Cindy Crawford on Skincare, Stress, and the Instagram Secret She Got From Kaia

At 10:30 on a Monday morning, Cindy Crawford is scheduled to call me. Truth be told, I would wait around all day by the phone for the legendary 52-year-old supermodel, but at 10:30 a.m. on the dot, she's on our shared conference line, a little before me in fact, ready for our interview. As I'll soon learn, Crawford, well-known in the entertainment business for her punctuality and poise—qualities she's passed down to her teen model children Kaia and Presley Gerber—is never, ever late. "Where are you calling from?" she asks, friendly, at ease, almost as if she's interviewing me. I'm calling from Byrdie's headquarters, a red skyscraper off Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, California. Crawford is calling from an hour west on the breezy coast of Malibu, where she and her business tycoon husband Rande Gerber just sold their mansion a few weeks ago for $45 million. "I think we're in the same time zone," Crawford jokes. "It's definitely a different pace." I promise to try my very best to match her zen.

Thirty-five years after debuting her modeling career, Crawford, who can still be found starring in stylish Super Bowl Pepsi ads while running her own skincare line, Meaningful Beauty (which launched a new collection at Ulta last year), is an industry anomaly. "When I was in my late 20s, I thought my career would last about 10 years tops," she told Town & Country earlier this year. "Out with the old. And yet somehow here I am." As much as the modeling world is not done with Crawford, it's also ushering in the new: Over the past two years, the industry has caught Gerber fever, hoisting up the careers of her 16- and 18-year-old children, so tall and arrestingly beautiful you'd swear they were computerized if Crawford hadn't raised them to be so down-to-earth. "I wish I could take credit," Crawford says modestly after I compliment her daughter's elegant demeanor. "But she came out that way."

It's Crawford's humility and eloquence that make our next 30 minutes of conversation as relaxed as her Malibu pace. We talk about how the beauty and modeling industries have changed since the '80s, her current skincare secrets, how she keeps herself sane amid such a hectic schedule, and the beauty tips she's learned from Kaia. Keep scrolling to read what Crawford had to say, in her own words.