When I met Scarlett Johansson at The Outset HQ in Manhattan’s Flatiron district, she exuded cool boss vibes, power-walking from a conference room to a rustic leather couch in the entryway. She sported a freshly-chopped haircut styled with a subtle wave, which she tells me is a byproduct of wearing sunglasses on her head while her hair dried — the epitome of effortless.
Leaning into the leather-backed cushion, Johansson and I chat about The Outset, the skincare startup Johansson co-created with beauty veteran Kate Foster Lengyel. Ahead, we get into why she started brand, everything she uses on her skin, and my personal favorite topic: accessories (including the story behind her Irish finger tattoo.)
Scarlett Johansson: I’ve always been interested in skincare. When I talk to friends, they’re like, ‘Of course you’re doing skincare.’ Because I had problem skin, it’s something I’ve been conscious of forever. When I was in my late 20s and after having my daughter, everything kind of narrowed, and I started thinking about how I wanted to spend my time because I have less of it. I thought, what would be fulfilling to me? The idea of having a startup and learning a new industry seemed like an exciting prospect.
R29: How was your skin problematic?
SJ: When I was adolescent, there were a couple of brands that I was using; Clinique was a big deal. When I started getting acne, I tried Proactiv and those skin-care systems with so many actives stripping my skin. It wasn’t until I started using a gentle routine — like, micellar water and gentle moisturizer — that my skin rebalanced and it was the best version of itself.
R29: What does your skin-care routine look like today?
SJ: I use the Gentle Miceller Antioxidant Cleanser anytime I wash my face. I used to use a drugstore brand, like Cetaphil, but I found that those cleaners were made with so many [ingredients] — so this was our answer to the daily cleanser. It’s fragrance-free, made for sensitive skin. Then I use our Prep Serum and Daily Moisturizer. That’s my whole prep for everyday. I wanted to take the same amount of time as my husband.