Jennifer Garner And Kerry Washington On Teaching Their Kids To Value Their Own Skin

by Marie Holmes
Kevin Mazur/VF16/WireImage/Getty Images

Celebrity moms and IRL friends Jennifer Garner and Kerry Washington shared the beauty advice they plan to pass on to their children in a segment for Entertainment Tonight.

The actors, who have known each other for a decade, recalled what their own mothers taught them about beauty.

Garner remembers her mom encouraging her to look in the mirror less, and offers the same advice now. “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,” she said.

Washington also spoke of learning to define beauty on her own terms as a Black woman: “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,” she said. “It was important for me to give that message to myself and get that message from my family and friends.”

Washington shared that she struggled with eczema as a child, and her mother taught her to advocate for the health of her skin.

“I went to dermatologists the way other people went to pediatricians,” Washington remembered. “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,” Washington continued. “No matter how different I was or how unique I was or how problematic I was made to feel,” added Washington.

Both women maintain their glowing complexions while juggling a full career and the parenting of three children. Garner is mom to Violet, 16, Seraphina, 13, and Samuel, 9, whom she co-parents with her ex, Ben Affleck. Washington parents Isabelle, 7, Caleb, 5, and the teenage daughter her husband, Nnamdi Asomugha, has from a previous relationship.

“You can only hope that your kids feel great just as themselves, just as they are,” said Garner. “You just want your kids to feel as beautiful as you see them yourselves.”

Garner and Washington are partnering with Neutrogena in the Heroes of Skin Health Equity campaign, which launched this week on TikTok with a live broadcast awards show hosted by both actors. Awardees included Malone Mukwende, founder of Hutano, who, as a 22-year-old medical student, published a handbook that illustrates how skin conditions present on darker skin tones.

“This is a new effort that celebrates influential voices that are working to close the gap to skin health equity for those of us with Black and brown skin,” Washington told ET.