Ryan Gosling Was “Dedicated” to His Extensive Tanning Routine for 'Barbie'

“We had to reapply his tan every week.”

ryan gosling on barbie set
(Image credit: Mega/Getty)

By now, I really, really, really hope you’ve had a chance to see Ryan Gosling in his Ken doll glory. The Canadian tuxedo, the “Ken” underwear, the ‘80s workout wear—the “Barbie” movie is simply that gift that keeps giving great Gosling photos. And it’s hard to talk about said photos, without mentioning the actor’s very bronzed complexion. Granted, a perfectly sunkissed, expertly even, and very dark tan is integral to the whole Ken vibe. But that in mind, achieving such a perfect tan—sans an exorbitant amount of sun exposure—wasn’t easy. 

“We generally had to re-apply his tan every week unless there was a specifically big scene where the studio wanted his tan to look as fresh and as 'perfect' as possible,” the movie’s tanning expert Kimberley Nkosi exclusively told Marie Claire. "In this case, especially with the tan having to work under various light sources and other aspects of onset tan, the ability to blend and control the color [was key.]”

To avoid blotches, unevenness, or anything short of perfection, Nkosi created a pretty intense routine complete with prep, tanning, and hydration. And while her formula was pretty stellar, she tells us that the “flawless” outcome wouldn’t have been possible if Gosling wasn’t so “dedicated” to the whole process. 

“My favorite products to use for the Ken transformation were from Isle of Paradise, mainly because they are not only very hydrating for the skin, but also because they have color correcting qualities,” Nkosi explains. “They can be mixed to a custom blend so that you can truly give your client a bespoke finish that suits their skin tone and looks natural.”  She’d “always” use the medium shade on Gosling, with a “touch of dark to balance his undertone and make sure he was camera-ready.” 

As for the shiny skin component that was clearly going on? She’d slather Gosling’s skin in the Dr. Hauschka Lemon Lemongrass Vitalizing Body Oil, which has toning and firming properties (not that he needed it). To finish off the entire routine, she’d put a little of Glossier Mango Butter on his lips.

Shop Ryan's Tanning Routine 

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, Makeup.com, Skincare.com, Delish.com, 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.