It’s hard to believe it has been 25 years since Jennifer Aniston became a household name on NBC’s “Friends.” The main reason is because she hardly looks her age. (She turned 50 in February.)
With a return to the small screen this month on the Apple TV+ series “The Morning Show,” all eyes are on Aniston as she plays a news anchor opposite co-star Reese Witherspoon.
During a summit on skin health last month, Aniston credited good genes for her flawless complexion, but the Aveeno brand ambassador acknowledged that luck alone isn’t enough. “I inherited good skin from my dad,” Aniston said in a private room at 1 Hotel in West Hollywood. “But one thing I would have to say to my younger self is, ‘Don’t take that for granted,’ because you do have to maintain that. It does have a shelf life.”
Aniston spoke with The Times about what she does to nurture her skin; how gut health, exercise and stress affect skin health; and her favorite facialists.
1. Balance your microbiome with products that contain probiotics, which are said to improve the skin’s surface protection and keep skin smooth and healthy. The whole thing is fascinating to me. Our NAD [short for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide] starts to decrease as we get older, which is basically the mitochondria of our cells. When that starts to break down, our bodies start to break down. Genes turn off, and then you age. So I’m obsessed with skin health. It’s something I learned about over the last couple of years. I have an ear for science and health in general. If I see elders in my family not taking care of themselves, I get frustrated because they could be here longer if only they knew. They were of a generation that didn’t understand nutrition and exercise and mental health and all of that that allows you a long life. They’re all in their 90s. The Greeks live long. But you want to be thriving. You don’t want to just be surviving.
2. Treat yourself — facials, facials and more facials! I love facials and I change up my facialist. It’s like exercise. It’s good to mix it up. I have a list of facialists that are my go-tos, including Georgia Louise [in New York], Melanie Simon [in Montecito, Calif.], Lena [Bratschi from Carasoin Spa in West Hollywood] and Joanna Czech, who comes [into town] every once in a while [from Dallas and New York]. They’re fabulous.
3. Find a daily moisturizer that’s right for you. (Naturally, Aniston recommends Aveeno’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion, which includes prebiotic oat, and she said she has been using it since her teen years.) It’s what my mom bought, and that’s what I used on my body. I’m such a creature of habit. When I went out on my own, that was a staple in my bathroom. I just love it. I have a bottle in my car. It’s in all of my bathrooms. Put it on right out of the shower before you get too dry. My mom was very concerned with her skin, but she was also of the generation where it wasn’t about internal health. It was about external health. But one of the positives that came out of that was, ‘Moisturize your skin.’
4. Be adventurous with skin trends but know your limits. Is there any trend I won’t do? Well, I won’t put leeches on my face because that’s terrifying. I don’t know how that can be great for you. I mean, I don’t know and I don’t care. What else would I never do? I’m not a fan of retinols. They strip the strength of your skin. I stay away from them.
5. Healthy living shouldn’t be a crash diet. It’s a lifestyle. I do believe when you are eating sugar and bad food, your face, body and energy levels will show you the results of that. Eating healthy is a way of life. I don’t feel deprived by it because I also will indulge 100%. It’s like 70/30 in everything. Your body listens to you. It’s like talking to a plant. It really will thrive if you’re treating it well.
6. Avocado, ginger and asparagus — antioxidants, oh my! I love avocado. Avocado used to be like, ‘No! It’s fattening!’ years ago, but it’s one of the best things you can put in your body. You can even eat a whole avocado for lunch. Put a little olive oil on that, a little salt and pepper. It’s so delicious and it’s good for us. Ginger is great for antioxidants, asparagus too. Even though it makes your pee smell weird, which is something I just do not understand. Somebody will be able to break that down for me one day. I would love to know. The same person will tell me why lemons have seeds and limes don’t. These are the questions in life that I want answered.
7. Find a workout routine that motivates you. I was boxing but I broke my wrist a couple of years ago. So then I had to get creative. [My trainer] Leyon [Azubuike] and I were doing other things [like strength training, arm-toning with resistance bands, jump rope and planks]. Find something to do that shocks your body a little bit. I see people in a gym, and they’re on an elliptical and they’re mindlessly moving and they think, ‘Oh, I just finished an hour. Check.’ It’s not going to do it. Stressing the body is what allows our NAD to reinvent itself in our bodies.
8. Enjoy a daily digital detox to combat stress. Don’t touch your phone for a good hour if possible. It makes such a difference. You don’t really need it — unless it’s your job. But if you don’t have anything that’s pressing, an hour is not going to hurt to not look at it.
9. Meditate every morning — and evening if possible. I do 20 minutes in the morning and at night. I don’t usually get that 5 o’clock time that I would love to, but I’ve been doing it right before I go to bed, and that actually really has helped with my sleep. But usually if I can’t get two in, I always will get the one in in the morning. When I’ve fallen off because ‘Oh, I’m too busy or I’ve got to get up at 5 and I don’t have time,’ I notice a difference. It’s very important to get back on that.