Jessica Alba’s Self-Care Routine Can Be Easily Duplicated

In TZR’s Scare-Free Sundays franchise, industry leaders discuss the all-too-common weekend fears (aka Sunday scaries) that can rob you of the relaxation and calm you so desperately need to face the week ahead. Here we sit down with actress and founder of The Honest Company, Jessica Alba, as she talks about the stress management strategies she uses.

You’d think I was the one juggling three kids and a booming cosmetics company when, on a hotter-than-usual Friday morning, I burst into an ULTA beauty store in West Hollywood to meet up with Jessica Alba. The brand founder and veteran actor looked cool as a cucumber, despite a busy day interviewing around the launch of Honest Beauty skincare at the mega-retailer. In a simple white button-down top and jeans and her signature glowing skin and wavy curls, she was a stark contrast to my moisture-soaked bob and flushed complexion. How does she make it all look so easy?

According to the mother of three (daughters Honor and Haven and son Hayes), her calm and collected demeanor has developed over the years and is a result of her dedication to self-care. Manifesting in a variety of forms, the beauty guru credits everything from regular baths and meditation to spending time with her family as her wellness secrets to success. Oh, and of course moving her body.

“I go for long walks,” says Alba. “This is my biggest. And then I have a trainer Ramona [Braganza] who was my trainer when I was 17 and she just moved back to LA. I was like, ‘Ramona, we have to pull ourselves together, sister. I’m not getting any younger. And she helps me get back in. [Working out is just] a different version of self-care.”

With two daughters in their teens and tweens, I asked Alba if her own commitment to wellness and mental health had rubbed off on her, so she decided to ask her out. “Honour, Haven!” she called into a secluded corner of the ULTA sales floor. When the two young girls show up (copies of their famous mother), Alba asks, “Is there anything that’s part of my self-care routine that affects you guys?”

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Eleven-year-old Haven immediately replies, “Be consistent and do it every night!” referring to her mother’s regimented skincare routine. Honor, 14, chimes in: “And tomorrow!”

In fact, those are really words to live by. Below, Alba shares more about her self-care rituals, specifically the ones that help her combat the all-too-familiar work stress and dreaded Sunday phobias.

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What do weekends or days off look like these days?

I think since I had Hayes and maybe even while I was pregnant with Hayes, weekends became a sacred place where I just thought I wasn’t working. I’ve been working since I was 12 and work has always taken precedence over everything else in my life and I didn’t really know how to do it any other way. I somehow found out.

What are some common fears or Sunday phobias you face before a busy work week?

I think if I don’t take care of myself, I guess it manifests [with feelings of] scared and unable to sleep. My mind is racing and I’m panicking [episodes]. That’s when I’m like this I don’t take care of myself enough, I don’t meditate enough. Since I meditate every day [those feelings have] disappeared. Since then I haven’t had any more panic attacks [feelings of] fear as before.

So tell me more about your meditation practice? What exactly are you doing and how does it help you combat some of these intrusive thoughts?

I don’t discriminate [when it comes to meditation]. I have a lot that I will try. There’s someone called Joe Dispenza that I like a lot. Mindful movement meditation is another one I really like. And then there’s Insight Timer. There’s a woman named Sarah Blondin who has an incredible voice and tone [that’s] calming. So I’m usually really attracted to voices. So yes, I kind of have my favorites – it started [with me meditating] five to seven minutes a day, then it went longer [sessions].

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I admire your discipline! I struggle to quiet my mind. How you do that?

When I started, I set my alarm for that specific time and let the meditation play on my phone. So I just put my headphones in my ears and lay in my bed and listened to it before I got up. And so am I [made it work]otherwise I wouldn’t have done it. So I woke up a little earlier than I wanted and because I was in bed it didn’t feel like it was that hard. And I did that for a couple of months, and then I started to sit up when I did it.

What does your Sunday night routine look like?

I usually do a bath and mask on my hair and face. When I’m not doing my hair, I’m definitely going to do one for my face no matter what. I think Sunday is real [my day] to somehow relax the last week and recharge for the next week.

[I also] I like to cook Sunday lunch or have some kind of family dinner – I like to cook. So that’s another part of my self-care. I try to get the kids dinner by 7pm so I can take my bath afterwards.

Are you doing anything special to prepare yourself mentally for the week ahead?

I mean, to be honest, I take a relaxing bath with essential oils and salts and candles and listen to a chilled playlist. Sometimes I make singing bowls afterwards. I make a face mask (sometimes two) – when I do [Honest’s 3-in-1 Mud] I follow Detox Mask [Honest’s] First class & perfect mask. When I get out, I take the time to dry brush and then mix body butter and body oil and let it soak in, rather than just rushing and trying to get out the door, which is usually weekdays. [It’s about] just a way to ease my way back into my own skin.

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I know you mentioned Sunday lunch but do you have any strict rules you stick to on the weekends or OOO days to avoid working or thinking about work?

I like doing activities with the kids. So sitting in front of the TV at home opens the door for everyone to be at their devices. Nobody is ever [just] TV. Everyone uses devices in some form, whether it’s receiving DMs or SMS or checking the news or playing a game or whatever. The only way to really get them out of there is to put them in another situation where they can’t do it. So I got a cucumber ball net that we put up in our driveway. There are also some courts nearby [in our area] which are free and you don’t need to book in advance.

And taking three kids out the door is brutal, but as soon as we get there they’re like, “This is the best day I’ve ever had.” They always say, ‘Can we do this tomorrow?’ I say, ‘Tomorrow is Monday. That will not do.’ But I think [it’s about] Just pull yourself and her outside and do something outside of your comfort zone.

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