Liza Koshy Learned Her New Self-Care Ritual From Michelle Obama
How she’s relaxing at home in Houston.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 6:27 AM
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Small rituals make home a place for rest and rejuvenation. In The Wind Down, we explore the wellness routines of people we admire.
Liza Koshy is taking some time to slow down—at least for the moment. The actor-comedian, who’s racked up more than 18 million followers on Instagram and another 17 million subscribers on YouTube, has spent the past three months quarantining in her parents’ home in Houston. “I feel like a sophomore in high school again,” she says, laughing.
In this rare moment of downtime, Koshy has been trying practically every wellness practice out there, from lymph-node drainage to meditation to good old-fashioned Bible study. She’s also starring in her biggest project yet—a dance competition movie on Netflix called Work It, which premieres today.
Here, she shares her full wellness routine, including a secret she learned from former first lady Michelle Obama (the two met while filming the documentary Creators for Change: Global Girls’ Education).
Easy start: I’ve been picking up a lot of wellness tricks from TikTok. One thing I’ve started doing is draining my lymph nodes in the morning. While cleansing my face, I’ll lay down on my bed with a wet face and push my face upward, like a little massage. I’ve also gotten into tapping—I beat the inside of my thighs and my calves, which is especially good for women.
Unexpected essential: I have a face roller from Yeamon that I brought with me to Houston, and it looks so creepy—it’s vibrating, and it literally has two balls on it that you use to pull your face upward. My mom came into my room and saw it sitting on my side table and was like, that’s…the creepiest thing in the world. And then she started talking about getting on dating apps—that face roller really opened me and my mom up.
Stream team: Speaking of dating, I’m watching the new Netflix reality show Indian Matchmaking. It’s crushing so many stigmas of Indian culture and stereotypes to see these independent Indian women thrive and be like, “You know what, I want this in a man.” It’s not the arranged marriage story that a lot of people think of. I love to see my girls find love—it inspires me to find my own.
Write it out: I journal at night to record my thoughts. Sometimes I read old ones and laugh at the young child I was, like, yesterday. I became more consistent with it after I met Mrs. Obama and read Becoming. I was like, “Okay, I’m going to step into this and keep a log of who I am and who I am becoming.” I take so much inspiration from her and her evolution. I write down mantras again and again, too. Mine is: “I radiate love to those I love, and those whom I love reflect love back to me.” It goes well with some lavender incense. And I’m in a Bible study group with my friends from college—that is the Texas deeply rooted in me. I do a devotional and read Scripture and then journal with them over the Bible app—thank you, Jesus, shout-out to God.
Skin saviors: I’m so into clean beauty right now and forever more. I recently became a brand ambassador for C’est Moi Beauty, which is verified by the Environmental Working Group. I double cleanse—I know all the skin-care addicts would come at me if I didn’t. I put my skin-care routine on YouTube, and people came for me. I was like, Okay, yup, I got it. You want me to do better, and your constructive criticism is improving me. I also multi-mask my problem areas on my face—I describe myself as a makeup artist with my masks, because I have three different shades of mask on my eyelids alone.
Body care: I have discolored knees and elbows because that is just brown girl probs. So I scrub them daily in the shower with a coconut sugar scrub that leaves my skin feeling so smooth and refreshed. When I get out of the shower, I always put on baby oil, which gives me baby fever for myself. I learned that whenever you’re applying anything to your skin, rub upward, because gravity has other plans.
Sleep setup: Right now I’m sleeping on a mattress that was picked out by my parents, which is not comfortable. Our generation is so into Casper—soft, billowy clouds of a mattress, because we understand that you spend at least six hours of your life every day on it. Sleeping on my parents’ mattress, it feels like a sidewalk with a sheet on top. It is apparently an Indian thing to sleep on really hard surfaces—it’s not comfy. It’s kind of like acupuncture: It’s supposedly good for you, but you don’t want to go back.
Calm thoughts: I meditate every day. Headspace was that app I first used about three years ago—when I entered Hollywood, if that tells you anything. Just kidding! I started going to a place called Unplug in West Hollywood, and it’s amazing. There’s no place in Texas like it—there’s LED lighting all around and it looks like a Gen-Z bedroom. You sit down with a bunch of other people who have issues and they play singing bowls. I found out it has an app, so I use that now.
Amped up: I might also have a pep talk with my wall. I’m doing press right now, so I always need them. It’s been a while, so sometimes my wall is my love interest. We role-play; it’s fine.
Subliminal sounds: I give most of my credit and inner peace not to my perseverance or personality but to the 432 Hz frequencies that I listen to at night. I discovered them three years ago when I first got into meditation and was Googling around. You spend six to 10 hours in bed every night, so if there’s some kind of subliminal messaging I can play during that time, I want to do that. I pick ones that put me in a positive mood for the next day. They’re on YouTube, which is actually kind of terrifying, because it could be a super-smooth frequency and then in the middle it can be like, “Hail, Satan” and you had no idea. But I trust it.
Lights-out ideally at midnight…realistically at 4:30 a.m., and up again at noon.
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