Candice Swanepoel is a stunner. When the lithe, blonde beauty turns her sultry blue gaze on the camera, you can't help but be mesmerised. No wonder she has a whopping 7.7 million followers on Instagram — more than the population of Demark! More importantly, the Victoria's Secret model is now the official ambassador for Biotherm skincare. With her athletic frame and natural beauty, Swanepoel fits the brand's new 'fit, active and beautiful' mantra to a T. But looking that gorgeous doesn't come easy. Hint: Think a healthy diet and exercise as a way of life, not to mention copious amounts of Biotherm's Life Plankton Essence. Find out more from the woman herself.

What most inspires you about Biotherm?
I really identify with Biotherm because of my love for the ocean but also for Biotherm's natural beauty approach. That's what I strive for in my beauty regimen. It's a perfect fit.

What do you most like about Biotherm products? Which would you never leave home without?
What I love are the different textures, you get what you need depending on your skin type. And I love the natural source of Life Plankton, Biotherm's main ingredient. My favourite Biotherm product is the Life Plankton Essence. I like it a lot, it's extremely moisturising and leaves my skin smoothed, renewed and with a special glow. In my opinion, beautiful skin is skin that glows.

How important are your daily beauty habits?
I consider a beauty routine as important as eating well and working out. People don't realise that your skin is an organ just like your heart or your lungs. Taking care of it goes way beyond beauty and good looks: it is a necessary part of living a healthy life.

Do you have any essential skincare products?
I love using natural products such as essential oils — grapefruit oil, tea tree oil, jojoba oil, rose oil — I always have 100 per cent organic coconut oil that I buy at a local market, taken both internally and as moisturiser. I also use Aquasource and the makeup remover Biosource. The Life Plankton serum is one of my favorites too because of its magical ingredients.

How would you define your makeup look when you are not working? 
Very natural: just concealer, mascara and maybe a cream blush.

What is your usual hair routine?
[My hair is] natural when I'm not working. I wash, condition and put either argan oil or rose oil on the ends and leave it to dry naturally.

What is your definition of beauty?
My definition of beauty is someone who is captivating in their most natural state, when their inner beauty is in sync with their outer beauty. There is that certain confidence and acceptance of her or himself.

Candice Swanepoel

What is your beauty routine before and after working out?
I never work out with makeup on, and after a workout I jump straight into the shower, cleanse with an organic tea tree oil and green tea cleanser —  it's extra cleansing as I have oily skin — tone with a pure rose water spray, moisturise and put sunscreen on if it's sunny out. I believe it's important to let the skin breathe when I'm not working.

Being from a sunkissed country, what is your recommendation on sunscreen?
Sunscreen is so important everyday. Unfortunately I'm a sun worshiper so I love to soak up the sun but I put a high SPF of 50 on my chest and face so I don't cause too much damage.

What is your vision of a modern strong woman?
It's important to feel strong, healthy and good. Models are athletes: I have trained with the same trainer for nine years. I used to box a lot to release my emotions. So don't mess with me! As a woman you feel very powerful boxing. I think every woman  should try this sport. 

Is healthy living important to you?
Healthy living has become more and more important to me, yoga has taught me to treat my body like a temple so I'm very careful about what I eat and what I put on my skin. If you are good to your body you will have more energy, more vitality and ultimately be able to handle more mentally and physically.

Do you have a favourite recipe or any food recommendation?
I love to cook at home when I can, it's hard when I'm busy and I hate to waste groceries. I like to know what goes into my food so I keep it really simple. I grill a lot of fish, veggies and make loads of yummy salads. I make my own almond milk and granola for the mornings and for smoothies.

What are the fitness regimens that you do and enjoy?
At school I was the least athletic child, I adored ballet and that was it. After my first big show, my trainer approached me because he spotted the potential. I started working out, initially doing boxing and resistance training. I became addicted. My workouts vary, now I'm doing Pilates, yoga, meditation and I've just taken up surfing. I'm a Libra — which is the sign of balance. I'm looking to create balance between being healthy and strong, between my work and my personal life, to find overall happiness.

Candice Swanepoel

You are from South Africa. How was your childhood there?
I've always been a free spirit, a wild child. Growing up in South Africa influenced everything. I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere surrounded by animals and nature. Africa is at once a tough yet incredible place to live. I carry my memories everywhere I go.

Where is your home now?
I discovered Brazil at 17. Its culture, energy and landscapes are unique. I go there to rest.

How do you make time between all your travels?
Time management is simple yet difficult. I need to be on time as a model. But also manage my personal life, my business, make time to work out and take care of myself... It's about prioritising what's important to me, and not to other people. 

Do you have any time saving or time hacking tips to share?
It takes a lot of planning ahead. I'm programmed to think ahead. I make a lot of lists too. If you write down your priorities you can focus and getting them done, if I don't do that I feel overwhelmed.

How digital are you in your everyday life?
I have a small army of 7.7 million followers on Instagram. It's important to show my followers my professional life, my work and my art. I also share my personal life, a little not too much. In my day-to-day, I'm just a normal girl. Most of my personal pictures show the charities I'm involved in. I try to promote nature and conservation. I work with Bottletop, motherstomothers and now Biotherm Water Lovers which I'm very excited about.