Courteney Cox is a rule breaker, at least when it comes to the outdatedÂ beauty guidelinescommonly held among women of a certain age. At 53, she is often seen rockinâ€™ a two-piece bathing suit, making it clear that to this iconic Friend, age is just a number. â€œI feel better than Iâ€™ve ever felt,â€ says the Alabama native, though she does admit that aging in the spotlight hasnâ€™t always been easy. â€œHollywood makes it hard; this business makes it harder. I grew up thinking appearance was the most important thing. That as long as I looked OK, I would be OK, which got me into trouble.â€
Courteney also reveals that chasing the fountain of youth has its consequences, and that the road to acceptance wasnâ€™t easy. In a town where itâ€™s taboo to admit youâ€™ve done anything more to yourself than get a good nightâ€™s sleep or take an extended vacation, itâ€™s refreshing to hear a truthful take on beauty treatmentsâ€”the good, the bad and the reformed. â€œI was trying so hard to keep up, and that actually made things worse. Now, Iâ€™m as natural as I can be.â€
Looking casually chic in a pair of boyfriend jeans, a sheer floral top and loafers, Courteney relaxes into a cozy couch at West Hollywoodâ€™s members-only Soho House, ready to chat about all things beauty. â€œIâ€™ve always been such an open person,â€ she says. Aside from a light layer ofÂ mascara and a slight smudge ofÂ eyeliner that highlight her piercingÂ blue eyes, her makeup is minimal.
On Courteney, natural has never looked better. Here, she gets candid about the beauty treatments sheâ€™ll never get again, how sheâ€™s teaching her teenage daughter, Coco, not to focus so much on looks, and the diagnosis that changed her life. She even opens up about the positive effects of dating a younger man (40-year-old Johnny McDaid of Snow Patrol) and her openness to have another baby.
NewBeauty: Tell us about your morning beauty routine.
Courteney Cox:Â I start with the Clarisonic to wash my face and then I apply a hot towel. I donâ€™t know if thatâ€™s good for my skin, but itâ€™s what the professionals do. I see Mila Moursi once a week for a facial and Iâ€™ve been using her products for years. I love the way they smell. Theyâ€™re rich and rejuvenatingâ€”they blend natural extracts, oils and peptides with the best scientific ingredients. I want natural, but not too natural. I want
it to work. I donâ€™t want to just use plants and water. I always put on a peptide of some sortâ€”Milaâ€™s Rejuvenating Serum or a lifting serum. Sometimes a vitamin C product. I also use her Firming Cream, Oxy Cellular and AntiWrinkle Cream. I alternate those, or sometimes use all of them, depending on how dry I am.
NB:That’s quite a processâ€”how long does it take?
CC:Â Not nearly as long as it sounds! Itâ€™s all really easy and only takes about three minutes.
NB: How do you take care of your body?
CC:Â I just realized that I should have started on my body earlier than I did. I thought, â€œOh, my bodyâ€™s fine.â€ Well, itâ€™s not. It does catch up. I recently startedÂ dry brushing, and Iâ€™ve got a body roller for my problem areas. But itâ€™s good to start on your body when youâ€™re 25 or 30, not 53. Thatâ€™s the moral of the story.
Shot on-location at her Malibu home.
NB: Let’s talk about your brows and lashes.
CC:Â I love Latisse! Iâ€™ve been using it for a long time. Sometimes you get an [odd] eyelash in there, but most of the time itâ€™s good. Filling in your brows is really important. I do somemicroblading to save time. Although it doesnâ€™t last forever, itâ€™s great and it saves me time filling in my eyebrows.
NB: What does Coco teach you about makeup?
CC:Â That my less-is-more theory is true! Coco loves makeup and she expresses herself through it. One of her favorite shows is RuPaulâ€™s Drag Race. She thinks itâ€™s beautiful artistry and sheâ€™s really good at it. Luckily at school she can only wear mascara, but on the weekends you would think sheâ€™s going out to a rager at 2 a.m.â€”eyeliner, mascara,highlighter on her cheeks. I donâ€™t like seeing highlighter during the day. Well, to be honest, I donâ€™t even know how to use it. It makes sense if youâ€™re going out, but she begs to differ. I know some people think I should rein her in with the makeup, but itâ€™s a form of self-expression. As long as sheâ€™s not sexualizing herself, itâ€™s really just what makes her feel good. Sometimes I do wish her shorts were longerâ€”Iâ€™m not going to lie. But I want to keep an open relationship with her. I care more about what sheâ€™s watching than what sheâ€™s putting on her face.
