The #nomakeup selfie has been trending on social media in a movement that encourages women of all ages to feel beautiful au naturale. In this era of endless filters and Photoshop, it’s somewhat shocking to see people brave the scrutiny that comes with bearing it all. Yet A-listers like Katie Holmes and Alicia Keys continue to denounce unrealistic expectations by posting photos sans makeup. Fortunately, goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow, who took to Instagram to post a celebratory, fresh-faced selfie in which she looked radiant, healthy, and happy, is here to teach us how to be just as proud of our naked skin.
“One of the most interesting things about being a woman is that around the time you turn 40, you get what I like to call a ‘software upgrade,’ Paltrow told Reader’s Digest. “Along with it comes some amazing new features: the road map to true self-acceptance, real insight into you are, and kind of not giving a sh** about the things that are unimportant.”
“You start to get a sense of the true size of your worth—immeasurable,” she continued. “You start to like yourself for who you really are, warts and all. The future suddenly has scarcity to it, and the past is all over your face. I have been very inspired by the #nomakeup movement, as the message behind it says, ‘here I am, this is me. This is what I look like, this is where I am in time, and I embrace it.'”
For those wanting to feel equally secure without the war paint, here is Gwyneth’s step-by-step guide to getting glowing skin you’re proud to show off.
First, it’s important to have a solid skincare routine. Gwyneth makes sure to cleanse at the end of each day, gently wiping away dirt, makeup, and oil buildup. She uses the goop Luminous Melting Cleanser, which comes with a linen cloth and works to dissolve any pollutants and toxins. For a less expensive alternative, look for a cleanser containing similar ingredients: cocoa-seed and shea butters, almond, olive, coconut, jojoba, and sunflower oils. These organic components feel heavenly and work wonders on your skin. Try the creamy Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, with cocoa-seed butter and eucalyptus oil, and a quick-drying muslin cloth.
In addition to cleansing, Gwyneth also makes sure to exfoliate regularly. She opts for goop’s Exfoliating Instant Facial, which contains five alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) as well as salicylic acid. Exfoliation is necessary for ridding the skin’s surface of dead skin cells, smoothing wrinkles, and generating cell renewal. Simply smooth on your exfoliant of choice in gentle circular motions, and let it sit for up to a minute (if you feel major tingling, it’s time to rinse). A less-expensive version is Exuviance Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish, with AHAs, glycolic acid, and papaya enzymes, plus pro-grade crystals for triple smoothing power. For a budget option, try MD Complete Anti-aging Radiance Renewing Deep Moisturizer, or DIY it with these homemade face masks.
Finally, use a moisturizer that helps maintain your skin’s natural barrier function, which means it keeps water and natural oils in, and dirt and bacteria out. A good moisturizer, with hydrating ingredients like urea and glycerin, plus agents that lock in moisture, such as petrolatum, help ensure your skin stays plump and dewy. Try Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2, which mimics the makeup of our skin’s own fatty layer, or for a more budge option, Paula’s Choice Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer with Retinol.
Next: When you start to enjoy the look of your skin in the mirror, cut back on the camouflage in your everyday life. Ditch your usual concealer, bronzer, and eye shadow, and instead leave your house with an essentially bare face, even if it’s just to run errands at first. You may feel slightly vulnerable at first, but once you’re confident enough to go to work without any war paint, you’re ready to take that no makeup selfie!