Teen Vogue: Maria Sharapova Has Something Very Important to Say to Teens
And you’re not going to like it.
by Phillip Picardi
How’s your day going? Good? Are you enjoying these last few precious moments of summer? Maybe planning a last beach getaway, where you and your friends can frolic in the sand and take photos of your freshly-pedicured feet against the ocean horizon?
Well, bad news. International tennis champion and sometimes model Maria Sharapova is here to ruin all that. She has what she considers to be a very important message for young people everywhere and we’re not really sure you’re ready for it. But you’re here and you’re reading this, right? And tough love is sometimes very necessary—especially when it comes from someone who’s won the US Open. (Twice.) So brace yourself.
Here goes: “You’re not going to be a teenager forever.”
CALM DOWN. It’s going to be alright. And we know this is earth-shattering information, but here’s the thing: You can subscribe to Teen Vogue forever, even if you’re not a teen, so don’t worry. And One Direction’s fandom spans all ages, really, as does Pretty Little Liars, so everything is pretty much going to be ok. You know what might not be ok? Your skin.
“When I first came to the US to train, I was seven. I went straight to Florida and was basically playing outdoors all day,” Maria explains. “My mom made a point to insist that I wear SPF and protect my skin, but I really didn’t get it! I was young and my skin was beautiful. But I never thought that something like sunscreen would help me in the future. Prevention is absolutely essential for gorgeous skin in the future.” And, as we know from our SPF guide, the sun can cause premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and even skin cancer, which makes daily protection necessary!
For the record, Maria’s skin is flawless. In fact, for someone who’s now co-owner of a sunscreen brand (Supergoop!), she’s got an immaculate, peachy-bronze glow from head to toe. Such is probably the norm when you’re constantly working out. “Being active brings so many benefits to your life,” she says. “I love sports, because being in a social and competitive environment makes exercise less of a chore. Sports teach you so much about yourself and other people, and I think those are things you wouldn’t learn otherwise.”
That says a lot coming from a girl who swapped traditional classrooms for the tennis court before she was even a tween. “It’s a fine balance, being a professional athlete and managing schoolwork. There are big sacrifices you make to get an education, but also to be able to play and compete.”
Said sacrifices paid off by the time Maria was just 17 years old: She defeated the legendary Serena Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final, establishing herself as a force to be reckoned with. On the court, she was clearly a major player. But she’s equally savvy off-court—she’s inked deals with brands like Cole Haan and Nike, and has been praised more than once for her penchant for bright colors and feminine tailoring.
Her discipline with sports is perhaps what makes her such a great beauty subject. “I never wear makeup when I work out,” she says. “And I always keep a bottle of SPF right next to my shower, so I can towel off and apply it then and there.”
And while she can talk all about the sad loss of her newly-discontinued Japanese concealer pen or her love of Chanel makeup, the only true constant in her beauty routine is the Supergoop! SPF 30 City Sunscreen Serum. (It’s also, by the way, a favorite of the Teen Vogue beauty team.) “It’s not chalky, it feels so nice going on your skin, and it’s waterproof, so I can wear it while I play,” she says.
And we all know that a good product makes following Maria’s advice for daily SPF application a whole lot easier. (Who has time for greasy sunscreen?) And while it certainly won’t change your life instantly like, say, a magical foundation or your favorite mascara, it’s doing you one better. “Now that I’m 27, I’ve learned that it’s not about seeing results right away. Think of it as an investment in your future.”