Rudy Pankow, best known for playing the role of JJ Maybank on the Netflix smash hit “Outer Banks,” used to struggle with acne and breakouts. We asked him about the methods and products he used to improve his skin and his overall health.
Men’s skin care is something we don’t talk about as much as women’s. Why is it important for men to prioritize their skin health?
Your skin can be one of the most telltale signs letting you know how well you are taking care of your physical and mental health. Now I’m not saying if you have unhealthy skin it is all your fault, because there can be many factors that affect why your skin may not be where you want it to be. Whether it is how frequently you wash, the type of product you’re using, your diet, age, allergies, climate, and even stress level. But what I am saying is that prioritizing how you take care of your skin can help create healthier routines of taking care of yourself.
When did you first start prioritizing your skin health and what changes have you made in your daily routine?
I started to prioritize my skin health when I realized it wasn’t just because of my age that I was having issues. I slowly realized certain things that caused me to break out, such as certain foods, fabrics I slept on, and how frequently I would use different products that actually made the break out worse and more irritated. Once I discovered what those factors were that caused my skin to break out, I slowly started feeling more confident in my skin, which I think is the final step to taking good care of your skin.
I know that on television sets, you have to deal with things like lights, makeup, and props that can sometimes be harsh on the skin. Do you have any advice for how to deal with these kinds of obstacles that may be a part of your daily life?
Definitely as an actor the amount of makeup, sweat, and dirt can really affect your complexion, but luckily people know how much it does, so it’s routine to remove as much makeup, sweat, and dirt off your face at the end of the day as you can. But the one that affects my skin the most, and most likely others are realizing nowadays, is the constant rubbing and moisture with wearing a mask. And the best advice I can give is quite simple: If you’re able to, get to a restroom and remove your mask safely, wash your face with clean water, and dry your face as best as you can.
How do you manage oily skin? What types of products have been most effective?
When managing oily skin, it’s hard to recommend certain products because everyone’s skin will react differently, but I would say when there’s an accumulation of oil on your skin, it’s clogging pores, which will cause under-skin acne, so I recommend oil-absorbing pads, but more importantly, wash and dry your face frequently.
What steps do you take to manage acne breakouts?
For me, the most effective way to manage a breakout is washing my face with a very warm washcloth — I call it soaking — and using an exfoliator, then continuing with using the products I trust.
What kinds of products have been most effective when treating acne?
The types of products that work best for me are an exfoliating scrub, moisturizer, oil pads, and toner. Masks haven’t been very effective with my skin type and sometimes irritate it. But of course that’s not for everyone. I still believe the most effective product is warm water and drying your face.
What advice do you have for other young adults experiencing acne and breakouts?
My advice for young adults is to try and figure out as soon as possible the things that trigger your breakouts. If a breakout happens, ask yourself “What irritated my skin?” Which, again, could be many things, varying from dirt and sweat in your pores, to certain products and routines, and even diet, environment, and stress. All of these things can affect your skin. But taking care of your skin is a great first step to practicing and understanding how to take care of your body better, which will lead to feeling better.