Clean Swap: How a Workout Guru
Cracked the Code on Glowy Skin
As founder and CEO of Pretty Girls Sweat—a company devoted to helping end childhood obesity with nationwide workout events for women and girls—Atlanta-based Aeshia DeVore Branch looks every bit the part of someone who exercises (and extols its benefits) for a living. It’s not just the forty-two-year-old mom of three’s noticeably sculpted arms and gracefully strong body but also her youthful, seemingly poreless complexion that radiates a perpetual postworkout glow.
But it took more than exercise to get her skin in shape: “Switching to clean products changed my skin,” says Branch, who once dealt with relentless breakouts. “I’d tried everything and burned the crap out of my face. Over time, changing my skin care and my diet—limiting sugar, dairy, and processed foods and drinking more water and green tea—helped me turn a corner.”
Branch specializes in helping other people turn corners. “Minority communities are disproportionately affected by childhood obesity,” she says. African American and Hispanic children are 30 percent more likely to be overweight or obese than their white counterparts, according to a 2021 National Institutes of Health survey. “Many shy away from working out because they don’t see images of women who look like them exercising,” she continues. “Fitness can change your life and be fun. Maybe skating is your thing. For me, it’s group classes, and here in Atlanta they’re like a party—the music is pumping, people are chanting, and the instructor comes in wearing an amazing matching outfit. When you find what you love, it’s easier to be consistent.”
The same goes for her approach to skin care. “I love anything that’s going to exfoliate and make me glow,” says Branch. “It helps me stick to my routine. I never thought my skin could look the way it does now.”
Glow-boosting face polish
This feels like I’m smoothing softly crushed baby diamonds across my skin. It’s luxurious, and it really works. I leave it on for a few minutes until I feel things happening. I rinse it off and it’s instant youthful-looking skin.
Glazed doughnut before bed
Hailey Bieber said something that makes me crack up—that she likes going to bed looking like a glazed doughnut, and that is so me! I like sitting in bed looking dewy. I smooth on this rich cream—it’s great as a night cream—and if I need it, I layer the goop face oil on top to lock in all the moisture and really make my skin glow. The combination melts in like butter, and I love getting all that nourishment for my skin. Note: I always apply the cream and oil onto damp skin—sometimes I spritz on a soothing rose water spray right before to add even more moisture—so that my skin can drink everything up.
Clean mineral sunscreen
Staying out of the sun and wearing an SPF 15 cream every day really helps keep my skin healthy-looking. When I’m on vacation and the sun is punching me in the face, I take it up a notch to SPF 30 or more.
goop pickUnsun Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen goop, $29SHOP NOW
goop pickSupergoop Bright-Eyed 100% Mineral Eye Cream SPF 40 goop, $36SHOP NOW
goop pickEleven Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35 goop, $50SHOP NOW
For the Beach
goop pickThe Organic Pharmacy Cellular Protection Sun Cream SPF 50 goop, $69SHOP NOW
Lip balm that really lasts
I used to use a mineral oil balm on my lips, but this lip balm feels fancy and elevated—it glides on and the packaging is beautiful. It layers well, too: I smooth it on to moisturize, then add gloss on top to make my lips pop. I’d rather pull this out of my purse than a not-as-chic tube of something. I feel like such an adult using it.
Eye cream for
I was always skeptical of eye cream. I was like, Why can’t I just use my moisturizer under my eyes? But the ingredients in this are soothing and depuffing and clearly specific for the undereye area.
Rich body butter postworkout
Fitness and sports have played a huge role in my life—I found my confidence through sports. Right now, I run on my treadmill at home, and I also love trampoline class. After showering, this body butter is so nourishing and puts the moisture right back into my skin.