It might surprise you.

By Susan Brickell
May 12, 2020
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If you've binged your way through Netflix's Queer Eye, chances are, you fell in love with Jonathan Van Ness—the hilarious, fierce, glowing, long-haired grooming expert who acts as a self-care guide, helping men and women reconnect with themselves and feel good in their skin.

What you might not know about Van Ness is that on top of being a beauty guru, the 33-year-old sensation is also a comedian, gymnast, ice skater, yogi, activist, bestselling New York times author (check out his book Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love), professional morning coffee dancing queen, and self-proclaimed cat parent (Have you seen his Instagram production CATV?)—so it goes without saying, he's busy AF.

Health got the chance to sit down with Van Ness and get the scoop on his favorite fitness classes, his go-to athletic leggings, his quarantine hack for dry, overly washed hands, and the one skincare product he always recommends to everyone.

His favorite fitness classes

Having such a demanding schedule, Van Ness understands how real the challenge can be of carving out time for a workout and how critical it is to your physical and mental health. "The wellness movement is really important to me. I have to move and get active—and in the morning before I start work I'm just not the JVN people know and love," he tells Health. "The last couple of years as I've just started traveling so much more, my schedule has become busier, and having the ability to workout on my schedule became more important," he adds.

FitOn

So, it made perfect sense for him to partner with FitOn, a recently launched digital fitness platform, which aims to makeover working out at home (or wherever you might find yourself), so that it's fun, exciting, and more appealing. FitOn offers app-based free fitness classes, including a variety of yoga flows taught by Van Ness, himself. And imho, who best to tap for its yoga classes than JVN, who radiates good energy and positive vibes?

What makes FitOn so *great* is that you can literally stream classes anywhere and anytime (perfect for quarantining during the coronavirus outbreak), you don't need expensive workout equipment, and best of all, it's free. On teaming up with the app, Van Ness says it "brings ease and purpose to my life, because I want to move and I need to do it on my own time as a business owner"—which anyone who struggles to find time to squeeze in a sweat session or doesn't want to splurge on a gym membership can relate to.

JVN's must-have workout gear

When he's sneaking in a workout on the road or at home, Van Ness also loves FitOn's HIIT and barre classes, which he says are ideal for getting in a killer workout when you're crunched for time. He incorporates resistance bands into his exercises to make moves more challenging and intense, as well as massage balls to help with recovery. And he finds himself constantly reaching for his Alo Yoga leggings when it's time to sweat, touting them to be his "favorites." (He's not alone—celebrities like Chrissy Teigen also swear by the brand.)

His everyday skin heroes

If you love Jonathan Van Ness as much as we do, you'd most likely take his advice on just about anything. When it comes to skincare and haircare, you better believe the resident grooming expert of Queer Eye has got some life-changing recommendations.

"I'm really into Biossance. I love the Omega Repair Cream. It's the lotion or moisturizer I use most often on my face and neck," JVN tells us. The Biossance Omega Repair Cream ($58; sephora.com) is a thick, decadent cream boasting hyaluronic acid and omega fatty acids to hydrate and moisturize skin without feeling greasy. (One Health editor tried Biossance's eye gel and was impressed with how it plumped her under eye area and improved her dark circles!)

And while we should point out that Van Ness was named a spokesperson for Biossance last year, it's no surprise his routine includes the clean, nontoxic skincare line. It's gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin types, including those with conditions like psoriasis—and Van Ness has been open about his struggle with psoriasis in the past.

He's also a fan of skincare brand Algenist, and shares that he uses its primer and serum. The Algenist Genius Liquid Collagen serum ($115; sephora.com), in particular, features vegan collagen, alguronic acid (sourced from algae), and microalgae oil to hydrate, restore skin's bounce, and minimize fine lines and wrinkles.

The skincare product JVN recommends to everyone

The product he always recommends to everyone is sunscreen—which makes sense, as dermatologists also suggest wearing it every. single. day. It'll not only prevent you from getting a lobster-like burn, but it'll also protect you from sun damage, hyperpigmentation (like melasma), and fine lines and wrinkles. And yes, just because you're stuck indoors during quarantine does not mean you're off the hook. Experts say you still need to wear SPF while inside.

Finding a worthy sunscreen (translation: one that won't feel oily on skin or leave behind a white cast) can be tough, so Van Ness shares his go-to: Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 ($30; sephora.com), which he notes is "amazing" and "easily absorbs into the skin."

The beauty item he won't leave home without

The one product he won't leave his house without? "Right now, hand sanitizer," Van Ness says. But in a world pre-coronavirus, he kept blotting papers close at hand. His pick: Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers ($12; sephora.com), 100% natural papers that absorb oil and zap shine.

Hair tools Van Ness actually uses

If you've started to neglect your haircare routine (I mean, who are you seeing IRL right now anyway?), but are on the hunt for a quick hair solution for those Zoom calls with your boss or virtual dates, Van Ness has you covered. He's discovered he's been relying more on his Dyson Air Wrap Styler ($549; sephora.com), since "the brush attachment on it helps to just blow my hair straight really fast and is really convenient." This tool saves you from spending unnecessary time primping in front of the mirror just to sit inside on your couch all day.

Another not-to-miss item he likes: Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Styling Clips ($15 for 3; dermstore.com), creaseless clips that make sectioning and styling even easier. Van Ness uses them to smooth hair down or to hold a perm or curl while hair finishes setting.

Courtesy of merchandisers

His quarantine hack for dry hands

"Recently I've been struggling with my hands being so dry from washing so frequently," Van Ness says. As a nighttime fix, he's been washing his hands, thoroughly drying them off, applying a thick layer of body balm to them, and then putting socks over his hands at bedtime—"just to give them an extra layer of moisture."

A self-care ritual he swears by

Face masks get JVN's stamp of approval—and he doesn't just mean the cloth ones the CDC recommends everyone to be wearing in public. "Put your hair up. Wash your hands. Do a nice relaxing face mask while you're in the bath—really turning that into a ritual. Lighting a little candle. Turning on some music. Do 2-3 minutes of mediation beforehand, so you can really turn that face mask time into a calming ritual," he tells Health.

When it comes to masks, Van Ness loves any mask by Peter Thomas Roth, and he's also a fan of the Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Detox Mask ($39; sephora.com), which features tea tree oil, squalane, and French green clay to soothe and soften skin, draw out impurities, and remove excess oil. "It's really gentle and won't bring out your pimples, but I do feel like it helps get rid of them faster," Van Ness says. He also notes that it's good for surface acne, since it gently releases the pores and also has squalane in it so it won't dry out skin.