Healthy To A Hundred: Robin Albin of Everlusting On Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life

An Interview With Savio P. Clemente

Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine

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Just hearing yourself — or someone else — laugh makes for an instant de-stressor. And when you smile you actually ease the strain on your middle ear muscles, which in turn softens low-frequency noises such as traffic or ambient conversation.

The term Blue Zones has been used to describe places where people live long and healthy lives. What exactly does it take to live a long and healthy life? What is the science and the secret behind longevity and life extension? In this series, we are talking to medical experts, wellness experts, and longevity experts to share “5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life”. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Robin Albin, Co-Founder of Everlusting.

In addition to being the Founder of Insurgents, a branding and innovation agency that specializes in beauty, health, wellness and luxury lifestyle, Robin is Co-Founder of Everlusting™, a consultancy that is reimagining longevity through Sensual Wellness. Sensual Wellness™ (vs. Sexual Wellness) is all about intensifying our senses — particularly what are called the Cinderella Senses — smell, taste and touch. It’s a vital branch of self-care, health and wellness that is rarely acknowledged or fully appreciated. And a major must-have as we age. Everlustingadvises companies as to how to ignite the senses to reach and benefit older audiences.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

For over 30 years, my Co-Founder, Daria Myers, and I have been leaders in the fields of beauty, wellness, lifestyle and sustainability. And over our careers we’ve successfully brought some of the most widely recognized names in the marketplace into existence. We’ve launched and steered start-ups — who came to us with only scribbles on a napkin — to success. And given legacy brands back their mojo.

In 2021, we decided it was time to create our own brand.

We both had a passion for living our most vibrant life after age 50 and so we created Everlusting™. We wanted to let women, in particular, know that in no uncertain terms — “You ain’t done yet. You may be older, but you never need to be old.”

To achieve our mission, we set out to create some provocative, highly sensorial experiences (note we did not say products) designed to ignite our audience’s senses, engage their imagination, unleash their curiosity and inspire enthusiasm, energy and excitement for what’s next.

Easier said than done…

We began — as we were trained in business — with an RFP (Request for Proposal).

Vendor after vendor took our calls. Set up meetings. Expressed deep interest. Feigned an understanding for what we hoped to achieve. Then sent us sample after sample of traditional fragrances as well as all sorts of mushroom laced coffees and nutritional brews.

In our first year, we had sniffed, smeared and swatched over 50 bottles of “juice” as it is called in the beauty industry. And that’s just what it was — “juice”. Perfumes. Aromas. Scents. Just like everything else that was already available.

Our inability to develop the type of sensory experience that met our criteria was beyond frustrating. We had created an iconic product for the Origins Brand called Peace of Mind® On-The-Spot Relief many years before. Just two dabs of our mind-clearing, Basil, Peppermint and Eucalyptus essential oil formula applied to the back of the neck, temples and earlobes produced a warm, tingly sensation that almost magically melted away pressure, tension and the weight of the world. It was highly sensual and highly experiential. Above all, it was highly effective. We weren’t looking to replicate POM — but deliver something equally as potent.

We were just about to call it quits. Then in October 2021, we attended a virtual conference sponsored by the UK’s Fifth Sense and our sense of purpose was re-affirmed. Our instinct about the power of our senses beyond pleasure and aesthetics was spot on. But, turns out, our senses — especially the widely ignored Cinderella Senses of smell and taste — are the next frontier in personal care driven by a growing understanding that they are critical for our physical, mental and emotional health, well-being — and longevity!

For instance: we learned that as early as our mid-40s — all of our sensory functions — not just sight and hearing, but smell, taste and touch — become less sharp and gradually and unsuspectedly decline, impacting our diet, safety and physical, mental and emotional quality of life. Nearly 1 in 4 Americans (or 23 percent) over the age of 40 report some alteration in their sense of smell. Approximately 1 in 15 Americans (or 6.5 percent) over the age of 40 experience what’s called ‘phantom’ odor perception — smelling unpleasant, bad or burning odors when there are none. 1 in 20 Americans (or 5 percent) experiences persistent dysgeusia (dis-GYOO-zee-a), a disorder characterized by persistent distorted taste. Dysgeusia is more commonly reported in women (64 percent of reported cases).

Why wasn’t anyone talking about this? Why was the subject of sensory loss on no one in the beauty or wellness space’s radar? Google healthy aging and you’ll get a long list of tips and techniques like keep moving, exercise your mind, learn a language, retire, don’t retire — and so on. But not one mention of our senses. (Anosmia, loss of the sense of smell, did come to public awareness as a side-effect of Covid.)

