“The best facial is what you put inside your body” says our columnist. Here, she shares her skincare essentials - inside and out
Growing up in Australia, I was able to spend endless days in the sun. I‘d either be at the beach or heading there! Naturally, this was great for my vitamin D levels but perhaps not so great for my skin health. I lathered myself in baby oil to nail that iconic seventies' golden tan.
Having said that, I was fairly blasé about my skin, barely looking in the mirror most days. I certainly didn’t have a skincare routine. As a teenager, I had my fair share of pimples to which I would apply toothpaste and Aussie teen rite of passage, Clearasil.
I definitely consider my father’s olive skin and dark eyes a major influence whereas my mother was fair with blue eyes. Both of them still have wonderful skin for their age.
Later, when I was modelling, I had to be fastidious about removing my makeup. It was the eighties and nineties so think full hair and full makeup, leaving nothing untouched. These excesses were documented by iconic photographers such as Ellen von Unwerth, Patrick Demarchelier and Herb Ritts.
Post-shoot, I would scrub it all off – sometimes even triple-cleansing. Clean, fresh skin was a model’s calling card. At that time, I associated beauty with youth and wanted to do all I could to maintain it. I believed that treating skin topically was the answer and I couldn’t see any alternative at the time.
It wasn’t until I was around 40, when I’d become the fittest I’ve ever been, that I saw that real beauty starts from making meaningful lifestyle choices. I still wasn’t identifying beauty as an internal process, but I was beginning to sense that the answer was in my hands. It would take another decade to fully grasp that.
In 2014, I was burned out, irritable and exhausted. I first visited nutritionist Dr. Simone Laubscher PhD’s London clinic and I remember telling her about my skin being particularly dry, dull and prone to rashes and hives. She prescribed me 30 days of her anti-inflammatory nutritional greens powder.
After just a few weeks, I was feeling better, lighter and brighter. The quality of my skin improved noticeably and people’s comments confirmed it.
Ever since, I’ve felt driven to change the age-old perception of beauty being founded on youth. It never really resonated with me. Your natural beauty can express only when you are well.
Meeting Dr. Simone changed the course of my skin… and my life! (You can read in my previous column here how that encounter birthed an ingestible beauty business).
Those super greens are now known as The Super Elixir™. The Collagen Elixir, our marine collagen-infused powder, and The Skin Elixir, our powerful skin-supporting greens, came later. Today, these three make up my inner three-step protocol responsible for having transformed my skin.
My skin-boosting lifestyle regime
Since turning 50, I have now determined what works for my skin and seen it confirmed by so many researchers, specialists and experts, that I can confidently say that the gut is the missing piece of the puzzle.
The Super Elixir™ nourishes the gut directly with crucial ingredients and includes a beauty blend for skin, hair and nails.
At the same time, I’ve learned that the best facial is what you put inside your body, which is why I preference an anti-inflammatory approach to diet and in turn, skincare.
It improves skin texture and appearance, as Dr Barbara Sturm, a brilliant doctor and master of skin care who I have known for over 15 years, often shares. This means I eat organic, whole foods and stick to plant-based meals. If my skin needs a boost for an upcoming shoot or event, I’ll start juicing four times daily using my friend Dr Sara Siso’s protocol — lots of turmeric, ginger, green leafy vegetables, cucumber — and my super greens. I’ll also add our collagen powder to support my skin specifically.
Drink plenty of water
Another skin essential for me is hydration. I drink three litres of water every day and start each morning with warm water, lemon and ginger, and two capsules of The Skin Elixir with water. I leave the jar of skin caps next to my toothbrush to remind me to take them. I take two teaspoons of The Super Elixir™️ greens in water in the morning too. Following this, I’ll spray Ion Skin Support mist each morning to reduce redness and skin damage and then spend my 15 minutes in the sun to top up my vitamin D levels.
Get outdoors for rosy cheeks
We are an active family so connection to nature and the fresh air tends to have a positive effect on our skin in terms of tone, colour and texture. Nothing beats a rosy cheek from being outdoors with my boys; hiking, skiing, biking or swimming. My boys also swear by The Skin Elixir and have noticed a huge improvement in their skin with less breakouts. My eldest son Flynn, 25, doesn’t go a day without his super greens and feels it supports his energy levels.
My favourite skincare products
I then apply my favourite topicals. I love Dr. Barbara Sturm’s new Exoso Metic collection, particularly the Exoso Metic Face Serum, £380 which supports the skin’s own natural rejuvenation. I also love Twelve Beauty Hyaluroil Lip Treatment, £28 and Tata Harper Redefining Body Balm, £143 for their all-natural hydration.
I use Sapienic Prime Lipids, £32.25 and Prime Serum, £39.75 a two-step moisturising routine for ageing, sensitive skin, often during the day instead of makeup. I’ve since noticed the texture of my skin has greatly improved, appearing smoother, with more glow.
My natural makeup go-tos
As for makeup, I prefer super clean brands and multipurpose products. I love Inika Organic, especially their Baked Mineral Bronzer in Sunbeam, £38, which gives the most natural, golden glow. I also love all of Westman Atelier’s products, especially the Baby Cheeks, £44, (which doubles as a lip tint) and their Vital Skin foundation, £62 (it acts as skincare and feels like your second skin).
My favourite skin treatments: vitamin C IV infusions, IPL and mesotherapy
I like to do regular vitamin C IV infusions (providing they are non-GMO) as they are incredible for skin glow, along with the other immune-related benefits. I’ve also learnt from Dr. Laubscher that opening up your detox pathways can make for excellent skin hygiene. This means supporting your liver, kidneys, gall bladder, spleen and lymphatic system through cardio to vasodilate your arteries. I personally love my mini rebounder for this purpose and will often do this for ten minutes at a time.
I also go to Azala Clinic in Miami, a business aligned with my beauty-begins-within philosophy. We do some IPL (Intense Pulsed Light Treatment) which encourages the skin to naturally regenerate while stimulating collagen.
However, I’ve found the best way to clear skin is through my anti-inflammatory and low acidic diet. When I’m in New York, Dermatologist Dr Dendy Engelman and I often chat about skin care when I’m there and she
In my experience, once you nourish real beauty from within, things just seem to fall into place. Sometimes this takes trial and error and continuing to try new routines that will work for you, your family and your lifestyle. Ultimately, I believe it’s important to keep things natural and simple. When you’re well, it just radiates. For me, it was a relief to discover that, as I tended to my inner self, all those other things would come into alignment.
I’m sure you will find that too.