Chances are, you’ve seen Padma Lakshmi just about everywhere—that’s because she’s done literally everything in her career, as a chef, actress, model, cookbook author, and Top Chef host. And any time she’s on your TV screen, on the red carpet, or even at home whipping up Indian food with her daughter on Instagram, her complexion is flawless (have never seen any hint of a blemish on her, ever). So what are her secrets? Keep scrolling.
First of all, Padma has admitted that she doesn’t use a ton of big-brand skincare products. Her go-to beauty solutions are natural, like tea tree oil for fighting breakouts, and even honey, which she sometimes slathers on her face before hopping in the shower (more on that later).
Plus, her glowy, ageless skin can also be attributed to good genes. She does use a high SPF, and is careful about her sun exposure, especially to combat hyperpigmentation in her skin, but other than that doesn’t experience much wrinkling.“I really don’t wrinkle much—my mother is 73 and she doesn’t have many wrinkles,” she shared with Into The Gloss>>>P.
For more of Padma’s skincare remedies, must-have products in her medicine cabinet, and the recipe that she swears is a skin-saver, read on.
Jojoba oil is one of her fave multi-use beauty tricks.
“I use a lot of natural remedies. It’s my Indian heritage coming out,” Padma told Into The Gloss>>>P. She’s known to use jojoba oil in a variety of different ways: to nourish her hair and help it shine, hydrate her skin (some people even use it as a natural way to treat eczema), or just as an additional moisturizer in the bath.
“I will use jojoba oil—either to do a treatment for my hair, and I just put a little cup of it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Or I use it on my skin, in the bath, or after for massage,” she said. She will never shy away from a DIY beauty moment either.”I make my own tinctures in that oil, depending on what I need,” Padma added.
She steams with tea tree oil to beat breakouts.
In an interview with Byrdie>>>P, Padma dropped another natural remedy: tea tree oil.”When I’m doing Top Chef>>>P, I’m putting on TV makeup every day, and all day they’re adding powder, so my skin can get clogged and I can break out,” she said. To combat breakouts, she does a makeshift facial to unclog her pores.”I always just ask for a big bowl of boiling water (you can just make it with a kettle), and I put five or six drops of tea tree oil in that boiling water. Then I take a big towel, put it over my head, and I steam my face,” Padma explained.
If you’re not feeling the steaming trick, a tiny dab of tee tree oil will work.”You can take a tiny Q-tip, dip it into the tea tree, and use that right on top of a zit. That’s okay. It’s better than toothpaste, which can really do a number on your skin and dry the skin around the pimple,” Padma said. But if you can go for the full steamer, Padma recommends it.”I find that just steaming your face like that once or twice a week, if you’re under stress>>>P, have worn a lot of makeup a lot of days in a row, or haven’t been eating well, is just another way to keep your skin clean. It doesn’t cost a lot of money. If I can’t get to my facialist, sometimes I will do that and I’ll also do a clay mask,” she shared.
She’s super loyal to her facialists, and their products.
Speaking of her facialist, Padma has two that she’s been going to for years and buying their skincare lines: Christine Chin and Tracie Martyn, she told Byrdie.“I’ve been going to Christine Chin for at least a dozen years. I look to her to give me the tough love I need to take care of my skin,” she added in an interview with The Cut>>>P. She brings all her hyperpigmentation concerns to Christine, who is known for giving kinda painful facials, but getting the job done.”She knows I spend a lot of unnecessary time in the sun because of filming. I need her to help counteract all the sun damage and hyperpigmentation. She usually does a mcirodermabrasion and extractions,” Padma said.
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Padma’s big on Christine’s products, too.”I really like Christine’s hydrating toner and daily renewal serum>>>P. And her moisturizing mask ($34) is amazing, especially when you’re tired,” Padma said when speaking with Byrdie>>>P.”I do that, like, twice a week when I’m on Top Chef>>>P. I keep it in the fridge then just put it on (it’s super gooey), lie down for 20 minutes, and listen to a podcast. You don’t even have to wash it off actually—just sleep with it.”
As for Tracie Martyn, Padma loves her green Enzyme Exfoliant mask. And she uses Tracie’s face cream for another purpose, actually.”I also like her Face Resculpting Cream>>>P, which I actually use on my thighs. But that cream can actually get really pricey, especially considering the sheer area of thigh that you want to cover,” Padma admitted to Byrdie.
This green juice recipe is what she claims as one of her skin secrets.
“I think a lot about beauty comes from what you put into your body, not just on your skin. So it has to do with eating well, drinking a lot of water, and eating a lot fruits and vegetables,” Padma said in an interview with Vogue India>>>P.
Basically, she starts her daily beauty routine with a special green juice recipe.”It usually has kale, spinach, carrots, beet, some ginger and some turmeric. It can have other vegetables which are in the house [as well]. Whatever there is, goes into that blender,” she said. Then comes the rest of her regimen.
“After the juice, I tend to just cleanse my skin or refresh it with toner. Then, if I’m just taking my kid to the bus stop or to school if I have the time, it’s not much more than that. My daughter likes to tell me to drop her off at school looking like Top Chef Padma, but I usually do it looking like Gym Padma. And that means minimal makeup,” Padma shared. Her other beauty secret is keeping it fresh-faced whenever she’s not on camera:”When I’m not working, I try to not wear too much makeup, and keep my skin as clean as possible.”
She DIYs a honey face mask that sets while she showers.
“The biggest thing for skin, and it doesn’t cost a lot of money, is honey. When I used to travel and I didn’t have a lot of money, I would always find honey on the breakfast tray at a hotel or something,” Padma admitted to Byrdie>>>P.
Her favorite use of honey? In the shower.”I just use plain old honey in the shower to draw out any impurities in my face. It’s antibacterial, but it’s also a smoothing agent,” she told Into The Gloss>>>P. Make sure you apply it before hopping in the shower, though.”You cleanse your skin, and then put the honey on a dry face—if you put honey on a wet face, it’ll slide,” Padma explained.”Then you just play the piano on your skin.”
By”play the piano on your skin” (haha) Padma means,”you just tap your fingers on your face, almost like you’re playing piano on your skin,” she elaborated in the Byrdie interview. “And what that does is pull out the impurities in your pores without upsetting the pH balance,” she claimed.”The honey is really gentle. And the suction of pulling the honey away with your fingers, which it sticks to, actually removes the impurities.” Once you’re done, you just rinse it all off, Padma said.
To remove her makeup, she’s known to use this drugstore pick.
When asked about her nighttime beauty routine and how she gets”unready” from the Emmys in a 2019 interview with The Cut>>>P, Padma admitted that she keeps it super simple, and uses a drugstore makeup remover to take it all off. Yup, that’s right, she goes for Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes >>>P. (You can snag a pack for just $5!).
So there you have it: That’s Padma’s (mostly natural) routine to keeping her skin clean, clear, and free from aging or dark spots. Now you’ll just need some honey and you can get to”playing the piano” on your face!