Lately it seems like everyone is talking about the amazing health benefits of celery juice. “Medical Medium” Anthony Williams touts it as “one of the greatest healing tonics of all time,” and gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin has sworn by its health benefits for years. In fact, she believes in its amazing powers so much that she’s bottling up its goodness into a brand new beauty innovation.
“My mom, who was also a gymnast, used to always make me drink celery juice before every training leading up to the Olympics,” Liukin tells PEOPLE. “At the time, when you’re 9, 10 years old, you’re not really sure what the benefits are, but I guess if your mom tells you to drink it, you should drink it.”
Liukin has kept up with her celery juice routine to this day and last year while on a trip to a health foods store after a long flight abroad, she started thinking about what other special powers the vegetable may hold. “I felt disgusting with jet lag, I was breaking out, and I kind of jokingly said, ‘Oh I wonder if I just pour this over my face if it’s just as good for my body.'”
Around that time she discovered Volition Beauty (she’s a fan of its sunscreens) and learned about the brand’s customer-first approach, which encourages its customers to pitch and create the products they want developed.
“When I realized that every single one of their products is actually an idea that was thought of by an innovator, a member of their community, I said, “Hold on, I’m a member of the community and I have this idea.’ So it was actually a very organic partnership,” Liukin explains.
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The first thing Liukin and Volition had to do was find out if the benefits of drinking celery juice extended to skincare.
“The lab was awesome at identifying that not only does it have a high moisture content — when you think of celery it’s like 95% water — but it also has phytonutrients that are amazing for pore minimizing which is really interesting,” Volition Beauty co-founder Brandy Hoffman says.
Liukin and the team got to work perfecting the formula through six or seven different variations. “I just always wanted to make sure that it wasn’t a sticky finish or it didn’t get clumpy and peel,” Liukin says about the creation process. “Those were really key things.”
After nearly a year since coming up with the idea, Liukin and Volition created a Celery Green Cream which is formulated to tackle oil, pores and uneven skin texture while packing in a ton of hydration.
“I travel so much, so I feel like I just always naturally had dryer skin but also combination skin, so that’s what it’s great for,” says Liukin. “But it is for all types of skin because it’s not oily.”
While it has a gel cream base, Lukin says that punch of hydration still comes through. “It’s light and airy but still feels like it’s actually doing something. I found that there are products that feel kind of light but then you don’t actually feel that your skin’s being replenished and that it’s purifying and moisturizing. Or the opposite where it’s a little bit heavier.”
So if you’re ready to “green” your entire routine, pick up a jar of Liukin’s Celery Green Cream (available at Sephora.com and VolitionBeauty.com for $55) and follow Liukin’s expert celery juice recipe.
“If you’re a first timer, I would suggest adding some lemon or ginger or even half of an apple, that definitely sweetens it up a little bit, then quarter of an apple then slowly but surely it’ll taste better,” she advises.
And she says to drink it first-thing in the morning. “Have it before coffee or tea or whatever caffeine you drink because that’s when your body absorbs all the benefits best, then carry on with your day. Don’t just drink only celery juice for 10 days. I don’t advise that. Don’t try that at home.”