Camila Alves McConaughey Says This Brazilian Beauty Tradition Is Also a Self-Care Essential

Camila Alves McConaughey Says This Brazilian Beauty Tradition Is Also a Self-Care Essential featured image
Dominik Bindl / Contributor / Getty Images

Brazilian-American model and entrepreneur Camila Alves McConaughey—yes, she’s married to Matthew McConaughey—is one of those rare natural beauties, both inside and out. After our recent Zoom interview, I left feeling calmer and more inspired thanks to her candid, uplifting spirit. In addition to raising three children and taking care of her family, Alves McConaughey spends time supporting and nurturing other women through her community Women of Today. Here, we talk about the pandemic, self-care, her Brazilian beauty secrets, and so much more.

Has the pandemic impacted you personally?
“It has impacted how we do things like it’s impacted everybody. But, we’re more on the conservative side because we have Matthew’s mom with us—she’s 89—and she’s high-risk, so we have to be at home. We basically have our bubble, but that’s about it. We test every so often and everybody is very, very careful. I think that for us, it really has pushed me to think about how I can find ways to get my family to still be creative—to still get excited about things and creative ideas—while staying healthy and positive throughout this whole thing because we’re limited on what we can do. I’ve always been health-conscious, but the pandemic really shifted my perspective about how we keep ourselves healthy, mentally and physically, at a completely different level. This has pushed all of us to our limits in very different ways.”

Have you been able to make more time for yourself?
“I think self-care is extremely important. I think it’s something we all have to find ways to practice. Now, I don’t have the perfect solution because I am a mother of three, I have my husband, I have my mother-in-law, and I work, so I go through stages where I’m really good at it or I kind of let it slide a bit. But I’ve noticed that when I let it slide and I don’t make that time for myself, my personality changes, my mood changes—I’m not that happy, uplifted Camila like I am when I do take a little time for myself. During the pandemic, I was able to put more emphasis on self-care and that could be anything from doing a lymphatic massage on my face in the morning to dry brushing and taking a long bath or taking a walk.”

I’m a fan of lymphatic massage, too. Where did you learn how to do it?
“I’m from Brazil, so we grew up doing it—it’s so funny because it’s just now becoming a hot trend in America, but I grew up doing it since a young teenager and I would watch my mom do it all the time. In Brazil you usually go to somebody, and here too, but because of the pandemic I wasn’t able to go to my facialist, so I had to do it myself. I called up some of the people who have done it for me before and we decided to make tutorials to teach everyone else too. I apply a face oil first and then do it for a few minutes, and I really see the results.”

What kind of oil do you use?
Shirley Price oils—she’s based in London. It’s all organic oils, and I love using them to do my lymphatic massages. For the body, the best thing I can tell you is coconut oil. And a dry brush is a must for the skin as well. The more you do it—you have to do it consistently—the more you’ll see a big difference. I love skin care, but it can only do so much, so I’m a big believer in taking supplements that are going to help me feel beautiful from the inside out.”

The “inside-out approach” seems to be your skin-care philosophy.
“It’s the fundamental thing I’ve learned for beauty. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was binge-eating. I was just so nervous with everything going on that I was eating a lot of sugar, my skin was going crazy, I was gaining weight, and I was like, ‘Woah, I have to stop this.’ Once your diet and the nutrients you’re putting into your body are balanced, your skin starts to change and then all of the topicals you’re putting on top are like the cherry on top of the ice cream. I had really never paid much attention to it before, but the pandemic made me think about what I needed. I really dove into it, and I realized that taking supplements that are specific for us as women makes a world of difference. I was getting really bloated and I started taking the women’s probiotic from Renew Life and that helped get rid of it. Everything is related to the microbiome and the gut. It’s not really that complicated if we just stop and pay attention to it.”

Do you have any other favorite supplements?
“I have a tea station with all kinds of herbs like cinnamon, clove, star anise and all those things, but I thought, ‘What can I add for my beauty?’ So, I started adding the NeoCell Collagen Powder—I don’t even taste it in my tea. At night, I add the Natural Vitality Calm Powder instead, which has magnesium in it. Even with a healthy diet, many of us are probably deficient in some kind of vitamin or nutrient, and magnesium is something a lot of people are deficient in. I don’t know what the magic trick is, but at night I add it to my tea and it just clears my mind and I get really calm and relaxed. I’ve also noticed that the next morning, I wake up completely refreshed and ready for the day.”

Photo courtesy of Camila Alves McConaughey.

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