We all know that aging is inevitable. Most of us would give anything to slow the process and retain our youth for as long as possible. Rachel Vrabel has done just that! She is an expert on everything anti-aging and even though she's in her 40's, she looks like she's in her 20's. Rachel is the founder and chief editor of Women’s Blog Talk, a website dedicated to providing honest, personal reviews on all beauty- and skin-related products. Whether you’re trying to reduce wrinkles and lighten your skin, lose weight, or find the optimal sunscreen, Rachel's site is the place to go, featuring more than 1,000 product reviews.
We were honored when Rachel agreed to participate in a Joovv AMA. So without further ado, here are her answers to your questions…
If I opened up your fridge right now, what would I see?
Strawberries, blueberries, baby kale, romaine, carrots, hummus, grilled chicken, and goat cheese! I try to eat a colorful variety of fruits and veggies, but these are my staples and I’m definitely guilty of eating too much cheese.
You’ll also find dark chocolate in my pantry. I treat myself every night with one small square; it’s packed with anti-oxidants, which are great for anti-aging!
I've really benefited from your site's informative reviews on so many products. What inspired you to make the leap and start WomensBlogTalk.com?
My story is, I have an English degree and worked in finance for twenty years and just got burnt out. While this was a great career, I’ve always been more of a creative person and I missed writing.
For many years, my sister (and roommate at the time) worked in cosmetics at a large department store, so between huge discounts and gratis, I was able to sample more products than the average person. Dior, Chanel, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Origins, Clinique – you name it, I’ve probably tried it!
As my passion for anti-aging grew, so did my beauty arsenal. With my cabinets bulging at the seams, I thought - why not start writing about these products to give women my opinion on whether they work or not?
So… In 2011, I created WomensBlogTalk.com and what first began as a hobby has blossomed into an online resource for researching anti-aging products, as well as other health and wellness topics.
Do you get 8 hours of sleep per night?
I am a total night owl! However, I always get at least 8, if not 8.5 hours of sleep each night. My average bedtime is 12:30 am and I wake up around 8:30.
It may not be an ideal schedule, but as long as you’re keeping the same routine and getting adequate sleep, that is what’s most important. If I don’t get my beauty sleep and my morning coffee, look out! :)
As a mother of 4, it's hard to find time to take care of my skin. I've read about your diligent routine, but I'm a little overwhelmed and don't know where to start. Can you recommend 2-3 things I should focus on?
Cleansing – never go to bed with makeup on. Pillow cases can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria which can lead to eye infections, acne, and clogged pores. Always cleanse your face both morning and night and wash pillowcases at least once per week, twice if you suffer from acne. Your skin needs to breathe to look its best! Since a cleanser is washed off, it’s not as important to invest in an expensive cleanser if you can’t afford it. I love a basic gentle cleanser such as Cetaphil which you can buy at any drugstore.
Serum / Moisturizer – I know I snuck in two things here, but let me explain why. A serum is where you’ll find the most concentrated ingredients, so if possible, you don’t want to skip this step. I am currently obsessed with Vitamin C serums - they smell so good and really help to lighten and brighten the complexion since they’re packed with anti-oxidants. I always wear an SPF 50 moisturizer over my serum during the day (if I’ll be outside), or Kollagen Intensiv anti-aging cream which I also use at night. It’s very calming to the skin and plumps up wrinkles nicely.
Water – I can’t stress enough how important it is to drink water for overall health and beauty, and I’m so guilty of not drinking enough. Try drinking half of your body weight in ounces per day and see how your eyes and skin perk up. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so it’s important to flush out toxins and stay hydrated so you can look and feel your best!
Have you used red light therapy? If so, what type of results did you experience?
I have never tried red light therapy, but it sounds so interesting! Its ability to increase collagen production and repair sun damage has definitely piqued my interest.
I’m a little obsessed with collagen production because the reason we get wrinkles is due to the loss of collagen in our skin as we age.
It’s a fact that once you hit your 30’s, your skin’s ability to regenerate itself decreases by almost 50%, so building the collagen back up in your skin is going to plump up those wrinkles and increase its elasticity and firmness, and who doesn’t want that? :)
As a side note, my 13-year-old nephew used red light therapy for acne and it really helped to clear up his skin.
What is something you enjoy that most people would be surprised to learn?
I love hunting for sea glass at the beach and I have a huge collection! There is just something beautiful about an old, tumbled piece of glass that was once garbage, but turned into something beautiful by the sea.
My favorite color to find is sea-foam green, which comes mostly from old Coke bottles. A good, smooth, frosted piece of sea glass has likely been tumbling in the ocean for over 50 years!
My passion for sea glass is yet another reason I have to be very diligent about sunscreen. :)
Like you, I also enjoy time in the sun (although I'm not fortunate enough to live in FL). What are 2-3 things to look for in a quality sunscreen?
You want to look for a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection which gives protection against both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of 30 or higher. Most broad-spectrum sunscreens contain Zinc Oxide which is the ingredient I look for.
UVA rays (A for aging) can penetrate deep into the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer, and UVB rays (B for burning) can burn the superficial layers of skin. Both can lead to premature aging of the skin and wrinkling (photo-aging), and even suppression of the immune system.
Even on an overcast day, UVA rays can do a lot of damage so never skimp on sunscreen just because it’s cloudy!
What’s the favorite thing you’ve bought this year for less than $1k?
A couple of months ago, I bought myself a nice Nikon DSLR camera with a couple different lenses. I was always a photography bug in high school and it gives me a creative outlet and a reason to go on adventures! I also use it to take product photos for my blog.
What person(s) of influence are you closely following right now?
Wow, I really had to think about this one. I can’t say I’m closely following anyone right now, but I do admire people with integrity and honesty. My husband comes to mind; he’s my rock!
If you could put a billboard anywhere, what would it say and where would you put it?
I think it would say “Be yourself – you’re perfect just the way you are” and I would hang it in elementary school classrooms.
Young girls especially are under tremendous pressure to look and dress a certain way to be accepted due to social influences and media.
We should encourage young ladies to embrace their differences and to love themselves just the way they are!
Thanks for submitting your questions! And thanks again to Rachel Vrabel for being a part of the Joovv AMA family! Also, don't forget to check out Rachel's website when you get a chance. It's awesome!