You may know Sydney Sweeney as Euphoria’s Cassie Howard. You may also recognize her as Snake, a member of the Manson Family in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood or as Eden Spencer in The Handmaid’s Tale. And after this week, you’ll know her as Juliet Lowe in Amazon Studios’ new supernatural-horror movie, Nocturne.
With all this time spent in the makeup trailer, Sweeney has learned a thing or two about beauty. She has also devoted plenty of her off-hours to developing a consistent routine. With combination skin prone to cystic acne, she’s always walking a fine line between keeping a clear complexion and experiencing a full on freakout, so she’s reluctant to make changes.
“I wish I could just give my current routine to my younger self and save a lot of tears,” Sweeney says. “I grew up just washing my face with water and lathering Nivea all over my face. My mom and grandma did it too, and so when I entered middle school, I followed along. As time went on, my skin became trickier, and I really struggled because I didn’t have access to the type of products my skin needed. Growing up, I would feel like people were just looking at my breakouts and not me.”
Her dermatologist prescribed Epiduo Forte, a prescription topical that combines adapalene (a vitamin-A derivative) and benzoyl peroxide, in high school. Sweeney says the treatment didn’t “cure” her acne — she still gets pimples to this day — but it definitely helped with the severity of the breakouts. It was just “one important step” in her skin-care journey, she says.
This became particularly clear while she was filming Euphoria. Aside from the typical onscreen makeup, her looks regularly called for heavy eyeshadow, sequins, rhinestones, and glitter. “I would clean and clean my face, but the sparkles somehow never left,” she says. “I’d have really good days, then wake up and it would go to shit. Working on a show like that, where we (1) wear a bunch of makeup, (2) don’t sleep as much, and (3) aren’t working out, it becomes a mix of not having as much time for self-care and piling makeup on top of makeup.”
Below, a look at her current routine, including the serum that smells like bacon but really works, the moisturizer she picked up on the set of her forthcoming thriller, The Voyeurs, and the eye patches she uses every morning.
“The first step in my skin-care routine day and night. I was introduced to it on the set of Voyeurs. My skin was irritated from using makeup wipes so often. I wish I’d discovered this in high school! It helps me remove any makeup or just clean my face and prep for my skin care.”
“Because I struggle with combo skin, I tend to need to exfoliate often. I know there are mixed feelings on using exfoliators on your face, but since I started using this one, my breakouts haven’t been as bad, and my makeup lays nicer. I found this by reading a lot of reviews on different exfoliating cleansers.”
“One of my good friends recommended this to me a few years ago, and I’ve been using it ever since. I love the gel texture, and my skin feels really soft afterward. I usually use it in the shower and use it on my chest and shoulders, too.”
“I started using this toner in the past year. It feels really hydrating and calms my skin. I’ve always been a bit hesitant with toners because previous ones would irritate my skin, but this one seems to be a great add in my routine and helps my oils and lotions soak in.”
The Eye Mask
“I started using these during quarantine, and I’ll probably use these every day forward. They are gel patches that feel like they’re covered in a cold slime, which they kind of are. But once you put them on, you feel the cooling effect. I try to leave them on for 20 to 30 minutes. They help me wake up and take away any puffiness or my sleepy eyes. I really feel like I see a difference once I take them off.”
The Eye Cream
“This smells funky, I will admit, like bacon or something strange I can’t put my finger on, but it really does improve the texture of my skin and help with discoloration. I forget who told me to use it, but I remember she had amazing skin and looked really young. I searched it, read great things, and decided to try it in hopes I’ll look halfway decent!”
“A makeup artist during New York Fashion Week used this on me before she put my makeup on two years ago, and I became obsessed. I love the smell of it — though I can’t really figure out the exact scent. It’s like a light perfume of jasmine or apples. It also absorbs really fast, and my skin glows after using it.”
“My makeup artist on Voyeurs, Gillian Chandler, used this on me, and it became my holy grail. I’ve struggled most of my life with finding a morning lotion that would keep my skin hydrated all day and allow makeup to sit on my face while not breaking me out. On Euphoria, we had to constantly take my makeup off and reapply, and we couldn’t find the right combination of products that would work until I was introduced to this. It’s one of my biggest recommendations for anyone looking for a good lotion.”
“I sometimes struggle with dryness and redness, and a lot of lotions clog my pores and make me break out. This formula is thick and creamy and calms any redness or flare-ups I may have. I used to have to use multiple different night creams, but once I got this, I was able to get rid of everything else.”
The Face Oil
The Lip Balm
“It was literally my first lip balm as a kid, and I’ve never used anything else. It’s my everything.”