We needed to start a revolution. A Sensual Revolution. And we believe it will be the next great awakening in wellness.

To advance this knowledge we coined the term Sensual Wellness™. Sensual Wellness™ is all about intensifying our senses. And it’s a major must-have as we age.

Our mission is to help people avert sensory loss and indulge in sensory living by teaching them to become super-sensers, someone with a heightened sensitivity to any — or all — of our senses. We want to enlighten not just our generation, but those who are coming of age. Because the sooner you attend to your senses, the sharper they can remain as you age.

Here’s the good news: You don’t need superhero abilities or radioactive spider bites to become a super senser. You just need to become aware of them in your daily activities — and then fine-tune them with some acute training.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

Daria Myers and I were also Co-Founders of Origins Natural Resources. To create this revolutionary brand, we didn’t just listen to the conversations at the beauty counter. We listened to the politics, culture, economics and environment of the time. Because ultimately, every decision we make is influenced by the world around us.

Based on what we heard, we sensed a seismic shift in attitudes. Our audience was feeling marginalized by the hyper-materialism and excesses of the time. Technology was encroaching on our lives and it seemed overwhelming and scary. (Think Orwell’s 1984.) The Cold War was pretty hot and there was a lot of saber rattling. (Sound familiar?)

Rather than focusing on appearance, as was customary in the beauty industry, Origins pioneered the concept of inner and out wellness based, natural essential oils, sustainable packaging and environmentally sound principles based on one word. RESPECT. Respect for our audience’s skin. Respect for the genius of nature. Respect for the world around us (if you take from Nature, you have a responsibility to care for and protect her resources). Respect our audience’s intelligence, pocketbook and desire for self-discovery.

We removed all of the barriers from the shopping experience including the highfalutin beauty lingo and preachy beauty experts. And we created a quirky, engaging tone of voice featuring Origins’ now famous naming system and wit to share information in a warm, inviting, human way.

Origins broke every rule of the beauty industry. There was not a single touch point that we didn’t consider. The brand was right on time and perfectly executed to meet the moment. Today, Origins remains the most widely copied beauty brand in the world.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

As long-time beauty industry veterans, Daria and I, always considered ourselves “sensory beings”. After years of inhaling a wide variety of aromas while developing products and perfumes at Estée Lauder and a slew of other beauty and fragrance companies, we both developed a pretty good “nose” — industry speak for a perfume artists. Our sense of touch was educated through years of slathering on tons of face, hand, body and hair products

But it was the ever-brilliant Leonard Lauder who taught us the most about heightening our senses. He trained us to hear the subtle — but distinctive click of a compact snapping shut. “It should sound elegant — like a Mercedes Benz door closing,” he often said.

He told us time and again (to make sure we heard him) that “Every brand needs its own Fraises des Bois.” A Fraises des Bois is the otherworldly strawberry found deep in the woods throughout the Northern Hemisphere. It tastes like no strawberry you’ve ever eaten before. Intensely flavored. Rich and powerful. Everything about it is magnified. It reminds you why the Greeks saw the strawberry as a symbol of Venus, the goddess of love. We learned that strawberries don’t need to taste like some day-old mass market berry found in every supermarket aisle. They can be transcendent. You just have to pick the right ones. Yup, Leonard Lauder shaped our sensory awareness.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Curiosity. Our brains thrive on new things. Curiosity keeps our minds active instead of passive. It keeps us open to new ideas and worlds of possibility. It brings excitement to life. And plays a vital role in maintaining cognitive function, mental health, and a positive attitude. To feed my mind, I am an avid reader across a wide variety of topics and a passionate networker. I love meeting new people and exchanging ideas. I’m definitely a lifelong learner.

Fearlessness. I’m not talking about jumping out of an airplane or taking careless or ridiculous risks. I’m talking about the need to challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone. Everyday. I’ve always ascribed to Eleanor Roosevelt’s famous quote: “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Values. Our senses of generosity, compassion, justice, truth, honesty, loyalty, love and kindness are the core to being a good human being. I try to keep these values at the heart of my decisions, choices and actions.

For instance, several years ago, I sat next to a young woman at a conference. She was visibly nervous and so I introduced myself to her. Rona was 5-minutes out of college — a recent University of Rochester grad — my husband’s alma mater. In fact, he and Rona’s dad graduated the same year and vaguely knew one another. Rona told me that she was looking for a job in advertising. I offered to help her. We were total strangers. I mentored her for months. Introducing her. Teaching her. Propping her up when things went south as they often did. Just as my amazing mentors did for me earlier in my career. When she finally got a great first job, she took me to lunch and asked how she could repay me. I told her someday she will have the chance to help someone, and when that happens, be sure to pay it forward. We tried to stay in touch, but life got in the way.

