How Elle Macpherson Changed Everything in Her 40s—and Feels Better for It

The ageless wonder and cofounder of WelleCo opens up.

I believe no matter how old you are, looking your best is about living a balanced, healthy life. When I was a young model, it was all about physical appearance. But today, I'm less concerned about the number on the scale or what dress size I wear. I'm not defined by those things. So I focus on how I feel.

That's partly why I started WelleCo three years ago with my partners, Andrea Horwood Bux, an entrepreneur, and Simoné Laubscher, Ph.D., my nutritional doctor. I was in my late 40s and noticed I was lacking energy, I wasn't getting a good night's sleep, and my adrenals were overloaded. I thought I was living a healthy lifestyle—complete with exercise and an array of supplements—but I was out of balance. What used to work for me in my 20s wasn't working for me anymore.

Laubscher had me focus on the pH levels in my body. Our bodies can become too acidic from a modern lifestyle—too much caffeine, sugar, alcohol, dairy products, and red meat, and not enough sleep. Ideally, your range would be pH 6.5 to 7.5. So I switched to a predominantly whole-food, plant-based diet to balance it out. But it wasn't until Laubscher gave me an alkalizing greens supplement—which became WelleCo's first product, The Super Elixir—that I finally felt like my body was able to absorb all the nutrients it craved. Now, I have two teaspoons of it with spring water or coconut water every morning.

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(Image credit: Rose Hartman/Getty Images)

Over the years, I've learned that beauty is not skin deep; it comes from within. I've realized that the best way to keep your complexion looking youthful and blemish-free is to nourish it with nutrition, sleep, lots of water, and exercise. Right now, I choose between a range of slow or fast activities—from Pilates, yoga, and hiking to Spin class, boxing, or surfing.

It's not like I follow a certain script or routine. I just try to wake up each day and ask myself, What is it I want to do that will make me happy? It might be a walk on the beach; it might be reaching out to someone to make a business connection; it might be a workout. The real challenge is being honest with yourself about what you need, not what you think you need.

Her Must-Haves:

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(Image credit: Design by Monica Park, Images Courtesy of Companies)

1 "Guerlain Vetiver is my signature scent. I've worn it for more than 30 years." GUERLAIN Vetiver Eau de Toilette, $112.


2 "I'm impressed with the philosophy behind the RMS brand: no chemicals, just pure ingredients. It's makeup that doubles as skincare—so clever!" RMS BEAUTY Swift Shadow in EM-64, $20.


3 "This gloss makes my lips feel dressed without feeling unnatural, and it also highlights my eyes." Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss in Nude, $28


"Many of the ingredients in WelleCo supplements—like dandelion, pine bark, and horsetail, which is great for hair, skin, and nails—are difficult to get into your everyday diet. Since I began taking them, my skin looks plumper and has a glow." WelleCo The Super Elixir (from left) Sleep Welle Fortified Calming Tea, $69, Alkalizing Formula, $135, and Nourishing Protein, $59.


This article appears in the July issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands now.