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We all know how obsessed the world of celebrity is with maintaining a youthful appearance. Ask us. We write about what’s going on in the world of anti-aging every day. That’s why ELLE US’ interview with cover star Penélope Cruz is so refreshing. Cruz recently opened up to this leading global fashion magazine about turning 50. 

Cruz on 50 years of gratitude

Penélope Cruz, the much-loved Spanish-born actress, told ELLE US that aging is something we should all be truly grateful for. When ELLE US asked Penélope Cruz about what it felt like to be turning 50 years old, she responded:

“But you know why I don’t worry about that?” she asks, smiling. “Because people have been asking me about my age since I was twenty something. I was more bothered then than now. Now it makes more sense, to discuss turning 50.  It’s a huge, beautiful thing, and I really want to celebrate that with all my friends. It means I’m here and I’m healthy, and it’s a reason to have a party.”

“When I was 25, they would ask me these psychotic questions, things you would not believe, and the only weapon I would have was not to answer. Even now, on the red carpet, when they shout to “Turn around”, I always pretend I didn’t hear what they said.”

This is true, because if she does not like a question, the muscles in her face go slack, and she stays silent.

Penelope’s view on plastic surgery

The cynical out there may question whether Cruz has had some aesthetic work done. Of course, there are always going to be rumors. However, nothing has been denied or confirmed by Penélope Cruz regarding aesthetic work on her face or body.

One thing for sure is that she is pretty consistent about her views on aging. In another article, Marie Claire reported the actress as saying she was looking forward to aging:

 ‘I’ve seen my grandmothers grow old and they are so beautiful, every wrinkle in their face tells a story. I want to feel that in 30 years. I would always choose that kind of beauty over that comes from having too much done to yourself.’

Society’s obsession with aging

It’s not easy to age in an industry that is so fixated on youthful looks. Added to this, women do not get the same leeway as men. For instance, male celebrities are often praised for ”aging well”.  Think of how George Clooney’s graying hair and maturing looks are widely celebrated. Yet, when it comes to his female counterparts going gray, the same enthusiasm is sadly lacking.

The idea that women in particular must not and cannot age doesn’t just impact the lives of actresses and celebrities. It’s a widespread phenomenon affecting all aging populations, and as mentioned predominantly women.

While women like Penélope Cruz support the notion that aging is a privilege, it opens the way for many women to feel comfortable with their aging.

A brief history of anti-aging

A brief snapshot of the history of anti-aging just goes to show that the concept of anti-aging has been around for far longer than any of us may have thought.

  • 69BCE – 30BCE: Cleopatra took daily baths in donkeys’ milk, a habit requiring a stable of 700 donkeys to sustain. But she was onto something: the alpha hydroxy acids in milk are strong exfoliants and skin softeners.
  • 150AD: Greek physician Galen develops the first cold cream, a combination of water, olive oil, and beeswax. The formula effectively loosens dirt, oil, and dead cells on the surface of the skin.
  • 1513: Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León set off to find the fountain of youth, a legendary spring whose waters would yield eternal life and health. Instead, he discovered Florida.
  • 1558 – 1603: Elizabethan women would place thin slices of raw meat on their faces to minimize wrinkles.
  • 1700s: Women of the French court used aged wine on their faces, a process that is now recognized as having exfoliating benefits.

Advancements took place during this period, in particular

  • 1889: Margaret Kroesen notices unsightly frown lines on her daughter, Alice, and develops Frownies, adhesive patches to hold skin taut to smooth wrinkles.
  • 1927: The first hormone cream is sold in the United States.
  • 1952: Le Secret de Blanche Delysia is the first albumin wrinkle smoother to be sold in the U.S. from France. Albumin is a water-soluble protein extracted from cattle blood. Studies find that the tightening effect is not long-lasting.
  • 1995: The FDA approved tretinoic acid, the main ingredient being Retin-A, to treat wrinkles. While highly effective, inflammation, peeling, and redness are cited as common side effects.
  • 2002: Botox is approved to treat frown lines around the mouth.
  • 2011: Requirements for sunscreen labeling are adjusted by the FDA. Allowing only UVA/UVB sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher to claim a reduced risk of skin cancer and early skin aging.
  • 2016: Perricone M.D. launches OVM, the first cream to use eggshell membrane technology in conjunction with a low dose of retinol to boost collagen production and firm the skin without inflammation. ”Egg membrane was created by nature to nourish the embryo; the growth factors and nutrients act as calming anti-inflammatories that allow for powerful results with damage.” Says Dr. Perricone.

It’s a privilege to age

Last year, Pamela Anderson also made an anti-age-defying statement. She pitched up at the London Fashion Awards 2023 wearing no makeup. Makeup is one of the many ways to cover up an aging face. Anderson, 56, put her real face forward by going makeup-free. Instead of shock and horror, her reveal has was applauded the world over. This is good news for millions of women who are constantly under pressure to defy the signs of aging.

It’s your life

How you age is up to you. It is your body and your face, and whatever it is that you want to get done to it is up to you, and no one should be shamed for that. No one should be shamed, either for growing out their gray hair or deciding not to get Botox. It truly is a privilege to age, and I think it’s about time we leave women alone regarding their looks and what they do or don’t get done.

Penellope Cruz on the cover of ELLE US.Main Photo Credit: ELLE US Cover featuring Penélope Cruz, photographed by photographer Zoey Grossman and styled by Alex White wearing a Chanel jacket and earrings.

References

  1. Penélope Cruz on ‘Ferrari’ and the Beauty of Getting Older (elle.com)
  2. Charting: A Brief History of Anti-Aging (harpersbazaar.com)
  3. ‘I LOVED it’ – The Most Revealing Celebrity Plastic Surgery Quotes | Marie Claire UK
Tamlyn Bingle

Tamlyn Bingle

With an ever growing interest and appetite for sustainability, Tamlyn Bingle is an ambitious writer, her objective is to always share knowledgeable and insightful information in the written space. Tamlyn also enjoys living a healthy and active lifestyle, appreciative of nature and all creatures great and small.

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