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Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone has lived more than most 24-year-olds. She is an Olympic gold medallist and 400m hurdle world record holder and the youngest athlete to qualify for the USA track team since 1980. Now, the Olympic Gold Medalist has a new gig: Neutrogena Brand Ambassador. She joins Jenna Ortega and sister duo Chloe and Halle Bailey.
StyleCaster sat down with the track and field star as she gears up for the 2024 Olympic Games. We talked all things beauty, skincare, and self-care, as well as brand-new products from Neutrogena. These are the ones McLaughlin-Levrone uses to hydrate her dry skin, protect her face and body from the harsh sun, and keep her skin pretty and glowy all while slaying the game.
StyleCaster: What does it mean to you that your first beauty collab is with Neutrogena?
Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone: It’s my first skincare brand that I ever tried back in high school. It’s so accessible. I just went to CVS looking for help. I had a lot of acne and that was a huge thing for me. Their cleansers, their acne cleansers…I liked to try all of them, just really trying to figure out, okay, how does this whole skincare thing work? It’s very full circle.
Neutrogena has such amazing science behind their products. And they’re very open to helping people learn about their skin. I think that’s what’s so exciting for me is being able to become more knowledgeable and then share that with people. I struggled a lot with acne, I struggled a lot with dryness, and color, pigmentation, all that stuff. And so, I’ve always prided myself on being real with people. And I think this is an opportunity to be able to share this journey of skincare with my followers and whoever’s watching.
StyleCaster: Do you wear makeup when you compete? I’ve always wondered!
McLaughlin-Levrone: 1,000 percent. I feel like I’m putting on war paint. I have to sit down and do all my makeup and feel confident in what I’m about to go do and perform. Everybody in my sport at least, it’s so cool to see all the different looks so it’s fun. You feel like you’re expressing yourself doing what you love. It’s a huge deal.
StyleCaster: And tons of SPF, right? You spend so much time in the sun.
McLaughlin-Levrone: I use the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen
a lot. I think the tint [Editor’s note: the new Purescreen+ Mineral UV Tint Face Liquid Sunscreen
] is beautiful. You don’t have to do a full coverage look but you’re still getting that tint, still getting the protection. It is a little bit more lightweight but you’re still protected, which is huge. At the same time, you can still have that soft glam look that’s sometimes hard to achieve.
StyleCaster: You’re 24 now but you’ve been competing since you were a teenager. How has your skin changed the most?
McLaughlin-Levrone: I’ve gotten control of my acne. Dryness is the number one thing right now. Especially traveling a lot. I fly so much and the air gets so dry. So the Hydro Boost Water Face Cream is huge for me, the moisture, being able to lock it back in. The number one thing for my skin is just keeping it hydrated. That’s when it’s healthiest, when it’s hydrated and glowing and beautiful.
StyleCaster: You have a million followers on Instagram. Do you feel pressure to have perfect skin?
McLaughlin-Levrone: Your skin goes through cycles: it’s natural. But I think it’s about making sure you have the right routine. Especially since I am in the sun all day. And I’m sweating so much. I’m getting dirt on me. So the Neutrogena makeup wipes — I keep them with me all the time. If I wear makeup to a race or something, I’ll just wipe it off right after. It’s oil, dirt, and grime from touching the track, touching the field. It’s something I’m very conscious of. But at the same time, there’s going to be seasons where you get pimples and that’s what the pimple patches are for.
StyleCaster: When you’re not competing, you’re training. When you finally get a break, how do you de-compress?
McLaughlin-Levrone: I love the beach. I’m always at the beach just parked reading a book. That reset is so important because life is so busy, sometimes you just need to start fresh. I’ll start back in a couple of weeks and just start gearing up [for the 2024 Olympic Games.]. I’m so excited.
StyleCaster: I love that beauty brands like Neutrogena are working with athletes because you can be sporty and still care about what you look like.
McLaughlin-Levrone: You can take beauty and bring it into the sports world and merge the two and it doesn’t have to be one or the other. You can still be a competitor, still be fierce and you can do it while looking beautiful. Makeup or no makeup, you can still win.