From the secrets behind her dewy skin and those taut abs, Jennifer Lopez proves that for somebody who used to have a little, she now has a lot to teach us about ageing with style.
Jennifer Lopez turned 52 this week, and in true gravity-defying style, she still looks every bit the youthful Latina powerhouse she did in the ’90s.
While Lopez bears the impossibly toned body and ageless face of someone half her age, it’s about more than just her physical attributes; it’s about how she carries herself and owns the fact that she’s older, wiser, fiercer.
As she put it this month, she’s “never been better”. So what lessons can we take from JLo about embracing and defying age? Here are our top five.
1. Love the skin you’re in
Is her glow thanks to olive oil? Is it botox? Only Lopez and her dermatologist know. On launching her JLo Beauty skincare line this year, she revealed it featured “a little family secret”: olive oil.
“My mom, grandmother and aunts all used it when they needed a little extra hydration on their face, hair and body.”
Body+Soul beauty editor Kelsey Ferencak is a fan, too: “Olive oil has skin goodies such as beneficial fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins A, D, E and K.”
However, she adds, JLo’s glow starts from the inside: “Your skin care is only as good as your lifestyle and there’s no point slapping on endless actives and creams – or olive oil – if you’re not looking after your health.”
2. Hard work pays off
Case in point: Lopez resurrecting the plunging Versace dress at the age of 50, two decades after she wore it to the 2000 Grammy Awards.
“Knowing you can put on a dress 20 years later – it resonated,” she said at the time. “It was like, ‘Yes, you know, life is not over at 20!’”
Of course, it took work: she trains for about an hour, four to five times a week, focusing on a different body part each time. Fitness trainer Sam Wood, founder of 28 by Sam Wood, says getting JLo-worthy abs isn’t just about sit-ups.
“Your core is much more than just those top two abs,” says Wood, who suggests doing planks and slider knee-tucks to tone your torso.
3. You’re never too old to rekindle a romance
After all, love don’t cost a thing, right? For two years, Lopez and Ben Affleck were one of the world’s most famous couples, before ending their engagement in 2004.
But proving they might be a love story for the ages, the pair rekindled their romance this year, and have looked cosy since.
Psychologist and relationship coach Briony Leo says there’s a good reason why we’re drawn to our past flames. “Sometimes we can go back to exes because we’ve both changed and grown,” she tells Body+Soul. “And the relationship now works due to new ways of doing things and having matured.”
4. Ageing is inevitable – but going ‘sano’ can help
“At some point ageing is going to happen, but until then, you decide how strong you’re going to be,” Lopez has said in the past. And to help stave off the signs of ageing, she lives by what she calls “the 5 S’s”.
They’re sleep (eight hours a night); supplements; sunscreen every day; serum; and “sano”, a riff on the Spanish phrase vivir sano, which means to live a healthy, sane life.
To do as Lopez does, that means no drinking or smoking, eating healthy, exercising and drinking lots of water.
5. Redefining who you are helps you grow
From dancing to movies to music to skin care to TV, Lopez has spent three decades reshaping her career, with highs and lows along the way. “I’ve been in the grind and the game for a long time,” she’s said.
“At a certain point, people respect you when they see you fall down and get back up.” As personal-branding coach Carlii Lyon tells Body+Soul, this kind of reorientation is beneficial as you age.
“You get to explore new parts of yourself, learn new skills and grow as a human being, not to mention inspire those around you to do the same,” she says. “The pros [of putting yourself out there] outweigh the cons.”