Somewhat reluctantly, Christy Turlington traces the origins of her self-care routine back to the first boyfriend she had at 18. “We grew up in northern California and he was a big yogi and a meditator. That was the only good thing about him,” she says with a laugh. “But it did introduce me to the discipline of yoga, which is probably the most consistent practice I’ve ever had. With that comes an understanding about your body—and about your skin, and about how to care for yourself.” Turlington, now 54, still manages to prioritize good skin-care habits and a steady yoga practice, despite her full-time jobs of running the nonprofit Every Mother Counts, being a mother herself, and remaining an in-demand presence on the catwalk—and in campaigns. Today, she adds to her multi-hyphenate status by becoming the newest face of Noble Panacea. But don’t call her a brand ambassador. Instead, Turlington will be the skin-care brand’s “Fundamental Changemaker in Residence” as it rolls out the first products in its new The Elemental collection.
It’s a mouthful. But the title is fitting for Turlington who is a “self-optimizer,” according to Céline Talabaza, the CEO of the four-year-old brand that launched on the back of Organic Super Molecular Vessels (OSMV)–an encapsulation method that allows for the time-released delivery and high absorption of active ingredients. “I'm always interested in learning about new technologies and ideas that are just a little bit outside of the box,” Turlington says of a curiosity that has helped expand her mind and her career, on the runway and off. (At 40, she notably stepped away from modeling to attend Columbia University, where she earned a masters degree in public health before starting her essential platform that focuses on maternal health advocacy in the U.S.and abroad).
The term applies to Turlington’s beauty routine as well, insofar as she is always looking for better versions of the simple steps she has stuck to for decades. Describing herself as “no fuss” when it comes to skin care, Turlignton is very particular when it comes to texture, which, in addition to its recyclable single-use pods, made Noble Panacea an easy sell. Their vitamin C serum “isn’t sticky or tacky”—and their new exfoliating lotion “doesn’t feel like an exfoliator,” she says. Part of The Elemental’s debut two-part system, the Exfoliating Refiner slowly releases powerful AHAs and polyhydroxy acid (PHA), the big-in-Korea ingredient that powers Seoul’s popular water peels and delivers deep but gentle resurfacing. Used after the nourishing Cleansing Balm, which includes eight different oils—including skin tone-evening rosehip and soothing camellia oil—it’s the perfect way to prep skin for additional steps, like Noble Panacea’s Overnight Recharge Cream, which Turlington calls “really emulsive and creamy.” Here, the original supermodel elaborates on how she has self-optimized other facets of her life, from finding balance in the day-to-day to learning to be comfortable in her own skin.