Emilia Clarke Learned to Love Sunscreen Because She’s ‘Hell-Bent on Never Doing Crazy’ Stuff to Her Face

The actress and Clinique global brand ambassador talks SPF, self-care and what makes her feel beautiful

Images of Emilia Clarke and Emilia Clarke with Clinique’s new Moisture Surge Broad Spectrum SPF 28 Sheer Hydrator

When it comes to her beauty routine, Emilia Clarke is all about keeping things simple.

The Game of Thrones alum and Clinique global brand ambassador has spent tons of time in the makeup chair, and after surveying all the biggest pros in the biz, she tells PEOPLE that her “biggest” takeaway is to wear sunscreen.

The tip suits Clarke just fine, as she admits, “I’m hell-bent on never doing any kind of crazy stuff to my face. So, my option is [to apply] SPF.”

Clarke, 36, began to take her sunscreen routine “embarrassingly recently—three or four years ago,” she admits.

Images of Emilia Clarke and Emilia Clarke with Clinique’s new Moisture Surge Broad Spectrum SPF 28 Sheer Hydrator
COURTESY CLINIQUE

However, with a helpful nudge from Clinique — which just launched its Moisture Surge Broad Spectrum SPF 28 Sheer Hydrator — the actress has found a formula that not only protects her skin’s barrier but also, “actually works for my dry, sensitive skin,” she says.

Plus, Clarke “can’t get over the yummy texture” of the two-in-one moisturizer, which contains fermented aloe extracts and hyaluronic acid. “It just feels like you’re doing your skin a favor, which I absolutely adore.”

The formula has become her go-to in colder, less sunny months. But when in vaca mode, “I literally put SPF 100 on,” she says.

When it comes to the rest of her regimen, Clarke has learned that less is more. “Recently, I’ve just done 18 months of non-stop work and my skin was getting really reactive, and so I’ve just stripped everything back now. I’m just doing the most simple things possible,” she says.

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Images of Emilia Clarke and Emilia Clarke with Clinique’s new Moisture Surge Broad Spectrum SPF 28 Sheer Hydrator
COURTESY CLINIQUE

The star (who was featured in PEOPLE’s 2019 Beautiful issue), also shared that she feels most beautiful when she’s spending quality time with her inner circle.

“That is, when I’m at ease with myself and when I’m feeling my most truly me; that’s normally with my friends and my family,” she shares.

Clinique is celebrating the SPF launch, as well as what makes Clarke and others glow on the inside and out with its Protect Your Glow campaign. Throughout April the actress and TikTok content creators will share affirmations on the platform in an effort to spread positivity.

Images of Emilia Clarke and Emilia Clarke with Clinique’s new Moisture Surge Broad Spectrum SPF 28 Sheer Hydrator
COURTESY CLINIQUE

In 2019, Clarke wrote a personal essay for The New Yorker, detailing in depth her aphasia, the two life-saving brain surgeries she had undergone in 2011 and 2013 to remove her aneurysm growths, and how she dealt with it all in the middle of her career.

But beating the odds came with many takeaways that shifted the way Clark nurtures her body and her mind.

“I’m so much more aware of what my emotions are doing and I’m so much better equipped at dealing with them,” Clarke tells PEOPLE on how her mentality surrounding self-care and wellness has evolved since.

She adds: “I meditate every day in the morning and in the evening, I do yoga and I write in my journal, which has been a life-changing thing. Also, my new favorite phrase is: “It doesn’t matter.”

Something that’s definitely not easy to shrug off though, is Clarke’s soon-to-come Marvel debut on Secret Invasion, slated to premiere on Disney+ this spring.

While the details on her role in the action-packed MCU is under wraps (for now), Clarke divulges in the one thing that makes her feel like a superhero in real life. “Laughing with my friends. It’s like when Popeye eats spinach. They just give me so much life. Then I can go and be whoever I need to be,” she says.

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