In the 21 years since she released her first album, Jessica Simpson's life in the spotlight has not been without its challenges. The entrepreneur opened up about those experiences in raw detail for her best-selling memoir, Open Book, sharing painful details about her childhood, including her struggles with addiction and sexual abuse. "I have grown into myself and come to a place where I want to be honest about my flaws," she wrote in an excerpt. "If I can do that in front of the world, then I can remain honest with myself."
Simpson's dedication to being an open book (just as the memoir's title promises) has extended beyond honesty about her personal life: Her new approach to beauty is similarly candid. In recent months, the mother-of-three has significantly pared back the signature style we've grown accustomed to since the early 2000s, as long blonde hair extensions, heavy bronzer, and lashes have been put on pause for makeup-free magazine covers and au naturel Instagram posts. In another big reveal, Simpson is opening up for the very first time about her struggles with eczema and encouraging others to do the same through a new partnership with pharmaceutical company Pfizer's medicated ointment, Eucrisa.
"I've had eczema since I was a kid," the star tells me over the phone. "I remember being a cheerleader and being eager to put on my varsity jacket after a game because I had so many bumps on the back of my arms." Simpson's insecurity about her skin left her constantly in search of different ways to hide flare-ups, from wearing long-sleeve tees to hoarding over-the-counter creams.
The skin condition took a backseat for Simpson in early adulthood, until it cropped up again following the birth of her one-year-old daughter Birdie. "I would be cradling my baby or breastfeeding, and my husband would take photos and I would be so embarrassed," Simpson says. "The light would hit my arms and all you could see were bumps, and I never wanted to share those moments." Simpson's doctor prescribed Eucrisa, and within weeks, her red, bumpy patches practically vanished. "If I see a flare-up, I use it, and it's gone," she says.
Simpson is lending her famous face to start a conversation about eczema, but her path to self-love doesn't end there. Earlier this month, she shared a selfie of her extensions-free strands, which she describes as a freeing moment. "I've worn extensions for years because I love long blonde hair, and I'm not saying that I won't ever go back because I am an extension lover," she says. "I was scared to take them out at first, but I love my scalp at the moment — it's been a new world for me."
This new world, Simpson says, is a chance to embrace the more natural, unfiltered side of herself, and become a better person, parent, and businesswoman because of it. "I'm very into embracing my natural beauty," she says confidently. "I'm embracing all of it." She also says that staying at home has allowed her more quality time with her husband and kids. "Yes, sometimes I do want to pull my hair out," she says, "but they've been teaching me so much more than I could ever imagine during this time." Simpson has also been hard at work on upcoming creative projects, which she remained quiet but clearly excited about.
"I encourage everyone to be open and honest about their flaws, whether it's eczema or something you're going through emotionally."
Being a boss at home hasn't stopped her from carving out self-care time in her beauty routine. "I've been spending more time with myself because it's my excuse to walk away and have some me time," she says. "I've been loving red light therapy treatments, which I've been using on my face, neck, and even my boobs after breastfeeding." Simpson credits the treatments (which she does four times a week) to keeping her skin tight and youthful. She also turns to long walks with her family to keep her creative juices flowing and her mind at ease.
Simpson has also joined the legions of people who have become avid maskers while sheltering in place. "My oldest daughter and I do face masks together at night before bed," she says. "Hers are for hydration, and mine are for firming." It's just another piece of the self-care pie — which, paired with Simpson's unshakable sense of self, makes her a true inspiration. "I encourage everyone to be open and honest about their flaws, whether it's eczema or something you're going through emotionally," she says. "Whatever it is, say it out loud, and when you end up on the other side of fear, it'll be so worth it."