As the forensic pathologist Dr. Maura Isles on TNT's hit show Rizzoli & Isles, actor Sasha Alexander spends her time examining dead bodies. But in real life, this Los Angeles-based mother of two, 40, knows a lot about living a healthy life. In fact, it's not her first time in a nail-biting crime-solving role -- for 2 years she played Secret Service special agent Caitlin Todd on NCIS. She's also been in films ranging from Mission: Impossible III to He's Just Not That Into You, and she stars next in the film The Girl From Nagasaki, which premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. A former dancer and ice skater, Alexander shares her best tips for keeping herself strong -- inside and out.
By Sarah Mahoney
How to quit nitpicking
It's not even noon on a Sunday, and I've been biting my tongue all morning.
When my husband sat down to Web surf two hours ago, I resisted the urge to
remind him that he had promised to clean the basement. I held my tongue again
when our 13-year-old trashed the kitchen while creating his "it's due
tomorrow!" science project. And I even managed to stifle myself when my
teenage daughter left a plate in the sink instead of reaching 18 inches...
"I am fortunate that my aunt, Olga, is a facialist (she owns Kinara Skin Care Clinic & Spa in L.A.), so from a very young age I learned exactly how to take care of my skin. She also gave me one great piece of advice: "Don't touch your face." That one tip helped me avoid so many breakouts and damage."
"When I'm working, I have to wear so much makeup. So getting every speck of it off is a big priority for me. I swear by my Clarisonic device for this -- even after cleansing wipes and washing with soap, it still removes even more; it's like having a mini-facial every day. I also love this facial polish from dermatologist Howard Lancer -- rub it in for 90 seconds and you're as good as new."
"I believe in greasing myself up at night, to retain as much moisture in my skin as possible. I like to use emu oil all over my face, neck, and chest, and I also love this amazing cream called Egyptian Magic cream."
"I'm a total foodie -- so all the faddish cleanses and juices that involve not actually eating are NOT for me. For the last 10 years or so I have stuck to a 'Zone'-type diet. So, I eat something every 2 to 3 hours, and I try to make sure it's got a good dose of healthy protein, such as chicken or fish, and plenty of veggies. Snacks are usually things like apples, some cheese, or a handful of nuts. I found out a while ago that I am gluten intolerant, but I'm not insane about it. I just know that if I have that pasta or pizza -- and since my family is Italian, we eat a lot of pasta, for sure -- I may not feel so great afterward. So I won't do it twice in 1 week. It's a balance of not denying myself but also taking care of myself. Luckily, I simply am one of those people who CAN have one bite of something rich and then stop at that."