Maria Shriver: ‘I grew up putting baby oil on my face and tanning’

Maria Shriver and her daughter Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt have a partnership with a probiotic supplement company called ReNew Life. I wouldn’t have guessed that partnership. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just not what I would have pictured. To promote this, the ladies discussed beauty regimes with People magazine. I guess they’re going for this whole beauty starts on the inside angle since they’re schilling gut care. Maria admitted that she came late to a skin care routine and that most of what she learned was from Katherine. She said that growing up, she never discussed anything like a beauty regimen with her mom, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Being a kid on the Kennedy compound, all she knew was how to to apply baby oil to her face and tan with a reflector.

Just one look at Maria Shriver and daughter Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt, and it’s clear they have the same radiant smile. But what the New York Times best-selling authors also have in common is a similar take on beauty, self-care and wellness — and to celebrate their partnership with probiotic supplement company ReNew Life, they shared their everyday approach to those with PEOPLE.

“I’ve learned everything about skincare from Katherine, and I love that,” says Shriver. Growing up, the acclaimed journalist and author, 66, “never” talked “about beauty” with her mother Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who she recalls not having a morning or evening routine.

Instead, Shriver says, her mother focused conversations on other qualities, which in turn helped her have a healthy perspective on beauty. “She always spoke to me about my brain. She was always emphasizing that. So I came to have a philosophy on beauty that, first and foremost, it was something that came from the inside out.”

Shriver also recalls that when she was young, “there wasn’t much emphasis on products like there is today.” But after years of watching her daughters (Katherine, 32, and Christina, 30) she’s “learned to value” her skin.

“I grew up putting baby oil on my face and tanning with a reflector. I know, I know. My mother sailed and was out in the sun all the time. But Katherine has always prioritized sunblock. I am the beneficiary of a daughter who’s really into that, and reminds me to get into it and shares her product. So, I think that’s a really wonderful gift,” says Shriver, who is now a sunscreen devotee.

Shriver also recalls that when she was young, “there wasn’t much emphasis on products like there is today.” But after years of watching her daughters (Katherine, 32, and Christina, 30) she’s “learned to value” her skin.

“I grew up putting baby oil on my face and tanning with a reflector. I know, I know. My mother sailed and was out in the sun all the time. But Katherine has always prioritized sunblock. I am the beneficiary of a daughter who’s really into that, and reminds me to get into it and shares her product. So, I think that’s a really wonderful gift,” says Shriver, who is now a sunscreen devotee.

“I’ve always looked up to my mom, who wore little to no makeup every single day and really was just the ultimate beauty icon to my sister and me. I grew up with a really great example of natural beauty.”

[From People]

I remember those reflectors Maria’s talking about. I didn’t use one, but I knew people who did. Lord, did anyone else spray themselves with a water-filled spray bottle to accelerate their tan i.e. burn themselves quicker? And like Maria, I never used sunblock. Fortunately, my husband was raised the opposite, he was lathered in sunblock his whole life. So he was diligent with our kids and they are religious with their application as a reult. My mom was like Eunice, always at the beach, sailing, doing something in the sun without a drop of sunblock. She is having pieces of her carved off due to skin cancer now as a result. That’s not an exaggeration either. Lather up, y’all.

I also put baby oil on to tan like Maria, but not my face, only my arms and legs. However, I used baby oil on my face to take off my makeup (I still do). I guess I didn’t really discuss skin care with my mom, but I would watch her do all her cleansing and lotioning. So I understood there was a process but I never asked what did what. I don’t think she knew. She’s a salesperson’s dream, they told her she needed this or that and she’d fall for it. When it came my time, I followed suit and went to counter at Macy’s to get my education. Fortunately, I’ve learned a little from the facials I got periodically (pre-covid). However, I’m still pretty susceptible to the “oh, you need this!” line. Like Eunice, though, I rarely wear makeup and my daughter noted it to me as well. It wasn’t about natural beauty or anything like that. But she has friends who won’t go out without makeup and she doesn’t feel that way because I don’t often wear it. I do it for me (because I’m lazy), but I found it interesting to hear her comment on it.

