What Works: Naomi Whittel
One benefit of working in the beauty industry for so many years is that I've encountered dozens of smart, savvy professionals (beauty company CEOs, product development VPs, power publicists, colorists, stylists, makeup artists, etc.) who've tried thousands of products and treatments, and, thus, have uber-informed/effective beauty regimens. I've certainly swiped tips and recs from them—and now so can you. As part of a regular series, I’ll be asking inspiring, in-the-know women (all 40+, of course) to share their best tips and favorite products. The point? As always, to find out what works.
Naomi’s mother is French and her father British—and she spent the first twelve years of her life living in Europe. There, she was introduced to the idea of an organic/biodynamic lifestyle long before those terms were widely understood in the U.S. That early introduction to clean eating, coupled with the fact that she comes from a long line of scientists, made Naomi's career in nutrition, and specifically in supplementation, practically predetermined. Naomi founded Reserveage Nutrition, a line of high-quality supplements, at the age of 35 with the goal of giving people natural solutions for everyday issues like weight management, hair loss, dry skin and fatigue—as well as helping support general health. Last year, due to the success of Reserveage (in addition to being supplement-savvy, Naomi is a business whiz), she also assumed the role of head honcho (aka CEO) of Twinlab, another line of nutritional supplements.
Take a look at Naomi’s photo and anyone can see she is doing something right when it comes to managing the aging process. That hair, alone. Sheesh. So I asked her to share some of her beauty secrets, plus a few favorite products. And while she’s decidedly more disciplined than I, I did learn some interesting easy-to-follow tips and tricks (even if I could never actually adhere to them all at one time). But maybe you can. Here, for Naomi, what works:
Sneak salt in your suitcase “I travel everywhere with epsom salts. I use a cup in my bath several nights a week, especially the first evening in a new location. Soaking in them allows me to absorb magnesium into my skin, which I find to be detoxifying. The salt also exfoliates, leaving my skin very soft.”
Begin each day by brushing “I use a dry brush every morning right after I wake up and before I exercise. I believe it activates my lymphatic system and invigorates the skin, allowing my skin to sweat effectively while I work out and get rid of toxins. I begin brushing on the sides of my rib cage, move toward my heart, then up to my neck.” Naomi’s favorite dry brush: Mio Dry Brush
Take targeted supplements Naomi has developed more than 140 nutrition products, but these three are her daily must-haves:
“Reserveage’s Collagen Powder gives my skin radiance and provides joint health support. It contains Verisol collagen to plump, hyaluronic acid to hydrate, and our proprietary Resveratrol blend, which is a powerful antioxidant. I think collagen supplements are the perfect complement to topical skincare products because they help support the structure of healthy, smooth skin.”
“The Keratin Hair Booster Powder contains a patented keratin that’s highly absorbable and scientifically shown to reduce hair shedding and support the hair-growth cycle.”
“Resveratrol (250 mg), a powerful antioxidant that protects against free radicals and helps reduce inflammation.”
Drink up “No matter your age, guzzling water should be at the top of your must-do list. I cannot overstate this. It gets rid of toxins and gives your skin a healthy glow. I begin my daily intake of water when I first wake up in the morning by drinking 16 ounces of ice-cold water. This not only contributes to hydration but drinking cold water also raises your metabolic rate, helping you burn more calories throughout the day.”
Don’t scrimp on protein “As we age, we lose muscle mass. Getting enough protein helps build and maintain lean muscle–and contributes to fat burning. Starting at age 30, most people lose about half a pound of muscle tissue each year, and as you get into your fifties, that rate doubles. The current recommended daily allowance is 0.8 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight, but several recent studies have found that 1 to 1.5 grams of protein may be more protective against age-related muscle loss.”
Sweat to be healthy, not skinny “Now that I’m in my forties, I exercise every single day. I believe this boosts my parasympathetic nervous system, which enables the body to rest and recover, as well as helps reduce the impact of stress on my health. I will jog for a mile or two, use a squat rack or, if I’m at home, get on my power plate, which is a body vibrator.”
Stimulate your scalp “Taking care of the scalp is an important part of haircare. That is where new growth begins, yet we tend to neglect this skin. I use Phyto 7 Dry Hair Hydrating Day Cream as a treatment for my scalp. I massage it into my head and hair, leave it on overnight and shampoo it out in the morning. I also use a Mason Pearson brush twice a day, brushing it through my hair, roots to ends, to boost circulation and stimulate the scalp.”
Keep your hair clean “I try not to wash more than two to three times a week. But, if I’ve done a work event or personal appearance and have a bunch of product in my hair, I will always wash it out that night. Hair product is like makeup to me; I don’t like to sleep in it.”
Wear less, look better “I tend to be like French women, and focus more on skincare than makeup. I am in the process of developing my own skincare line, which I'm hoping to launch later this year. I believe if you have great skin, you don’t need much makeup. I almost never wear foundation and rarely color makeup, unless I need to for work. But I do love a good brow product, especially those by Anatasia.”
Lube up in flight “I always apply face oil to retain moisture when I’m on a plane. Flying is the ultimate dehydrating experience, and recycled air for hours at a time can wreak havoc on your skin. I like oils from Sunday Riley and La Mer.”
Do indulge in dark chocolate “My French great-grandmother taught me at an early age that eating a piece of dark chocolate every day was a key anti-aging secret. In fact, the oldest human to live was a 122-year-old French woman named Jeanne Calment who ate an average of two pounds of chocolate per week. Just make sure the chocolate is at least 72 percent cacao.”
Define what it means to age gracefully “A woman must decide for herself what being beautiful means. And I think being confident in that definition makes you attractive at any age."