For some of us, Rob Lowe will always be the St. Elmo’s Fire endearing bad boy, Billy Hicks. Still, for others, he’s Parks and Recreation’s Chris Traeger (Lowe’s Parks and Recollection podcast with writer and producer Alan Yang premiered in September), or perhaps West Wing’s Sam Seaborn. Lowe has been working in Hollywood since doing After School Specials in the early 1980s and he made his big splash in the film adaptation of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders in 1983.
More recently he’s become known to a whole new generation of fans as Austin, Texas, firefighter Owen Strand in 9-1-1: Lonestar, and will star in the upcoming Netflix movie Dog Gone. He even has his own podcast, Literally! With Rob Lowe. Since 2018, though, he’s also been the face of low-carb diet and nutrition brand Atkins. Lowe has grown up and grown older in front of the camera, yet is as handsome as ever (well there was that scary moment in Behind The Candelabra). We took a moment to catch up with Lowe about why the 57-year-old still looks so great and learn about Atkins’ new five-week social media campaign, #AtkinsSmallWins.
Curious about how he maintains those great looks, first we asked him about his grooming regimen. “I have sons who are in their 20s,” says Lowe, “and we talk about this all the time. Being in show business, I always had professionals doing things to me that I wouldn’t have done myself when I was that age: Moisturizing, cleaning my face properly, and applying sunscreen. Turns out doing all that stuff pays off when you’re older.”
It’s one of the reasons Lowe started his own skincare line, Profile Cobalt in 2019. He emphasizes that most of us won’t see the effects of sun damage until we’re older, so his goal is to make sure that young men are paying attention. The brand, which partners with the Wounded Warrior Project, includes cleansers, moisturizers (with or without SPF), a shave gel, as well as a hair and body wash.
On October 12, the Atkins nutrition brand launched its #AtkinsSmallWins Campaign, focusing on simple, attainable steps that help people improve their overall health and wellness. Lowe takes that advice to heart, treating the philosophy as a life hack while admitting to giving in to the occasional craving for a Häagen-Dazs milkshake himself. “Move your body every day: If you can’t go to the gym, at least you can take a walk or do a set of push-ups. Reduce your carbs and sugar for just one weekend,” Lowe suggests. “I have an insane sweet tooth, so sometimes instead of getting that milkshake, I drink an Atkins shake instead.”
Lowe emphasizes that the approach can set you up for success for the rest of your life, too. “We all have delusions about what we think we can do, but a lot of times we make plans that aren’t really attainable. By setting up small goals, things that you can actually do, you build on that success. It can be as simple as getting an extra hour of sleep.”
Lowe credits a good night’s sleep as another important step in his personal health and wellness routine, insisting on an eight-hour absolute minimum to feel 100%s. “Nine hours is my sweet spot, but if I get less than eight, I really feel it. There’s a reason they call it beauty sleep,” he quips, “but I think it’s way more important for mental function. That notion that ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ is pretty outdated.”
Fans of 9-1-1: Lonestar know that Lowe keeps himself in great shape, too. The role is very physical, requiring lots of stunts and big action sequences. While preparing for his role as a “regular dad” in Dog Gone, he stopped training but had to get back in shape for his role as a fire captain by building back his stamina. Lowe says, “like anyone, it can be hard to find the time for those workouts.” (Dog Gone is the true story of a father and son who hike the Appalachian Trail in search of their missing dog, repairing their broken relationship along the way.)
A big believer that bodies are built in the kitchen, Lowe focuses on what he puts into his body “As somebody who has to change my body from time to time for different roles, I get the most bang for my buck from what I’m eating versus how I’m training,” says Lowe. “I wish it were the other way around. I love training and would love to spend my whole day working out. Watching what I eat has a lot more impact though. Unfortunately, it’s also not as much fun. You’ve got to find ways to keep it interesting.” He credits the Atkins app for helping with motivation, recipes, and making healthy choices.
While he supplements his diet with the occasional Atkins shake, he’s always been a low-carb diet fan, which made the partnership with Atkins so natural. “I love my chicken or fish and vegetables. I eat low-sugar fruits and will have Greek yogurt with berries and low-carb granola as a typical breakfast and a salad with protein for lunch. It’s progress over perfection. Sometimes I lose the battle of the milkshake, and if I’m honest, when I cheat, I cheat a lot.”
The Atkins campaign, which can be followed on the brand’s Instagram channel, will help the rest of us who may lose the occasional battle of the milkshake, pizza, or fried chicken, by taking five weeks to focus on different health categories. The program started with physical health and fitness, suggesting small wins tips like starting the day with a walk or some strength training. The week of October 18 sees an emphasis on home organization, followed by spotlights on financial health and nutrition, finishing up with a mental health week starting on November 8. The campaign challenges fans to join in by sharing their own small wins on Instagram, following and tagging @AtkinsNutritionals, and using the hashtags #AtkinsSmallWins #Sweepstakes for a chance to win a prize pack.