Ellen Pompeo on How Her Skin and Career Seem to Stand the Test of Time

Ellen Pompeo on How Her Skin and Career Seem to Stand the Test of Time

I’ve never seen an episode of Grey’s Anatomy®. (And yes, I realize this admission categorizes me as pop culture novice.) I am, however, familiar with the show’s protagonist — a whip smart, headstrong Dr. Meredith Grey — who is played by actress Ellen Pompeo. As my sister, an avid Grey’s fan, pointed out: “She’s one of the few characters who hasn’t died off over the years.” 

In case you’re among the sliver of Americans — nay, scant few — who haven’t indulged in the hospital drama that put Pompeo on the map, it’s currently barreling through its 16th (!) season . . . and counting. And yet, despite Pompeo’s 14+ years on the show, she looks virtually indistinguishable from her season 1 self.

Actress though she may be — and one of the world’s highest paid at that, earning a cool 20 million annually from Grey’s alone — the 50-year-old is also a mother of three young children. As an advocate for healthy living, Pompeo is acutely aware of what she puts into — and onto — her body. Recently, the actress became a brand ambassador for Meaningful Beauty®, a skincare line created by friend and fellow wellness buff, Cindy Crawford. (Fittingly, the skincare line is brimming with plant-based antioxidants.) 

Below, we caught up with Pompeo to chat beauty, skincare, and what’s next for everyone’s favorite TV doctor.

Spotlyte: In terms of your approach to beauty and wellness, how have your forties — and now fifties — differed from your twenties?

Ellen Pompeo: I’ve always been super healthy. The biggest change for me has been [the amount of food] I eat.

Spotlyte: How so?

EP: In my twenties, I always felt self-conscious about how thin I was. I was always trying to gain weight, so I would eat too much. Now, if I eat as much as I did [when I was in my twenties], I’ll gain [too much] weight. [Now that I’m older], I have to be really aware and not overeat.

Spotlyte: What’s your current outlook on eating well?

EP: Now, I approach food as fuel. I also eat a lot less meat and fewer carbs than I did in my twenties. 


Spotlyte: You just turned 50. Do you anticipate that your beauty, skincare, and/or wellness goals will change over the next decade? 

EP: No, I don’t think they’ll change. I’m very conscious of what I eat and what skincare products I use — and I’ll continue to be conscious of those things. I’ve always eaten organic food; I want to continue to stay informed on where my food and products come from. 


Spotlyte: Could you walk us through your skincare routine?

EP: First, I use a makeup remover from my facialist, Mitra Mansouri. I use the Meaningful Beauty Skin Softening Cleanser, followed by a vitamin C serum from Mitra. Then, I use the Meaningful Beauty Youth ActivatingTM Melon Serum. If I’m going to be in the sun, I use the Meaningful Beauty Day Crème with SPF​. If I’m not going to be in the sun, I’ll finish with Barbara Sturm’s® Hyaluronic Serum.


Spotlyte: Favorite facials or skin treatments?

EP: I get [radio]frequency facials from Joanna Vargas. I also get dermaplaning facials from Mitra Mansouri.


Spotlyte: Your hair is the perfect shade of “bronde” – who does your color? 

EP: Harry Josh!


Spotlyte: When do you feel your most beautiful?

EP: When my children tell me [I’m beautiful].

Spotlyte: How does the makeup you wear on Grey’s Anatomy differ from your off-duty makeup routine?

EP: I don’t typically wear makeup when I’m not filming. If I’m on a red carpet, my makeup is usually a lot heavier. 


Spotlyte: You have three children – and still manage to look gorgeous! Any beauty and/or self-care advice for busy moms who are trying to look and feel their best?

EP: Get a good night’s sleep and drink a ton of water. I also think minerals are super important. I take calcium and magnesium baths. [I love] QuintEssential® ocean minerals.

Editor's Note

As always, talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement. 

Spotlyte: Why do you think Grey’s Anatomy has withstood the test of time — and with such wild success all the while?

EP: It’s a combination of things. The writing is great, and unfortunately, everybody can relate to the stories we tell about illness in the hospital. Also, streaming [services] and social media have helped the show stay alive, especially with younger viewers. 


Spotlyte: Will this be the last season of Grey’s Anatomy

EP: No, this is not the last season. 


Spotlyte: What’s next for you? 

EP: Only time will tell.



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