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Photo credit: Instagram and Getty Images

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25 Responses to “Maria Shriver: ‘I grew up putting baby oil on my face and tanning’”

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  1. Lolo86lf says:

    Aren’t we all glad sunblock was invented? Skin cancer is real and baby oil moisturizes but it doesn’t protect from harmful UV rays. No one should go sun bathing without a good sunblock product with at least 30 spf. The lighter your skin the higher the spf should be. Also the UV rays age your skin and I don’t know anyone who wants to look older than what they are.

  2. Southern Fried says:

    We grew up swimming nearly everyday with my older sister using baby oil and me nothing. I was too busy with friends to care about tans. Once burned badly in college, lips even, on an overcast day then I became a fiend about sunscreen and passed it on to my kids. Yes my sister has had skin cancer spots cut out. There are super face sunscreens available.

  3. Amy Too says:

    My mom also didn’t really teach me anything about skincare or starting a routine and I figured it out on my own later. She did put sunscreen on us though before we went to the beach or went swimming, but reapplying wasn’t really a thing so I got sunburned constantly as a child. My mom, who is a little more olive toned than me but still white, would use tanning oil that smelled like coconuts, no sunscreen, and she would even go to the tanning salon.

    I’ve got my teenage son on a 4 step nighttime routine for his acne: gentle face wash, salicylic acid toner, aloe based moisturizer, and benzoyl peroxide zit cream and it seems to be working okay for him. Sometimes he skips the zit cream or uses a thicker moisturizer if his skin is getting dry. He still struggles with mask-acne from wearing a face mask at school all day, to the point where we can see his skin clearing up over a long holiday weekend or spring and Christmas breaks.

  4. SAS says:

    Katherine give me the creeps for some reason but these are a really nice bunch of family snaps with her mum.

    Sunscreen daily people!! Don’t forget neck and ears!!

    • Susan says:

      @SAS, SAME!! I can’t put a finger on it but pictures of Katherine creep me the F out. And it was even before she and Chris Pratt became a thing. Something about her face? I hate when I have weird reactions like that. For all I know, people feel that way about me! LOL.

      • Erin says:

        She looks just like her dad. That baby pic where she has the colorful top on is straight Arnold. She definitely has his smile and not her moms as well.

  5. Jo says:

    I remember going to the beach in the summer lathered in sunblock and watching the tourists coming from colder countries slowly turn into tomatoes. My parents would be really appalled and talk about how this was so risky because of skin cancer. I have always had that in mind luckily as I spent all summer in the sun.
    However, when I tell my kids about skin cancer they dismiss it and I have to be assertive. I even had to have a conversation with one of my colleagues who thinks that the “sun is “natural” and therefore is good for you”. I understand that it is painful to think that such a pleasant thing as being in the warmth of the sun can kill you, but so can some mushrooms. Lots of natural things are dangerous. Heck even Paltrow said the same thing recently I think?

  6. JustBitchy says:

    Glad sunscreen is being promoted. I came to it late but do wear it now. There is no way Maria has gone untouched. I summered down the cape with oil and reflectors- we used album covers with tinfoil! I have had my share of work done so know from what I speak. Maria has had eyes done and probably a deep plane facelift and brow lift (endoscopic) I am not a fan of hypocrisy and also wonder why with their money they have to shill stuff? Anyone else feel the same?

    • BlueNailsBetty says:

      For the über rich, there is never enough money. They are obsessed with getting more and more money in an attempt to fill a void in their psyche.

  7. manda says:

    speaking of reflectors, I’m old enough that I used to make one from a double record album and aluminum foil! TBH, I was in elementary school at the time, but I had seen my sis do it with her friends. This was like 85/86.

    My mother was very whatever about applying sunscreen when I was growing up and I did have some bad burns, and now I go for skin cancer checks every six months. Good thing I love my dermatologist!

  8. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I, too, remember those reflectors. Even then I thought it was crazy lol.

