At just 19-years-old Olivia Holt has already released her debut EP Olivia, has an encyclopedia’s worth of film credits, and last spring added beauty campaign to her resume when she was named Neutrogena’s latest ambassador. While Holt may not be the average teenager, like the rest of her peers she can’t escape breakouts (along with us adults, too). Since partnering with the skincare brand to launch its Light Therapy Acne Mask last spring, and now its new Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment stick set to launch in July, you can bet that Holt has picked up a few acne-fighting tips along the way. So, naturally, we had to grill her on them. We spoke with the singer and actress about dealing with zits and all things skincare.
Since partnering with Neutrogena, what surprising things have you learned about skincare and your own skincare routine?
I think my skin type. For a while I had no idea what products I should be using on my skin, and what my skin wanted or needed. Since working with Neutrogena I’ve really found out what I need to use and how to use it. It’s interesting because for a while I thought I always needed to put on as many spot treatments or as many moisturizers as I could. I realized I have very dry skin so I have to put SPF on and keep my skin hydrated. So, my routine definitely changed because I learned about my skin type.
Once you started using the right skincare products, what differences did you start to see in your complexion?
I saw a massive improvement! I think my skin wasn’t as dry anymore; it didn’t feel tight; it felt like I could move it. Since I was using the right types of products I wasn’t breaking out as much anymore, which is the ultimate goal.
A face mask while watching Netflix is a classic combo. What’s your ritual/routine for using Neutrogena’s new Light Therapy Spot Treatment and Light Therapy Mask?
I think it changes depending on what kind of day it is or how busy I am, but I like to do it at night because that’s usually when I have the most downtime. Before I go to bed I’ll make sure I have a fresh, clean face with nothing on it and I’ll put the Light Therapy Acne Treatment Mask ($35; target.com) on or I’ll use the spot treatment. It only takes 10 minutes, and with the spot treatment, even less now. It’s really cool how you’re able to just veg out and watch TV, paint your nails, or talk to a friend over FaceTime. It’s a very easy, simple thing to do, and you can do anything while using it.
I think it’s a very therapeutic, satisfying feeling to take off your makeup. I live for the Neutrogena Makeup Wipes ($5; target.com). The second I get home or second I get in my car after a really long day, I’ll that to my face and it’s just a rejuvenating feeling. It’s like a restart and refresh. Taking off your makeup and going to bed with a clean face and waking up that way is such a satisfying feeling.
What is your go-to method for getting rid of blemishes?
First and foremost—but also the most challenging—is not touching it. That’s the number one thing I really struggle with. When I see something I want to pick at it and get rid of it as fast as I can, but I think it’s so important to just let it do its thing. Also, it’s important to treat it as much as you can, whether it’s moisturizing it or putting spot treatment on it. It’s about finding that right thing to treat those little blemishes that pop up (of course on the days you don’t want them).
Now that you’re 19 and approaching the end of your teens, how has your approach to beauty and skincare changed?
It went from not caring to excessively picking, pinching, and not buying the right products for my skin to probably not caring again. Then, finally, understanding what my skin needs and making sure I’m drinking water throughout the day and keeping my skin hydrated, wearing as much SPF as possible, and moisturizing. I think now I actually care because I have a full understanding and I’m very educated on what my skin needs and wants. Now, it takes me 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night. Before, it took me forever because I wasn’t sure exactly what I was using or how to use it. I think the reason I didn’t care was because I wasn’t seeing a difference. Once you start seeing that difference is when you start caring more.
You share a lot on social media as part of your career. When you have bad skin days you’re still expected to do it. What advice do you have for teen girls on dealing with self-confidence and negative comments on social media?
First off, I’m so lucky to work with a team that cares about people’s skin and confidence. Being in a generation that’s full of people really struggling with that—as well as myself—I should say that it’s easy and I think that we should accept that and understand that there’s going to be those days where there’s nothing you can do about it. I think it’s so important, at least for me anyway, to really surround myself with people who are supporting me and making me feel confident. It takes a minute to find that circle of family or friends that do that. That’s what’s saved me in the end because sometimes it’s hard to brush those comments off and accept the fact that these people really have nothing better to do in their lives than give you that negative feedback.
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I think it’s really cool that the light up mask and now spot treatment has helped open up the conversation about acne on social media where everything is super curated.
That’s the cool part about it is that it’s not something that people are ashamed of anymore or nervous about sharing because it’s such a cool feature, and there’s nothing really quite like that out there. It makes you want to be a part of that community, share it, feel welcomed, and proud that you have the confidence in that realm.