Shel Pink, 49

We all make choices when it comes to how we age: How much cosmetic intervention will we go for? Do diet and exercise factor in? Is introspective work like meditation, therapy, and religion a must? At The Plum, we choose to report on those choices rather than judge them. Here's what aging well means to Shel Pink.

By Genevieve Monsma
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Shel, in her own words

“Mother of two teenagers. Artist. Long-term meditator. Life-long learner. Author of Slow Beauty. Founder of SpaRitual, the first vegan beauty care line.”

What we get wrong about aging

“There is this negative myth around aging, and we keep perpetuating it by focusing on the wrinkles and the backaches. What if, instead, from the time we were born, we talked about aging in a positive way, focusing more on the joy, the chance to reinvent yourself, the ability to develop greater empathy. I believe aging is an opportunity to grow into a better version of yourself.”

Who is aging right

"Gwyneth Paltrow looks good, while promoting all the ways you can age well and be well. She isn’t trying to turn back the clock. And Meryl Street just looks comfortable in her skin. I admire the way she dresses and presents herself. She is someone who has become the best version of herself.”

Her aging-well differentiator

“Genes do play a part, of course, but I think it has been my commitment to meditating that has really made a difference in my health. I’ve been doing transcendental meditation twice a day for twenty minutes—for twenty years. There have been slight gaps, like when my kids were born, but overall, I’ve been pretty faithful to my practice.”

A commitment to clean eating

“I think looking your best is also tied to what you eat. I eat no processed food and I have very little sugar in my diet. I eat only whole foods and drink a ton of water and green tea, which is high in antioxidants. My average day looks something like this: In the morning, I have coffee with coconut sugar and oatmilk, along with a small bowl of oatbran, blueberries, walnuts and an Omega-3 oils blend. At lunch, I do a big salad with a lot of leafy greens and veggies. Dinner may be salmon, rice, broccoli and more salad. I love arugula.”

Why she returned to meat

“I was vegan for years, but, as my hormones were changing due to perimenopause, it was no longer working for me. My energy levels dipped, and I realized I needed some animal protein. So, I added back eggs, salmon and occasionally grass-fed beef. During the winter, I was really craving Omega-3, so I was eating as much salmon and flax meal as I could. Interestingly, I found this helped with night sweats.”

Her one (sort of) vice

“I do love sweets, especially dark chocolate. The one I am eating at the moment is from Simply Lite; it’s gluten and sugar-free.”

The upside of aging

“I now have more of a bird’s eye view on life, which I attribute to my meditation practice. I’m less reactive and spend more time observing things and taking time to access a situation. My intuitiveness has also sharpened, and I realize much of what I used to worry about is not a big deal.”

The downside

“Perimenopause. We should be talking about this more. Hormone shifts can be harsh, and we need to have more open conversations and support around navigating it.”

Her simple skin regimen

“I’m very low-maintenance. I wash with a soap I bought at ABC Carpet & Home in New York. Then I use my SpaRitual Body Salve on my face and all over my body twice a day. During the day, I will also apply some sunscreen—usually Josh Rosebrook Tinted Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30, which I buy at Detox Market.”

How she cares for her hair

“Like my skincare, my hair regimen is really low-maintenance. I usually wash it once a week with a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner I get at Whole Foods, then I may use my SpaRitual Body Salve to tame any frizz. I get my hair cut a few times a year and highlighted every six months.”

On prioritizing exercise

“I work out with a trainer twice a week, which I really need for my core. After driving my kids around so much for years, I was having pain in my lower back, so I have been focusing on strengthening that area. I also do ballet once or twice a week—and I hike. I live near Runyan Canyon in Los Angeles, so I will hike there for about an hour.”

How she lowers her cortisol levels

“I get a massage at least once a month, and I think it helps slow the aging process. Stress makes us age faster. If you can find ways to relieve your stress, it will keep you looking younger.”

What’s surprised her about aging

“You do start to think about death—and the fact that your loved ones are not going to be around forever. As I approach 50, I’ve been thinking about and worrying about my mom and dad. The positive part of this is that it makes me cherish my time with them even more, while deepening my compassion.”

As I approach 50, I’ve been thinking about and worrying about my mom and dad. The positive part of this is that it makes me cherish my time with them even more, while deepening my compassion for them.

Shel Pink

Her mantra

“Keep reinventing. All of the labels—mother, founder of a beauty brand—are just that…labels. I prefer the freedom of not over-identifying with any one role. If there is something I want to do, I will. I believe each new year could be the best of my life.”

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