Kate Mansi shares her not-so-obvious approach to cleaning up her skincare routine … so you can too.
Memorizing scripted lines may be part of her job, but actor Kate Mansi wasn’t about to start memorizing the 1,328 ingredients banned from cosmetics by the European Union. That’s the overwhelming task the Daytime Emmy winner initially thought she’d set for herself when she resolved to detox her beauty bag in 2018. She’d learned there’s been no update to U.S. cosmetics regulation law (which bans or restricts only 11 ingredients) since 1938. So Mansi decided to get her beauty routine 100 percent clean and nontoxic herself. And that meant removing thousands of ingredients from her vanity. “If I’m putting something on my skin, I want to know where it comes from because the reality is, we’re always making a choice as consumers,” explains the actor, who’s known for her recurring role on Days of Our Lives. “I want to feel that my outsides reflect my insides—that I’m making good choices, having an awareness and not pretending that my choices don’t have a massive impact.” But with controversial ingredients lurking in so many products, how did she make the transition? Mansi sat down with alive to share how she did it—and spilled the clean beauty hacks she’s learned along the way.
Despite committing to a vegan diet (and being vegetarian since she was 11), Mansi admits her transition to green beauty wasn’t simple at first. The idea of learning all the EU-banned ingredients by heart was not only daunting, but also infeasible. She found a better way—a distilled approach that changed the contents of her makeup bag forever. “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself in terms of getting stuck in the perfectionist need to know every single chemical and every single toxin and what percentage,” Mansi advises. Instead, start with the basics, then move on to everything else. For Mansi, that meant swapping her top five skincare and top five makeup staples: eye cream, moisturizer, cleanser, hair product and body wash, as well as foundation, tinted moisturizer with SPF, a lip product, mascara and a blush.
During her yearlong quest to clean up her beauty act, Mansi picked up a few genius hacks. Most curiously, she swears by a technique (apparently popular in the ’80s) called icing. “I take an ice cube and I literally stick my face over the sink, and I rub the ice all over. It will wake up your face. I saw a difference within a week!” exclaims Mansi, who says the chilly ritual helps clean out pores and quell redness. Just make sure you apply some common sense along with the ice: Avoid freezing your skin by sliding the ice around in constant motion without holding it on one spot for too long. Mansi is also obsessive (and we mean obsessive) about sun protection. The star religiously applies sunscreen—and reapplies every two hours. She slathers it all over not only her face, but also her hands, arms, neck and ears. She even uses natural lip balm containing SPF. And when she’s on one of her many hikes, you can bet she has protective sleeves on her arms. “We have some family that’s Italian and French. They always say it’s so funny how American women think you only have to put sunscreen on your face,” she says with a laugh. Research backs them up, showing that sunscreen doesn’t just prevent sun damage; it may also reverse existing sun damage. A 2016 study published in the journal Dermatologic Surgery found sunscreen improved skin dark spots, clarity and texture. Mansi also trusts plum oil for radiant skin. For the occasional pimple, she keeps tea tree oil on deck for its antibacterial properties.
Though Mansi takes great care topically nourishing her skin, she also owes her covetable complexion to her commitment to wellness. The fitness devotee, who was a dancer before appearing on screen, discovered acupuncture and cupping after injuring her foot during a half marathon. The immersion into Eastern medicine shifted her mindset. “I think of my physical and internal wellness almost as a different person, a secondary [version] of myself that I’m responsible for,” she muses. This perspective helped her attune to her body’s interconnectedness. For instance, Mansi noticed her lack of movement post-injury was causing an imbalance in her body, which manifested as blemishes. She also observed that breakouts along her jawline were invariably caused by stress. These days, Mansi stays active by hiking outdoors and taking hot yoga sculpt classes. She gets deep tissue massages with CBD oil to knead away stress and prioritizes her mental health. “When I’m not shooting, I go to therapy once a week to hold space to care for my mental health, just as I do my physical health,” she says. That care extends beyond herself to the world at large—and she thinks that’s part of a broader cultural change. “We had a shift from ‘I want to do what’s best for me; eat what’s best for me; do the type of workout that’s best for me,’” she says. Now, people are asking the bigger questions: “‘What’s better for my fellow man? What’s better for the good of the planet in all of my choices?’”
Kate Mansi supplements her vegan diet with an ingestible collagen booster and niacinamide (vitamin B3) to help keep her skin looking healthy and luminous. She also scoops up ashwagandha, an ancient herb widely known to alleviate stress and boost overall well-being, to help balance her mood and hormones.