Find out why "unhealthy living" has people convinced the actress got a nose job

By Sophie Dodd
September 08, 2018 09:00 AM

They say you are what you eat, but for Nikki Reed, it goes beyond that: you are what you put in and on your body.

After years of “unhealthy living,” the actress and new mom began to pay closer attention to the ingredients in her food and beauty products — and the notable results have altered her appearance so much that she can hardly recognize her younger self. “I looked like a totally different person,” she tells PEOPLE.

Fans have noticed too — and some are quick to assume that her new look is the result of plastic surgery. “It’s amazing what a little inflammation due to unhealthy living can do to the bridge of your nose, or your pores, or your teeth,” the 30-year-old says of her younger self. “I have even read false things about myself like that I had a nose job, or veneers. Funny enough, I haven’t done a single thing to my face, except changed my lifestyle and reduced my chemical intake.”

Credit: Michael Bezjian/Getty

The lifestyle changes she’s made — from carefully considering product ingredients to taking up Acro Yoga — have helped the actress to look and feel healthier than ever. “What people don’t realize is that it’s all connected. What you put in your body affects not just your insides, but [also] your outsides and your mind. And inversely, what you put on your body affects your insides as well.”

Reed has long been conscious of what goes into the food and products that she chooses, but she felt a renewed dedication to researching ingredients when she learned she was pregnant with daughter Bodhi in May 2017.

“Suddenly I was thinking about the health and wellness of another human being sharing my body, and I wanted to create the best home in there for her as possible,” she explains. “I remember reading labels on products that I used regularly that said ‘not safe for pregnant women,’ and thinking, ‘That’s strange, I wonder why it isn’t safe for me now that I’m expecting? What is it in these products that would be deemed okay for me a few months ago, and now they’re off limits?’ ”

As she dug deeper into what was really in the products on her shelves, Reed began swapping those with potentially harmful chemicals for more organic products with fewer ingredients. Switching to natural toothpaste was one of her first steps, and led her to partner with Tom’s of Maine on a social experiment that sparked genuine conversation about raising ingredient awareness.

In addition to changing toothpaste, Reed has a few other tips for those looking to lead healthier lifestyles and achieve her natural glow.

Reading product labels is key, she says, along with “familiarizing yourself with ingredients, and recognizing how many of them we don’t know.” She encourages starting small to avoid feeling daunted by the changes.

“You don’t have to do everything all at once,” she insists. “I would definitely start with the things you use every day, like your face cream, just to have an understanding of what you’re putting into your body the most. Change one thing, like your lipstick, or your mouthwash, or your deodorant.” And it can all be done on a budget, she adds.

Credit: Nikki Reed Instagram

But product information can be hard to find, which inspired Reed at the start of her wellness journey to create her own company, Bayou with Love. The company is dedicated to “creating and curating healthy products for both men and women,” she explains. She hopes that more companies will follow suit in promoting transparency and awareness regarding ingredients, much like the transition that’s been taking place in the food industry.

“I love the shift that has happened with awareness surrounding our food industry and the importance of being conscious of what you put in your body, and I think we’re two seconds away from that shift in the beauty industry,” Reed says. “What’s inside matters!”