Gwyneth Paltrow: ‘I had a mid-life crisis when I turned 40’ and turned to injectables

Gwyneth Paltrow attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Golden Globes, at Hotel Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, USA, on 05 January 2020. | usage worldwide

Last year, Gwyneth Paltrow became the goopy face of Xeomin, an “anti-wrinkle” injectable which works a lot like Botox, but from what I understand, is slightly different than Restylane. Restylane seems to make women that “puffy” and “filler” look, where Botox makes women just look frozen. Judging from Gwyneth’s current face, Xeomin has found a way to decrease the puffiness and the frozen-ness. Gwyneth still looks a bit different and she definitely looks slightly altered, but all in all, it’s good injectable work from where I sit. Gwyneth recently spoke to Harper’s Bazaar about her Xeomin contract, and this is just a piece of spon-con, but it’s interesting to hear Gwyneth talk openly about this stuff, especially considering that so few of her peers do talk about it.

Why celebrity women don’t want to talk about their injectables: “A lot of successful women in Hollywood are motivated early on by not being good enough, and so we’re trying to prove something to ourselves. By getting injectables, it’s like admitting a vulnerability. I think sometimes honesty is perceived to be a weakness…There does seem to be a lot of stigma around injections.”

Xeomin is an FDA-approved anti-wrinkle injection for frown lines between the eyebrows: For Paltrow, a “teeny drop” of the stuff makes her “look less pissed off.”

This isn’t her first time using injectables. “I had a midlife crisis when I turned 40, and I went to go see this doctor. It was a disaster. I didn’t do anything else for a long, long time. I was bruised, my forehead was completely frozen, and I didn’t look like myself at all,” Paltrow admits. She says the switch to Xeomin—and a new doctor—are responsible for her more natural look these days.

She’s fine with talking about it: “I think it’s nice when women share, because there’s a lot of shame around surgery or injectables or fillers, and it would be nice if people felt confident about the choices they were making. But if they want to have a beauty secret, that’s okay, too. I’m an open book—I’ve shared what works for me, because that’s how I’ve always learned.”

Gen Z is partly to thank for the evolving conversations on beauty & alterations: “The younger generation is embracing and deifying women like Jane Fonda and Frances McDormand. They just love cool women, whether they’re older or different to them. They’re so much less judgmental about other women of all shapes and sizes. I observe that with my daughter. They look at the whole woman, instead of some super-airbrushed, FaceTuned Instagram photo. I like the trend I’m seeing.”

[From Harper’s Bazaar]

From where I sit, the Millennials went too far in embracing the Facetuning/air-brushing cartoon-character beauty. As someone slightly older than Millennial, it was disturbing to see how rapidly the culture went from anti-beauty/grunge in the ‘90s to infantilized girl-women in the early ‘00s to the “no imperfections, every woman must be hairless, wear a mound of makeup and airbrush all of her selfies” with the rise of social media. In my heart, I’ll always be the grunge girl who eschews all of that, but that being said, I still love a good night cream and I am increasingly spending more and more on my under-eye cream. I don’t know what point I’m making, I guess that it’s not purely a generational thing and every generation embraces different beauty icons and sometimes those icons are wildly different.

As for the injectables helping her look LESS pissed off… what she’s saying is that she has Resting Bitchface and she gets injectables because she doesn’t want the peasants to know how dismissive she is of them.

Photos courtesy of Instagram, WENN, Backgrid and Avalon Red.

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62 Responses to “Gwyneth Paltrow: ‘I had a mid-life crisis when I turned 40’ and turned to injectables”

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  1. Oliphant says:

    I actually like everything goop says here?!! WHAT IS HAPPENING lol

    • MF1 says:

      I know. I read this and I was like… Omg, I actually agree with Goop.

      I do actually like her approach to injectables. Do it if you want, don’t do it if you don’t want to. Either way, let’s all be confident in our choices.

      • NTheMiddle says:

        Not a fan of hers but…. yes… do what makes you happy Goopy. Life is too short. If I had money like that I’d have springboard tits and a$$.

