For more than 15 years, millions of Americans tuned in to watch Leeza Gibbons interview their favorite celebrities on Entertainment Tonight or discuss some of the world’s biggest events on her talk show, Leeza. It’s safe to say she is one of the most recognizable figures in media and American pop culture. But Gibbons isn’t just defined by her prolific career—she has dedicated years of her life to pursuing her passions (she has two beauty lines) and championing a cause very important to her heart: caregiving. Recently, we sat down with Gibbons to learn more about her best beauty secrets and some wise advice on how to make aging your friend, not your foe.
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NewBeauty: You recently turned 60. Does it feel any different from what you thought it would feel like?
Leeza Gibbons: I’m not quite sure what I expected 60 to feel like, but now that I’m here, I can tell you it feels great! As a society we tend to build a feeling of dread into these milestone birthdays, but in my opinion, it’s all about the celebrating! It is a forward-focused moment—we need to look at what’s left and not what’s lost.
When I was growing up, turning 60 was very different. People I knew reaching this age were all getting ready to retire and slow down. The truth is, turning 60 is what you make of it—many Baby Boomers out there like myself are breaking down age barriers and striving for more than what has been expected of our age group in the past.
When I was much younger, I didn’t expect to feel as strong as I do and be as engaged in life as I am, but being strong as you age is the new norm. It feels powerful to be 60 and be part of redefining what it means to me and my generation. I think in life, we get exactly what we’re willing to put up with, and most of my friends don’t want to be called “seniors” and be defined by labels that don’t fit. Neither do I! Being the optimist that I am, I know it’s not about the glass being half full; it’s more a case of “I OWN the glass!” And when it’s depleted, I’m responsible for filling it up. I love the woman I’ve become and I’m proud of the journey I’ve taken (so far) to get here.
NB: What’s your skin care routine?
LG: In the morning, I cleanse with a gentle, non-soap cleanser and apply a hydrating serum, followed by moisturizer. I then dot my eyes with a daytime cream, as well as a sunscreen with titanium dioxide. At night, I cleanse and use Dr. Denese’s facial firming pads before applying the hydrating serum, nighttime wrinkle cream and eye serum. I also use an exfoliating cleanser twice a week.
NB: Are there any products or procedures that your dermatologist has recommended that you’ve seen great results from?
LG: I think by the time we get to be over 50, many of us begin to experience sunspots and uneven skin tone. I have found that an occasional IPL laser treatment to help break up the melanin and even out the tones has been beneficial.
NB: When it comes to health and wellness, what does taking care of yourself mean?
LG: The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve learned the importance of taking care of both my mind and body. For years I’ve been juggling various responsibilities with my career and family, and sometimes life can be really overwhelming. Aging has allowed me to quit chasing that elusive thing called balance and to just try to invest my time the best way I can every day.
During the stressful times when I’m worried about caring for everyone else, I remind myself to take a step back so I can feed my focus on replenishing my own mind, body and soul. That means something different to everyone. For me, it means time to put my body in motion at least 30 minutes every day, prioritize my sleep and pay attention to what I’m putting in my mouth and what I allow into my emotional space. Boundaries are self-love, and I’ve found that when I treat myself better, everyone else tends to follow suit. I gave up my membership into the Perpetual People Pleaser’s Club.
NB: How has how you feel about personal wellness changed through the years?
LG: Looking back, there are definitely a few things I wish I had done differently for my own wellness. I grew up in the south and was a bit of a sun-worshipper. What I didn’t realize 20 years ago is that I should’ve prioritized my skin care and taken more precautions, like using sunscreen more consistently and protecting my face.
I’ve learned that taking care of yourself also means challenging yourself and taking risks. I call these my sanity sanctuaries because it’s imperative for your mental and emotional health not to stagnate. I’ve done a lot of this over the years, and I’ve never been sorry for the time I’ve spent exploring and pushing myself to go places and do things that make me think differently.
NB: How has how you think about beauty evolved through the years?
LG: I developed many of my ideas about beauty while being on camera during the ’80s when beauty was much less about looking natural! As we have become a more global society, it has been wonderful to see standards of beauty widen and expand to include more diverse looks, more shapes and sizes. From the shape of our brows to the length and color of our hair, women have become more self-directed by what works for them rather than blindly following trends and fashions. Beauty is confidence—that has always held true, but I think now more than ever, we equate beauty with strength. Strength of conviction, strength of purpose.
NB: What’s something you want to do that you still haven’t done yet?
LG: The list is long and diverse! I want to find new ways to advocate for health and wellness and mentor women to become architects in their own lives. I’d love to be a voice in an animated movie— how much fun would that be?! I want to do a reality show about philanthropy and giving back focused on young people. And get my contractor’s license so I can help people affordably redo their dream homes. That’s just for starters!
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