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“I don’t think in my entire life, even when I was in college and blackout drunk, I’ve ever gone to bed without washing my face,” says Richa Moorjani. The actress, who plays Kamala in Mindy Kaling’s Never Have I Ever — the second season of which is due out on Netflix on Thursday, July 15 — says there was always a little voice in the back of her head telling her to do her skin-care routine, and it sounded a lot like her mom. Moorjani says, “My mom is a skin-care freak — she has the most beautiful skin in the world. She taught me the importance of all the different products I use, everything from serums to wearing a good night cream to always wearing SPF during the day — that’s a big one.”
Inspired by her switch to veganism, the actress changed out her entire routine for “clean” and cruelty-free products over the past year. “I became vegan because I was learning about what happens to animals in the food industry, as well as what happens to animals when they’re used for skin-care and makeup products,” she says. “I started to care a lot more about everything that I was consuming, from what I was wearing to what I was eating to what I was putting on my skin.” An added benefit: Her chronically dry skin loved the change.
She’s also begun to lean more towards Ayurvedic-inspired brands. “Ayurveda is a whole science,” says Moorjani. “It’s everything from what you eat to what you wear on your skin to your lifestyle. I don’t follow a very regimented Ayurvedic lifestyle, but I do know that there are a lot of ingredients, whether they’re in your food or what you wear on your skin, that are very good for you. Turmeric, for example, is now very popular in the West, but it’s something we’ve been using for thousands of years in India. Ultimately, Ayurveda is creating a balance between your mind, body, and soul, and I love that.”
Below, the actress shares her current nighttime routine, including the oil cleanser that removes every last bit of makeup, the serum she calls her “favorite product ever,” and the cooling eye cream she uses in the mornings.
The Oil Cleanser
“While I was shooting the second season of Never Have I Ever, at the end of the day, the makeup artist would give me a makeup wipe, and those are not good at all. They would always dry out my skin and leave me feeling itchy and looking red. So I was looking for something that was very hydrating because a lot of makeup removers can be very drying, too. I went to Sephora and found this one. I liked the fact that it was oil because I tend to have very dry skin. It’s really easy; you just put a few drops on your hands, warm them, and then you rub it all over your face like any other face wash. It looks like a hot mess when your mascara is all over, but after that, you put a little bit of water on your face, and everything washes off. When you pat your skin dry, it’s all magically gone. Your skin actually feels clean and fresh and hydrated but not dried out like when you use a makeup wipe.”
The Cream Cleanser
“I love this cleaner so much. It smells like roses, and it’s owned by a South Asian woman, Michelle Ranavat — she sent the line to me while we were shooting season two of Never Have I Ever. I have to use a makeup remover before it, but once my makeup is off, it leaves my skin feeling so fresh and soft.
I love the brand because it’s Ayurveda-inspired so all of the ingredients are natural and really good for your skin. I also think the packaging is really cool. The products come in these beautiful boxes. I feel so bad throwing them away!”
“I actually just started using this toner very recently. The brand also sent it to me, and I had never really used a toner before because I never really understood the point of using one. I still don’t really think I need it, but I just like it as an extra thing to do, and it feels really fresh and just good on my skin.
They say you can use a cotton ball or your fingertips to apply it — I like to use a cotton ball because I feel like that does more. I used to have a bad habit of rubbing my face really hard with everything, and my mom was like, ‘What are you doing?!’ cause she’s a skincare freak. She was the one who taught me to be more gentle and pat products on.”
“My makeup artist gave this to me while we were shooting. I love sprays — I love the feeling of them throughout the day to refresh my skin, but I use them at night, too. I’ve also heard that it’s really good to use a spray before putting a serum on because the mist gives your skin a little bit of added hydration and moisturizer. Like the name says, it does smell like roses, but it’s very natural — I have an issue with artificial fragrances.”
“This is my favorite product ever. It’s actually changed the quality of my skin because I tend to have very dry skin. I would get dry spots all over my skin, and I tried all kinds of different serums and moisturizers and facial oils, and nothing would really hydrate my skin enough. But ever since I started using this serum before my moisturizer, my dryness has pretty much gone away. It’s also made my skin so soft and silky and glowy.
It smells like saffron, and saffron is very anti-inflammatory and good for your skin. It comes in a beautiful glass bottle, and although the product itself does look orange, once you apply it on your face, the color goes away.”
“Besides Ranavat, this is my other favorite skincare brand now. They’re also a small business, and they’re owned by Arjun Sampath. The brand is based in Los Angeles, and they sent me these products as a gift, and I fell in love with every single product. At night, I use this Rose Vitamin-C serum. It has also been extremely moisturizing and good for my skin.
Unlike other vitamin c serums, this one does not smell like bacon. Their products are also Ayurveda-inspired, and the ingredients are all vegan. Another thing I love about their company is everything from how they source their ingredients to how they package them in sustainable glass jars. When you look at the bottles, you might not even notice them in a store because they’re these white, glass jars with black writing, which some could say is very boring, but it’s because everything about their mission and brand is about being as sustainable as possible.”
The Eye Cream
“I just love this eye gel. It’s very cooling. Especially in the mornings, it feels very energizing, and it wakes me up. The skin under and around my eyes never feels dry when I have it on, and it’s really great before putting any kind of makeup on. It helps to reduce puffiness, too.”
“This is a great cream for my skin since it’s very hydrating. It doesn’t have a very strong or memorable scent, but it doesn’t smell bad; it doesn’t really have any scent at all actually, which is okay with me.
It’s a ‘clean’ brand, and I like the packaging too — it’s colorful, and you press down and get the perfect amount of cream, which actually keeps it cleaner than having an open jar. Whenever it’s the kind that you have to dip your hands into, I’ll open it, and I’ll make sure to obviously wash my hands before, but I’ll literally take the tip of my nail and scoop it out like a little spatula. [Laughs]”