Gwyneth Paltrow is an open book when it comes to what she puts on — and into — her face. From an off-label exfoliation routine to her trendy injectable of choice (think Botox, but Goop-ier), the 47-year-old actress, mother, and businesswoman describes her skin-care philosophy as openly evolving.
"In the past, I've never said that I won't do plastic or cosmetic surgery, because I think it's important to stay honest to the fact that we all change as we age," Paltrow explains in a recent Zoom interview. We're chatting about her newest gig as the global face of Xeomin (pronounced Zeo-min), a botulinum toxin marketed as the "naked injectable."
Xeomin, according to Paltrow's close friend and board-certified plastic surgeon, Julius Few, MD, is a newer, pared-down version of a wrinkle-reducing injectable. A close cousin to other FDA-approved options like Jeuveau and Botox, Xeomin hit the US market in 2011. What sets Xeomin apart from its competitors, the company claims, is that it's formulated free of unnecessary or additive stabilising proteins, making it the purest form of incobotulinum toxin A available.
"Originally, when Botox and other muscle-relaxing injectables came to market, they were made with proteins as a way to stabilise them," Dr. Few explains. "However, in the more-recent production of Xeomin, it was found that those surrounding proteins aren't necessary, and in some cases, they can actually cause injection-site reactions — especially for people with allergies or food sensitivities. So, when Gwyneth came to me a year ago interested in a subtle, frown-smoothing effect, and at the same time feeling concerned about what goes into her body, I recommended Xeomin."
Paltrow, who gets the "frown lines" between her eyebrows injected every four months, says maintaining a natural look is her main objective. "I never want to look younger or not like myself," Paltrow explains, adding that she considers past experiences with other FDA-approved injectables as one of her biggest beauty regrets. "When I turned 40, I had like a mid-life crisis and got anti-wrinkle injections all over my face, and it was awful. I looked horrible — one eye was actually like higher than the other — and it was definitely a big mistake, though luckily a temporary one."
An overzealous approach to injectables isn't Paltrow's only skin regret, but she says it's all part of her life philosophy: you live and you learn. "Oh, and I was a chain smoker in my 20s," she admits, shaking her head. "That was really bad. After a night of smoking and drinking at 24, I would wake up [with] this dulled grey colour to my skin — thank god I quit."
When I turned 40, I had like a mid-life crisis and got anti-wrinkle injections all over my face, and it was awful. I looked horrible — one eye was actually like higher than the other — and it was definitely a big mistake, though luckily a temporary one.
Paltrow credits her healthy lifestyle to the reason her skin now looks like she's never touched a cigarette. "I think one of the biggest helps to rehab past damage has been exercise," she says. "I love to dance and do yoga, and I think sweating is amazing for the skin. Drinking a ton of water and sleeping definitely help, too. It's the really basic stuff — and a good topical routine."
As you can imagine, Paltrow couples exercise with a solid skin-care regimen. "I'm an exfoliating person, so I use our Goop exfoliator every day in the bath — even though you're only supposed to use it like twice a week — and I love our peel pads, too," she says, adding that her desert-island product endorsement is a slightly more affordable alternative to what her plastic surgeon doles out in his office. "We just came out with a new moisturiser called Goop Genes, and I'm already on my third jar of it. It's incredibly hydrating, smoothes fine lines — and it's easily the best face cream I've ever used."
For Paltrow, her beauty and wellness routine (which includes cosmetic procedures) is a way for her to feel more in touch with herself. "It's funny and super ironic that at the age when you start to really fall in love with yourself on the inside... you get crow's feet," Paltrow laughs. "I just want to to look on the outside the way I feel on the inside, which right now, is really vibrant and strong."