The Neutrogena brand ambassador is passionate about finding easy ways to take care of herself.
Lana Condor can’t stress enough the importance of a good shower. And when you’re as busy as she is, that small act of self-care is sometimes all you can manage.
Since Condor was first introduced to the world as Lara Jean Covey, the quirky teen lead in Netflix’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, the actor has been the unofficial on-screen best friend for fans of the film. Her charming, loveable character made us feel like we were growing and learning alongside her while she navigated the challenges of her first romantic relationships.
But as the series came to a close at the start of 2021 with Lara Jean going off to college, Lana Condor, too, has moved into a new phase of life. “I’ve been kind of playing the same role for the past three years, so I really can’t wait for people to see me in a different light,” she tells FASHION.
Along with headlining upcoming projects like the Netflix series Boo, Bitch and HBO Max film Moonshot (where she stars alongside Cole Sprouse, we might add), the 24-year-old health enthusiast has also immersed herself in beauty- and wellness-related projects.
Her role as brand ambassador for Neutrogena Haircare, which launched its Healthy Scalp collection in Canada earlier this year, has taught her new, easy ways to take care of herself. And that’s a selling point for Condor, who is forever passionate about achievable self-care.
Over Zoom, Lana Condor chatted with FASHION about the body image advice that changed her life, the one haircare product that has her (and her entire family) hooked, and why you should *always* force yourself to take a shower.
You’ve spoken openly about struggling with body image issues in the past. How do you deal with negative self-talk when those thoughts creep up?
For anyone who struggles with any sort of negative self-talk or body issues, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. It’s a forever learning curve. When the bad voice in your head comes in, the best advice I was given was to combat anxiety with gratitude. It sounds so simple, but it’s honestly changed my life. My job is to be on camera, so you see every little thing, and it’s very easy to judge or compare yourself to others. When I start to hear that negative self-talk, I have to catch myself immediately and combat it with the gratitude that I was given this body and it has carried me through some of the toughest times of my life. It has protected me through crazy things. I’m very grateful to have it and I love it. Combating that creeping negative voice with gratitude is I think the easiest, most accessible tool that you can do the moment you hear that negative voice. Literally just think, ‘This body protected me and carried me through the pandemic.” We should be so grateful. Our bodies are really beautiful and have done so much more for us than we give them credit for.
What’s one self-care ritual you never skip?
It’s so silly, but taking a shower. [laughs] It’s so simple! But for example, I woke up today and I was feeling a little bit funky. And I said, “No, Lana. You go in, just take shower, wash your face, light a candle and you’ll be fine.” So it’s very simple steps. I’m all about convenience — things that are easy and accessible. [The same] goes for my skincare and my haircare journey: I want things that are approachable, and that’s why I love working with Neutrogena. But yeah, take a shower! Wash your hair, wash your face. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Good job!”
How has Neutrogena’s Healthy Scalp collection made a difference in your hair?
Specifically, I really love Neutrogena’s Healthy Scalp Hydro Boost. It has hyaluronic acid in it, which is really helpful for me because I’ve always had a dry scalp. I remember when I was a kid — and even still occasionally today — one of my biggest insecurities was that I had so much dandruff because I would have such a dry scalp. It always showed so intensely because I have black hair and dandruff is white, and I would be so jealous of girls that had lighter hair because they could hide their dandruff better. But the Hydro Boost shampoo and conditioner has been amazing because it’s really helped lock moisture into my scalp and in the strands themselves. I use heat on my hair almost every day for my job, so I have to take extra steps to make sure that I can maintain the softness and natural moisture so that I don’t have dandruff. I really love the Hydro Boost product. My boyfriend and I use it. My dad and my mom use it. It’s a family affair.
How has your journey with haircare evolved as you’ve grown?
Working with Neutrogena has been very integral to my focus on taking care of my hair. I remember when they started talking about the Healthy Scalp collection and using the mask and exfoliant on your scalp, that was such a game-changer and something I’d never done before. We do masks on our faces, but at least for me, I never thought to do a mask or scrub for the skin on my head. So working with Neutrogena has honestly helped me start on a haircare journey.
What are you most excited about for 2022?
I recently shot a movie called Moonshot and I shot a show called Boo, Bitch, and I’m hoping they come out in 2022. I’m excited for people to see both of those projects, because I’ve been kind of playing the same role for the past three years, so I really can’t wait for people to see me in a different light and see these stories that we told. I had a blast doing them and I love both of the projects. I am also really looking forward to continuing to work on my mental health and my physical health. I think that in 2022, I’ll have a big focus on that.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.