When You’re Married to a Dermatologist, All You Need Is Eye Cream
In partnership with our friends at Symbiome
Lili Anolik author and podcast host
We got to know Lili Anolik through her incredible writing voice—in Vanity Fair, Esquire, Air Mail, and books like the unputdownable Hollywood’s Eve about the glamorous, mysterious LA writer Eve Babitz. Then we got to know her through her actual voice on Once Upon a Time…in the Valley, a must-binge real-life noir podcast on the unsolved mysteries about former porn star Traci Lords. “It’s what would happen if Boogie Nights had a threesome with Gone Girl and A Star Is Born,” Anolik says (accurately—we raced through the series as if it were a box of especially addictive chocolates and could not stop telling people about it).
When we saw Anolik’s skin, we had to know the story there, too: The mom of two glows like there’s no tomorrow. The secret, she says, is skin care, a little self-tanner, and her husband’s expert way with lasers (she is married to top NYC dermatologist Robert Anolik, MD). This wasn’t by design, she says: “I’ve been with him basically since college, and he ended up becoming a cosmetic dermatologist.”
Self-deprecating in the extreme, Anolik insists genetics are not a factor. “I grew up with a beautiful mother and a very good-looking brother,” she says. “Appearance-wise, I felt outclassed from the get-go. I knew I had to cultivate other qualities.” The ridiculousness of this statement notwithstanding, here’s how she keeps her skin—not to mention her outlook—looking so youthful.
Lasers Really Make a Difference
Being married to a cosmetic dermatologist, I see my skin as his problem. Here’s what he does to fix the problem: mild laser resurfacing, like a Fraxel Dual, on my face twice a year. This type of laser builds new collagen, restores old collagen, gets rid of fine lines, shrinks pores, and smooths out texture. (It probably does other good stuff, too.) If it’s been an especially rough six months—like the last six months—he also uses a Ruby laser or an Excel V laser to zap sun spots and blood vessels. He’s a magician with those lasers. So if my skin looks good, he’s the reason.
Maintain with (Minimal) Skin Care
In general, I wash my face before I go to bed and hope for the best. Because I’m a bad sleeper and bags are an issue for me, I love the GOOPGENES eye cream—it’s great at tightening. And of course, I use lots and lots of sunscreen.
A Little Color Goes a Long Way
I don’t wear makeup, other than tinted sunblock. I do, however, get spray tans, and spray tans are basically body makeup. (And yes, I’m aware that they’re borderline tacky. But if I’m going to wear a pencil skirt or be bare-legged for whatever reason, a little color helps.)
Lean In to Your Energy
I guess I sort of pooh-pooh the whole aging thing. I turned forty-two in August, but I have as much energy now as ever. Maybe it’s nervous energy (what Evelyn Waugh said New York runs on). But energy is energy; I don’t feel any different at forty-two than I did at, say, twenty-two. Oh, and I have a temper, which is also good for boosting energy levels. A lot of times I’m too mad to notice that I’m tired!
Spend Quality Time with Little Kids
I’m the mother of two boys: Ike, seven, and Archie, who’s six. For me, having kids mitigates—or at least helps mitigate—the whole what-a-drag-ness of getting older. It takes the pressure off in a funny way, because I look at my kids’ flower-petal skin and think, Well, my skin’s not supposed to look like that anymore. Spending time with kids makes you feel your age in the best sense. Or maybe what I mean is that it makes you feel ageless and forever young because you’re young through them. (Don’t get me wrong, though. I still want Rob to keep on giving me those laser treatments.)
Let Go of Perfectionism
I was writing a cover story on Sofia Vergara for Vanity Fair. We were at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills having lunch, and she was packing away the pasta—just slamming it down. I gestured to her empty plate and asked her how she maintained such a killer bod, and she held out her lovely diamond-laden hands, turned up her palms in a kind of shrug, and said, “Genetics.” I found this answer completely liberating. Because sometimes it feels like society is telling you that if you develop the perfect routine and you execute it perfectly, you’ll become perfect. Certainly there are things you can do to make yourself look better, but good genetics—a gift from heaven—is also a major part of it. Which means you can relax a bit.
Your Happiest Is Your Prettiest
I expected to look best at twenty-eight, because that’s the age my mother told me she looked best. But I actually looked best at thirty-two. A coincidence that’s not a coincidence at all: My mom got married at twenty-eight; I got married at thirty-two. A happy romantic life does wonders for the complexion, I’ve found. (So do lasers.)
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