Beauty Detail

Poorna Jagannathan Says This Serum Is "Liquid Gold"

The actor shares her go-to skin care and makeup products.

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Poorna Jagannathan on her beauty routine and Ayurvedic beauty routines.
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Beauty Detail
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In Bustle’s Beauty Detail, we dive into the beauty bags of our favorite talents for intel on the rituals that keep them glowing. Here, Poorna Jagannathan tells Bustle all about her Ayurvedic beauty roots, the serum that’s majorly brightened her skin, and the SPF she swears by.

When Poorna Jagannathan was growing up, she was getting the best beauty treatments — and she hated them. “I was steeped in Ayurvedic beauty involuntarily,” she tells Bustle. “My mom would make me a face mask with turmeric and yogurt, and I was like, ‘Please, can someone who goes to America get me a Clean & Clear?’”

Though the Never Have I Ever star, who grew up in India, Ireland, Brazil, Pakistan, and Argentina, admits to rebelling against the all-natural ingredients her mother and aunt would put on her skin and hair, things have recently come full circle. As of this month, Jagannathan has joined forces with cult-favorite Ayurvedic beauty brand Ranavat as its first celebrity ambassador. “When I grew older, I finally understood that these ingredients [my family used] were actually the most natural and effective,” she says. “Of course, in Ayurvedic beauty, it’s not packaged in any way — there’s a DIY element that exists. With Ranavat’s products, you get to use all of these good ingredients, like amla and saffron, and they’re already mixed together.”

Take, for instance, Ranavat’s Mighty Majesty hair oil, which is packed with amla and jasmine. This is a product Jagannathan now loves using to style her hair with — despite dreading her family’s Sunday hair oiling tradition in the past (which, surprise, involved amla). “I used to hate having oil in my hair. No amount of shampoo could wash it off,” she says. “But I’m seeing it become more mainstream and that people even know the notion of it, which is exciting.”

While her beauty routine looks a lot different today than when she was a kid, Jagannathan does have high standards for the skin care and makeup she uses. “I want to use mostly natural formulas, I want the brands to be female-founded, and I want products that are inclusive and have thought of me and my skin’s needs,” she says. Oh, and she doesn’t want to waste any time on formulas that don’t work.

“Look, I’m 50. I’m not using any product that is not effective,” she says. “I will eat a placenta if someone says this will take care of your skin.” In the meantime, she’s relying on tretinoin. “It’s really powerful. I’ll use it once every two weeks, and otherwise use my [Ranavat] Bakuchi Crème,” she says.

Below, Jagannathan shares more must-haves in her beauty routine, including the hydrating serum she always applies before makeup.

The Makeup Remover

“The one thing that’s completely changed about my facial cleansing routine is that I used to use wipes, but I don’t anymore. They’re too drying. So I’ll start by using this makeup spray remover, which just came out from Jamie Greenberg, a makeup artist. I’ll then use a hot towel, and then a creamy cleanser followed by a hot towel again, because the heat opens up your pores a bit and lets the products seep in as much as possible.”

The Brightening Serum

“As a person of color, the second I get acne, I will get a dark spot. The Ranavat Radiant Rani uses saffron oil, which is like liquid gold. It’s no joke — I’ve been using it for hyperpigmentation and even skin.”

The Hydrating Essential

“I’ll always try and put Dr. Barbara Sturm’s hyaluronic acid serum on before makeup. I don’t think I would’ve used her products if she didn’t have a line for darker skin tones, but she does, and she’s inclusive of people like me.”

The Sun Care Staple

“I never used SPF until a couple of years ago, because it just wasn’t made for my skin tone. It’s called a white cast, but it’s just white stripes — [so many sunscreens] make you look like you’re going to a football game. This Live Tinted is great because it not only protects your skin, but actually gives you an unbelievably deep glow. I’ll even use it indoors.”

The MVP Foundation

“For my daily routine, I don’t wear anything too heavy. So I’ll use Iris&Romeo’s tinted moisturizer [with SPF]. So on top of my SPF, I’m putting on more SPF. Brands are finally coming out with shades and tones that enhance, versus detract. I also love Iris&Romeo’s concealer.

The Beauty Tool

“At night, I take the time to use my NuFace. I try to do it five nights a week. At this point, I’ll add in some stuff that’s a little bit time-consuming, but I think it pays off.”

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