It’s hard to imagine Nicole Kidman being self-conscious about anything. She is, after all, an Academy Award winner with a doting husband, four lovely children, and a porcelain complexion that hasn’t aged since she stepped foot on the set of Batman Forever some 20 years ago. But turns out, Kidman didn’t always love her fair skin.
“When I was a kid, I wanted to fit in more,” she tells us in an exclusive interview, when talking about the pressures of looking a certain way in Hollywood. Back in the early 2000s, sporting a tan as deep as Paris Hilton’s was all the rage in show biz, but Kidman never succumbed to that beauty ideal. “Originally, I didn’t have the choice of going brown, because my skin doesn’t tan… it freckles [laughs],” she says. “But as I got older, I started to like having the palest skin because it was different. I think embracing what makes you different is important.”
That’s one reason why her affiliation with Neutrogena makes perfect sense. (The actress joined the roster of brand ambassadors, alongside Kristen Bell and Kerry Washington, earlier this year.) “I basically just smother myself in the Ultra Sheer 100+,” Kidman says. “Protecting your skin is what really stops you from aging. Well, I don’t know if it’s about the aging so much as it is about having healthy-looking skin. Everybody wants to look the best they can, but at the same time you want to look real.”
And because the real truth is that no one should ever feel like they need to skip the beach, Kidman makes it a point to teach her kids all about sun protection. “I saw my mother apply sunscreen on herself and then on me, and that’s really how you learn, isn’t it?” she muses. That’s exactly why Neutrogena just launched its MimicMommy Movement, which encourages parents to tell by showing.
Of course, that isn’t the only beauty wisdom she’s passing on to her loved ones: “I use the Rapid Wrinkle Repair cream every night, which has retinol,” Kidman says. “I really do love it because it really works, and it’s not drying like some other retinols out there. I give it to my mom and to my sister. And yes, Keith has been known to use it [laughs].”