Rob Lowe on Deep House, Parks and Recreation, and PROFILE Skincare | Q&A

robloweprofileImage by David Raccuglia

Why is Rob Lowe smiling? Well, he’s 30-plus years into showbiz as a dramatic and comedic actor and nobody’s sick of him yet. He’s got twelve racks sitting pretty on his wrist. And he’s about to throw a perfect spiral.

But besides all that: Rob Lowe is smiling because he’s super stoked on his PROFILE skincare line. Far from a vanity project, PROFILE is a sincere labor of love. And it’s available exclusively at Nordstrom.

Mr. Lowe is literally stoked, as his character Chris Traeger on Parks and Recreation would say. On the phone he was chipper and came off like he had all the time in the world to chat (he did not; he was literally in the middle of filming his new TV show, The Grinder).

Read more below about Lowe’s favorite Chris Traeger line, which XM Radio station he plays while chillaxing in his pool—and why he’s 51 but looks 36.


Nordstrom blogs: What motivated you to start a skincare line in the first place?

Rob Lowe: It was a couple of factors. One was watching my two sons know how they wanted to present themselves to the world as they began to date and dress nicely. And helping them go through those periods like, OK, now it’s time to wear deodorant—and maybe Axe Body Spray isn’t what you want for the date. And realizing there’s a whole lack of mentorship in that area for young men. Young men coming into their own as capital Young Men.

So it was two things. It was that, but it was also people always interested in what my personal regimen was. I couldn’t get through an interview with anyone—George Stephanopoulos, Charlie Rose—without them asking, “You seem to be getting along well!” I wanted to share with them what I’ve been doing for years. Most of which was because people made me do it. So my message is, “I’m no different than you.” I don’t come to it naturally. It was my job to have it done to me, and I see the results today, many years later. So take it from me.

And what is the “it” that you had done to you? Moisturizing your skin?

It depends on how in depth the customer wants to go. There are the essentials you have to do, and that’s how we decided what we wanted to start the line with. And that is a cleanser that’s tough enough for the grime and sweat that men have in their lives but is also gentle enough. There’s the moisturizer. For many guys moisturizing sounds very feminine to them, it’s what their moms or wives do. It’s hugely important. And then there’s our secret weapon, which I developed, the under-eye roller for circles, puffiness and fine lines. It’s turned into our top seller and I sort of suspected it would. It’s far outperformed everything else in the line and I’m really happy about it. Because it really is a cool, fun thing that gets amazing results that every dude should have in their pocket.

In what way did you develop this line?

Developed or created, whichever language you prefer, because it didn’t exist before I had the idea to do it. I put together the team. I vetted the team. I chose the best—hopefully I chose the best and brightest because obviously I’m not a chemist. I know what I want, what’s worked for me, what men should be doing. I’m sitting here right now looking at prototypes for the next round of products. I’m pretty into the minutiae. The exfoliator, I want the beads to be bigger. I prefer a bigger bead to a smaller bead. The charcoal mask component; I prefer the darker charcoal to the lighter charcoal. There isn’t a detail I haven’t created or signed off on. Designed the packaging. Designed the website. Wrote the language.

Have you ever had that kind of involvement with another product?

Never. This is the first. It comes part and parcel with turning 50 a year and a half ago. And writing two bestsellers that are a complete departure from everything I’ve ever done. I’m finding pleasure in being entrepreneurial. And communicating. The books were communication with an audience I’ve had a 30-year relationship with. This is nothing different. Direct communication with men and the women who love them, saying if you have any trust at all in my judgement or my aesthetic, this is for you.

Speaking of your writing life: Where do you write? Is there a certain place that gets a good result from you?

You’re gonna laugh. It’s airplanes.

Because you’re always on them?

Because I’m always on them and it’s the only place I know that: a) I’m going to be left alone and uninterrupted, and b) there’s nothing I can be distracted by when I hit a bump in the road. I can’t say, “You know what, I’m going to check on my fantasy football league. You know what, maybe I’ll get on the treadmill for 30 minutes.” Because that’s the stuff that goes on for me when I write at home. That said, when I’m home I have an office that’s perfectly set up to write. I write outside. The short answer is wherever and whenever I can. I wrote both books in trailers, on movie sets, in the kitchen, in my kids’ rooms, in my bedroom. You name it, I’ve written there.

How much do you follow young Hollywood today, and what do you think about the culture of celebrity now versus the Brat Pack days?

I get asked that a lot and I understand why. You’d think after all these times, I’d have a better answer. Because I’m not sure if I’d rather be a young actor today or when I was a young actor. The good news about my era was you were put through a baptism of fire. And if you didn’t have talent, if you didn’t have something to really offer, you didn’t get invited in. Today, because I think there’s so much opportunity, it’s easier to get the foot in the door. The bad news about today is longevity seems to be more fleeting. I think it’s the culture. When I started, nobody was famous for being famous.

What attracted you to your role in The Grinder? Your character sounds hilarious, an actor who plays so many lawyers he believes that he can do real lawyering?

Exactly. We’re four episodes in and I’ve never had more fun on a show. I’ve never been more proud of a show. Look, I don’t know if anyone will watch it. I suspect they will. But I guarantee it will be the funniest thing on TV when it debuts. It’s in the writing. The writing, the writing, the writing. It’s a hard comedy character. And I’ve been so blessed to play the character on Behind the Candelabra, or Californication, or Chris Traeger on Parks and Recreation. Those are hard comedy. Those aren’t leading men. They’re character parts.

What’s your favorite Chris Traeger line, speaking of?

It’s going to be awfully hard to top: Stop pooping. That was an ad-lib, by the way.

Nice. My favorite is, “You are all my little hydration packs.”

Oh, nice! That’s an obscure one. A deep cut.

Last question. Speaking of deep cuts, what’s some music that’s in heavy rotation for you on a weekend or when you’re lounging around these days?

SiriusXM radio has totally changed my life. My favorite right now is the station called Chill, which my kids tell me is deep house or trance music. I’ve got Ibiza going at my pool, bro.

–Andrew Matson

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Monika Tuttle October 20, 2015, 5:35 am

    It was great reading this conversation with Rob. There are many things one can do to enhance their beauty and life, natural way is something very effective and beneficial to go for.

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