Pharrell Williams‘ secret to aging in reverse is his new Skincare line, Humanrace. We’ll just say it: Pharrell Williams is the Benjamin Button of the music industry. The 47-year-old singer, rapper, and producer looks almost more youthful now than he did when he first went solo with his single Frontin‘ in 2003. So it was no surprise when we learned that Williams is now channeling his creative energy into a brand-new skincare line called Humanrace. What also comes as no surprise: The 3-piece collection (a cleanser, exfoliating product, and moisturizer) is about more than just looking after for yourself superficially. The line has firm roots in the ubiquitous but elusive idea of self-care. Used concurrently, the products provide the groundwork for a 3-minute daily facial—and a brief respite from, well, life.
“Selfcare is essential not only to be healthy in body, but healthy in mind,” Williams tells me. And it’s a philosophy that’s clearly resonating: As of this writing, Humanrace was sold out online. And if the stylish, refillable packaging isn’t proof enough, this line is meant to be used by anyone. “We’re more than gender-neutral,” says Williams. “We’re for human beings—hence the name Humanrace.” Here, he shares the skincare step he thinks everyone should lean in to, why wrinkles are “essential,” and what he wishes more men realized about their skin.
Is Humanrace inspired by your own skincare regimen?
Yes. It’s based on a routine I’ve been committed to doing for the past 20 years. I worked hand-in-hand with my dermatologist, who determined there are three necessary pillars in skin health: cleansing, exfoliating the dead layers of skin, and humidifying, which is locking in moisture.
So what’s the secret looking youthful and healthy?
The secret’s leaning in to exfoliation, locking in moisturize, and staying committed to your skincare routine.
How involved was your dermatologist, Dr. Elena Jones, in the development process?
I’ve been seeing Dr. Jones for over 20 years. She really taught me the value of taking care of my skin and having an effective routine. For Humanrace, she helped with the formulations, making sure the ingredients were effective, that it was for all skin types, and that the routine could be easily followed in 3-steps.
In addition to being sustainable, the packaging features braille—why was that important to include?
We couldn’t, in good conscious, call ourselves Humanrace and not have braille be a part of the packaging.
Do you get cosmetic treatments like Botox, fillers, peels, or the like?
No. I think wrinkles are essential. Wrinkles and such match the energy of your existence to your physicality. Your face is the result of the spirit behind it. We should be celebrating lines and wrinkles.
Do you think phrases like “Black don’t crack” are harmful?
This may sound controversial, but some stereotypes are true, the historical and racial overtones of them just may be politically motivated. When you look at the truth, melanated skin is inherently beautiful.
How do you see men evolving in terms of their interest in skincare?
It’s been unfortunate, because up until now, skincare has been marketed to men with gender biases; it’s either been hypersexualized or it’s marketed around basic hygiene that stops beyond soap and deodorant. The category should be for humans. Facial skincare should be a conversation anyone feels they can be a part of. I’m seeing more men being interested in skincare, but they can’t find a way into the category because of the stigmas. My relationship with Chanel began because there was women’s clothing and accessories I felt I could wear, so I did. Skincare should not be something you should determine if you can pull off; you should be focused on caring for your skin. It’s your self-expression tool.
What’s your wish for the world in 2021?
That people are more self-aware. That people see themselves. At the moment, our phones captivate and distract us, we don’t really mean the things we say, do, feel, think and intend; it affects far more people than we think, and not necessarily in the best ways.
How do you live your best life?
In gratitude. God is the greatest, he never misses.