin tip they’ll be forever thankful for, and so much more. To bring every conversation full circle, we ask each celebrity to send us a selection of self-shot, filter-free photos of their choosing to capture the essence of their Unfiltered beauty philosophy.
Up next, we’re getting to know the founder of The Honest Company and Honest Beauty, actress Jessica Alba. As a fellow product junkie and clean-beauty enthusiast, she’s answering all of our rapid-fire questions and sharing her best-kept beauty secrets below. Enjoy!
If you had to leave the house in five minutes, what products would you use?
If I had to leave the house in five minutes, I would use the Honest Beauty CCC Clean Corrective With Vitamin C Tinted Moisturizer ($22), and then, I would use our Crème Cheek Blush ($13), Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer ($17), and Tinted Lip Balm ($9).
On days when you’re not working or you’re just staying in, what does your skin routine look like both morning and night?
Every morning, I use our Prime + Perfect Mask ($20). I just wake up and throw it on my face! It’s like a smoothie but for your skin, and it’s packed with antioxidants. Then, I’ll brush my teeth, drink my coffee, and make breakfast for the kids. I’ll use a warm washcloth to take the mask off, and then, I follow it up with our Calm & Porefect Serum ($30) and a nice scoop of the new Calm + Heal Melting Balm ($33). I love rubbing it into my hands, and then, once it melts and transforms, I press it into my face and my neck. Next, I’ll apply the Honestly Bright Eyes Tinted Eye Cream ($24)—it has this great hydrogel base with pigment, and it just counters the blue from my dark circles. And then, I use our Gloss-C Lip Gloss ($15)—it’s like a gloss and lip treatment in one.
At night, I have a similar routine and use a lot of the same things, but I’ll swap in the Vitamin C Radiance Serum ($28), and I like to wash my face with the Calm On Foaming Cream Cleanser ($18). I’ll use the Calm + Heal Melting Balm again, and if I’m watching TV or something, I’ll sometimes use our Reusable Magic Silicone Sheet Mask ($15) and just let it sit on my face for a while. Or sometimes, I’ll use an ultrasound vibrating wand with the balm, and I’ll do that for 10 minutes. I like to do my skincare routine earlier in the evening so I have a little extra time built in to do an add-on treatment like that if I want to.
If you could only use three Honest Beauty products for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?
Definitely the Calm + Heal Melting Balm. It’s amazing. The mondo grass, the allantoin, and the Honest Beauty Phyto-Blend—that combination of ingredients is just a game changer, and you know, there’s a $500 face cream out there that people can get, but it’s filled with chemicals we choose not use in our products. Plus, ours is much more affordable, and you’re getting clean ingredients and the skincare benefits that you really want. Second would be the mascara. It doesn’t even matter if you’re a clean-beauty enthusiast or not. The mascara is dope. You don’t get clumpy lashes, and it really makes it look like you have extensions—thick, fluffy lashes, which is what I always strive for. I’m a lash girl, so I’m all about that one! And then, I would say the last one would be the long-wearing Liquid Lipstick ($15). We have these really beautiful nudes, but we also have fun, punchy colors. I love to use it as a lip stain, so I put it on my finger, and I’ll put a little bit on my cheeks and a little bit on my lips. During COVID when you’re out and about wearing a mask, it’s nice to have something that has that type of wear. With a cream blush or a powder blush, it just comes right off on the mask, where something like this just wears better on your face.
There’s a lot of advice floating around when it comes to skincare—what’s the one thing that has made the biggest difference in the health of your skin?
For me, it was really looking at ingredients and using products that don’t have perfumes or synthetic fragrances added to them. I try to avoid as many petrochemicals as possible, and that has made a really dramatic difference in my skin.
What’s one thing about your beauty routine that would surprise people?
Hmm, I don’t know! I mean, I’m an actress, and I founded a conscious, ethical, and transparent company, so I don’t know if the people would be all that surprised by anything!
What inspired you to start your own nontoxic lifestyle and beauty brands versus using what was already on the market?
I really felt like I needed to create a company that stood for the values that I had as a person, and I just found there really wasn’t one company out there that was meeting my needs. When you look at the chemicals that are in all of the different products we use—everything from cleaning products to bath, body, beauty, and baby products—you can’t point to just one product having an adverse effect on your health. It’s all the products in combination that you’re being exposed to every day over a period of time. Scientists have tested the cord blood of babies, and because of what the mom is exposed to, babies are born with hundreds of chemicals pulsing through their bodies. So these chemicals do go into our bodies, and they can impact our health over time.
