Chris Appleton Drops His Skin-Care Routine

·6 min read

Chris Appleton is to thank for the most major hair trends of the past couple years. He is responsible for Ariana Grande’s snatched pony, created J. Lo’s iconic Superbowl waves, made Dua Lipa a blonde for a night, and is behind too many iconic Kim K hair moments to count. It goes without saying—the man knows good hair.

But he also knows a thing or two about skin. Today, Appleton has his antiaging routine on lock, but it wasn’t always this way. “Skin care is interesting for men, because traditionally we’re taught that if you use products as a man, it’s ‘girly,’ and you should only use soap and water because that’s the masculine thing to do,” he tells Glamour. “Obviously, I quickly realized that doesn’t work for youthful-looking skin. Men have been brought up with this conception that you shouldn’t use a lot of products, whereas I think that’s really changing nowadays. Now it’s become okay to use products, and it’s actually good to look after your skin.”

Appleton is no stranger to looking after his skin, and he’s had quite a journey doing so. In his 20s he dealt with severe acne, and he’s done Accutane three separate times. He also had to completely reevaluate his skin after moving to L.A. from London during his 30s. “I really noticed a big difference in just how much damage the sun did to my skin,” he says. “I guess at the age of 30 as well, your skin changes. You’re not 20 anymore. It doesn’t just spring back.”

Luckily, he has his good friend, dermatologist Jason Diamond, MD, on call for any questions. “I’ll always ask him any sun-damage questions, or even down to how to maintain your skin on a daily basis.” Dr. Diamond also gives Appleton a Clear + Brilliant facial every now and then to keep breakouts at bay.

But really, it all comes down to his at-home routine. “A lot of people don’t think I look my age,” he says. “I take care of my skin and I use good products, but I think I’m very regular, very persistent with them. Men need to look after their skin. It doesn’t matter if you’re male, female, whatever you are. It doesn’t matter what filter you use. It doesn’t matter how much makeup you wear, if you’ve got a great face underneath.

“I just like to use stuff that really works,” he says. So what exactly are those products? Read on to find out.


My cleanser

I’m really big on using a good facial wash. I love my SkinMedica cleansing gel. I wash my face every day, sometimes twice a day if I’m filming and they put makeup on me. It’s really gentle, but it does clean the pores really well. I had a problem with acne when I was younger and I still have bouts of it every now and then. So I have to keep my skin super clean and clear.

SkinMedica Facial Cleanser

$40.00, SkinMedica

My serum

As soon as I’m out the shower, I like to use the SkinMedica TNS serum. It’s really good; it gives the appearance of much tighter, smoother skin. It gets rid of wrinkles. And I think the overall texture is really nice. So I put this on, and it has that firming effect and it lifts, which I really, really like.

SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ Serum

$295.00, SkinMedica

My moisturizers

To finish off, I use the HA⁵ by SkinMedica, which is a really beautiful moisturizer, and I’m very loyal to it. It really hydrates and plumps the skin. You know if a balloon was a little deflated, and you just put some air in and it smooths it out? It kind of does that. I feel like it has a nice plumping effect.

Sometimes I use La Mer moisturizing cream. That’s a very new discovery for me; I know a lot of people use it. I was recently on Accutane, and my skin was so painfully dry, it hurt. I felt like a lizard. I was like, “I need the most intense moisturizer.” I’ve actually stopped taking Accutane now, just because I felt like it was freaking me out how dry my skin was. But I use this when I need a little more intense hydration.

SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator

$184.00, SkinMedica

La Mer Créme de La Mer Moisturizing Cream

$190.00, Sephora

My sunscreen

After moisturizer, I use a sun protector. I use the Supergoop Play 50 for my face. Which is great, because I never used to wear sun care and I used to get dragged when I posted my skin-care routine. It’s this English mentality in me. I really had to do therapy about sun care—in England we don’t get sun. So as soon as the sun comes out, we lay in it and we cook.

I had to accept the fact that you’ll still tan when you have sunscreen on, but it was like, “I’m not going to get brown enough.” In England there’s this culture where you go away on holiday and if you don’t come back absolutely tanned, it’s like, “Oh, was it not very hot? Did you not have a good time?” So it definitely took me a minute to get into sun care.

Supergoop! Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50 Sunscreen

$22.00, Supergoop!

My eye cream

I use an eye cream as well. I’m pretty loyal to SkinMedica.

SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair

$106.00, SkinMedica

My masks

Every now and then, I’ll do the Dr. Dennis Gross LED light mask. I use a lot of eye patches in the morning—I like Skin Iceland, or I’ll use the SkinMedica ones. Most brands do good eye patches; they’re quite nice if I’m going to be on camera just to calm my eyes down. I’ve noticed that my eyes get puffier as I’ve gotten older.

Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro

$435.00, Dr. Dennis Gross

Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels

$33.00, Skyn Iceland

SkinMedica Instant Bright Eye Mask

$50.00, SkinMedica

My shaving secret

I use Tend Skin—it’s actually a product for men. It really helps when you shave, because it gets rid of all the bumps and lumps. I don’t ever clean-shave, but if I trim my beard, I always put it on, because it just seems to keep any aggravation down, which really helps me as well.

Tend Skin Razor Bump Solution

$16.00, Amazon

My hair essentials

My hair is bleached blonde, so that’s a big deal. Shampoo-wise, I use the Color Wow Color Security Shampoo just because that really maintains my healthy hair and scalp. It doesn’t leave any product residue behind. And then I use my Money Masque as well, which is super hydrating, because my hair’s quite weak.

Color Wow Color Security Shampoo

$24.00, Color Wow

Color Wow x Chris Appleton Money Masque

$45.00, Color Wow

Bella Cacciatore is the associate beauty editor at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore_.

Originally Appeared on Glamour