Christie Brinkley’s Age-Defying Secrets to Make 65 Look Like 34
The quintessential supermodel and ultimate Uptown Girl spills her tips to turning back the clock.
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Still super at 65
At 63 years old, supermodel-turned-entrepreneur Christie Brinkley wowed the world by gracing the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue for the ninth time. Now she's 65, and while she still has that girl-next-door charm and addicting smile, the real reason people are so fascinated with this "uptown girl" is her almost uncanny ability stop the aging clock. For decades, the world's been scrambling to figure out which fountains of youth Brinkley's been sipping from. But as genetically blessed as she may be, there's some strategy to her youthful attitude and appearance. RD caught up with the iconic beauty to uncover her age-free secrets.
Considering that she has a physique that could pass for someone in her 20s or 30s, it's no surprise that Brinkley is constantly active. "It's especially important the older you get, because if you stop moving you rot," she told us. Her key to maintaining an exercise routine? Variety. "I'm always switching it up. The one constant that I have in my exercise routine is my Total Gym—it's a great piece of total body fitness equipment. It really does work!" When she's not on her Total Body, Brinkley likes to keep things interesting by doing a spin or dance class, going kayaking, playing tennis, or skiing. "I'm always ready for action. If my kids want to go skiing, I'm ready to go skiing with them."
Brinkley, who hasn't touched a piece of meat since her pre-teens, says her number one strategy for staying youthful is maintaining a healthy diet. "You just can't underscore how important a healthy diet is to the way you look and the way you feel," she told RD. She limits herself to a vegetarian (striving for vegan) diet that excludes fish and dairy, except for the occasional sheep's or goat's milk yogurt. Thinking of going vegetarian? Here's how to do it.
Protect your skin
"You are in charge of your skin 24 hours a day, so what you put on it really matters." As a born and raised California girl who grew up in Malibu, sunbathing came naturally to Brinkley, especially during her modeling days. "They would hand me a bikini and say, 'Get a tan," she says. "As I got older I was in search of the right kind of products that would work hard for my skin and undo the damage I did over the years." When she couldn't find what she was looking for, Brinkley collaborated with top experts in the field to create her own line, Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare. "We put it in environmentally friendly packaging and we did it!"
Have a positive attitude
"An attitude of gratitude is definitely a key to a happy life, and I think that curiosity and interest in the world around you keeps you young at heart." Science backs her zen mindset. One study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, even found that having a positive self-perception about yourself and getting older can help you stay younger mentally, physically, and psychologically.
Sleep—but not too much!
For Brinkley, it's not so much about a number of hours of sleep a night. In fact, she finds that she feels her best after six or seven hours of snooze time as opposed to eight or more. "I don't want to sleep more than that because then I'll be groggy." Also, sticking to that same amount of sleep each night helps create a consistent routine. "I usually stay up to watch Stephen Colbert's stand up at the beginning of his show and then fall asleep—then I usually wake up bright and early," she says. "When I'm consistent with that period of time sleeping, I feel that. If I sleep six hours from three in the morning to nine, that's no good for me. If I go to sleep at midnight and wake up at 5:30 or 6:00 that's fine—I'm good."
Pamper your pets
"I don't have any scientific research on this, but I feel so calm and relaxed when I'm sitting quietly at night on the couch petting my dogs." Her companions are Maple Sugar, a 14-year-old Labradoodle, and Chester, a young, fluffy white rescue pup. "They're also my personal trainers because they come to me throughout the day saying, 'Let's go for a run!' 'Let's go for a walk,' 'Let's play outside!' That's as good for me as it is for them." And the animal party gets even rowdier when Brinkley's oldest daughter, Alexa, whose father is rock 'n' roll crooner Billy Joel, visits with her cat, Stella. "Alexa never comes home without her cat Stella!" Find out more about the science-backed benefits of spending time with a pet.
Own your beauty
"I’ve been in the beauty industry for over 40 years, so I'm asked all the time about my beauty tips, many of which I write about in my book Timeless Beauty," Brinkley says. One of her top tips: "I want all women who may feel like tweaking a little something to know that it’s OK to take advantage of the newer non-invasive treatments." Brinkley has had the lines between her brows treated with Xeomin, a botulinum toxin like Botox, and she loves that the treatment takes literally seconds. She's also had her neck and décolletage treated with Ultherapy to help lift and tighten skin in those areas. "These innovations worked for me so I want to share what I've learned—why keep it a secret?" she says. "If something is bugging you, see what science and technology offer you to feel great. I think today’s modern women should support one another’s choices to look and feel our best."
Pressed for time? Check out the newer beauty treatments you can get on your lunch hour!