    • Jocey says:

      Haha SAME.

    • LH says:

      Me too! LOL

    • Betsy says:

      Frankly, she’s always mixed in some sensible in with the cray. She wouldn’t stay relevant if she didn’t speak a kernel of truth.

    • Monica says:

      Yep. That’s a nice photo of her in the glasses, too. See, Gwyneth? You can use your powers for good!

  2. Pusspants says:

    I hate the term “resting bitch face”. Until there is a male equivalent, I refuse to use it!

    • Spanky says:

      How about resting d**k face? Or flaccid d**k face?

    • tealily says:

      I think men can having resting bitch face too. I don’t see it as gender specific.

      • Sarah says:

        Agreed. I have heard it used about men many times.

      • L84Tea says:

        My husband totally has it. I’ve been telling him for years he needs to work on his expressions because he very often gives people the vibe he is pissed off and intimidates people, when he’s actually not. When I first met him, I thought he was a jerk because he always looked annoyed. It took me a while to figure out that was just his calm expression. Turns out he was just a quiet guy who will actually give you the shirt off his back, but you’d never know it from his chronic RBF.

    • Betsy says:

      I agree. The term “bitch” is still pretty gendered, and the term RBF is used pretty exclusively for women, the few examples noted here notwithstanding.

    • Ronaldinhio says:

      I have one.A resting frown face. I work in trauma and so I am often concentrating, frowning or just trying to calm my features into something blank in the face of A LOT
      I’d love something to stop the frowning as I do it ALL the time now but *imagine* going to a Botoxed therapist !!

  3. Escondista says:

    I don’t know if this exactly relates to this article but (if we are generalizing about generations), as a millennial, I live in terror that I will become just like a boomer.

  4. MrsRobinson says:

    I remember her (from a post here) saying that she wouldn’t use Botox because she wanted her children to recognize her, and meanwhile you could see the marks from her Botox injections! So no, she hadn’t been an open book, this is rewriting history for sponsorship $$.

  5. Quincytoo says:

    I like her kitchen what I can see of it

  6. ME says:

    Totally agree with you, Kaiser, that we now have the “Instagram Face.” Puffy lips, big cheeks, a certain kind of shaped eyebrow, zero pores and smothered in foundation. It drives me bonkers! Pair that with the expectation for a teensy waist and huge hips, and we have this certain Instagram ideal. Power to the women who are shaped like that, but bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and we’ve edited so many of them away with these photoshop apps.

    • molly says:

      I’m waiting for the trend of TONS OF MAKEUP to disappear. I just shake my head at all the mom influencers with makeup sponcon who apply a full face every day just to pick up their kids and make Home Chef for dinner.

      So you’re not actually going anywhere with all that contouring and bronzer? Got it.

      • Susan says:

        I kind of feel like that trend *is* slowly dying. if you look at the gen Z crew they aren’t contoured out the wazoo and from what I can see, they wear pretty baggy and casual clothes. The “Vsco girl” wears very little makeup and while I am old enough to be their parents, I am here for it. There was so much less emphasis on looks (ironically) when I was coming of age in the early 90s.

    • Betsy says:


      Tina Fey’s Bossypants talked at length about the changing and ever more unreasonable expectations, how a “White” body – skinny, flat butt, boobs – was the thing for a while, then the definition expanded to include butts and legs, but it didn’t expand so much as it got more in depth. So you had to have a nice butt, shapely legs, big boobs, small waist. It wasn’t like different body types were recognized as being attractive, you had to have all of the above. And now it all has to look perfect.

    • lucy2 says:

      I don’t like all the editing either, it makes people look alien-like sometimes!
      Personally I think most people look better with minimal/natural looking makeup, but I get that some people really have fun with makeup and it’s a form of self expression. It just bums me out when people, usually young women, feel they HAVE to do that.

    • Monica says:

      Also light eyes in unearthly colors. Pupil must be highly visible! No boring chocolate brown or black eyes. Sheesh.

