Pharrell Williams Gets His Best Ideas in a Hot Epsom Salt Bath

The music, fashion, and film multihyphenate shares his personal skincare secrets, all of which influenced his own beauty line, Humanrace.

Pharrell Williams is the definition of a cultural paragon and creative prodigy. In between expressing his talents through music, fashion, and film, he’s branched out nicely into the skincare world with his much-vaunted Humanrace line. The genderless, ageless skincare brand resonates not just with his loyal fans, but especially among beauty care purveyors looking for products with an ethical and responsible backbone. Humanrace is vegan, cruelty free and sustainably packaged—but it helps that Williams himself has been lauded for his own flawless skin since his breakout moment in the late ’90s with The Neptunes.

Humanrace recently released a body care line featuring two new soap-less body bars, a Reenergizing White Clay Body Bar, and the Energy Channeling Charcoal Body Bar. Williams insists body care is just as crucial as taking care of your face. “Our natural next step was taking care of the rest of the real estate, your body,” he adds. “It’s important to create a routine specifically for your body. Humanrace is a universe of products and people, and our skincare category is something I’ve wanted to do for many years.”

Below, Williams shares the finer points of his own skincare secrets, habits, and philosophies—all of which he poured into his Humanrace line.

The compelling factor about the Humanrace products seems to be that they appeal to everyone. Was it your intent to create something genderless and ageless, or did it just happen to fall into place this way?

It was very intentional to do it like this. My ambition with Humanrace was to offer all-gender products for humans, so anyone can create a positive self-care routine for themselves.

Growing up, did you always have good skin? Were you into self-care growing up in Virginia or did it come with age and maturity?

I really didn’t have any sort of skincare routine or regimen until I met my dermatologist over 20 years ago, Dr. Elena Jones. When I first saw Dr. Elena, I was just using whatever was in my bathroom at the time and I didn’t have a routine—and it showed because I was always switching up products and not using the right ones. Dr. Elena taught me the importance of a simple routine with effective ingredients, and I’ve been sticking to that ever since.

Dr. Elena mapped out a routine for me that was rooted in three steps: cleansing, exfoliation, and moisturizing. Then, I could add a vitamin C serum and SPF to it if I wanted to—but the three steps were the key. That’s why we made Humanrace so simple. Once I started to see results from just keeping a routine, it made me realize that the smallest steps were the most important ones, and I became dedicated to maintaining the steps.

Are you a beauty junkie? Have you always had a fascination with high-quality products, and did you always splurge on great creams and lotions?

I wouldn’t call myself a beauty junkie. I’m more of a routine junkie, if anything. Once I met Dr. Elena, I had her on speed-dial. She introduced me to a simple routine and was always helping me try different products to see what worked best for my skin. What really worked best for my skin was exfoliation; once we figured out that my skin could handle daily exfoliation, I was dedicated to staying consistent with it.

I loved making Humanrace because it was taking 20 years of advice from her and simplifying it into a routine. I see value in products that do something for you, that’s why I love our body bars. Our Energy Channeling Charcoal Body Bar has charcoal powder and rice powder that exfoliates you, it leaves your skin super soft. It does way more for you than a traditional soap bar, which essentially just lathers and has some sort of scent. Our body bars really give you a lasting result—it has a function.

The Charcoal Body Bar looks intriguing. I know it’s a natural purifier. Is it meant for day or night use?

The Energy Channeling Charcoal Body Bar is a natural purifier, and it happens to be my favorite bar. The bar takes on that exfoliating effect: smoothing and refining the skin. Having a soap-free formula in both bars essentially means they won’t strip the good oils from your skin as you cleanse your body. That was really important for me. You can use the bars in your body routine morning and night.

What is your typical morning and evening skin routine like for face and body?

My morning routine is waking up early, exercising, and cleansing. This includes a 30-minute hot Epsom salt bath and shower. I reflect and get a lot of my ideas in the morning. I shower with our Body Bars and then I go into my usual three-minute facial. I definitely like to keep it simplified and easy, but the consistency is how you get the results. The only differences between my night and morning routines are that in the morning, I use a vitamin C serum.

When traveling, what is the skincare product you can’t live without and why?

Right now, I’m loving the Energy Channeling Charcoal Bar. I use it every day, it makes my skin so soft.

What, more than anything, inspires you daily to be healthy and centered?

God and my family, that’s what keeps me centered.