“I don't want them having stuff cut off their face like I've had to in my later years," the supermodel tells PEOPLE in the Beautiful Issue

By Dana Rose Falcone
April 29, 2019 08:00 AM
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While more than 10 years have passed since Brooke Shields first posed with no makeup for PEOPLE’s Beautiful Issue in 2008, the actress says she actually feels younger this time around.

“I feel like look a lot younger,” the supermodel, 53, tells PEOPLE in the 2019 Beautiful issue. “And yet, I still feel like I’m myself.”

The Jane the Virgin actress says her biggest beauty change in the last decade has been prioritizing her use of sunscreen due to health scares over the years.

“I’m one of those people that have always loved the sun. I get tan, it soothes my ego, everything about it,” she admits. “Sun damage, that’s really been showing up in the past 10 years. So to have these mini skin cancer scares, my focus has gotten a lot more on sunscreen. I had to have things taken off my face, so I’ve been much more concerned with the health of my face.”

Victor Demarchelier

After learning her lesson about sun protection, Shields now advises her daughters Rowan, 15, and Grier, 12, to start regularly applying sunscreen.

“I don’t want them having stuff cut off their face like I’ve had to in my later years,” the Suddenly Susan star says. “They just burn so easily. And whenever I have to get a procedure, something burned off, I show it to them. I say, ‘You want this?’ Getting stuff cut off my lip. There was an era where we were baking in the sun, and you can’t do it.”

Shields has also made a healthy shift in her attitude toward working out.

“Now I actually like to exercise, because I love to feel better and see the results,” she says. “It’s about me and prior to that I was always doing it for somebody else, or exercising for a company or a look or a size of clothing.”

RELATED VIDEO: Stars Without Makeup: The 10 Year Challenge! Brooke Shields, Gabrielle Union and More Return for People’s Beautiful Issue

Shields enjoys taking spin classes, sweat and all. “I love when I’ve just finished taking a SoulCycle class or a spin class and I have that awake, non-makeup feeling,” she says.

She doesn’t stick to a specific diet, but rather, “I try to eat balanced,” Shields says. “I don’t like eating fried foods or greasy things anyway, but I will indulge in what I want, whether it’s ice cream or tequila. Those are my two indulgences.”

Watch the full episode of The Beautiful Issue: Stars Without Makeup – The 10 Year Challenge streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device

One thing that’s remained the same for Shields since 2008: her love of her iconic eyebrows.

“My eyebrows are my favorite thing because I don’t have to do much to them,” Shields says. “They have thinned over the years, which is quite shocking, really. But they’ve always been such an important part of the way people see me. As I’ve grown older, I appreciate that I don’t have to use an eyebrow pencil.”

Brooke Shields with her daughters Grier (left) and Rowan Henchy.
Sonia Moskowitz/Getty

That’s another lesson Shields wants her teenagers with husband Chris Henchy to know: embrace your natural beauty. “I think that it’s important for my kids to see in this age where there’s so much going on with makeup, to not forget that we’re as beautiful and should be as confident without makeup,” she says.

And Shields credits her kids with helping her feel comfortable in her own skin.

“It really took having kids and celebrating myself physically for what it was capable of doing,” she admits. “It became this interesting relationship with the physicality, that it was about being really healthy. That was a very important part for me, and it really wasn’t until I started having kids. I am in my place now where I feel like I actually look and feel the best that I have in decades.”