  7. Kate says:

    I haven’t reached face injectables age yet, but I do notice the beginnings of sagging skin under my chin and I’m sure it’s only going to get worse. Does anyone have any advice or recommendations for cosmetic procedures to deal with that?

    • kgeo says:

      Plasma pen. It looks terrifying, but it works very well. I’ve had it done under my eyes, and plan to get some of my lower face done.

    • J&A’s Mom says:

      Nuface micro current makes a difference but you have to use it everyday

  8. girl_ninja says:

    I really like those cabinets. I want to see the rest of her kitchen.

    • Chica says:

      Most interesting thing about this article. Must be the NYC home because of all the glass. Lot it

  9. Mrs. Peel says:

    I think the sun has done more damage to her face, and not sure injectables will ever help with that.

  10. MaryContrary says:

    I’m only eye rolling that she claims people are somehow ashamed of getting work done or having derm “help”-especially in LA. I’m 54, and I’ve had botox a few times, and fillers once, as have almost every one of my friends in their late 40s/early 50s. And we’re all totally open about it.

    • Betsy says:

      I thought she was mostly referring to actors, who are always pleading “avoiding the sun and skin care” (and Japanese eggplants) when we can see for ourselves they’ve nipped, tucked and injected themselves into new people.

  11. vanna says:

    Xeomin is the same as Botox, both have botulinum toxin as the active ingredient. Botox is just trademarked by a different supplier. She’s still toxin, but placement and dosage might show a different result.

    • Ellie says:

      This is exactly right, and while I love this site I find it one of the few things it gets off. There’s a huge difference in filler and Botox/Xeomin, both in price and in effect. Filler plumps your face, and gives the Instagram look and Kardashian look described above if overused (though both Insta girls and Kardashians also use apps and under the knife surgery too). Botox and Xeomin paralyze muscles so you can’t form wrinkles. I don’t see anything wrong with either but there is certainly a huge difference as only one changes the contours of your face.

  12. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I personally find honesty brave.

  13. Hello Kitty says:

    flaccid d*ck face!!! 😆😆😆

  14. Onomo says:

    Ok but can we not ding her for building her business on toxins and pseudoscience (ahem her supplements that come from the same supplier as Al3x J0nes conspiracy theorist’s supplements) then meanwhile promoting literal toxin injections into her and other people’s bodies. She is honest, yes, but also an example of why no one needs to deify her choices as being those of a tastemaker.

    • lucy2 says:

      It is pretty contradictory, isn’t it? All her non-stop talk about detox, cleanses, eating clean, natural products, and then she does this.

    • Elizabeth says:

      She says this is “purified”?? How?! It seems essentially the same as Botox. This ain’t organic angel tears!

  15. Leslie says:

    My mid-30’s friends that live in the city are becoming obsessed with Botox/filler. I live closer to the mountains in a smaller town and it hasn’t crossed my mind until they mentioned it. I don’t care what my friends do to their face and I’m not anti-injectables but I am most concerned about – who the hell is telling my friends they need 90 units of botox in their face at age 36? who is telling them they aren’t good enough the way they are? My friends are all gorgeous and perfect the way they are.

    I’d rather spend the money on gym and healthy foods and a good therapist to help me accept my aging, but thats my personal choice. Do whatever makes you feel better but it hurts me when I hear my friends not realizing their own beauty and feeling down enough on themselves to turn to botox.

    • MaryContrary says:

      I was totally there too until I hit my early 50s. I loved how my face looked in my 30s and 40s.

    • Betsy says:

      I think this is one of the reasons I get so bent out of shape about these expectations. It’s just more of the same, more “you don’t look right” wrapped up in a solution you can buy. It’s noxious, especially when many people looked better before tampering with their faces.

    • Lucy says:

      Ok, but what if they just want to get rid of the angry birds eyebrow wrinkle? I’m about to hit 40 and God help me, what GOOP said about not looking pissed off all the time is 100% where I am.
      Laugh lines, smile lines, forehead wrinkles, I’m fine with all of that, but the angry eyebrow is making me mad. I think I’m doing that and then upping my skin care routine to include facials.

