I’ll never forget the first time I met Dina Pugliese. I was an editor at Chatelaine magazine at the time, and she was in her fourth year as co-host to Breakfast Television, on CityTV. I was so nervous because it was my first time on BT, but when I walked on set, within three seconds I was welcomed with the warmest hug, the kindest words of embrace, and the most fun-loving energy I had ever been around! Dina has a way of shining her light of positivity and love onto every thing, every one, and everywhere she looks. Recently, the Jills had the great pleasure of catching up with her at her launch of The Care Principle: an incredible, 100% all-natural, anti-aging skin care line, personally created by her and her husband, Alek Mirkovich. Be sure to read-on to learn more about Dina, and check out thecareprinciple to find out how to buy her skincare line. Thanks Dina!
You’re coming up on your 15th year on City’s Breakfast Television—congratulations! Given the hours you work, how do you keep your energy going all day?
Sleep. Coffee. Big breakfast. Laugh. Repeat. LOL! It’s like the saying goes, time really does fly when you’re having fun. If I didn’t love what I do, I never could have worked these hours for as long as I have. Doing what you love is energizing. So is eating a healthy and balanced diet, saying “no” to things when you’re feeling burnt out, surrounding yourself with good and kind people… all of it. Walking and getting in that ecotherapy is amazing, too, and only takes as little as 10 minutes a day. You get to move your body, de-stress, listen to the birds, admire the changing colours of the leaves… it’s so good for the body, mind and soul.
We at The Jills were so excited to be invited to the launch of your new anti-aging skincare line, The Care Principle. What inspired you to create it?
It all started about 10 years ago, but got shelved when life and family stuff started to happen. One family member after another was falling ill, all of them in the prime of their lives. Years of hospital hopping and all of the worry, fear and lack of control that comes with seeing loved ones suffer had us re-evaluating what we put into and onto our bodies. That’s when The Care Principle was born. We wanted to take back some control by putting something good into the world that made you feel good and was good for you.
What’s been the most shocking discovery in your process of creating skincare?
I can’t believe how much work still needs to be done. In the U.S., only 11+ chemicals are banned in cosmetics. Here in Canada, the number is 600+, while our friends across the pond in the EU are at 1300+. Considering the average woman leaves the house with more than 126 chemicals on her skin, what are we slathering on every day that is hurting us? It’s time to lessen the daily toxic load. In terms of making my own skincare, the most shocking discovery is just how long everything takes. Every time I tweaked the viscosity of a cream or searched for the right dust cover for the jar…. everything you can think of (and all the things you don’t) pop up and take loads of patience and time. But it’s all worth it when you end up with a truly all-natural and super nourishing skincare line to share.
Do you stress out about aging?
I try to live in the moment and make the most of each day. No need to stress about what might happen or what you can’t possibly control. That’s why it’s so important for me to live each day in which kindness, love, laughter and wellness rule. My aunt just passed away this year; she would have turned 103 in November. Zia Angela was the most kind and loving and caring soul. She would always find a way to listen and chuckle no matter what her beautiful blue eyes had seen. Her kind soul and positive outlook on life was the reason she lived such a long and wonderful life, I’m sure of it.
What’s been the biggest (and best) change in your self-care practices in the last few years?
The biggest changes in the last few years have been to eat better, walk more and stress less. I used to love red wine, but I cut that way down to just a couple of glasses a year. I use all-natural products to clean my home. I’ve taken a truly holistic approach to wellness with my husband that extends beyond just natural skincare and the rest of my family has followed suit. We find ourselves reverting to the ways my grandmother lived, more and more. Simple. Natural. Oh, and no more lipstick with lead in it. Only clean beauty… especially considering how much we ingest while we eat and talk with it on. If you could go back in time, what might you tell yourself about self-care? I would say, please don’t purchase that subscription to the tanning bed! Oh my gosh, what was I thinking?
Are there any wellness procedures you love to treat yourself with?
The only thing I really do to treat myself is apply a facial mask at home on the weekend. I try to get a massage once or twice a year and always feel so great afterward, but I never book them as often as I should. This past summer, my husband and I got into saunas and water therapy pools while vacationing in Italy. Such a good way to relax. They’re available in so many hotels there as part of your stay… they’re onto something, I tell you.
What’s your nighttime routine like?
I go to bed at 6:30 p.m. (if not earlier), so a nighttime routine is a must. And I need loads of sleep. I was like that as a kid too. I’m pretty much a cat. LOL! I try to shut off my phone a good hour or two before. Have a ginger tea and eat some dates and nuts because I’m forever snacking. Then I get to chat with my husband and we catch up on life and how our days went before I hit the hay. It’s our quality alone time after a hectic work day and we both so look forward to it.
What’s your morning routine like?
I’m up at 3:30 a.m. and I bolt out of bed. It’s pure adrenaline from the moment I wake. I shower. Eat breakfast and wash it all down with a big cup of joe. And then off I go, checking emails from the show, reading up on all of the important news headlines of the morning, searching for quirky stories and the latest goings on in entertainment and pop culture so that I’m prepped to chat about it once I get to the CityTV studios where all cylinders are firing as BT kicks into high gear.
I go live until 11 a.m. as I continue live chats with our BT fam in Calgary and Vancouver. Then it’s post-show meetings and screeners and everything else required for the jam-packed daily morning show.
When you are out and about, what can’t you leave home without?
My cell phone and my earbuds. I have some of the best chats with my amazing mama while walking to and fro.
TV makeup is pretty glamorous. What works for you when it comes to skincare and removing and cleansing your skin?
I use natural cleansers and an exfoliating scrub once a week to really get in there and slough off those dead skin cells. Ain’t nobody got time for that. They need to take a hike! Lol!
What does the saying “beauty from the inside, out” mean to you?
I believe that true beauty radiates from within. If you constantly work on being your best self, you’re going in the right direction in life and it will limit the amount of regrets you have (especially if you’re lucky enough to be old enough to reflect back). It’s the people with the biggest hearts that I find most beautiful. They shine from the inside, out.
Is there any place in the world you dream of traveling to?
Traveling is my passion and I’m so lucky to have married someone who feels the same way. I would love to see those stunning Japan cherry blossoms, or the Maldives. I would love to visit my girlfriend in Australia. I would love to see Africa. But I also don’t love long flights so I will continue to look at beautiful images online instead. Lol!
Where you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
I have never been able to answer this. It’s that whole living in the present thing and being grateful for (and making the most of) the here and now. I hope to be here with you all, and healthy and happy and still unable able to answer this
Where can people buy The Care Principle?
Oh, this one is easy! Online at our website thecareprinciple.com. Many people have asked why we aren’t in stores. That answer is easy too. We want to keep costs as low as possible so that more people have the opportunity to try natural skincare. We loaded it up with premium ingredients but didn’t want it to have the expensive price tag to match. The number of people who have thanked us for making a truly safe and effective and beautiful line at a price they love warms my heart.