Jess' Mom Shares Her Better-Late-Than-Never Skin Routine

The Interview March 12, 2021

Jess' Mom Shares Her Better-Late-Than-Never Skin Routine

One look at our founder Jess' mom and your immediate thought is probably damn, she looks fabulous. That's because she is fabulous — at 71, Judy has lived an incredible life that includes jetsetting, modeling, and raising one of our favorite people into the badass female she is today.

But, if you think that Jess learned everything she knows about beauty from her mom, we're sorry to say that isn't the case. In fact, for the majority of her life, Judy didn't actually have a skin-care regimen (unless you count soap and water, which, we don't) and, horror of all horrors, was not an SPF wearer. So, how does she look so phenomenal today? 

Well, good genes, obviously, play a role in that, but she also finally listened to her daughter and got serious with her skin-care routine. Once she did that, she discovered her skin took a turn for the better and she's been religious about it ever since. Judy is proof that it's never too late to start taking care of your skin and that the right products can have a noticeable reparative effect, even on mature skin types.

We sat down with Judy to talk about her early years, including the beauty mistakes she made along the way and the products Jess asked (read: forced) her to try because she knew they would have the biggest impact. One look at that stunning face and you'll agree with our sentiment that Jess' mom has got it goin' on.
Jessica Richards and Judy Richards
What was your skin type like when you were younger?
I have very moist and oily skin, so I never felt like I needed a moisturizer because it didn't feel dry. And I am part Cherokee Indian, so I tan very easily (never burn), so I also didn't use sunscreen ever. Up until I was 35, my routine was just soap in the shower and some random body cream I was using slathered on my face. I never truly understood the concept of skin care. 

What happened at 35?
People say that when you have kids your skin starts to change, but I had three kids before the age of 35 and didn't notice any difference. But then, I turn 35 and it just started to show signs of aging that I had never seen before. Even Jess says 35 for her was the same — "Mom, I turned 35 and woke up with wrinkles."

When I was 35 I was living between Switzerland and the South of France. Skiing in Switzerland in the winters and beaching in Cannes (where Jessica was born) in the summer — I think those two climates really wreaked havoc on my skin. The dryness of from the mountains in Switzerland coupled with being in my mid 30's threw me into having to find more of a skin routine. I started using a very fancy brand that I liked the textures and smells of at the time. Things were good for awhile and then I had a huge change in my skin and had to start all over again.

Where were you then?
I turned 51 and was living in Aspen when I saw my skin change so drastically. The dry air and age perpetuated my wrinkles. It must have been due in part to skiing all day everyday in the winter and hiking and biking all day in the summer. 

What are you biggest skin-care concerns now?
Now at 71 I have age spots, a new wrinkle everyday...its exhausting getting old. I look for products that are anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, and of course now with the masks a bit of 71-year-old acne! Who knew that was even a thing?! 

Judy Richards and Jess
When Jess opened Shen, did she involve you with products?

I have a very intense skin routine now because of Jess. She's always sending me things to test for my age demo. She's always asking a million questions — Did you notice a difference? Would you use it again? Did it lighten? lift? tone? I must say I should get paid for being the guinea pig.

So what does your skin-care routine look like now?
I'm always trying new products because Jess needs me to test them out, but there are two brands that I always keep coming back to: Dr. Barbara Sturm and MBR. I have used the Dr. Sturm Super Anti-Aging Serum coupled with the Hyaluronic Serum since Jess launched the brand years ago and love them. 

Over the past two months, Jess and I have been using the Liquid Surgery Serum from MBR and I can attest that you notice a huge difference. 

After my serums, I love to apply an oil, either the Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum or the Irene Forte Orange Blossom Oil, which I love because it actually does help with my age spots — I can see it fading them. At night I will use the Bynacht Overnight Opulence Oil. I then follow my oils with a cream, to seal in all that moisture — Jess taught me that as with the California climate she says I need the extra barrier. I switch between the Face Cream from Dr. Sturm and the Skin Design London Retinol Fresh Skin Treatment. And, of course, I always follow with the EltaMD UV Daily because it has a little extra moisture in it, which I love.

At night I'll use the MBR Enzyme Cleansing Booster as it feels like it takes off all the dirt and SPF and allows for my other products to penetrate deeper.  Also the neck! No one ever focuses on the neck! I sleep in the Sio Beauty Neck Lift Patches, now that I have already gone through menopause and I don't sweat in the night, so they work amazing and in the morning I use the MBR Cell Power Neck and Decolleté Cream. I also love to mask and find that the Amanda Lacey Revealing Pink Mask helps to hydrate and brighten my olive-toned skin. I also have some enlarged pores and it makes my pores look smaller, even when I put my glasses on and look at them in a magnifying mirror.

Finally, I like to use the PureLift device and add in a little bit of the Tammy Fender Quintessential Serum before applying the collagen gel that it comes with (that acts as a conductor). I find that the serum penetrates a bit deeper when I use it together. And I use the LightStim LED device for 20 minutes every night while lying in bed — I've noticed a major difference over the last year from doing this.

I look at all this and it's so much stuff. I used to think Jess was nuts for making me use so many products, but I find it actually does help.
Judy Richards
So you didn't have a skin-care routine when you were younger — was there anything you did do that you think helped you stay looking younger?
My routine was cleanser, water, sleep, eat, workout, repeat. I have always been a workout fanatic — after all, I ended up being a personal trainer for 10 years of my life because I have always been so addicted to working out. Whether it's tennis, skiing, yoga, long walks, riding my road bike, or now doing my Peloton since I am not living in Aspen anymore and I need that bike in my life.

What is one piece of beauty advice you wish you had listened to?
Not to use tanning beds! Not to put iodine mixed with baby oil on my skin and bake in the sun. I am the truest form of a sun worshipper and to be honest still am! For 20 years we had a tanning bed in the house —I mean, what the hell was I thinking?!

What is the best beauty advice you gave Jess?
[Jess chimes in here]: My mom never gave me beauty advice per se, but she never wore makeup and she was always and still is the most naturally beautiful woman I have ever met. I remember growing up, all my boyfriends thought how hot she was and I was always so embarrassed, but now I look back and think you are just as beautiful now! I guess it wouldn't be advice as I give it to her, but rather the idea that no makeup is really beautiful and a woman should just enhance what they already have.
Jess and Judy
What was you biggest beauty mistake?
Probably ironing my hair! I grew up in Atlanta and everyone was doing it at the time. Once that phase was over, I became a hippie and embraced my incredibly long hair. 

What is the advice you would give for women you age now on how to take care of their skin?
Drink tons of water, exercise daily, move your body, and be careful in the sun. Wear sunscreen! No matter what, trying to just put a smile on makes you feel more beautiful on the inside, which exudes on the outside.


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