  16. emu says:

    LOL every generation feeds off what advertising and marketing tells them. I don’t buy the line that Gen Z is ok with the no-imperfection line – have you taken a look at James Charles (21) and Addison Rae (20) who are worshipped and are fully made-up? Please. There are subsets in every “generation”. Even in the grunge era, there were plenty of young adults who went full make-up/beauty.

    • Anne says:

      Wasn’t the grunge era the same time as Kate Moss/Calvin Klein/the “age of the supermodel”? Funny what we remember.

  17. Lunasf17 says:

    Social media is so fake and I hope younger girls realize that. I am a millennial and I have met people in real life that I followed on social media and literally did not realize they were the same person. Face tune, filters that slim your body and all that crap just so fake. I do hope we see it turn where we start getting sick of all the filters, Kardashian level make up, and ridiculous face fillers and just embrace natural beauty. Do the fillers If you want but I am never going to buy the fact that that crap dissolving into your body is safe in any form. Injecting a foreign substance into your body and then just letting it dissolve does not seem like a good idea for a long-term plan.

    • Betsy says:

      Fun fact I learned and cannot unlearn about fillers: they never truly dissolve. They just migrate. That’s why people who get lip injections get the perma duck face and why people who get cheek injections get the chubby lower cheeks. It doesn’t stay put, it migrates.

  18. Mika says:

    HOT TAKE: Millennials are actually the ones who deify older women. It’s a pushback from when we were kids and they tried to sell us Paris Hilton and the Four Blonde Singers and we kind of bought it because… that’s all they were selling but… then hit our 20s and were jobless and couldn’t afford bars or clubbing so we all started living like grandmas with or knitting and our sourdough because we are tired and poor. Look at who watches Grace and Frankie. Look at who watches Golden Girls. It’s not 20 year olds. It’s 30 years olds. The numbers back me up.

    • StLouise says:

      Amen! I take issue with the idea that all millennial women are trying to be Insta models. The women I know have been pushing back against that garbage since it started.

    • Anna says:

      Thank you! I will say this until I’m blue in the face. MILLENNIALS ARE FORTY. THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT THIS SHIT. We’re just trying to pay our bills and keep our houses! Ain’t no one got time for being an Insta model!

  19. Jaded says:

    I’m 68 and I will never ever put sh*t in my face. I have very few wrinkles and a bit of sagging but it’s there and I don’t care. I actually like my face and the character life and years have put into it. Same reason I refuse to dye my hair. I worked damn hard for those grey hairs and I’m proud of every one of them. I really despise the pressure women are put under from all sides to feel somehow diminished, less beautiful and unacceptable as they age. I look at someone like Madonna and think for all her gender-breaking, strong woman shtick she’s utterly terrified of owning her age. I refuse to be that kind of woman.

    • Snrub says:

      I appreciate this! I feel similarly about Gwen Stefani. She was so cool and punk and also fashionable when No Doubt first got big and I was in high school. Now she seems to have lost that girl power edge and doesn’t even look like herself. It makes me sad.

  20. Carmelita says:


  21. The Recluse says:

    This Gen-Xer won’t go any further than moisturizing. I have a morning and night routine. I even make my own essential oil blend that I apply every other night: rosehip oil, almond, frankincense, Vitamin E and so forth. And I drink a lot of water. Just can’t even begin to contemplate needles or surgery due to my aversion to knives and needles and having to be in a hospital or clinic.

    • TD says:

      Same here. And I am aging, and I don’t always love what I see in the mirror, but I’m terrified of doing something to my face and ending up looking like someone else, like so many people who mess with surgery and injectables, etc., seem to turn out. Maybe I’ll feel different when I’m 60, but for now I’m embracing self-care with skin care that feels good.

  22. Christa says:

    Xeomin and Botox both do chemical denervation and not like Restylane which is a filler. Just a clarification.