NB: How did trying to “keep up” with your appearance get you in trouble?
CC:Â Well, what would end up happening is that you go to a doctor who would say, â€œYou look great, but what would help is a little injection here orÂ filler there.â€ So you walk out and you donâ€™t look so bad and you think, no one noticedâ€”itâ€™s good. Then somebody tells you about another doctor: â€œThis personâ€™s amazing. They do this person who looks so natural.â€ You meet them and they say, â€œYou should just do this.â€ The next thing you
know, youâ€™re layered and layered and layered. You have no idea because itâ€™s gradual until you go, â€œOh sh*t, this doesnâ€™t look right.â€ And itâ€™s worse in pictures than in real life. I have one friend who was like, â€œWhoa, no more!â€ I thought, I havenâ€™t done anything in six months. I didnâ€™t realize.
NB: So your friend told you she thought you were doing too much?
CC:Â Yeah. But Iâ€™d see pictures and think, â€œOh, is that what I look like?â€ And Iâ€™d ask a friend and theyâ€™d say, â€œOh God, no.â€ And I never thought of myself as being delusional. I think photographs do show up worse, so when people in the world see you and write comments that are usually mean, I think, â€œIt can be worse than what it really is.â€
NB: Well, you look amazing. What are you doing now?
CC:Â Iâ€™ve had all my fillers dissolved. Iâ€™m as natural as I can be. I feel better because I look
like myself. I think that I now look more like the person that I was. I hope I do. Things are going to change. Everythingâ€™s going to drop. I was trying to make it not drop, but that made me look fake. You need movement in your face, especially if you have thin skin like I do. Those arenâ€™t wrinklesâ€”theyâ€™re smile lines. Iâ€™ve had to learn to embrace movement and realize that fillers are not my friend.
NB: So are you done with treatments?
CC:Â I donâ€™t know what the future holds, but I know I want to stay natural. But, they come up with new stuff all the timeâ€”itâ€™s crazy how many new machines are out there. I believe in getting laserÂ treatments like Clear + Brilliant. I believe inÂ microneedling. I think microcurrent technology makes sense to strengthen your muscles.
NB: What about dietâ€”do you have to watch what you eat?
CC:Â Iâ€™m a really good eater. About four years ago I found out I have something called a MTHFR gene mutation, which dictates how my body methylates. I suffered miscarriages, my dad died of a really rare cancer, and depression runs in my family, which made my doctor think I should get this geneÂ checked out. I discovered that I have the worst version of this mutation and my body doesnâ€™t methylate the way itâ€™s supposed to. Once I found out how I could absorb nutrients and protect myself from toxins, my whole life shifted.
NB: What kind of changes?
CC:Â I felt so much better and hadÂ more energy. I used to get so tired and would literally crumble after I ate something. Now I give myself a shot of methylated B-12 daily. When I wasÂ pregnant, I took folic acid like youâ€™re supposed to, but I learned later that it wasnâ€™t good for me. I have to take a methylfolate and methylated B, and thenÂ I can absorb it. I would love to have a baby now. I mean, I could carry someone elseâ€™s egg. I may be one of the older people doing it, but I would love to, with Johnny that is.
NB: Would you consider having a baby now?
CC:Â I would. I know itâ€™s crazy, but I would.
NB: How does your boyfriend, Johnny McDaid, make you feel beautiful?
CC:Â Well, heâ€™s younger than me, and with any other guy that would be the hardest thingÂ in the world, but looks are not that important to him or his family. External beauty isnâ€™t even on his radar. I used to worry about the age difference, but I donâ€™t think it matters. He appreciates beauty, but itâ€™s deeper than that. Itâ€™s deeper for me too, but luckily I find him gorgeous and extremely sexy.