Our fav crunchy mama, Kristen Bell, talks sunscreen, summer vacay plans, her next big projects, and the one thing she never leaves home without.
Kristen Bell in red lipstick
Credit: Tinseltown/Shutterstock

Building sand castles, running for the ice cream truck, leaping over the sprinkler! We can totally get behind all that comes with the summer months ahead, but there's one pesky thing we would rather forget—or at least, really wish didn't exist: sunburn. Kristen Bell would have to agree.

We had the chance to chat with the actress and mom-of-two, who dished on how she gets her kids to slather on sunscreen (hint: it's a game!), what her own skincare routine looks like (hello, glow!), and the big projects she's working on next (yep, get excited for Bad Moms 2!).

Q: It's heating up out there! What does your summer skincare routine look like for you and your kids?

KB: California is a relentlessly sunshine-y state, so in the summer I keep extra sunscreen in my purse to reapply throughout the day—not because I'm a crazy person, but because I know that after about four hours the sunscreen starts to wear off. I just don't want to risk anything with my kids. Getting just one bad sunburn as a child ups your chances of getting skin cancer as an adult, so we wear a lot of hats, we apply our sunscreen every morning before school, and I let them see me do it, too. You're taken more seriously when you show your kids you have the same good habits that you're trying to instill in them. So, in the mornings, we put on our sunscreen all together.

Q: Do you have any tricks to get your kids to put on sunscreen without a fight?

KB: Beyond just mommy-mimicking, I make putting on sunscreen into a game. I've had too many mornings of trying to do it really quick, and it doesn't work out. So, we pretend that sunscreen is "white goo." I let them squeeze it out of the bottle, apply it all over their bodies, and then I say, "OK, is it my turn?" And then I rub it in further. That goes over way better than when I try to do it all myself and say, "Just hold your arm out!" We apply this technique of 'you go first, I'll go second' to a lot of different things, like teeth brushing, and it always works better.

Q: What's one piece of advice you might tell your daughters in the future about their beauty routines?

KB: I would tell them that all skin is different, but what is most valuable for me is always going to bed with a clean face. I have to wear a lot of makeup for work, and I want to let my pores breathe at night. I'm a big fan of double cleansing. I like to use purifying wipes on the way home from work and then a facial cleanser, all from the Neutrogena Naturals line. I really make sure I'm getting everything off my skin so it can have a healthy night's sleep without a coating of makeup. After wearing their sunscreen, having clean skin is the thing I would instill in my daughters.

Q: What are you looking forward to doing as a family this summer? Do you have any big traditions or do you like to keep your summer days simple?

KB: I'll be working most of the summer, so it'll be a little more hectic than the rest of the year. My daughters only have a two-week break from school in August, but we usually rent an Airbnb in some other state that we've never seen before and invite all our friends and family to join. Last year, we rented a place in Grand Haven, Michigan, and just experienced a fun getaway and were able to see something outside of our bubble.

Q: We're still obsessed with Frozen (and Bad Moms and Veronica Mars...). What upcoming projects that you're working on should moms and families get excited about?

KB: From the mom perspective, I am just about to start shooting Bad Moms 2. The first movie dealt with the stresses of the school system, but this one deals with the stresses of the holidays and the mom's moms. So, those moments when your mom comes to town for Christmas or Hanukkah is what you'll see joked about in the new movie.

I'm also currently filming the second season of The Good Place, and I have to say, for kids who will sit down and watch TV, I think it's a good program to put on for the whole family. It's funny and silly, but it also deals with the ethics of human interaction and there are many morals and philosophy lessons peppered throughout each episode. It's really a show that asks the question, 'What is the right thing to do?' I think it's really beneficial to watch with your kids. Even if you don't have conversations about it, just know that the information is getting digested.

Q: Whether you're packing to go to the beach or off to work, what's the one thing you just won't leave home without?

KB: For me? A bottle of green tea. For my kids? Snacks and sunscreen.