Nina Dobrev wants you to know that her skin is NOT flawless.
"I get pimples just like every other Joe Schmoe," the 30-year-old actress, best known for her role on the The Vampire Diaries, admitted to Allure.
But that doesn't mean she won't leave the house bare-faced.
"I absolutely feel comfortable going out in public and being on social media without makeup," she revealed in an interview with People. "It's real. When I have a lot of makeup on, that's usually work. At home, I just let it breathe. I don't think I was always [this] comfortable with myself, but as I get older, I start to care less. I feel a lot more comfortable in my own skin now."
With age has also come a newfound dedication to skincare.
"I think the older I get, the more important it becomes [to take care of my skin]," she told The Cut. "When I was younger, I'd always just fall asleep in my makeup and it wouldn't really have an effect, but nowadays, because of some maturity, knowledge and growth, it's changed."
Nina's routine includes an array of products from Dr. Barbara Sturm, along with some drugstore favourites and a "magic" light therapy mask.
Ready to see how she keeps her skin clear and glowing? Read on:
Nina’s Morning Skincare Routine
Dr. Barbara Sturm Cleanser: "First, I use my cleanser. It's the most important at night... but also extremely important in the morning to get all the serums and things off of your face that have soaked in from the evening before."
Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum: "I make a little cocktail, a serum cocktail.... This one is my hyaluronic serum by Dr. Sturm. All of her products are amazing, and I have honestly seen great results."
Dr. Barbara Sturm Calming Serum: "She also makes a calming serum, which is extremely important for people like me who have little red rosacea spots on their cheeks. It kind of just like calms the skin."
Dr. Barbara Sturm Glow Drops: "These are amazing. I mix them in with my sunscreen and my moisturizer. I don't know what it is that's inside of it, but whatever it is, it really does make your skin glow. I've never gotten more compliments on my skin since I started using that. These are my secret sauce."
3. Eye Cream:
Dior Capture Totale C.E.L.L. Energy Firming & Wrinkle-Correcting Eye Cream: "Dior makes this little travel-sized eye cream that I love. I put this on in the morning, at night, whenever I have a flight, all the time."
Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream: "I also make a cocktail of my creams. So I'll put a little bit of that [Dior eye cream]. Then I will take my Tatcha dewy cream, which is amazing as well, and put that in there. Then I will take my sunscreen. And I will take my [Dr. Barbara Sturm] Glow Drops."
Dr. Barbara Sturm Sun Drops SPF 50: "Her sunscreen is the only sunscreen I've been able to use that doesn't come out white, and it doesn't get cakey with your foundation."
Chanel UV Essential SPF 50: "It's anti-pollution, broad-spectrum SPF.... Not a single day goes by where this isn't the first thing that I apply to my face upon waking up. I've tried so many different products that, especially when you're wearing makeup right afterwards, it can get thick or it gets sticky or it's really white. I've found that this specific one has the most sheen, it has the most protection, it has 50 SPF in it, which is a lot. And it's light and airy and you can put makeup on seamlessly. It's like a primer, almost."
6. Face Massage:
Gua Sha Tool: "I am a big believer in lymphatic drainage because I sleep on my face. And when you sleep on your face, all the blood rushes to your face and you wake up really puffy, with dark circles. So I was taught to go upward with the side and down my neck."
7. Eye Patches:
Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Revitalizing Eye Mask: "I keep my eye patches in the fridge so that they stay cold. That way, at the very last minute when I take them out, if my eyes are puffy, I put them right on and it constricts blood and sort of de-puffs my eyeballs. So I put these bad boys on. They work their magic."
Chanel Ultra Le Teint Velvet Blurring Smooth-Effect Foundation SPF 15: "The next product after my sunscreen and after my Glow Drops is my foundation. We talked about prepping the skin with a glowy, dewy tint, and right after that I also apply this... which I love mainly because it has sunscreen in it already. So even if I for whatever reason forgot to put my sunscreen on that day, I do have a little bit of protection in the foundation. It has full coverage, but it's not super heavy and cakey, and at the same time, they also put powder in it. I am an on-the-go person. I have a dog, I have a busy life. I don't have time to put foundation on and then powder it and do all these steps. In general, I like to keep the skin glowy and fresh and not really wear a lot of makeup. I get red pretty quickly and easily, so I just let it shine through, which I'm told is rosacea, which is not a good thing, but I like it, so I don't wanna treat it. It skips a step."
