After spending three decades in the pool, Dara Torres knows a thing or two about protecting her skin from chlorine. The 45-year-old best-selling author and 12-time (!) Olympic medalist stopped by to tell us about her role as the first-ever Brand Ambassador for AmLactin Alpha-Hydroxy Skin Care. She also gave us the scoop on her beauty and workout favorites, and how she continues to stay motivated and confident while juggling life as a busy mom.
Let’s talk beauty. You’ve spent most of your life in the pool and chlorine can be hard on your skin. How did/do you prevent dryness?
“I’ve had a problem my whole life with dry skin because of chlorine, always being in the pool and training outside, and now I have my daughter who loves outdoor activities so I’m always in the sun and exposed to that. So when I was asked to be the Brand Ambassador for AmLactin,it was a great fit. It’s funny, my mom was actually the one who told me about the lotion. She’s used it for a long time so I started to use it and the first thing I noticed is that I don’t have to reapply it two or three times a day. I would find that I would apply lotion and then four hours later, my skin would be dry again. The thing that’s great about this is you just put it on once and you’re good to go. It has lactic acid in it, which is great because it exfoliates your skin and you can actually feel it start to tingle when you put it on. I really take care of myself, I exercise a lot, I try to eat healthy, but I also want to look good, especially when you get a little older, it’s so important to take care of your skin.”
And what about your hair? How do you keep it soft and healthy?
“Something I suggest for recreational swimmers is to put conditioner on your hair before you put your cap on. But I really think it’s all about the texture of your hair because my daughter swims and her hair is fried, and I swam my whole life and mine hasn’t gotten fried. I actually like Wen products. There’s something about them that just keeps your hair soft and I also like to change up what I use. I read once that you shouldn’t use the same shampoo all the time or it’ll stop working so I have like five or six different shampoos that I use.”
Do you have any other all-time favorite beauty products you can’t live without?
“I love the Victoria’s Secret Lip Gloss! It actually tastes good! I always get compliments on my lip gloss. They have those bins in the front of the store and every time I go up, my daughter grabs like a handful of them! She likes the pretty colors, but it has a nice taste, too.”
Let’s switch gears a bit to working out. You have killer abs. What’s your secret?
“It’s not about the number of ab exercises—it’s the fact that when I do stuff in the gym, I am always using my core. When I’m exercising, I’m not just concentrating on one muscle; I’m pretty much engaging all those muscles at once so my core is always involved. Even though I only do maybe two or three ab exercises in an entire workout with 10-12 reps in them, I am always engaging my core in every exercise when I work out so that helps.”
What’s your favorite workout gear?
“I love Lululemon. It’s so soft. I love the way it feels, and it lasts long. They have stuff that fits everyone. It’s very soft comfortable and a good fit so that’s probably my favorite.”
What is your advice for athletes who want to improve on their swimming?
“Join a masters team. And I know people get frightened by that, but you have to understand that masters teams are for everyone. It’s not like your joining an elite team, and you have to swim a certain way or do a certain time. The masters teams have all different kinds of swimmers in them. I’ve been to many masters meets and they have different levels. You want someone who can coach you so you have the proper technique, so you are not wasting too much energy while your swimming and it’s also fun to meet people. It can get boring swimming up and down, up and down, so to have the camaraderie and people there, it just helps. People should forget about the intimidation factor and just check it out and see what it’s about because most people who end up joining masters teams love it and their fears of thinking they cant keep up with everyone just disappear.”
What’s your favorite healthy snack that keeps you energized?
“I actually don’t like to eat too much before I work out. But if I am working out and I get hungry, a bar is best. Even if I just have a banana I feel kind of blah, and I love bananas, but there’s something about a bar. It’s small, has protein in it, and it tastes good so it kind of satisfies your cravings.”
Fitness has been a life-long priority for you. How have you found ways to stay motivated?
“I think the way I stay motivated is results. I finished training almost 2 months ago and I’m like, 'Oh boy, here we go,' sitting on the couch and gaining weight. But I think that if you work out and you see results different things fit differently. When I see results, I really stay motivated. I don’t feel like I have to work out everyday now that I’m not swimming anymore but I do. It relieves stress; it makes me feel good; I like the end result; so there’s just a lot of benefits from working out. I think if people can stay in it for about 5-6 weeks, they’ll start seeing results and they’ll feel good and stay motivated.”