Jennifer Garner Has (Attainable!) Advice for All Women in Their 50s

Jennifer Garner Aging Advice universal image: a red carpet image of actress Jennifer Garner
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I’ve met a lot of celebrities through my work as an editor, and though most are pleasant, few of them have felt as warm and familiar as Jennifer Garner. I don’t know if it’s because I grew up seeing her on shows like Alias or the fact that when I arrive at her hotel, she greets me in a flannel shirt and sweatpants, saying “Sorry, I needed to change into something loose!” but I'm immediately at ease in her presence.

We’re in San Diego for the annual American Academy of Dermatology conference as guests of Neutrogena, who Garner has been an ambassador of for nearly 16 years, so skincare is top of mind.

JJ: What is your one non-negotiable when it comes to your skincare routine?

JG: Oh my gosh, aside from sunscreen, it’s gotta be hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is my love language. I use some form of it in pretty much every step of my routine. It’s in my cleanser, it’s in my moisturizer, it’s in my eye’s even in my sunscreen. I love how plump it makes my skin look, which is something that starts to go away as you get older.

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I think that when you compare what you learn and how you gain wisdom and joy as you age vs. what happens to your face and body, you definitely come out ahead on the wisdom and joy front

Jennifer Garner

JJ: Yes, since entering my mid-30s, I’ve definitely noticed some changes in my skin that weren’t there in my 20s. I don’t always feel good about it, but I’m trying to approach aging as “gratefully” as I can. I’ve wondered how you view aging?

JG: Aging is a privilege, and it's really easy to forget that. I think that when you compare what you learn and how you gain wisdom and joy as you age vs. what happens to your face and body, you definitely come out ahead on the wisdom and joy front, and it is your job to figure out how to access that and remind yourself of it as often as you need.

Also, I think that staying interested in things keeps you "young." There's so much to be interested in and so many avenues to follow, so many new things to just try. To keep learning. To meet new people. To find reasons to get excited.

There are many colleagues I revere like Annette Bening and Julianne Moore...these are women who are such a beacon for just letting yourself be as you are at every stage and they show me, through example, how beautiful that can be. They show me that you don't have to spend so much time being consumed with aging and examining every new wrinkle. You can spend that time being interested in people and things.

JJ: When do you feel the most beautiful?

JG: Honestly, it’s when I’m not thinking about it. It’s usually just after I’ve worked out, I’m with my kids or I’m laughing with friends. Looking into the mirror too much, trying to find your angle, taking too many selfies…none of that is helpful. And sometimes, when Kara Yoshimoto Bua does my makeup and Adir Abergel does my hair for a photoshoot or a work event, I’ll get home, and think to myself, "Man, I don’t want to go out, but maybe I should at least go to the grocery store so I don’t waste this glam!”

JJ: If you could put any message on a billboard for everyone in the world to see, what would it be?

JG: I’d probably have to go with something from my mom, Pat Garner, because I feel like everybody could use some of her wisdom! Growing up, she’d always tell me that “The more people you make eye contact with and exchange a smile with, the happier you’ll be,” and that “happiness is your own responsibility.”

Ooh, and since we’ve been talking about skincare, I just thought of something Dr. Doris Day said that stuck with me: "Nothing is more beautiful in your 50s, than sun protection in your 20s."

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Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...