Time marches on but Rob Lowe’s face does not. IMDB claims this man is 51, which we find impossible to accept. How does something like this happen, you ask? No, he hasn’t made a pact with the devil or discovered Ponce de Leon’s life giving fountain in northern Florida. Rather Lowe’s been acting as a human guinea pig in the name of his side hustle—skincare. And apparently it’s working for him (I mean, just look at him!). After six years of putting himself out there as a test subject, he’s ready to unveil his magical tonics to the world. Lowe’s brand, called Profile, is a five-piece skincare range that aims to take the guesswork out of saving face while offering noticeable results (but no money-back guarantees that you’ll look as good as him). He sat down with us to reveal the impetus behind this labor of love, how creating skincare is like building a house, and which one of his character would marinate in the stuff.
What made you decide to create a grooming line?
Well, you know I created it from the ground up. It’s been six years of very hard work to get this day. It’s really exciting. I think that I’m like most guys in that I didn’t think about skincare or sunscreen or moisturizers or any of it but because of my job, I had people who did. And since the time I was 15, they have been doing that for me. And so I got to a certain point in my life where I started to see the results in my skin and the results in others that did not. I wanted to create something so all men could reap the benefits of what I have had…
What you have had forced upon you?
Exactly. I couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s years and years and years of working with the best and the brightest who have been making me look my best. And then distilling it into what’s absolutely essential, what’s really, really easy, not fussy, and offers the most bang for your buck.
Did you consult any of your regular groomers when you were formulating the line?
Part of the six years process was about finding the right partners, the labs, the people in the industry. I surrounded myself with people who knew how to practically get me what I wanted. The other side of it is my wife, before she went on to four other careers, she was the leading makeup artist for men in Hollywood. She worked with guys like Al Pacino, Harrison Ford, me, Kiefer Sutherland. So a lot of stuff I learned about grooming, I learned from her.
Was she also forcing it on you?
Oh yeah. Oh my gosh. And eventually I learned. And now I’m at a point where men go, “Dude, what’s happening with you?” Guys on the street literally will stop me and ask me, “What is your regimen?” And what I realized is that I do have one. And I’ve had it for years. It was this. It was various versions of this [gestures towards the products]. Before that it was whatever the makeup artist would use so it was a woman’s version of an under-eye product. And they didn’t care how much it cost or where they get it or how long it takes to put on. I care about all of that. And so that’s why I had to create my own line.
What were your top priorities when it came to the brand?
Results, ease, and lack of hassle. So what we have are a cleanser, you have to clean your face. What do you want from your cleanser? I’m very particular about it. I don’t want to smell like a fragrance factory. I want it to have the right amount of suds. I want it to be gentle enough and designed for my face but in a pinch, if I want to use it on my body, I can.
Most men don’t get enough sleep. The statistics are crazy depressing on that. And we know the eyes are the first place that shows evidence of that. So our Revive under eye treatment is our secret weapon. It has a rollerball. This is something that guys can throw in their pocket. I keep one in my pocket. Women have all these fun things. They have lipstick. They’re like, “I’m just going to put on this lipstick.” And guys have nothing so my thing is that you’re coming to final approach to JFK, I go into the bathroom and just womp womp [this is the sound of using eye serum] apply this eye product. You come home from work and have a date, and womp womp [another eye serum application], so this makes a difference.
There is a consistent anti-aging component in everything we do. It was important that this was built for men, not a repackaged version of what’s for women. Men’s skin is different—it’s 30% thicker, the pores are bigger, we start losing our collagen at 20. We have that in the chemistry of the line. You’re never too young to pay attention to that. And I wanted it to be non-toxic, so it’s toxic free certified. I didn’t want any added water. My thing is if it’s going into the product, it’s going in for a reason. And there really isn’t anything like it. And that’s the cool thing about getting to build something like this yourself.
Where did you come up with the name?
My movie and TV development company is called Low Profile so I just shortened it. And it had the added value of one of the most distinguished views of a man’s face.
Will you be adding to the line?
We developed products that aren’t out because I wanted to be very disciplined when I say to men, if you trust me on aesthetics and staying youthful looking, this is what is the necessary. And we will be introducing fragrances. That was the most fun. We worked with Dron, the lab down the street [from the interview location in New York City’s West Village]. There’s a long storied history of celebrities being affiliated with fragrances. But I’m actually creating this fragrance, not just attaching my name to it.
What took the longest to get right?
I wanted to get the right sunscreen moisturizer so we will have one. It’s really hard to do. There’s a reason why there isn’t a great one out there. It’s really important. We have one but it’s taking forever because it has to be right. It’s important because I’m outdoorsy. I’m outside all the time so it’s a big deal for me. Getting the scent right on the cleanser took forever. I think like most guys, if I want to have a scent on me, I want it to be my choice. I felt there was a need for what a regular guy wants. They want a fragrance in certain things, and not in others.
And what went into the packaging design?
The design of the packaging took almost as long as creating the compounds. Getting the midnight blue exactly right. These airless pumps create their own issues with the fill and time frames. I was really specific. I have a strong point of view on aesthetics. I hate those pumps on Cetaphil. This is the difference between a spec house and a house you built. If you want this, then you don’t get this. If you get this, then you have to have this. If you have to have this, then you’re going to need this. It never ends.
It’s like your baby.
I birthed this. And that’s another part of it. Why you? Why now? Why this? Part of this stems from having my own sons. They’re young men. One’s at Duke and one’s at Stanford. So they’re at that moment, when they’re really in the thick of trying to figure out their own male aesthetic and what that is for them. They’re trying to figure out what they want and what they need. So mentoring them as a dad would (is something missing here?). It’s made me think about this as well.
Are they using the products?
Well, you can never tell. [laughs]
Of all the characters you’ve played, which one would be most into this line?
Chris Traeger from Parks and Recs for sure. He would have loved this. He would have bathed in this. Chris Traeger thinks he’s going to live to be 150 years old. He’d look good if he used this.
Final thoughts about Profile?
It’s a labor of love but at the end of the day, the line totally speaks for itself. So many great people have been involved in its creation. I killed everything that was difficult or fussy. It’s no different really than writing my two books. You ask, ‘are people going to like it, are people going to use it.’ I built what was of interest to me and then sent it out into the world in the hope that people feel the same.