Not long ago, out of the blue, I got a handwritten note from her. It simply said, “Thank you. I won’t ever forget what you did for me. I just want you to know, I paid it forward.” You never know the impact you can make in someone’s journey. Living your values matters.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview about health and longevity. To begin, can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fields of health, wellness, and longevity? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

Beyond Origins, as discussed earlier, over my career, I have helped many health and wellness brands position themselves and effectively communicate their unique benefits. Among these are:

  • Johnson & Johnson Baby Products — Including diaper rash creams and baby bottles
  • Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins. The world-renowned health and wellness pioneer joined forces with Origins to create wellness products based upon the principles of Integrative Medicine.
  • Kids II — Educational toys that inspire children to develop their curiosity and imagination, problem solve and think creatively.
  • Brilli Lighting — The first light bulb company to focus on health and wellness benefits including improved mood, energy, focus, alertness, sleep and stress reduction through better quality indoor light.
  • Higher Mind Nootropics — Rather than focusing on inner / self-directed benefits like focus and concentration, Higher Mind Brain Boosters expand thinking to inspire curiosity, creativity and learning.
  • MicroMend Wound Closures — A revolutionary wound closure system that works 7x faster than sutures with no pain, no scarring. And no stressful, costly, time-consuming trips to the ER or Urgent Care Clinic.
  • Bionanosim — An Israeli Pharmaceutical company that has developed a proprietary nano-encapsulation technology designed to deliver innovative therapies, improve outcomes and reduce risk for oncology, ophthalmology and metabolic diseases drug candidates.
  • Sweegen — A biotech company who is forging the future of wellness in food and drink.

Seekers throughout history have traveled great distances and embarked on mythical quests in search of the “elixir of life,” a mythical potion said to cure all diseases and give eternal youth. Has your search for health, vitality, and longevity taken you on any interesting paths or journeys? We’d love to hear the story.

I’ve always been an animal person. As an equestrian, I have always had a special emotional bond with my horses. A deep respect for their power — and their tremendous sensitivity.

And I personally could not live without my 3 Portuguese Water Dogs — Tallulah, Harry and Moose. Just having them at my side is calming. They are all ridiculously funny in their own ways. For example, we taught Moose how to recycle. And as a consequence, he stalks us when we’re drinking out of plastic water or juice bottle. Waiting to grab it and take it to the recycling bin.

There are also tons of research to show that animals have positive health effects for people. They decrease the stress related hormone cortisol. Boost your mood. Fill you with love and companionship. My dogs and horses have always been incredibly attuned to my emotions. I even recently read that older pet owners make 30% fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.

And as they say in Washington, if you want a friend. Get a dog.

Based on your research or experience, can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Live A Long & Healthy Life”? (Please share a story or an example for each)

According to the Greeks, there are two types of wellness. Hedonic — achieved through experiences of pleasure, enjoyment and comfort. And Eudaimonic — achieved through experiences of meaning and purpose that inspire positive growth. Its aim is to develop the best in oneself and achieve fulfillment consistent with one’s values.

Beyond constantly igniting the obvious five senses, here are other important senses I believe necessary to lead a long & healthy life:

  1. A Sense of Purpose. Knowing your WHY is your driving force, your motivation, and your guiding light to work towards a successful life. For me, it’s creativity.
  2. A Sense of Movement. Moving forward with confidence, strength and conviction.
  3. A Sense of Wonder. Finding the awe in simple pleasures helps renew our energy, inspire new ways of thinking and live with positivity.
  4. A Sense of Right & Wrong. Advocating for equality, fairness, justice and the well-being of others.
  5. A Sense of Humor. Life is always better when you’re laughing.

Can you suggest a few things needed to live a life filled with happiness, joy, and meaning?

To me, laughter is one of the healthiest sounds there is. They physiological study of laughter even has its own name — gelotology (from the Greek “gelos” meaning laughter.)

Just hearing yourself — or someone else — laugh makes for an instant de-stressor. And when you smile you actually ease the strain on your middle ear muscles, which in turn softens low-frequency noises such as traffic or ambient conversation.

