Ada Polla, 42

As the CEO of a skincare company, Ada has advantages when it comes to aging that us mere mortals don’t. But in addition to access to great products, she also has a really open attitude about life — which we swear is the key to staying young in general.

By Genevieve Monsma
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Ada, in her own words

I am the CEO of Alchimie Forever, a clean, cruelty-free, vegan skincare developed with Switzerland’s top dermatologist (and my father), Dr. Luigi L. Polla. I am also the eldest of four daughters and I’m very pro-woman. I was raised in a female-heavy household and I now work in a female-heavy industry. I am half Swiss and half American — with a bit of Italian from my father’s side. I grew up in Switzerland but came to the United States at 17 for college … and stayed. My husband is American, and we have what I call a dual-state marriage. During the week, he lives in Louisiana and I live Washington D.C, and we see each other on weekends. I believe this is the secret to our happy marriage.

Why she doesn’t believe in work-life balance

Balance, to me, is like having two equal weights suspended on a seesaw. It’s not moving or dynamic and cannot be sustained. Life is about movement and evolution. What I strive for, rather than balance, is harmony between my priorities.

The best aging advice she’s received

My mother once told me to look very carefully in the mirror each morning. While that may sound vain or strange, what she was suggesting is that you look at yourself with kindness and embrace the minute changes you see on a daily basis. That way, you won’t wake up one day and think ‘what is going on; where did those 28 brown spots come from?’

One benefit of having a doctor in the family

I’ve been getting Botox from my dad since my mid-twenties as prevention — and now a bit more as correction. I get injections twice a year, when I am back in Switzerland.

Who she thinks is aging well

My mother, who will be 70 in March, is my model of good aging. She looks ten to fifteen years younger than she is, but she also says striving to stay young is boring and means you’re stuck in the past. She sees each day as a new beginning or a new opportunity. 

I am also amazed by Jennifer Lopez. The balls it took to walk the runway in that green Versace dress last year! And she looked great, even better than the first time she wore it. Jennifer also manages to look natural, not overdone.

What she likes about aging

I feel like I know myself better than I did twenty years ago. This helps me make better, more satisfying choices because I know what I like, what I don’t like, what I’m good at and what brings me joy.

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I want to think of aging as becoming, as growing — that it’s a positive, active process.

Ada Polla

... and what she’s not super excited about

A slowing metabolism is something I could do without.

How she cares for her face

In the morning, I use our Gentle Cream CleanserPigment Lightening SerumAveda Tulasāra™ Calm Concentrate, our Tightening Eye Contour GelKantic +® Intensely Nourishing cream and our Protective Day Cream SPF 23.

At night, I use Purifying Facial Cleanser, and either the Pigment Lightening Serum again or the Advanced Retinol Serum, the Rejuvenating Eye Balm and Kantic +® cream again.

I also try to use our Gentle Refining Scrub and Kantic® Brightening Moisture Mask every two weeks — and I get facials quarterly at Sarah Akram in Old Town Alexandria.

… and her body

I usually shower in the morning and apply our Firming Gel for Neck and Bust, our Optimizing Body Contour Gel and Soothing Body Lotion.

Her makeup must-haves

I just use L’Oreal Voluminous X Fiber Mascara and Black PrimerBlinc Eyebrow Mousse in Dark Blonde, and, if I want a natural lip, Givenchy Le Rouge Perfecto Beautifying Lip Balm in #01 Perfect Pink, or, if I want a dramatic red lip, NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella. I’ve never liked the feel of skin makeup like foundation or concealer — not even tinted moisturizer.

What has surprised her about aging

I like how I look now better than I did twenty years ago. I’ve lost my rounded baby face. I certainly hoped to age gracefully, but I never thought I’d actually prefer how I looked at 42 to 22.

How her health regimen has changed

I have always been committed to exercise and work out three to four times a week — usually some combination of running, Soul Cycle, and, more recently, Orange Theory Fitness. But my diet has changed over the years. My father is Italian, and I grew up eating pasta but I’ve had to move away from carbs in the last decade. I just don’t feel great after I eat them, and it’s hard to keep weight off when I eat pasta regularly. So now, pasta is like a once a year thing for me.

Her aging mantra

I want to think of aging as becoming, as growing — that it’s a positive, active process.

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