The TV presenter, journalist and life coach talks about sagging skin, stepping out of her comfort zone – and why making your bed each morning is good for your mind.
As a woman in her fifties how are you generally finding your skin overall? Does ageing bother you – such as your skin starting to ‘sag’?
“Ha – I don’t think anyone likes the idea of sagging! I don’t mind looking my age – I’m now 52 – but having said that I don’t want to look tired when I’m not, which seems to be the main side effect of aging. I’ve quite pronounced lines at the side of my eyes, but I’m OK with that because it shows I laugh a lot and scrunch my face up, which is what you’re supposed to do when you’re happy!”
You spoke on Instagram about how journalists ask what your beauty and exercise routines are, as opposed to those concerning a healthy mind. Why is this so important to you?
“It’s because everything we do starts with the mind. How we think impacts what we do. While it’s wonderful now that people are able to be more open about how they are feeling mentally, it’s rare that we talk about the things we can be doing to keep ourselves feeling strong in mind as well as body.”
What do you regularly do as a set routine to help maintain a healthy mindset?
“Having a regular morning and evening routine is the most important thing to do when it comes to maintaining a healthy mindset, as it’s about the little things rather than the big things. They are free, and not sexy or Instagrammable, but they work!
In the evening I like to go to bed at a regular time, so I get at least seven hours of sleep. I also lay my clothes out the night before so I have one less stress in the morning, and I always bring a glass of water to bed so that in the morning I have it there ready to drink. I also leave my phone downstairs to charge overnight, rather than having it right next to me.”
Is there anything else you do?
“In the morning I always make my bed. By that I mean I really make it; I pull the bottom sheet tight, and fluff up the duvet and pillows. You deserve to get into a beautifully-made bed at the end of a hard day, so see it as a way of rewarding yourself, and not a chore.
“I also drink a glass of water to flush out my system, then do some kind of movement – whatever works for you. I say to people to exercise in whatever way you like, from yoga to dancing around your kitchen to the radio – just move your body!
“Next, at the end of your shower, end with a blast of cold water – the coldest you can take – for at least a minute, breathing in hard through your nose and blowing out through your mouth. It’s incredible for your immune system and also makes you feel great – it’s like you’ve achieved something already, before you’ve even started your day. Follow this with allowing 10 minutes before you start your day for meditation. This can be guided through an app or on your own.”
We all know that exercise is good for the mind and have seen on social media you’re back running again after a break. What is it about running that you love so much?
“I’ve always enjoyed exercise; I like how it feels to be strong and healthy. However, over the past year I’ve been so focused on building up my business that I have let that side of things slide. A friend mentioned that she was doing the Couch to 5k app, so I decided to give it a go – and I really enjoyed it!
I ended up doing it to the end and have carried it on; now 5k is my basic run that I do a few times a week. It’s time on my own, I do it at my own pace and listen to the radio, or a podcast or sometimes music. I don’t always enjoy it when I’m doing it, but I always enjoy how I feel afterwards. I have zero plans to run any further than that though! I’ve enough challenges to keep me busy!”
What other ways do you exercise?
“I use the 7 Minute app, and do three rounds a couple of times a week as well. It’s really simple, and a good way to fit in some kind of movement into your day. I also wear an Apple watch, so every time I go for a walk I register it. I like to close my movement rings every day – it’s a good goal to have.”
Now, going against all that you’ve spoken about with regards to the importance of a healthy mind routine, let’s now talk about your at-home beauty regime. What are your five beauty must-haves and why do you love them so much?
“1. Lip salve. I can’t be without it! I have one in every coat pocket and every handbag. I don’t mind which kind, as long as I have some handy.
“2. Scrunchies. I always have my hair tied back when I am working from home, as I hate having it in my face when I’m trying to concentrate. I always use a scrunchie rather than a band, as it is meant to be better for your hair.
“3. Body brush. I do this a couple of times a week to keep my skin smooth. Once you get over the initial prickliness it actually feels nice, and it does work.
“4. Body mousse. I like to moisturise all over after my shower, but it has to be with something that goes on quickly!
“5. SPF 50 for my face. Every single day.”
What about make-up?
“I definitely wear more make-up the older I’ve got, and I think I’m better at putting it on now. I wear a tinted moisturiser on top of my face cream and SPF, or foundation. I use a variety of make-up; I really like Gary Cockerill’s range. I use his foundation and his concealer, bronzing and blush palette.”
Back in June you became a certified life coach – why does this mean so much to you?
“I have coaching myself; I felt that it was important that I had someone I could talk to about my goals and help me achieve them. Getting a coach made me see that we rarely look at other parts of our life and keep them in balance and how important that is.
Whilst I knew I was changing women’s lives through the books I’ve written and the content I give my community, I wanted to be sure I was doing it in the right way. So I decided to be trained as a coach, so that I felt more confident in what I was doing and saying. I offer group coaching sessions to our community rather than one-on-one, because I like seeing everyone joining in and figuring out what they need to do to help themselves. Helping others is a perfect way for you to help yourself and it’s a joy to watch the ripple effect.”
You stated in another interview that you quit Loose Women to help “women change their mindsets so they can feel better about themselves.” What did you mean by this?
“For me leaving Loose was a leap into the unknown because I was totally switching careers after two decades in one industry. It was scary! I have always wanted to help make people feel better about themselves, in everything I’ve done – in my personal and professional life. After running This Girl Is On Fire as a free online space for a few years, I knew I needed to take the next step and go all-in to make it a business.
“I created a gym for the mind, where women can join to become mentally strong rather than physically strong. Just as you wouldn’t join a gym, stand at the back and watch other people do sit-ups and wonder why you don’t have a six-pack, you can’t simply read one self-help book and that’s it, you feel great. We are what we consistently do, so I give women a space where we consistently encourage them to love themselves, to learn how to change their unhelpful thought patterns, and feel brave.”
Andrea, you’re busy promoting PURESKIN’s PureHydro facial. What is it you love so much about the treatment?
“The PureHydro facial helped me get my glow back. I had a course of six treatments, and my skin looks so much brighter and clearer. I’ve also never had so many kind comments from my friends, family and make-up artist about how my skin is looking. You know something is working wonders when people comment.”
You’ve spoken out about how you’ve struggled to keep your skin hydrated as you’ve gotten older – have the course of facials helped?
“The facials have made a real difference to how hydrated and plumped my skin feels. Before my skin was looking a little dull, but now I feel nourished and confident!”