Christy Turlington Burns Gives Her Simplest Beauty Tip That Actually Works


When it’s colder outside, I tend to exercise more in the morning. And then I like to take baths, but I don’t do it very often. That can be a very winding-down kind of thing. My kids all like to take baths too. I think I’ve established a bath culture in our house. But I don’t do it every day, by any means.

Pretty early on, I started a yoga practice and a meditation practice—gosh, as a teenager, really—when I was really starting to move a lot in my modeling profession. I could recognize in those practices that they were tools I was learning that I would be able to access any time, and I do go back to some of those very first meditations if I have a hard time sleeping or if I am feeling anxious about anything. I would say also those practices allowed me to really start to explore, who did I want to be?

I’m often asked about beauty secrets and I’m like, “Sleep—sleep, and water.”

Those are two of the most basic things that you really want to take advantage of. You can’t really store up sleep, but I really feel the difference when I don’t have it. So I try to do everything I can to ensure that I have that quality of sleep to really rest and rejuvenate.

I need my sleep, but at the same time, given how much I’ve traveled over the years, I kind of know how to compensate. I’m always trying to figure out how best to be hydrating all the time. And then with jet lag, just not pressuring myself. I’ve learned over time that simply resting my body even if I can’t sleep is still really beneficial. And if I don’t try to force it, I tend to fall into a natural rhythm much faster.

I also find that being outdoors is really helpful for my sleep cycle.

When I was modeling more, I would go from a plane to a studio and not see daylight for days. And now when I travel, I’m mostly outdoors. I’m able to get out and move. I feel like that’s hugely beneficial not just for my sleep cycle, but just generally for my health and wellbeing.

Our place on Long Island is close to the ocean, and my husband grew up on Long Island, so he’s very much a beach kind of guy. I love the beach, but I’m more of a mountains kind of person. I grew up in northern California where we had everything within just a few hours of reach, so that’s the best of all worlds. But I love to be in nature. I love to hike. I love to walk. No matter what season, I just like to be outside. In this pandemic, when we were first out on Long Island, it was still pretty cold and not great outside, but it still felt so good because I knew we wouldn’t have been able to be outdoors here in the city. To have that ability just to walk out the door, even if it was just to breathe, made a huge difference.

Even while I’ve been living in New York City for so much of my life, I have trees always on my terrace. I live close to the water here too, close to the Hudson. I try to get out and about as much as possible.

[My kids are] starting their school day a little bit later, which is helpful for them and their sleep cycles.

My son just started high school, so he was a little bit just apprehensive about not having had real closure at middle school and not really coming into this year prepared for something that is very different, but he seems to be handling it fine. Everybody’s good for right now.

I feel like in so many ways, hunkering down and being together in the not-knowing was really comforting for me and my husband.

Everything that you go through as a couple, you get to the other side and you’re stronger for it, right? It helps build up your experience base to be able to take on the next challenge that might come. I’ve known people who have really struggled as couples during this time, and I don’t have that experience at all. I felt like we both were all hands on deck, making sure the kids were in a good routine, feeling supported, and could really express themselves when things felt scary and uncertain—and then also being there for one another. I feel quite lucky, but I think it could go either way in these situations.

This interview has been condensed and edited for length and clarity.



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