And she or he who laughs, lasts. Extensive research has shown that laughter has a positive impact on various systems of the body. It is both a physical and emotional release. Fifteen facial muscles move during laughter. Tear ducts are activated. The face becomes moist and often red. Laughter is one of the best muscle relaxers, sends blood to the extremities, reduces levels of stress hormones. Laughter is being lauded as the latest weapon in the war against heart disease. And since laughter depends upon our breathing apparatus, it can actually be a form of dynamic mediation.

And of course, laughter is contagious and generates more laughter which is why it is highly social. There are even yogic laughter groups where people get together just to laugh! In fact, I initiated yogic laughter sessions at Origins.

Some argue that longevity is genetic, while others say that living a long life is simply a choice. What are your thoughts on this nature vs. nurture debate? Which is more important?

My grandmother lived to be 101. My dad — 96. My mom who has advanced Alzheimer’s is 96 and while her mind is virtually gone, her body just keeps chugging along. I’ve been blessed with longevity genes. Good genes aside, I am a firm believer in doing whatever I can to stay youthfully vibrant and alive. I work out daily — a combination of running and cross fit. I don’t eat red meat. I do indulge in a glass of wine daily. And of course, I can’t live without my morning 6 shots of expresso. Hopefully this is a good recipe.

But my other secret is this: Decades ago, I decided to officially and forever cancel all birthdays. I don’t acknowledge them. I don’t celebrate them. I don’t allow my husband, friends or anyone in my family to acknowledge or celebrate them. Ever. No cards. No calls. No cakes. No blown-out candles. With no birthdays to mark the passage of time, there is no aging. No labels and no judgement as to what someone should or should not be doing when. As a consequence, I am truly ageless.

Life sometimes takes us on paths that are challenging. How have you managed to bounce back from setbacks in order to cultivate physical, mental, and emotional health?

I was a pretty serious equestrian for most of my life. Many years ago, I had a terrible riding accident. My horse bucked me off and I landed on a pile of slate. I lacerated my liver, broke several ribs and shredded the skin on my back. I was in the ICU for a week and then confined to bed for a month to six weeks — the period of time I was told it would take to heal. But I’m not very good at sitting still. I needed to take my healing into my own hands. As someone who strongly believes in complementary medicine, I went for acupuncture and reiki and applied salves made of potent (and very smelly) Chinese herbs. To my doctor’s surprise, within two weeks my liver was healed. My ribs were mended and my back was scarless.

But while my body healed perfectly, my mind did not. I struggled with PTSD. I experienced spontaneous flashbacks of the accident that I could not predict or control. They would arise out of nowhere. And they severely impacted my ability to be an effective equestrian so much so that eventually — and very sadly — I had to give up riding.

These opposite sides of the same experience remind me of the life quotes. “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference.”

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

I have always loved this Robert Browning quote: “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for.”

Heaven doesn’t need to have a religious connotation.

It’s your higher purpose. For me that’s creativity. It’s what gets me up in the morning.

Browning’s quote is a reminder that if you want to achieve anything worthwhile you need to stretch yourself beyond what is possible and attempt even those things that at first seem impossible.

I love that quote. But more importantly, I try to live it.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

We are launching a Sensual Revolution™. The Sensual Revolution™ shines a great big spotlight on our senses. Not just the 5 big ones but many of the others. Like our Sense of Balance, Sense of Movement, Sense of Thermoception (Temperature) and Nociception (The ability to feel pain).

Like other revolutions, The Sensual Revolution encourages individuals to take matters into their own hands to effect needed and often overlooked change. Stay tuned.

What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?

On LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robin-albin-02525b11/

On Medium: RobinAlbin

On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insurgents.io/

Website: www.everlusting.com

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.

About The Interviewer: Savio P. Clemente coaches cancer survivors to overcome the confusion and gain the clarity needed to get busy living in mind, body, and spirit. He inspires health and wellness seekers to find meaning in the “why” and cultivate resilience in their mindset. Savio is a Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), #1 best-selling author, syndicated columnist, podcaster, stage 3 cancer survivor, and founder of The Human Resolve LLC. He has interviewed notable celebrities and TV personalities and has been featured on Fox News, The Wrap, and has worked with Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, BuzzFeed, Food Network, WW and Bloomberg. Savio has been invited to cover numerous industry events throughout the U.S. and abroad. His mission is to provide clients, listeners, and viewers alike with tangible takeaways on how to lead a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. Savio pens a weekly newsletter in which he delves into secrets to living smarter by feeding your “three brains” — head, heart, and gut- in the hope of connecting the dots to those sticky parts of our nature that matter to living our best life.

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Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine

TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor