Jennifer Garner and Kerry Washington Shared the Beauty Words of Wisdom They're Passing Down to Their Children

The actresses and BFFs have developed some pretty poignant insight about feeling good in your own skin — and you might want to take notes.

Photo: Getty Images

When it comes to celebrity moms, few seem cooler than Jennifer Garner and Kerry Washington. With three children each, the longtime pals and Neutrogena brand ambassadors most recently proved their boss mom status when sharing the sage beauty advice they want to pass along to their kids. And guess what? It has nothing to do with a buzzy product or an elaborate skin-care routine.

In a joint interview with Entertainment Tonight, the actresses opened up about their work on a new campaign with Neutrogena that aims to promote and raise awareness of skin health equity and how they're, in ET's words, "keeping it real" while raising a family in the spotlight. The two went on to share the messages about beauty and self-image they hope to share with their kiddos.

"You can only hope that your kids feel great just [being] themselves. Just as they are," said Garner. "Whatever form that is, you just want your kids to feel as beautiful as you see them yourself." (

Garner shares daughters Violet, 16, and Seraphina, 13, and son Samuel, 9, with ex-husband Ben Affleck, while Washington shares daughter Isabelle, 7, and son Caleb, 5, with husband, Nnamdi Asomugha. She's also heling to raise Asomugha's teenage daughter from a previous relationship.

As the duo went on to divulge their beauty-related words of wisdom, they both called upon experiences with their own mothers. For Garner, this meant sharing the same advice her mom once bestowed upon the award-winning actress: to look in the miror less (yes, less). "I think that it's really important to look in the mirror less, that's kind of what I tell people," she said. "Just spend more time looking out instead of looking in a mirror and focus on what you can do for other people. I swear it will make you feel prettier and make you feel better about yourself."

Last year, Garner spoke to Glamour about her mother's insight, explaining that she "lived [this advice] more than talking about it." Apparently, Mama Garner would say, "As you get older, the temptation is to stare into the mirror and focus on what's changing, and here's the secret: Don't look! Just care less, be grateful that you're getting older, and use the time you have to be leaving the world a little bit better instead of staring at yourself in the mirror and worrying."

During their conversation with ET, Washington also reflected on the ways in which her mom helped her develop her self-worth as a young Black girl, despite whatever narrow societal ideals or messaging she received from others. But unlike Garner, the Scandal alum was raised to view looking at yourself in the miror as a way to strengthen your mental wellbeing.

"I think in Black and Brown communities, like, I remember being taught as a little girl how important it was to look in the mirror and see beauty in the mirror because society was not giving me that message," explained Washington. "So it was important for me to give that message to myself and get that message from my family and friends… It really is this balance of learning to look in the mirror with positive messages." (Read more: How Eurocentric Beauty Standards Harm Black Women)

But that's not the only way Washington was also taught to value her skin and, in turn, herself while growing up. "I had eczema my whole life, so I went to dermatologists the way other people went to pediatricians," she recalled. "I think my mom really taught me that your skin is worth taking care of. You know she dragged me to all those dermatologist offices to make sure I could get the care that I needed."

"She made me feel like I deserved to feel good in my skin. No matter how different I was or how unique I was or how problematic I was made to feel," added Washington.

So, if you weren't already jotting down Garner and Washington's insight thus far, you might want to grab a pen and at least write that last statement down. Because whether or not you're a fan of looking in the mirror, it's important to remember that you deserve to feel good in your skin no matter what.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles