Written on September 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
When beach volleyball star Kerri Walsh Jennings isn’t celebrating her recent winning streak (she has three Olympic golds under her belt!), showing off her killer six-pack or strutting down the ESPYs’ red carpet, the busy mom of three is taking good care of her skin. Jennings keeps it radiant for every occasion with a surprising ingredient that also helps her train—honey. She stashes the golden nectar in her gym bag as a source of natural energy during workouts and in her bathroom to use on her skin. Here, Jennings serves up her best skin and workout secrets.
You spend a lot of time outdoors for your job, which can be hard on your skin. What is your skincare regimen like?
“I’m in the sun all the time; I live in Los Angeles, so I accrued a lot of environmental damage and I’ve become aware of what the environment does to my body and my skin. Honey has become a key ingredient for my skincare routine. I was just saying that I had a really long, hot tournament; I had the Manhattan Beach Open for the AVP Tour. It’s the most prestigious tour and I won, which I’m so grateful for. But I left there feeling like I had aged 10 years because I was in the sun so much. I wear my visor; I’m in the shade as much as possible but still, the sun is persistent. So I literally could not wait to get home when the tournament was over to do my honey and oatmeal face mask. [Recipe: Grind 1tbsp. oatmeal into powder in a food processor. In a small bowl, mix with 2 tsp. of honey and ¾ tsp. of distilled water until a thick paste is formed. Apply mask and let sit for 20 minutes then rinse.] It replenishes the moisture and makes me feel awesome. I do that at least once a week, especially after I’m in the sun all day. Then, I’ve come to rely on my skin coach with Skin Authority. I partnered with them for the last few years. I have a skin coach who educates me on what I should be putting on my face, why and which product is for what. They have a Resurfacing Accelerator ($50, skinauthority.com), which is my favorite product of theirs aside from their SPF that I obviously live in. It helps rejuvenate new, fresh skin cells and gets rid of the dead skin. It’s something that I love and I feel that every woman regardless of age would appreciate. Obviously, hydration is also a really big issue. I know the importance of hydration as an athlete for sure, but I think it’s so easy to take for granted when you’re living your normal life as a woman. I’ve really tried to make sure that I’m well hydrated. It has absolutely made a difference.”
You spend hours competing and practicing in the sun. What’s your sun protection game plan?
“I apply all my sunscreen before I leave the house. I get out of the shower and I put it on so I know I am covering all the areas. If I get to the beach and I’m distracted, I’ll inevitably miss a spot and have a big red mark somewhere. On my face, I go from the outside in, because a lot of times people miss their hairline or their ears because they are only applying it from the center out. So this helps to make sure I’m very covered there. I wear big, Oakley sunglasses, not only to protect my eyes from the sun but to also protect the sensitive, delicate area around my eyes. I stay in the shade as much as possible. I have an SPF sarong that I put on to cover my chest. I love the sun, I love the benefits of it but it definitely takes a toll, so I love to be in the shade and wear pieces of clothing that will cover up and help me stay sun smart.”
What level of SPF do you wear?
“A minimum of 30 when I’m out there competing. The higher the better for me, for peace of mind. But people think they can apply sunscreen once and survive the day but re-applying is such a big part of it. The amount that you’re really supposed to use per application is pretty significant. Most people only use a quarter size to cover their whole body and for me, more is more with regards to sunscreen. Put it on, reapply, and be smart about it.”
What’s the best sweat-proof sunscreen out there?
“Skin Authority Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 30 ($42, skinauthority.com) is what I use when I’m competing and it doesn’t run in my eyes. It’s a beautiful sunscreen and it goes on really smooth and won’t run. Which is a good thing because if it runs in my eyes I can’t see the ball!”
So we’re totally envious of your abs! How do you keep your core so ripped?
“I think it’s a function of my job! If I don’t have a strong core then I’m in trouble. I do a lot of Pilates and I did it before, during and after pregnancy. I do it twice a week, as much as possible. If you can get in the Pilates studio and become aware of your core and learn how to actually use it, it’ll give you a healthier spine, which gives you a healthier body. I think a lot of people, when they work out, tend to push out their abs and contract them, when in reality you’re supposed to pull your belly button to your spine and do the movements. I think people are working really hard but doing it a little bit off, and Pilates taught me to do things right.”
Besides Pilates, do you have any other favorite workouts?
“I love to lift weights. I like being toned and I like the fact that the more muscle mass I have, the more my body is going to be more efficient at burning calories. I love that aspect of weight lifting. I don’t lift very heavy weights; I lift for my job and for my body type. But it makes me feel confident when I have muscle on my body so that’s something I love. I really love keeping a variety in my workouts. I have fun trainers who keep my body guessing. They’ll take me to the track one day, to the beach another, on hikes and stuff like that. I think variety is really important. And it’s important to keep your body guessing and I’m really lucky that the people I trust so much are really adventurous.”
Photo courtesy of the National Honey Board
Written on October 21, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
You probably know Stacy London as the vivacious stylist on TLC’s hit show, What Not to Wear (the series finale aired this past Friday). But what you may not know is what drew London to the fashion industry in the first place. Turns out, she’s been battling a chronic autoimmune and skin disease—psoriasis—for the majority of her life and found comfort in sparkly, shiny pieces. Here, she opens up about her struggles with psoriasis and the ways in which she’s helping others also affected by it with the “Uncover Your Confidence” campaign, which features educational resources, style advice and a dermatologist finder for the estimated 7.5 million American men and women living with psoriasis. Bonus: she spills on her best beauty tips and recent hair change, too.
Tell us about your experience with psoriasis and how it’s affected your life?
“I was diagnosed when I was four, so it’s been in my life my whole life. As much as people know me for something completely different, it is very much a part of my identity. You know, the heartbreak of psoriasis is a well-known thing. Being diagnosed at the age of four, I really didn’t understand what was happening. I just knew there was something wrong with me because I had these bumps on the back of my ears. So it started as something that made me feel weird and certainly made me feel different than other kids. That is definitely something I started to internalize very early. As I got older, my skin got worse and by the time I was 11, I was basically covered from the neck down in red scales and it was a much harder time because at that age, I was conscious of what I looked like. I had very severe scalp psoriasis so I had to cut off all my hair. So here I was, a little girl with a crew cut wearing turtlenecks and long corduroy pants even in the summer just to hide. That’s when that feeling of really being different and having children and adults react badly to me, that I really started to suffer from it. You know psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. It takes consistent and constant management but also, it’s emotionally devastating. I think that definitely drew me to fashion. Because, feeling sort of like a monster, I wanted all things pretty and sparkly and shiny and perfect and what better place than fashion to find that? I can say now, I don’t think I thought that consciously at the time. It’s sort of a compensatory desire that I didn’t feel good about myself and my self esteem was very low that I gravitated to something that I thought would certainly make me feel better. But when I wrote about psoriasis in my book, the biggest thing for me and that I really empathize with is that you kind of give up when you have psoriasis and the idea that you are ruled by a disease rather than you having control over it. The idea specifically was to manifest this concept of empowerment by creating a style guide that is specific to people who may not care about showing off their psoriasis or may be looking to cover up their skin but to feel relevant and not necessarily trendy but modern and feel like they’re participating in the same fashion trends that other people are. So it’s a great topical guide to what’s going on with an eye on making sure you’re paying attention to materials that could irritate your skin or the length of a skirt that may be more appropriate if you want to cover your leg a little bit more; things through the lense of someone who has experienced psoriasis themselves and wanted style, not just to hide in but to feel beautiful in. Because I think I spent my childhood hiding in turtlenecks and long corduroys and really I wish I had known to use style to feel better not just as armor.”
Tell us more about the “Uncover Your Confidence” campaign?