Dior Forever Skin Glow 24-Hour Foundation: "I mix Dior Forever Skin Glow 3W and 2W. Then I mix it all up, make sure it's even and from there, I usually use what is left on my finger to blend my neck. I cannot express to you guys how important it is to not just put foundation on your face. Okay? Sometimes, as you can see, I get little breakouts on my chest because I work out a lot. And when you work out, if you sweat and don't shower immediately after—sometimes there's traffic and it takes me 10 minutes to get to my house from the gym—sometimes I'll get little breakouts."
Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer: "The next step is under-eye concealer. I use Clé de Peau and I usually mix it with my foundation. This colour is a little bit darker than my skin and that is because I use a lot of sunscreen. I'm super insecure about my dark circles because I was on a vampire show for a very, very long time, so we shot at night and we didn't sleep very much, and so I had major, major dark circles. I'll [also] go over [any breakouts] again with this guy and my foundation, and I'll sort of spot-treat 'em."
Dior Diorskin Forever & Ever Control Invisible Loose Setting Powder: "This next step is very important for pimples. This is when you have to lock 'em in. Make sure that the foundation doesn't move. So, use powder. I use a small brush and only put it under my eyes because that's where I don't want it to move, and then I just attack the little pimples that we just covered up."
Smashbox Cali Kissed Highlight + Blush Palette: "What I like to do is I'll take this palette—Smashbox Cali Kissed. So I'll take my brush and I'll dab [and then] get the excess off [and apply it]."
Dior Diorskin Mineral Nude Bronze: "Then, I take the same brush, because I'm lazy and I don't like to carry a lot of things, and I just sort of pinch it to make it smaller. And then I use my bronzer just to sort of highlight and contour."
Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face: "I will take this Kevyn Aucoin, and I still have some of my foundation [on my hand] from my face, and I will mix it with this highlighter... because this is pretty potent and I like it to look natural. So... when I put it on, I'm putting a little bit of foundation on with the glow."
14. Sunscreen Setting Spray:
Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray SPF 50: "After my makeup is done, I use Kate Somerville sunscreen setting spray."
From The Skincare Edit Archives
Nina’s Nighttime Skincare Routine
1. Makeup Removers:
Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Wipes: "One big, main, important thing is to wash your makeup off every night before you go to bed. In order to take my makeup off, the first step is a makeup wipe. I'm told you're supposed to be really light on your skin, especially around the under-eye area, but I don't always practice what I preach."
Simple Kind to Skin Dual Effect Eye Make-Up Remover: "In order to remove the makeup around the eyes, sometimes I like to use a Q-tip to really get in there, and I typically use an oil-free makeup remover."
Dr. Barbara Sturm Cleanser: "I put two pumps of Dr. Sturm's cleanser, and then I mix that with my exfoliant [the Dr. Barbara Sturm Enzyme Cleanser]."
Dr. Barbara Sturm Enzyme Cleanser: "It is an enzyme cleanser, also by Dr. Sturm. You just put it in your hand and you mix it with water. The exfoliant helps really get into the pores and get rid of that dead skin. It also removes the makeup if anything's been left behind that the makeup wipes were not able to get. And then... I use warm water to rinse. Then I pat the face dry."
3. Cleansing Brush:
Clarisonic: "I use Clarisonic. They're great—they really get in there."
Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum: "I use Dr. Sturm's hyaluronic acid, which allows for all kinds of moisture and water and plumpness to get into the skin."
Dr. Barbara Sturm Super Anti-Aging Serum: "Sometimes, I mix [the Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum] with the Super Anti-Aging Serum. Mainly because it sounds cool.... [I use it] for no reason in particular, just because it saves time and I'm a busy lady."
La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream: "At night specifically, I use a thicker moisturizer like La Mer, and that way you have all night for it to soak in and really work its magic. La Mer is especially special because it was originally created—fun little fact—for burn victims. And it repaired their cells so well when they had third-degree burns that they decided they should probably re-brand and use it as a face cream because it had so many healing properties. This is one that I use a couple times a week and/or before big red carpets when I want that extra dewy glow. And I like to put it under the eyeballs as well."
Dior Prestige La Crème Texture Essentielle: "I use Dior Prestige La Crème for my moisturizer."
6. Eye Cream:
Dr. Barbara Sturm Eye Cream: "I usually use Dr. Sturm under-eye cream at night. Something I've learned from makeup artists is that you should pat the under-eye area as opposed to rubbing it because it saves you from getting wrinkles maybe a few days earlier than you would have otherwise."
7. Lip Balms:
L'Occitane Ultra Rich Lip Balm: "Next step is lip moisturizer. This is a L'Occitane en Provence [lip balm], which, if I have to be honest with you, I got this from one of those little travel-sized things on the plane."
