Emily Ratajkowski Shares Her Go-To Retinol Alternative and French Pharmacy Favorites

Emily Ratajkowski Shares Her Go-To Retinol Alternative and French Pharmacy Favorites

Model, mother, bestselling author, and face of Kérastase, Emily Ratajkowski (better known to the world as EmRata), can now add podcaster to her impressive CV. Here, the High Low host speaks to Vogue about her French pharmacy favorites, tapping into her instinct, and why she’s obsessed with TikTok. 

On how she wakes up in the morning

Well, I have a son—he wakes me up! The first thing I do is change his diaper and get him fed, and then I have coffee and stare at him while he eats. Once that’s done, I take care of my skin. I have gotten a lot better at being good with my skin. In my early twenties, I was just like, “I’m not dealing with this”, but now I put on sunscreen, use toner, and moisturizer. I have a whole routine. Then I get dressed—hopefully quickly, because my closet is relatively organized, and then I’m out the door.

On her secret to amazing hair

I have relatively new bangs. I always say—even off the record—that Kérastase really did change my hair. When I signed [to be an ambassador] with them about five years ago, I didn’t know about good hair products and while I’m actually pretty decent at make-up, I’m not great at hair. I always just thought I had bad hair and that’s what it was. What’s great is that now I don’t have to do much to my hair because it’s all in the care and maintenance. I love the Extentioniste line because it makes my hair grow really fast! I’m somebody whose hair gets to a certain point and then breaks, but with that shampoo, it gets to a longer point. I also really love the oil—it’s lightweight and smells amazing.

Kérastase Resistance Bain Extentioniste

Kérastase Resistance Serum Extentioniste

On her new podcast “High Low”

There are two episodes a week, sometimes three. The first episode is a conversation with a guest, hosted by me. And then the second one is a solo episode, called “EmRata asks”, where I’ll pose a question and then investigate it. The third episode is a subscription episode, where listeners can give feedback and send their thoughts, voice notes and DMs and we open up the conversation. I’ve been working like crazy on it—I’m really excited.

On her skincare routine

I wash my face every night—well, I try to. I use Bioderma—it’s a French drugstore product that’s an amazing makeup remover. It’s the only one that just gets it done and doesn’t feel like it leaves something on your skin, or dries it out. When I’ve washed my face, then I use Biologique Recherche P50—some people don’t love it, but I am somebody for whom retinol is too extreme, so P50 is a happy medium. It balances my skin and I layer it with a pretty thick moisturizer.

Bioderma Sensibio Cleansing Micellar Water Sensitive Skin

On her pharmacy favorites

As well as Bioderma, I love Biafine—it’s a moisturizer. It’s so good. One time I really burned—I had crazy, crazy sunburn—and that was the only thing that healed it. I also love Aquaphor, another amazing product. I also feel like drugstore makeup gets a bad rap, but I think it’s really good. I have some amazing highlighters and bits that are so great. Plus my friend works in make-up development and she’s like, “I’m telling you, they all come from the same factories—it’s just the packaging!”

Eucerin Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm

On rituals that help her to relax and switch off

I watch an hour of TikTok—that’s how I switch off! There is nothing else that feels more entertaining or relaxing for me. My algorithm goes crazy for one sound so right now I’m all about the “Sbagliato”. I also love when people do story times, where they say “one thing about me” and go into a story. I will watch three minutes of those, and then go for part two. TikTok doesn’t feel like social media. It’s like Netflix or Hulu, not like Instagram, and I have learned a lot. It’s funny and makes me feel good about human beings.

On her feelings about social media generally

It’s both somewhere I feel like I have control and a way to connect to people directly, and also a totally toxic time-suck which makes me feel that I’m not present in ways that I really want to be. It’s both. I have a complicated relationship with it. I have the timer set on Instagram for an hour and I generally do go over. I wish I had more advice on it!

On the experience of writing her book My Body

I mean, I didn’t know that I was writing a book about my body until it was basically written, and I was looking for a title. I realized that what I was writing about was the commodification of my body and image, and even the violation of my body, not in the industry, but as a young girl. It definitely changed my relationship with it. My editor advised that the last essay in the book should be a hopeful, where-are-you-now kind of moment, but I didn’t feel that way. I was having a hard time. 

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