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Jessica Simpson is that one friend who doesn't hold back.
Since releasing her debut album Sweet Kisses in 1999, the singer, fashion designer, and best-selling author has been an open book over the past two decades, sharing her personal experiences with her faith, marriage, swollen pregnancy ankles, motherhood, and overcoming addiction to alcohol and pills — plus everything else she detailed in her 2019 memoir Open Book.
But dealing with eczema is one aspect of Simpson's life that she's never talked about, until now.
The star recently partnered with Eucrisa, a prescription non-steroidal topical eczema treatment, which has been game-changing in keeping her flare ups under control.
"I don't talk about things that I don't truly believe in, and I think it's important to share from personal experiences," Simpson tells me over the phone. "I feel bad when people don't know what it is [eczema] or are embarrassed. And if I know something that worked for me, I want to tell you about it."
Simpson sticks to her word, and over the course of our 15 minute chat, she fully divulged her eczema journey. I also caught up on everything the star has been doing during quarantine, from red light therapy for her skin to going on nature walks with her kids.
Oh, we also mourned over the dust all of our favorite shoes are collecting as we continue to stay home.
Describe your experience with eczema. Why have you never spoken about it before?
I'm always open about my insecurities, and I feel like I'm pretty transparent. I do believe that there is a way that we can find confidence in ourselves. I've had eczema since I was a kid. It's not really anything that I've ever talked about, and I don't really know why to be honest. I think because I had it a lot when I was in junior high and high school. Some of my memories of it when I was younger was being a cheerleader and then having to throw a sweatshirt on really quick after doing a routine or practice, even though it was so hot in Texas. They hug in Texas, so everybody would always come up and hug me and be like, "What's on your arms?" I would just blame it on a heat rash.
With so many at-home and prescription eczema treatments out there, how did you find one that works best for you?
I did go to a couple doctors and I've tried all kinds of things, a lot of over-the-counter stuff. Then, it kind of died down a little bit. I didn't notice it again until after I had Birdie [Simpson's third child], so around 16 months ago. Eric [Simpson's husband] was taking pictures of me holding her, and she's a newborn, so she's cradled in my arms. I was truly so embarrassed and I didn't feel good about myself. When you have a baby you want to show her off, especially in your arms. I was completely covering up. And I wouldn't send any of the pictures to even my best friends.
So I called my doctor and he immediately prescribed me Eucrisa. For me, it worked in two weeks and I noticed a major change. I used it for about three months, and then here and there I'll have a couple flare ups. I can just use it for a week and I'll be good. I do want to say that you might not experience the same thing that I have experienced. There is burning and stinging that can come along with it, but I did not have that. It's summer and people want to be wearing T-shirts and tank tops. Last summer, I did not, because I was very insecure. So, if I can give anybody any advice or hope and maybe a solution, Eucrisa is what works for me, and I would just encourage you to have that conversation with your doctor.
What have you been doing to stay sane and positive during quarantine?
Well, I mean, I have three kids. They keep me laughing; they keep me aware in every moment. They keep me in conversation, they keep me busy. But also, it's very important to have alone time. My husband and I are very good at tapping in, tapping out. I love journaling. After I released my memoir, Open Book, I started journaling again. It's been so healing for me throughout the pandemic because I address every day at the beginning of the day. I talk about my fears, my excitement, or whatever it might be. It's all right there on a page in front of me, and I've addressed it, and I feel aligned to go out and tackle the day. Sometimes if I feel really overwhelmed, I'll journal again at night on my couch in the library. I don't journal in bed, because then I'll never stop.
I'm not a great sleeper because we have monitors on three kids, so I think finding a good place where you like to be that feels healing is important. I put a lot of crystals and candles around me and just a lot of good positive affirmations. I'll even listen YouTube motivational speeches if I'm just in need of some extra encouragement. We all can get defeated during this time because everybody's confused and nobody has answers. We've never really been in this place before, so it's like we're all sitting with ourselves, and I think having those conversations with yourself is a very important thing to do.
Staying in the right mindset is so important, but tough to do.
To me, it's brought me closer to myself and to my faith. And also, it calms my children to know that I'm in that state of mind as well, because they can feel if you're anxious or if you're off — especially now. My oldest daughter is eight going on 16, so she is aware of everything. And my son is a silent observant person. We get out of the house and go on a walk and into the nature anytime we can. We live in a neighborhood that has a lot of horses and pigs and my baby loves pigs so much. My daughter has convinced me to buy one, so I might be getting a pig. She already named her dog Eva and we don't even have her yet. But, my baby snorts at the pigs and it's really cute.
VIDEO: Jessica Simpson Just Lampooned One of Her Most Famous Magazine Covers
Jessica Simpson Just Lampooned One of Her Most Famous Magazine Covers
"Housewife of the Year looks a little different these days."
You recently posted on Instagram about going extension free. On top of having a mental health routine, what has been your quarantine beauty routine?
I got really into red light therapy. I went down a rabbit hole on this amazing facialist and I was like, "Okay, I need something to tighten my skin, I just turned 40. I don't want to get Botox, I like my expressions. That's what makes me who I am." I mean, I understand Botox, but if I can just put a red light on my face, that's amazing and it's not something I have to pay for every time. I'm not endorsing that or anything, I really do believe in it. If I'm laying there with the red light on my face, it does put me into a meditative state of mind and I can just play music or a podcast or just get centered, but also know that I'm Benjamin Buttoning myself.
Your shoe line has been wildly popular since it launched in 2006. Do you ever get feedback about how the shoes are such formative heels for women?
I love the fact that people feel comfortable in my brand and confident to go into a meeting and tackle the day or to go in it with confidence. I know people love flats, and we do have a ton, but I'm sorry, a heel makes a world of difference. However, I do understand buying a great shoe that's comfortable. I think our brand is known for making shoes that offer comfort and [they] last. We also do a lot of carryovers of styles we know people love and gravitate towards. We mix prints and colorways and do different fabrications on the styles that are most comfortable and easy for people to wear.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.