Dior Lip Glow Color Reviving Balm: "I get so dry in the middle of the night that I also have to use lip balm, and I also use Dior's lip balm."
8. Spot Treatment:
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Dual Action Acne Treatment: "Now, if I'm having a little bit of an outbreak or a pimple or an uninvited friend that has made my face their home, I consult my friend La Roche-Posay. This is a spot treatment that you only need a very little amount of; it's got retinol in it and you just zap 'em. It's basically like an eviction notice for your face. You tell 'em they gotta go find somewhere else to squat."
Nina’s Skincare Treatments
Dr. Barbara Sturm: "She was introduced to me by a friend of mine who works with her and who has beautiful skin. Dr. Sturm was the first person to come up with the Vampire Facial. I get it, there's a double pun there because I used to be a vampire. [But] it really works. Her Vampire Facials are amazing...."
Déesse Pro LED Mask: "Keep in mind I don't use this every day. I use it maybe twice a week and before big red carpets so that I get that nice glow. It is a product that I, weirdly enough, initially saw on Kate Hudson, on her Instagram. I reached out to her and asked her what that was because she looked like Jason, the killer [from the Friday the 13th movies], and I was scared at first. And then she told me what it does and I was very, very excited by it. It makes you look creepy, though. Total Jason vibes. I usually either use Mode 1, which is red light for anti-aging, or I use Mode 5, which is the red light and the blue light combined, which helps with healing. So for example, if you have a pimple like I do, and you happen to have popped it, like I often do—which you shouldn't do—it heals your pimples really fast. Like, you can have an open pimple, put the mask on, and when you take the mask off, it's gone. It's crazy. It's magic."
"I'm a bit of a spa-holic, is that a thing? AIRE Spa of New York is my go-to here. In London, the Corinthia Hotel. It's insane, the steam rooms and the saunas and the massages, it's one of the most incredible experiences. In Toronto, just outside of Toronto near Blue Mountain, the Scandinavian Spa. It's an outdoor/indoor spa, so especially if you go in the winter, it's snowing and you're going in the hot tubs, you're going from room to room, and it's huge and really cool. The Korean Spa in Los Angeles. It's not fancy—everyone's naked. I'm a steam-room-aholic as well… I have a steam room and a hot tub."
Shape House and Sweatheory: "I don't have an infrared sauna, but I think that's my next step. They're amazing. Shape House in L.A. will wrap you up in infrared, and then Sweatheory is an infrared sauna place in Los Angeles that I go to."
"I also like doing cyrotherapy because [it] really helps tighten your skin and it helps with cellulite and other things."
Nina’s Diet, Exercise and Lifestyle
"I used to eat three full meals and then I would not be able to move after each meal. I would be so full and tired. Now, I eat all the time but portion control is what's important for me—I'm eating more in total but not more at a time. [My trainer] coached me through it, but basically, I aim to have the size of my thumb in fat, the size of my palm in protein, and then unlimited veggies. I wish I'd learned this in school."
"I have a couple of little breakouts happening. I call them aliens... they invade my skin and they're unwelcome guests. But it's kind of my fault. The aliens arrive whenever I cheat. I love cheeseburgers and I love cheese and food and all kinds of things, but I have an intolerance to gluten and dairy and all kinds of different allergies and sensitivities. So when that happens and when I cheat, I have all kinds of tips and things you can do to cover up your pimples like I do."
"One thing that I've learned recently is that dark circles, yes, they happen because you don't sleep a lot. But a lot of the time, dark circles are also because you're dehydrated. So it's super important to drink a lot of water is what I have learned in recent years. I've gotten a lot better at it. I'm still not as good as I should be, but I try."
"I just love working out. Doing something different [each day] has been the most fun, and I've seen the most benefit because you shock your system. I need to sweat every single day somehow, even if it's just in the steam room."
"I put more time and energy into the relationship with my bed than I do with any relationship I've ever had in my life. I always have a sleep mask, because if there’s even a crack of light, I'll be up. I also sleep with a sound machine. Sound machines are my secret weapon because they drown out any noise and keep you in this even-keeled environment that's peaceful and chill. Between those two and chamomile tea, those are my tricks."
"I think anyone and everyone, at some point, has maybe not felt like their best self. What I've learned is that life is just a compilation of days where you just try to live life to the fullest and be happy in any way that you can and try to better yourself. Audrey Hepburn has this quote that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that to be very true. Your smile is your best accessory, and I try to wear it every day if I can."
"At the end of the day, you are what makes you beautiful. Your personality, your aura and who you naturally are."
Shop Nina’s Skincare Routine
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Have you tried anything she uses?