Jennifer Garner Swears by This Wellness Ritual to “Dump Negative Feelings” Before Bed

“It’s such a calming part of my night, that I sometimes have trouble staying awake.”

jennifer garner
(Image credit: Getty)

Jennifer Garner leads a busy life—there’s acting projects, mom-ing to three, running Once Upon a Farm, serving as a Neutrogena ambassador, and more. That's all to say, when the Alias actress cues you into the wellness ritual that helps her find her calm, reset, and stay balanced, you listen. 

“Right before bed I write in my journal—just something. I try to dump negative feelings. I mean, if somebody ever finds my journals (God forbid), they’ll read a lot of me kvetching just to dump it out and vent so it stays on the pages instead of staying in me,” Garner exclusively tells Marie Claire. “Then I really try to find something positive to write about it, too—what I’m grateful for and all the good things. There’s more of that then there is stuff to complain about. It’s such a calming part of my night that sometimes I have trouble staying awake.” 

Garner has also found a way to bring that same peace and calm to her skincare routine. “I know what I want out of it,” she says. So with a music backdrop, a candle, a diffuser, and a Neutrogena lineup of skincare, she sets up shop in her bathroom. “When I sleep, I ask my skin to work for me. I either want it to regenerate with retinol or I wanna boost it with hydration so I wake up feeling dewy, plump, and moisturized,” Garner says. The products she enlists to do the job: Neutrogena’s Hydrate Duo Pack and Regenerative Duo Pack, which she calls her “best friend.” The former is packed with hyaluronic acid, while the later focuses on retinol as a star ingredient. 

While you won’t find the 13 Going on 30 star standing there doing a facial massage or using 12 different tools (efficiency is key), you will 100 percent, without a shadow of a doubt, find her bringing every single product down to her neck. “My mom always said, Don't forget your neck. That’s advice from Pat Garner,” the actress tells me. “You have to moisturize your neck.” 

To shop Garner’s skincare routine (including the SPF she swears by), scroll ahead. 

Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and shares the breakdown on the latest and greatest trends in the beauty space. She's studied up on every ingredient you'll find on INCI list and is constantly in search of the world's glowiest makeup products. Prior to joining the team, she worked as Us Weekly’s Beauty and Style Editor, where she stayed on the pulse of pop culture and broke down celebrity beauty routines, hair transformations, and red carpet looks. Her words have also appeared on Popsugar,,,, and Philadelphia Wedding. Samantha also serves as a board member for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). She first joined the organization in 2018, when she worked as an editorial intern at Food Network Magazine and Pioneer Woman Magazine. Samantha has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While at GWU, she was a founding member of the school’s HerCampus chapter and served as its President for four years. When she’s not deep in the beauty closet or swatching eyeshadows, you can find her obsessing over Real Housewives and all things Bravo. Keep up with her on Instagram @samholender.