My 10 Tips for Radical Beauty

06/06/2011 02:08 pm ET | Updated Aug 06, 2011

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. It's not that I think I'm beautiful. But over the years, I've been trying to detox my beauty regime and get to the heart of what makes me FEEL beautiful. As women, and especially teenage girls, we are pushed and sold--and sometimes even bullied into believing we need--special expensive magic creams or potions to preserve our beauty or youth. I've spoken with people inside the beauty world who are trying to make those lotions nontoxic, and it's hard. Really hard.

When we had our plastic-free challenge a few months ago, I started experimenting, and I've been pleasantly surprised by the results--so none of the tips below involves plastic!

Again, I'm not claiming to be a great beauty, but I have been happy with how I look lately...and for an older woman, that's a fairly big deal! Last fall, I was checking into the War Bonnet Hotel in Butte, Montana, and the woman checking me in tried to give me a free-drink-at-the-bar voucher. I politely declined, and she said, "Yeah, I can tell by looking at you that you don't drink." When I asked her how she could tell she said, "You look healthy." So ultimately, all these tips revolve around that--health!  (I didn't even include "not drinking" on this list, so consider that a bonus tip!

1. Less is more. I have not used soap or cleanser of any kind on my face in 25 years. I rinse my face with water in the shower and then moisturize...with organic coconut oil in a glass jar that I buy in the supermarket food section!!! It's working like magic, and I love the smell of coconut because it makes me feel like I'm at the beach. I can get away with this because I hardly wear any makeup at all--perhaps a little powder and eyebrow pencil and lip gloss--so there is nothing to wash off. I think the constant applying and removing of make up is a MAJOR ager of women's skin. If there is something on your face that needs covering up, then you need to get to the root of the issue, and that starts with what you put INTO your body, not onto your body.

2. Organic food with healthy fats (butter, lard, olive oil). Studies have shown that genetically modified foods (GMOs) lead to ACCELERATED AGING in lab animals! The only way to avoid GMOs is to buy and eat organic foods. Add to that all the other toxins found on food grown with chemicals, and by far your best bet for having a healthy body and skin is to eat organic with lots of fresh fruits and veggies.

3. Sleep. And lots of it. Nothing ruins a happy feeling more than lack of sleep. It's why I always have crying fits in airports whenever I have horrible delays--because I'm going to miss my sleep! They don't call it beauty sleep for nothing!

4. Sex. And lots of it! Nothing like an orgasm to put a smile on your face.

For 6 more beauty tips from Maria Rodale, go to

Related Links:
Sun Is Fuel - Maria's Farm Country Kitchen
Plastic-Free Challenge -
Wake Up Tired Eyes - Prevention