For Gwyneth Paltrow, Blythe Danner and GoopBeauty, Aging Is a Family Affair


Aging may be inevitable, but goop beauty director Jean Godfrey June explains how the Gwyneth Paltrow beauty brand is creating products to go along with it. Pictured above, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her mother, actress Blythe Danner in 2015. Photo: Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Bleecker Street

All in the family. That’s the approach 47-year-old Gwyneth Paltrow, or “GP” to fans of her lifestyle company and website, goop, has taken to creating and promoting her new goopbeauty GoopGenes skin-care products. It’s multi-generational thinking and includes actress Blythe Danner (her 77-year-old mom ) and Apple Martin (her 16-year-old daughter with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, and the producer/filmmaker of the GoopGenes promotional videos in which she interviews her mother and grandmother). 

Goop was launched in 2008 when GP, now 47, started the eponymous newsletter that focused on diet and nutrition. What began as musings from her kitchen on everything from good old-fashioned banana muffins she made for her father, the late director/producer Bruce Paltrow (with a sugar-, gluten- and dairy-free twist, of course) to raw foods to detox regimes, is now a wellness/lifestyle empire that also encompasses fashion, beauty and home decor, the New York Times bestselling cookbook, My Father’s Daughter, inspired by the muffins for her dad, two more healthy eating recipe collections, a Netflix show — the goop lab with Gwyneth Paltrow – and a fashion line called G. Label, which both Danner and Martin help model. 

The women-in-the-family-affair promo for GoopGenes exemplifies the touchy-feely path that GP and her team take with most of their launches — minus the controversy and occasional squirm-inducing intimate approach. Like, for example, earlier this year when GP created a scented candle that she described as, and then named: This Smells Like My Vagina. Shortly after, a follow up, This Smells Like My Orgasm, made its debut.

GP has amassed a following for her wellness approach to all things goop but, at the same time, has been called out by some experts for passing along information that the medical community has called into question. And accordingly, goop has adjusted its offerings. 

These new skincare products, for example, have undergone clinical trials for efficacy on women between the ages of 35 and 65, and are not tested on animals.

“Getting older is inevitable, but it’s something we want to embrace and enjoy at goop,” notes GP. When watching the video clip with Danner and GP together, two things are clear. One, GP really does have good genes (Danner’s a beauty in her own right), and two, it’s no trial for them to hang out — they really seem to get along well. 

As GP starts to talk about the new products, Danner points out the line is for “young and old,” and dips in to try the formulations, while GP says that’s what so great about these products.

Martin remains behind the lens, but it’s also clear she’s enjoying filming and interviewing her mother and grandmother, allowing them to free-style and improvise. It felt a bit like I was sitting there next to them, having a girls-day-out, listening to them chat and watching them test-drive the creams. 

According to Team goop, the products were developed with ingredients that address the five key signs of skin health: nourished, smooth, firm, even-toned and glowing. GP calls the All-in-One Nourishing Face Cream “our brand-new superhero” (move over Iron Man) and is obsessed with “our also-brand-new, can’t-believe-how-good-it-is All-in-One Nourishing Eye Cream. “I even got my mom in on it,” she adds about the fragrance-free cream. 

Although Danner was not part of the development of the product, she certainly came across as a fan on the video clip. “I just put goop on my lips,” she says, as she enters the frame. When her granddaughter asks at what age she felt prettiest, Danner replies, “I think I felt prettiest at 50.” For GP, it was her late 30s. “Aging is hard,” she says. Both agree that “it’s that time in your life when you may see your face start to change,” and GP adds, “and where you might think you don’t look as beautiful externally, but where you really like yourself, love yourself, so you feel internally beautiful.”

Aging may be inevitable, “but the way you look and feel at a particular age is the result of many factors, many of them environmental,” says the goop team. The face cream, which the company says will help the skin feel hydrated for 48 hours after application, contains plant-based ceramides (lipids that help the skin retain moisture and form a barrier to help protect it from environmental irritants and pollution) and active botanicals including Schisandra fruit, illipe butter, caviar lime and squalene that also work to help address fine lines and dark spots. 

But I wanted to know a little bit more about the inner workings of the products, so I turned to goop beauty director Jean Godfrey June who, in the 1990s, was an editor at Elle and, until 2015, was also the beauty editor at Lucky magazine. 

VIVIAN VASSOS: GP said in a note, “To support gorgeous skin at every age…” So there was a key to making this “all ages” product work as effectively for younger skin as it does for mature skin?

JEAN GODFREY JUNE: We want products that are great for skin, period. That focus on the condition of our skin, rather than how many trips around the sun we’ve made or have yet to make. So in creating GoopGenes, we sourced the highest-quality ingredients to help support skin to look and feel at its best. 

The only caveat re: who GoopGenes might be for is about skin type, not age. Very oily skin might have an issue with the richness of the face cream, but everyone’s skin is different, and plenty of people with oily skin do find that their skin loves the cream. And the eye cream works no matter what your skin type, across the board.

VV: Some of the ingredients featured in the products are ones that people may not be as familiar with…

JGJ: What’s great about where technology has taken us in the clean space is that — just as in conventional skincare products — formulators can now use different ingredients to work synergistically; one ingredient can support or amplify the effects of another. We’re transparent about all of our ingredients — we believe that every beauty company, clean or not, should at the very least be transparent about the ingredients they’re using — and many of them aren’t as well-known. 

VV: Yes, I was not aware of Schisandra fruit, for example.

JGJ: It comes from the berry of the Chinese magnolia vine, and it’s full of great-for-skin nutrients: lignans, polyphenols, flavenoids, antioxidants and more. We used it to support elasticity and firmness in the skin, and to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. 

VV: What’s the goop perspective of all-ages skincare vs anti-aging?

JGJ: We’ve spent a lot of time focusing on “anti-aging” for women in this culture, as if age were not as natural a part of our beings as our height, our eye colour, or the pigment in our skin. “Mature skin” is such an enormous category in and of itself: Depending on your perspective, it might encompass a 29-year-old, a 56-year-old, or a 93-year old.