Cate Blanchett On Plastic Surgery, Emu Oil, And Her “Lazy” Skin Care Routine

Hands down, our biggest skin idol has to be Cate Blanchett. It's gotten to the point that when we're looking to buy a new face lotion, we ask the salesperson point blank, "Will this make me look like Cate Blanchett?" That answer, sadly, is almost always no, unless they're working on commission. So, when we were given the rare opportunity to talk with the lovely lady herself, we kind of freaked out. What do you ask the woman who is the embodiment of elegance and class?
Well, if you're us, you ask her about every little detail involving her skin care routine. Cate, who's just as regal, charming, and brilliant in person as she appears on screen, took time out of her busy schedule to tell us all about how she keeps that famous complexion so flawless, as well as a few more of her tried-and-true beauty secrets, at the launch of SK-II's new LXP serum and cream (she's an avid fan and spokesperson for the brand). We didn't think it was possible, but we're even more in love with her now. Read on to find out why.

You've been a big fan of SK-II long before you signed on as a spokesperson. How did you get started with the products?
"Well, I’ve been using it for a long time, I think it’s about 10 years now, and I’ve been with them for about eight. A friend of mine in London who’s a makeup artist put me on to it. It was sort of the whitening range, really, and pretty soon — I’ve always used The Essence, which I suppose is the most mysterious thing in the line. And then I got into the LXP, which is great, because they’ve just relaunched it. I mean, the wonderful thing about working with them is that you get the products in advance. So, I’ve actually been
using the new serum, probably for a couple of months."

Do you ever see a difference in your skin after switching to a new product?
"I think so, because it’s about consistency. It’s hard, because we look at ourselves in the mirror every day, and all we see are the flaws. But having used it every day for a decade now, I think I’ve definitely seen a difference. I think only time will really tell.

"You know, with the sun being as harsh as it is. We were away on a Christmas holiday for a week in the tropics, and we took the kids, and I didn’t pack anything, and I didn’t use anything. We came back, and I really noticed that I hadn’t been using it. So, in instances like that, I definitely do."

What do you do every day to your skin to keep it looking to amazing?
"The things I definitely always do is use The Essence, and then I used to use the Repair C, but now I use the LXP more. It’s still really hydration and the serum, which is about the texture, and moisturizing, and in the end for me, it’s sunscreen with UVB. I’m really lazy, so you know, if it works, I just keep using it."

What other products do you use?

"The only other thing I use would be essential oils — there’s an oil that I use called emu oil. In indigenous Australian culture, that’s the first oil they put on a baby because it’s so hydrating. If you’ve got sunburn or you’ve had a scar, or anything — it’s incredible. I’ll use that on the kids, and on the elbows. [I also use] papaw ointment. It’s all pretty basic."

Photo: Leandro Justen/


Does your regimen change when you have to wear stage makeup night after night?

"I would just cleanse more and I’d use more of the Essence. It’s like you drink more water — I’ve been drinking a lot of coconut water, actually. That’s what I tend to live on when I’m on stage. I drink a lot of
coconut water and I put The Treatment Essence on in heaps."

One of the things we've always admired about you is that you embrace the concept of healthy skin care over taking the easy way out with cosmetic enhancements. Are you totally against plastic surgery?
"It’s been a decade, or probably more, of people doing interventionist stuff with their face and their bodies,
and I think now, emerging from that, people are saying long-term it’s not so great. Look, I’m not sitting on a soapbox saying to women what they should and shouldn’t do, I just know what works for me. I’m pretty frightened about what this means long-term, and in the end, if you have all this stuff done — maybe it’s different when you get to 60, but I’m looking at women in their 20's doing this kind of stuff. I don’t think it’s just on women that work in the film industry — I think it’s women everywhere. In the end, you only see the work. It doesn’t fill me with admiration, it fills me with pity. You still can’t stave off the anxiety that you can see in their eyes."


What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever been given?
"Usually it’s 'don’t do this,' and it’s usually from women who have done it. Which is not particularly revolutionary, but [things like] don’t curl your eyelashes all the time, because they end up growing straight, or don’t overpluck your eyebrows because they won’t grow back — that kind of stuff. There’s certain things I won’t do. I think blue eyeshadow should only be applied by professionals. I think we do so much to ourselves — I don’t know whether it’s boredom, but do less. Read a book, go for a walk. I don’t engage in social media because I don’t have the patience, but you must get talked at…'this is the best
thing ever!' So noisy."

Any beauty secrets you swear by?
"We’re always looking for the new thing! I’m very old-fashioned — I do the old glass of lemon juice in water in the morning."

What does that do for you?
"I just think it keeps your system going. I think it’s like people who get into colonic therapy — there’s a logic behind it. The French have been doing it, the Egyptians did it. There are certain things in ancient practices that are not worth adhering to — I’m not going to bathe in my own urine."

Are you a very healthy eater by nature?
"It comes and goes. I’m pretty stable. You end up eating more, with three boys in the house, you end up eating garbage, but then you end up running after them, so it balances out."


You’re a bit of a role model for the pale girls of the world. What are your thoughts on the sun?
"I think you’re going to get it anyway. But I do think you get a lot of sun damage, and I don’t think you
really realize until you get to your late 20's. It’s like being in a microwave, really — you sort of cook from the inside and then you realize you’re overcooked."

Were you using sunscreen a lot and staying out of the sun at that age?
"Yeah, my mother was big on it, and I had pale skin. I realized I was never going to tan, so I went the other way."

Photo: Via Harrods

More from Celebs & Influencers

R29 Original Series