Kerry Washington on the Beauty Product Everyone from Her Husband to Her 7-Year-Old Swipes

The Neutrogena ambassador gears up for the skin care brand's Heroes of Skin Health Equity ceremony and celebrates the 'magic' of late fashion trailblazer André Leon Talley on the PEOPLE Every Day podcast

Red carpet trendsetter Kerry Washington is honoring the "magic" of fashion trailblazer and industry icon André Leon Talley. In a new episode of the PEOPLE Every Day podcast, the acclaimed actress looks back on Talley's unparalleled influence on the world of fashion in light of his Jan. 18 passing at age 73 of undisclosed circumstances.

"The key to Andre's magic was that no one had that key but him, right?," she tells host Janine Rubenstein. "He had this unique sparkle and class, and he just elevated every space he was in. He was so kind to me, and I always walked away from a conversation with him both feeling more elegant than I was the moments before he began to utter a word to me, but also inspired to go find more elegance."

Talley became Vogue's fashion news director in 1983 before becoming the publication's first Black male creative director in 1988 and then editor-at-large from 1998 to 2013. "André Leon Talley saw elegance in the mundane, and he brought it out of the mundane, and he drove us all toward excellence, toward aesthetic excellence," she adds. "I just adored him, and it's such a loss."

Kerry Washington Andre Leon Talley
BILLY FARRELL/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

Washington, 45, has made an impact herself on the worlds of fashion and beauty, the latter of which has led her to a role as a Neutrogena ambassador. But it's not just the beautiful side of skincare that concerns Washington; she also wants to bridge the gap in skin health inequality.

"Everyone has such unique skin, and there are unique challenges in the Black and brown community; the way that our skin hyperpigments, the way that eczema impacts our skin because of the melanin, the way that aging happens in black and brown skin," she explains, admitting that she has battled eczema herself since she was a child and has spent most of her life figuring out how to properly manage it. "To find innovators, educators, healthcare experts who are committed to understanding that difference, and to being a safe place where people can get the information and care that they need, it's so exciting to be working to build that world."

Neutrogena recently launched their Heroes of Skin Health Equity initiative to recognize individuals who are working to make skincare more equitable in various sectors, including advocacy, education, expertise and transparency. "Equity in skin care health is a commitment that Neutrogena has made... to work for that equity and to support pioneers who are at the front lines of building that equity in communities," she says. (She will be co-hosting, with fellow Neutrogena ambassador Jennifer Garner, a social ceremony celebrating those who have made an impact in the space on the brand's U.S. TikTok at 8pm EST on Jan. 31.)

"We're really acknowledging, affirming, and uplifting educators, influencers, and innovators who are working towards skin health," she says of the event. "Whether they're doctors, tech innovators, or filmmakers, all of these people are really working to help create an even ground so that folks with black and brown skin can have access to healthy skin."

Washington has also made skin care a major priority for her family, revealing she takes advantage of Neutrogena's Hydro Boost products because she is "obsessed" with hyaluronic acid. "I love the moisture. Having dry skin my whole life, I'm biased to that category," she says.

The Scandal alum shares son Caleb Kelechi, 5, and daughter Isabelle Amarachi, 7, with husband Nnamdi Asomugha, and is also stepmom to Asomugha's teenage daughter, and says she has to keep the house stocked with her favorite product as it often goes missing from her own vanity. "I would notice it in my teenager's room, and notice it in my seven year old's room, and notice it in my husband's side of the bathroom," she says. "Everybody was taking my Hydro Boost, so we are definitely a Hydro Boost family."

Between her countless gigs as an actress, producer and director, Washington doesn't often have an entire day free for family, confessing she has 11 scripts currently awaiting her eyes. But when she can, her ideal day is chock-full of quality time with those she loves the most.

"Maybe a hike with my whole family somewhere we've never been before, maybe where we get to see some view of the ocean, a waterfall, or some natural beauty that puts us on a good state of awe, reminds us how small we are," she says of her ideal family day. "I think my perfect day would include me cooking something that I know my family loves, one of those recipes I always have in my back pocket that I know they're going to be excited about, and watching a movie that we all love together."

Check out more episodes of PEOPLE Every Day, airing on iHeartMedia, Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

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