“It consists of the style guide, one, but it also consists of the dermatologist finder which is about taking control. You know I have been in the care of many dermatologists for over 40 years and it took me a long time to realize that not all dermatologists specialize in psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin disease and an autoimmune disease. So it’s a much more complex situation. Part of getting the right kind of treatment is to see the right kind of doctor and dermatologist specifically. So one of the things we wanted to do was to help people find the right kind of dermatologist. Part of that idea is that we are asking you instead of learning helplessness, to learn hope and to embrace the idea that just because you may think somebody couldn’t help you the first time you went to visit a dermatologist, that doesn’t mean you saw the right one. The same thing with thinking about your style, like you can’t wear black because God forbid you have scalp psoriasis and it’s going to look like a snow storm hit your shoulders. The campaign offers ways in which to deal with these kinds of things instead of feeling like you have to give up; accepting the situation and then building creatively both your style and, in the process, creating more self-confidence.
Switching gears to beauty. How has the disease affected your beauty routine?
“It’s funny, you know I talk about covering up, and beauty plays such a significant part. It’s kind of ironic because you feel anything but beautiful with psoriasis. For me, one of the things I learned very early on is that I needed to get some sun. As long as I got a little bit of sun, it really improved my skin and my mood. I found that moisturizing creams were not as good as oils. Oils absorb into the skin better, especially when you’ve got really, really dried plaques that can crack and bleed. The other thing is just moisture, period. In the winter, especially when you have dry heat, humidifiers have been essential to me. It’s super important. Since it’s an autoimmune disease, there are other things that you can do just besides the moisture. You need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep, that you’re eating properly; you need to exercise; you need to think holistically about your whole body.”
Do you have beauty products that help you feel confident when you’re having a bad day?
“Two favorites: Antonia Burrell Natural Glow Cleansing Oil ($102, beautyhabit.com) and Radiant Light Serum ($98, beautyhabit.com). If I look super ruddy or flaky, it has worked miracles for me in terms of evening my skintone. The other thing I think is really important with psoriasis is it gets very red. So I recommend using a green tinted concealer to cut the red and then put your foundation over it. I find if I wear anything too orange-y, like an orange-y red lip, that makes my skin look even redder so I tend to go for blue-red tones if I’m going for a red lip. I will say at the moment I’ve been jonesing for By Terry lipsticks (prices vary, beautybar.com). The colors are so saturated and glorious. And I do love Giorgio Armani Blushing Fabric Liquid Blush ($39, giorgioarmanibeauty.com) in the peach shade, #3. It makes you look like your glowing from the outside in.”
You’ve recently made a major hair change, debuting lighter ends. Can we discuss?
“I cannot believe that this has taken hold like it has! I mean, do people know that Syria is happening? I’ve gotten really lovely notes like ‘Bravo!’ and then all these people are like, ‘What’s wrong with you? You’re going through a mid-life crisis.’ I’m telling you right here, right now, you have the exclusive: one, that picture is an Instagram picture. If you’ve heard, there are filters so it looks a little crazier in that picture than it actually is. Number two, I am having a mid-life renaissance and that is why I’m like, ‘It’s time for a change, why not?’”
Written on July 26, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Fitness Magazine
Thanks to my extremely temperamental skin (seriously, it has a mind of its own), I have become somewhat of a skincare product fiend. If something promises a glowing, clear complexion, it’s safe to say that I’ve slathered it on my face. Recently I wanted to try something new, so I reached for Nude Skincare ProGenius Treatment Oil ($78, sephora.com), and I wasn’t disappointed. Loaded with 10 precious plant oils and rich in Omega 3, 6, 7 & 9, this oil reduces redness, adds intense hydration, repairs damage and creates a veil of protection to intensely nourish my problematic skin. While the word “oil” might send those with acne-prone skin running, this product has actually helped clear existing breakouts and prevent others from forming. Best of all, it is completely natural and chemical-free, which makes it perfect for my sensitive skin. I apply two to three drops, warm it between my fingertips and lightly pat it onto my face before bed, and I awake with clear, baby-soft skin. I think I may be packing up my skincare arsenal and sticking with this little power product—I’m sold!
—Karee Hackel, beauty intern