  9. erin says:

    What are everyone’s favorite sunscreens for daily wear? I lean toward natural/nontoxic. I have a tinted moisturizer from Aveda that has sunblock (idk if 25 or 30?) but I only use on my face– not neck as was mentioned above. I have the skin of my Irish ancestors so as a kid I burned easily and often–sunscreen was not a thing for me growing up in the 70’s & 80’s.

    • Nicegirl says:

      I’m a multiple melanoma survivor and my favorite sunscreens are made by Supergoop. I buy vats of the lotions, post makeup sprays and more and remember to get the part line on my scalp and tops of ears well covered. I found the line a few years back. I wish I’d been more diligent with sunscreens in my youth.

      • JustBitchy says:

        @NiceGirl, I am sorry you’ve battled melanoma. I am goin got check out the brand you recommended. The hair line and hair part are key. I wear a hat but not 100% of the time. Thanks

    • SK says:

      Erin, I really like Elta MD sunblock. It feels very nice on the skin and is high SPF broad spectrum ( protects against both UVA and UVB). It’s a physical sunblock (zinc) rather than chemical which I really like and initially the reason I chose it, I keep buying it because it feels so lovely and moisturising.

  10. Sealit says:

    I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s before sunblock was a thing. I was lucky if my mom asked if I had my water bottle before running out the door for double sessions in the August heat. I actually had teammates who used baby oil before practice. Face cream? Body lotion? What is that? I had a coach instruct us on how to get lotion off our hands so we callused, not blistered.

    College is the first time I really started using sunblock. @Erin from above: I really love La Roche-Posay mineralized face cream w/spf and Nars primer w/spf for everyday. I find myself buying the pink Nars to counterbalance the white of the face cream. I use a crazy Australian sunblock for surfers if I’m going to be out all day.

  11. Terry Anderson says:

    What do you think Maria does to keep her face looking good for 66?

    • Coconut says:

      She has chipmunk cheeks and her pronounced square jaw has softened, so my guess is fillers, based on the plastic surgeon videos I’ve watched on YouTube. Likely also skin treatments like micro needling.

      • JustBitchy says:

        Maria has had more than fillers. Some fine lifts and laser resurfacing are my guesses. Laser resurfacing you have to be careful or you can slip into the waxy look territory. Also matching the face to the neck to the hands is a great tell!

    • Jaded says:

      These photos are photoshopped and filtered to the max, and she appears to have had a lot of cosmetic intervention. Google *real* photos of her and her skin is very wrinkled and sun-damaged. Most of the older generation of Kennedy women have/had very leathery, damaged skin because they were all ardent outdoorsy people — sailing, tennis, back yard football games, etc. Jackie Kennedy was the only one who looked after her skin and didn’t take part in the outdoor sports the Kennedys were famous for.

  12. Luna17 says:

    Sunscreen and hats are amazing! Has anyone else noticed the anti sunscreen movement in the alternative health scene lately? I’ve noticed several people say how bad it is and to not use it. But usually those people have really aged skin imo. A trainer I know from college was posting about how we need the sun and the sunscreen is keeping us sick and d deficient but she is my age (35) and has way more wrinkles and damaged neck/upper chest area than me so I’ll keep my sunblock! I’m switching out to more natural sunscreen once my conventional stuff runs out. I live in the high desert and I see other white people look like jerky from the sun here so I’m really careful as a light skinned person.

  13. Cee says:

    Wear sunblock, even on cloudy days, reapply every 2 hours, and wear hats.
    Skin damage is cumulative the first 20 years of our lives so most of the damage we have results from our early years. I was lucky I was always lathered in sunblock and I still have some damage on my shoulders.

  14. DeluxeDuckling says:

    I would love SPF 50 sunscreen recommendations from other Celebitches! Especially if you have combination skin 💚
    (I noted supergoop and la Roche posay from upthread)

    I never heard of this Shriver baby oil thing.

  15. Willow says:

    I only had to have one bad sunburn to become a sunscreen fanatic. Sunburns are painful! And the ones you get from being out on the water are the worst. I never tan, just burn.