If you came of age in the 2000s, the heyday of Disney Channel Original Movies, there's a good chance you spent many Friday nights singing along as Adrienne Bailon Houghton belted out our favorite jams in The Cheetah Girls. A lot has changed since then for the 36-year-old. She's now married and appears on the nationally syndicated talk show The Real, but one thing that's remained almost curiously frozen in time is her skin. She looks like a teenager, and being the skincare sleuths we are, we need answers.
Whether you watch Houghton on TV or follow her on YouTube or Instagram, you've definitely borne witness to this seeming skincare sorcery for yourself. "When I was younger, I would fall asleep with my makeup on, and I didn't wear SPF every day, or at all, which was damaging to my skin," she admitted when we inquired about what we were convinced would be a lifelong commitment to skincare.
"It's now, in my 30s, that I realize I need to nurture my skin to preserve its youthfulness and overall health. I have sensitive skin that can become irritated when overwhelmed with too many products or treatments, so I've learned to invest in products and ingredients that work for me."
We really aren't surprised to hear that a pared-back routine is the key to Houghton's youthful glow. It's a tendency we're seeing more and more from women working on every skin goal from treating acne to staying ahead of aging. And while Houghton treats herself to regular facials (The Elements facial at ThibianT MedSpa in Beverly Hills and the sculpting facials at FaceGym in West Hollywood are among her favorites), it's her less-is-more approach that lends itself to skin she's proud to show off in front of the bright lights and cameras on set each day. "My skincare priorities at this point in my life center on building great habits and maintaining a routine that includes taking my makeup off each night, moisturizing, and just paying attention to what my skin needs on any given day," she says. That's a philosophy we can get behind. Ahead, check out the exact routine that keeps Houghton's skin looking positively primetime-ready.
"I love this cleanser because it's super gentle. It's perfect for skin sensitivities like rosacea, but it removes any buildup from creams I put on the night before."
"I use the Caudalie Elixir when I get out of the shower. It's refreshing and works to rebalance and detoxify your skin while protecting it from pollutants."
Hyaluronic Acid Serum
"Dr. Sturm's Hyaluronic Acid Serum is a cult favorite. It soothes the skin while giving it an ultra-hydrating boost."
"Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer is my all-time favorite moisturizer. I went through a period where my skin was extremely sensitive and would become irritated from almost everything. This moisturizer doesn't irritate my skin, and it keeps it moisturized and dewy."
Moisturizing Eye Cream
"Be gentle around your eye area when applying creams and makeup, or even taking off your makeup," Houghton adds, "The skin around your eyes is delicate, and over time, rubbing and pulling can be damaging. I've always been told to use the weakest finger, your ring finger, to apply creams in a light dabbing motion. I use the La Mer Eye Concentrate to target fine lines, dark circles, wrinkles, and puffiness."
"I apply the Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum all over my face and neck. It's another cult classic that I love for its anti-aging benefits and for creating clear, even-toned, firm skin."
"The first beauty-related thing I do when I get to set every day is jade-roll my face. I tend to wake up super puffy, so I keep a jade roller in my fridge at The Real and use it to increase circulation, filter out toxins, and press my moisturizer deeper into my skin."
"I never had problematic skin [when I was younger], so I didn't think much about skincare in my 20s. I didn't have a regimen, and I didn't even use SPF," says Houghton. Of course, she's not the only woman who showed up a little late to the SPF game, but now she's diligent about applying the stuff daily.
"I've learned over the years how to modify my makeup to look best both on and off screen, when I'm performing live, hosting on television, attending red carpet events, or attending in-person meetings," Houghton says. "For The Real, my makeup is much heavier, and we use matte products that won't move or look oily on screen. For everyday, I'm very much a Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer girl. I love a dewy look that creates a light, youthful glow."
"I wash my face in the shower with Peach & Lily Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser. It cleanses my skin of all the makeup from the day without stripping it of moisture. It also helps to rebalance and soothe my skin after wearing heavy makeup all day."
"I've been loving Dior's new Capture Totale collection at nighttime. Right now I'm using the Dior Capture Totale C.E.L.L. Energy High-Performance Treatment Serum-Lotion, followed by the Firming and Wrinkle-Correcting Crème and the Firming and Wrinkle-Correcting Eye Cream."
"This line has been perfect for the winter months, giving my skin the extra moisture it needs without feeling too heavy."
Firming Eye Cream
Houghton likes to cap off her Dior-filled evenings with this moisturizing eye cream.
"My favorite lip moisturizer is Glossier's Balm Dot Com in Coconut."
"I use Bio-Oil Skincare Oil all over my body to hydrate without leaving my skin sticky before bed."
Silk Sleep Mask
"I sleep with my Slip eye mask, which sets the tone for a restorative night's sleep and protects the skin around my eyes from wrinkles."
"Drink water! I know everyone says this, but what you put in your body will show on your face. I eat a plant-based diet, avoid processed foods, I rarely drink alcohol, and I’m mindful of drinking enough water throughout the day."