Rob Lowe has a certain genetic advantage when it comes to handsomeness. But lots of handsome actors have aged less well than he has. In fact, Lowe, whose career includes Wayne's World, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Oxford Blues, "The West Wing," and currently "Parks and Recreation," seems to have aged hardly at all. He's even penned an autobiography, Stories I Only Tell My Friends (2011), and is working on another book called Love Life (2013), all without breaking into especially deep wrinkles.
So when Lowe, 48, was in Toronto to host the 4th Annual P&G Beauty and Grooming Awards on November 19th at the Carlu, Beautygeeks asked him why he looks so good.
BEAUTYGEEKS: Is skincare important to you?
ROB LOWE: Whereas most guys don't want to deal with moisturizers or sunblock -- the most rudimentary basic stuff -- I have forever because it's part of my job and people are doing it for me [on set]. My wife [Sheryl Berkoff] is a tremendously talented and accomplished makeup artist; I've been around her enough to learn from her.
A lot of it is how you live your life. The inside comes to the outside, so being active is a big part of it. Staying interested in the world, staying relevant -- all the stuff you need to do to have a career anyway in my business also helps you continue to be vital. That reads outwardly.
BG: Do you have specific grooming tips from Sheryl?
RL: I do -- I have a top secret project that I'm working on, and I have very specific answers to that. And all will be revealed, but I can't do it right now. It's a subject I'm very, very interested in, and I think it's important for men today to get with the program.
I'm not a fussy guy. I don't want fancy, I don't want to work too hard at it, I don't want to spend too much time on it -- and I think guys use that as an excuse to not do some really simple things I think make a world of difference.
The market in grooming is huge and growing, and for good reason. It's just the latest manifestation of all personal growth that guys are trying to do. They're trying to be better in every area of life, trying to live longer, to know more, to have better jobs, make their relationships better, so why wouldn't you physically also want to make yourself look as good as you can?
BG: You play a health nut on "Parks and Recreation." How much of that is part of your everyday life?
RL: I've always been really, really physical. If I have time, I do something every day, whether it's swimming or surfing or tennis. If I don't do it, I just don't feel good. It's something I really enjoy, and I've been doing that since The Outsiders, when we used to do Nautilus -- remember that? It's just part of my life. It gives me energy -- I need it because I work such long hours and I travel so much. It beats jet lag, fights fatigue, so it's a really big, important part of my life. My character on Parks, Chris Traeger -- I think they might have stolen a little bit of that from me.
I wish I could be as healthy as Chris. I'm a health enthusiast, not a health facist. I have teenage boys at home. Eleven o'clock rolls around and that pizza is getting delivered, you need a stronger man than I to say no.
TRX workouts are unreal. I want maximum impact for my time... if I'm working out, I want to work out. It doesn't need to be fun, it just needs to bust my ass. TRX is great. Rule number one: if it's good enough for the Navy SEALS, it's always good enough for me.
BG: You have great hair; do you do anything special?
RL: I'm a freak about haircuts. There's nothing better than a good haircut. Because I don't like to do my hair. My hair now is done; I did something to it this morning, but that's all.
It's like a great suit -- it's not about the suit, it's about the tailoring. So it's not about how much hair you have or don't have or where it is, it's how it's cut. There are guys with no hair that look amazing, and guys with a lot of hair that look terrible.
I can't spend time on it. Most guys are like that. We don't want a hassle. We want to do as little work as we can for maximum gain. By the way, that's true in every area of my life.
BG: You've been married 20-odd years; what's your secret?
RL: I think the secret is knowing that there's no special magic key. You come at it from a predicate that there's no perfect relationship, there's no perfect marriage. Then when it gets hard, as it ineveitably will, you don't start looking for the exits.
And then it's like making a good movie -- it's all about casting. I married my best friend. That will always be there. The other stuff comes and goes, but if you have that, then you're way out of the gate.
My only real out and out advice is that if you're out there and you're dating, and you're romantically interested in your best friend, that's the person. Close the deal.
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What do you think Rob Lowe's TOP-SECRET project might be? A skincare line in collaboration with his makeup-pro wife Sheryl, maybe? (Sheryl is also an accomplished jewelry designer, and founder of Sheryl Lowe Jewelry.)
UPDATE: Reports that the actor is working on a skincare line date back to October of last year. Stay tuned.
UPDATE Nov 2014: Rob Lowe has finally revealed the name of his upcoming skincare line: Profile Performance Men's Grooming. Watch for it in 2015.
UPDATE 2015: Now Profile by Rob Lowe, the actor's skincare line is available via profilebyroblowe.com.
UPDATE 2019: This October, Rob Lowe launched a second collection of Profile skincare aimed at younger, active men. Called Cobalt, the gluten-free line-up includes an acne-fighting face wash with tea tree, a face scrub with activated charcoal, and an SPF 30 water-resistant facial moisturizer, all affordably priced under $12 USD via cobaltbyroblowe.com.
Rob Lowe is also a freak about fragrance. Read all about his appreciation for Tom Ford and blending his own scents at The Whale and the Rose.
A version of this story appears in today's and Monday's Metro News (click here to download the page), depending on the city. The Outsiders photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Rob Lowe as Parks and Recreation's Chris Traeger photo: Danny Feld/NBC. Above portrait: PA Photo/Sam Jones.