Reviewing Pharrell Williams’ Skincare Routine

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How to cite: Wong M. Reviewing Pharrell Williams’ Skincare Routine. Lab Muffin Beauty Science. February 8, 2019. Accessed June 15, 2024.

This week’s video is about musician and producer extraordinaire Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes, NERD and “Happy” fame. He’s well known for never seeing to age (often attributed to the fact that he may be a vampire). Here he is at 43:

Pharrell Williams' Skincare Routine
NASA/Kim Shiflett
Pharrell Williams' Skincare Routine
NASA/Joel Kowsky

He’s revealed bits of his skincare routine in dribs and drabs in interviews throughout the years, so I decided to have a look at what ingredients feature in his products, and whether the rest of his skincare advice is solid.

Click here to watch the video.

The specific products he’s mentioned in interviews:

Of course, the products he says he uses might not be the products he actually uses, or what actually makes a difference to his skin (hello undisclosed celebrity partnerships, unreliable self-reporting and hidden procedures), but that’s all we have to go on.

He also talks a bit about “exfoliating like a madman” and drinking water, both of which I have lots of thoughts on.

More about exfoliation: The Essential Guide to Exfoliation

Overall his routine looks like a pretty good routine for oily skin, and his non-product-related advice isn’t totally off-base, which is pretty rare! There are a couple of things he could add to his routine to make it better, but on the whole we’re on solid ground.

Related post: Skincare and Make-up Tips for Oily Skin

(It’s also possible that there’s a little bit of botox going on there too, since his dermatologist is an expert on the topic.)

Check out the video for the full rundown!

Are there any other celebrity routines you’ve been eyeing?

References mentioned in the video

Davies MA, Salicylic acid deposition from wash-off products: comparison of in vivo and porcine deposition models, Int J Cosmet Sci. 2015, 37, 526-31. DOI: 10.1111/ics.12229

Shalita AR, Comparison of a salicylic acid cleanser and a benzoyl peroxide wash in the treatment of acne vulgaris, Clin Ther. 1989, 11, 264-7.

Ananthapadmanabhan KP et al., Cleansing without compromise: the impact of cleansers on the skin barrier and the technology of mild cleansing, Dermatol Ther 2004, 17 Suppl 1, 16-25.

Tsang M & Guy RH, Effect of Aqueous Cream BP on human stratum corneum in vivo, Br J Dermatol. 2010, 163, 954-8. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2010.09954.x

Mohammed D et al., Influence of Aqueous Cream BP on corneocyte size, maturity, skin protease activity, protein content and transepidermal water loss, Br J Dermatol. 2011, 164, 1304-10. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2011.10338.x

Danby SG et al., The effect of aqueous cream BP on the skin barrier in volunteers with a previous history of atopic dermatitis, Br J Dermatol. 2011, 165, 329-34. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2011.10395.x

Akdeniz M et al., Does dietary fluid intake affect skin hydration in healthy humans? A systematic literature review, Skin Res Technol. 2018, 24, 459-465. DOI: 10.1111/srt.12454

Carroll AE, No, You Do Not Have to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day, New York Times, 25 Aug 2015 (accessed 7 Feb 2019).

Jones E & Charles CA, Botulinum Toxin A. In Alexis AF & Barbosa VH (eds), Skin of Color: A Practical Guide to Dermatologic Diagnosis and Treatment, Springer 2013.

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14 thoughts on “Reviewing Pharrell Williams’ Skincare Routine”

  1. Um… ACETONE in the toner??? I’m not surprised about the SLS in the Cetaphil wipes, since I see it in so many cleanser-type products, but this is the first time I’ve come across acetone aside from nail polish remover!

  2. Did you say i should hit the ‘nerdification’ button to stay apprised of when you post videos? Because i’m certain i must’ve already engaged that button years ago, so i’m most likely set. Thanks anyway, though, i appreciate the sentiment. Muchlove, suki

  3. Haha. Hilarious. I always enjoy your posts!!!! You mentioned at the end that there are good anti agin products. Are there any that actually work? I am new to your site. So could you give me some links to previous posts?

  4. GLYTONE Acne Clearing Toner has Acetone as the first inactive ingredient. And no water. Did you miss it, or you think Acetone is OK for the skin; especially that high concentration? It also has fragrance. With no sunscreen. I don’t think his routine deserves A!

    • The inactive ingredients in the Toner are listed in alphabetical order, so the acetone is likely not at that high a concentration. Fragrance also isn’t a big issue unless your skin is sensitive – the big positive with things that make a product more pleasant to use is that it increases compliance.

  5. He has good genes for sure ! My husband is 42 and looks just as young, everyone thinks he’s 15 years younger and he has no skincare routine 🙁

  6. I would say this has a lot more to do with a combination of oily skin( blessing or curse?) And great genetics, it’s well known that poc age much nicer than us fellow caucasians. I don’t dispute a solid skincare routine, as great hygiene is important for all, but can’t deny the influence of genetically as well. First time commentor, long time reader 🙂

  7. I love all you videos, it gives me clarity and…love <3 haha. When I discover you I saw ALL your videos in a marathon (worth it).
    Now…I found your blog, more to learn haha.

    I have been wondering: Hyaluronic acid.
    It is said that after 20-22 years, you start producing less hyaluronic acid. I have seen using it as fillers or creams, but other said that the cream really doesn't do anything.
    If interest you, I would be glad to read/listen what you think about it.

    Abril 🙂


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