The connection between skin and mental health has never been clearer — and, in times of stress and uncertainty, a skin-care routine can be as much of a daily grounding practice as exercise or meditation. In our Shelf Care series, we’re exploring how taking care of your skin and yourself is one and the same.
Since her first modeling job at age 10, Nazanin Mandi has appeared in the pages of Vogue, on the runway for Savage X Fenty, and in ad campaigns for brands like CoverGirl and Smashbox Cosmetics. She's spent most of her life in the public eye, but Mandi is more than a career entertainer: Her personal experiences with mental health empowered her to become a certified life coach last year. For Mandi, living her best life means being mindful of how she cares for her body — and that includes a beauty routine rooted in results.
Ahead, the star drops all the products she uses to keep her skin on point during her self-care showers. The following interview was told to Aimee Simeon and has been edited for length and clarity.
My relationship with beauty and self-care has evolved with age and wisdom. Things really changed for me when I developed self-awareness and the desire to take better care of my mind, body, and soul. I've always been interested in self-help and it has always been something that came naturally to me; however, it wasn't something I always practiced.
During my late twenties, I was super depressed and my anxiety was super high, and I came to a point where I'd just had enough of my own shit. That's when positive affirmations and self-care really became critical in my life. I was going through my Saturn return around age 29, and I noticed all of these patterns. I knew that, in order to reach my full potential, I had to make a significant change. I started going to therapy, and that really helped change my perspective and motivated me to change my life.
I've always had this intense passion for wanting to help make people feel their best. I get pure joy out of seeing people be their best selves. That's why making time to take care of myself is so important. I truly believe that we need alone time to be with ourselves and sit with our thoughts so we can sort them out easily. My shower is my place of solitude when I just need to unwind and spend some time with myself. It's where I also take time to care for my skin and body.
I've always been into skin care — it's the foundation of everything. including how good your makeup looks on your face. I used to randomly sleep with makeup on, but now with age I don't even chance it. I've tried a lot of brands over the years and I've discovered a few that I love.
During the day, I love Epi.Logic Master Plan Growth Factor Serum, which I layer with the brand's Vitamin C Defense Serum. I also use the Epi.Logic Double Feature Overnight Facial layered with Shiseido Wrinkle Smoothing Cream religiously at night. I've always believed that it's never too soon to start using these things. I'm halfway through the bottle of Double Feature, and I love that stuff. I'd like to think it's making me look like a baby. I usually pair that with the 360 Repair Eye Cream, which I use both day and nighttime.
One of my most-asked questions is how I maintain my hair. The answer might be disappointing, but I don't do much to it. I usually let it air dry after a shower, and if I go to sleep and my curls look weird when I wake up, I just add a coil or two with a curling iron to make it more polished. Otherwise, I just rub some oil on my ends and that's it.
Before the pandemic, I would go to the Korean spas and get full-body scrubs. I love those exfoliating treatments because they really get all the dead skin off, and your skin is nice and smooth after. I do hope that I can indulge in those moments again soon, but in the meantime, I try to focus on the things I can control, like staying hydrated and working out five times a week for my mental health and to help manage my anxiety.
Overall, I've learned that less is more when it comes to many things in life — including beauty. I try to live by that in every aspect. I try not to overdo it, and every day I am learning to embrace my imperfections. Of course, it's so hard to do that with social media. You're seeing false perfection every day, but I think if we all spoke about our insecurities more and normalized these honest conversations, it'd help all of us feel much better about ourselves.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.