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.

Ellen Pompeo skincare routine


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].

Ellen Pompeo skincare routine


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.


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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