I founded Honest because I couldn’t find a company that was formulating products that swapped out these harsh chemicals for cleaner alternatives but which worked as effectively as conventional. And even when I saw other companies using all of the buzzy marketing language, when you look under the hood, they don’t have labs in-house, they don’t have regulatory teams, and they don’t have a supply team that can source raw ingredients and materials. I think that’s the big difference between Honest and a lot of the other companies out there that are claiming to be clean. They use a lot of the same language and lingo, but when you actually investigate, they aren’t really that different than conventional companies.
What’s your stance on converting to a clean routine? If someone’s just starting out, do they need to swap their skincare and makeup, or can they go more gradually?
I think you have to use clean makeup, too. There’s no point in converting to a clean skincare routine if you’re just going to put a bunch of nasty chemicals on your lips, for instance. We actually ingest what’s on our lips, so just think about how many pounds of chemicals we could be ingesting over the course of our lifetime. Even trace amounts of certain chemicals and ingredients can affect health long-term. It’s been studied.
What’s the most common beauty-related FAQ you receive on social media?
I think a lot of people are like, “Where do I even start when it comes to swapping to clean products and ingredients?” That’s definitely a big one because I think it feels overwhelming to a lot of people. But I don’t think it’s as complex as people make it out to be, and I think you really can make your routine more basic. Just swap three things in! You really don’t need more than that, and that can be your base. And then, you know, look out for synthetic fragrances, look out for petrochemicals, and that’s a good place to start when you look for add-ons. There are actually some synthetic chemicals that are okay, but do your homework to find out what percentage they are within a product you’re looking at.
Are there any beauty trends or practices you don’t buy into or that you feel aren’t worth it?
I think people feel like they have to have a name-brand or luxury product in order to get “the best.” But I’ve literally walked the factory floors and visited the manufacturers of a lot of these beauty and personal care brands, and the $5 makeup or skincare is often very similar to the $500 makeup or skincare. There really isn’t a ton of differentiation outside of the packaging or if there’s a key ingredient that they’re doing some kind of claims testing for. So marketing budget, if they’re going to do claims testing, and the cost they put into the packaging… That’s often the difference between the luxury brands and the cheaper, more accessible, and commercial mass brands. Even indie beauty brands are often created in the same labs and places as non-indie, so I would say, don’t be fooled, do your homework, and look for companies that have labs in-house and have the ability to create their own formulas with raw ingredients they source themselves.
Do you have any “guilty pleasure” beauty practices or products you swear by?
I mean, I love massages. One thing that we’ve done, my daughters and I, for Christmas they got those electric foot baths, so that’s just a nice treat where we all soak our feet. Even if we don’t give ourselves a pedicure, the ritual of it just feels so nice and relaxing. They vibrate, and they have little salts and essential oils you can add. I always put body oil in, too, so our feet don’t get dry. It’s just a nice indulgence you can do at home, and they’re not too expensive—you can pick them up at Target or on Amazon.
Health and beauty are so intertwined—do you have any wellness practices or favorite supplements that help give you a boost both mentally and physically?
Definitely consult your doctor, but I do think taking a high-quality DHA is really helpful, and I am an advocate for probiotics and having a good multivitamin on hand. I also love prenatals. They’re packed with all kinds of vitamins to help grow a baby, and any time I’ve taken them, whether I was pregnant or not or trying to get pregnant or not, I’ve found that everything just looks more glowy and vibrant. I also like to put collagen in my coffee in the morning, or I’ll use a protein powder with collagen if I’m making a smoothie.
What’s your approach to aging, and what about the next decade is most exciting to you?
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve really grown to love who I’ve become and who I’ve turned into. I don’t have the same fullness in my face that I had when I was younger, but I’m okay with having more angles. I’m okay with waking up and seeing this person that I am today because it represents the comfort and the confidence and the life experience that comes with aging—there’s just an ease now. When I was younger, I was always in my head, and I was so insecure. I was worried about such silly things that, at the end of the day, mean absolutely nothing. I wasn’t living in the moment. I didn’t have the same quality of life when I was younger as I do now. I had more collagen and fluffier cheeks and no pores, and my cellulite wasn’t as dominant… I didn’t have stretch marks on my boobs, and yet I was still so insecure about every little thing, you know? I never just enjoyed and lived in the moment, and now, it’s just like whatever! Let me live!
I just hope that my daughters can find confidence and peace in their physical appearance and their beauty. They both look so different, and each has their own unique way of moving through the world. I have hope that the next generation will feel more confident and connected to what makes them unique and beautiful. I hope they don’t feel as though they need to fulfill a certain archetype.
What’s your Unfiltered beauty philosophy in seven words or less?
Conscious, clean, diverse, kindness, and confidence are the words that, to me, describe my Unfiltered beauty philosophy.