UNDER THE SKIN
The skincare icon on farm life, smart nutrition and her secret for younger-looking skin
Skincare icon Liz Earle opens up
I’ve always been interested in the link between nutrition and great skin. Gut health is really important for everything from energy to slowing the ageing process. For several years, I’ve eaten lots of live and fermented foods to promote the beneficial bacteria in my gut. I start my day with a plain live yoghurt sprinkled with nuts, seeds or muesli, then at lunch I’ll have a salad with bacteria-boosting probiotic foods like chickpeas, asparagus or artichokes. Dinner is usually a dish high in resistant starch, which promotes good bacteria in the gut, such as potato salad or sushi. I eat a lot of homemade sauerkraut and kefir, too. I limit refined carbs and eat alternatives that help my digestion, such as sourdough bread. If I’m on the go, I add probiotic powder to meals. Since I’ve been eating for my gut, my mood and energy levels have really improved.
I’ve recently started running. I’ve built up my distance to 3k and I’m hoping to crack 5k by the end of summer. I go three times a week – there’s nothing like the feeling of bracing fresh air on my skin when I run in the countryside. I hate skipping a session if it’s raining, so I hop on the treadmill, but it’s not quite the same. I try to fit in any exercise – including yoga or Pilates, which are great for stretching my hips and spine – before the day gets going, otherwise other tasks can crowd my schedule. In the countryside, it’s easy to get outside and stay active – especially when you have dogs that need to be walked.
I keep my beauty routine simple so I don’t overload my skin. I use a gentle cleanser, such as my Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (from £6, uk.lizearle.com), which doesn’t strip beneficial microbes from my skin or disrupt its ph balance. For colour, I love Bobbi Brown’s waterproof eyeliner (£24, bobbibrown.co.uk), which stays in place all day, and Charlotte Tilbury’s Beach Stick Las Salinas (£30, charlottetilbury.com) – a very pretty pinky peach shade that works on my lips as well as my cheeks. What you put in your body counts too, so I use skin-friendly olive oil and rapeseed oil lavishly in cooking and take evening primrose oil supplements to reduce skin inflammation.
I’ve always loved what I do, so work has never been a chore – but taking a step back and allowing myself to relax is important. I find walking around my West Country farm, with grass underfoot instead of pavement, very relaxing and grounding. I’m naturally sociable and love to cook for family and friends – I find it a mental switch-off to share a bottle of wine and great food with a kitchen full of people I love. Work/life balance is a challenge, but I’ve learned over time that you can’t be perfect, and if it’s mostly right, most of the time, then that’s okay. Sleep, however, is my main priority. I need a good eight hours to function properly.
STATS Age: 54 Job: Entrepreneur Fitness MO: Outdoor running Wind-down secret: ‘Time with my dogs’ Earle of wisdom