Beloved Broadway actress Brittney Johnson made history as the first Black actress to play Glinda in the “Good Witch” role in Wicked. Now, she is on to new endeavors, including becoming a first-time mom. We recently chatted with Johnson—who is also an ongoing partner with Prudential Financial and will be the face of their upcoming “Stages on Broadway Contest”—as she gave us a very detailed look into her multi-step, pregnancy-safe skin-care routine.
What are some pregnancy skin-care shifts you’ve made to your routine?
Since becoming pregnant, I have minimized my face routine and boosted my body skin-care routine. I used to use a cleanser, toner, serum, and moisturizer on my face pretty much every night—I’m partial to YSL products for my face. But since being pregnant, I’ve noticed that my skin is a lot more sensitive, and doesn’t require as much, so I’ve streamlined my face routine to just toner and moisturizer, and I do a full cleanser and use a serum every few days or whenever I wear makeup or have a particularly sweaty workout.
As for my body routine though, I used to only moisturize my entire body at night after a shower. NOW, I do a layer of vitamin E oil and lotion on my chest, baby bump, and thighs every morning. At night, I do it again, in addition to my regular allover moisturizer post shower. It probably adds another eight minutes or so to my daily routine, but it’s made all the difference and I haven’t had any trouble with stretch marks!
Is there anything product-wise you discovered that you can’t believe how great it is?
I’ve always known how amazing cocoa butter is, but since being pregnant, I run through bottles of Palmer’s so fast I had to put myself on an Amazon subscription! It makes my skin feel soft and moisturized all day without a whole lot of added ingredients that I can’t pronounce or a price tag that makes me gag. Wins all around!
How has your fitness routine changed during your pregnancy?
Well, when I first got pregnant, my fitness routine didn’t change that much. I usually go to the gym about five times per week. I love to work out and move my body. About mid-way into my first trimester, I started experiencing a lot of the normal pregnancy symptoms (nausea, aversion to smells, etc.), but the biggest pregnancy symptom I was dealing with was exhaustion. Pregnancy exhaustion isn’t like regular exhaustion. Pregnancy exhaustion says, “Sit down. No not in a few minutes, sit down right now wherever you are,” and then you wake up an hour later from a nap you didn’t know you were taking. Turns out it takes a whole lot of energy to grow another human being!
I got back a bit of my energy in the second trimester, and I probably made it to the gym two or three times a week with a very modified routine. I’m in my third trimester now, rounding home base in a few short weeks, and my exercise routine consists of standing to cook and walking up and down the stairs! I’ll go for a 30-minute walk a few times a week, but I’m really trying to listen to my body, and give it the rest it needs to prepare for this next stage of life. Did I mention already that it is hard work growing another human being?!
Do you have any go-to wellness spots in New York?
I actually moved outside of the city to Connecticut not too long ago, but I still travel into NYC for work. When you’ve lived in the city for 15 years, your go-to wellness spot is generally any place NOT in the city. Ha! But now that I’m more removed from it, I have a few things that I miss, and I actively seek out when I’m back. Right before we moved, my fiancé and I lived on the 43rd floor of an apartment building that overlooked the Hudson River, and the sunsets were truly spectacular. If I’m ever in the city when the sun is setting, I always head over to the river, pick a bench, and watch the sun set. I also miss my favorite restaurant, Toloache. I feel like family every time I go in there, and the food is otherworldly. So, I usually make a point to at least stop by and say hello, if not eat there, when I’m in the city.
When you were on Broadway, what was the secret to removing all your makeup at the end of the night?
The key for me was using a makeup removing wipe before I cleansed! It might sound simple and obvious, but I am SO low maintenance when it comes to my beauty routines; I like things that are simple, fast, and most of all, effective. When you’re doing a show eight times a week, you just don’t have the energy or time to do a 50-step face routine every night.
For the longest time, I kept looking for a magic one-step makeup cleanser that I could simply rub on my face in the shower to remove my makeup. But stage makeup is heavier than most regular makeup, and you have to be intentional about how you take it off and care for your skin. I was finding that if I went directly to a cleanser, I’d have to wash my face multiple times to really get my face clean, and it was drying out my skin. So I started using a makeup wipe to get that initial layer off before I cleansed, and it made ALL the difference. It’s a good lesson too: Sometimes the simple fix is the best one.