Good genes may be part of the Black don’t crack equation, but other factors that keep the fountain of youth flowing include eating healthfully (it’s the veggies, lean protein, fatty fish and whole grains for us), staying active, drinking plenty of water, getting those preventative health screenings and prioritizing rest and self-care. And if you’re a smoker, here’s another reason to stop — quitting can make your skin look younger.
But don’t take our word for it. Here are nine of our favorite actresses, all fab and over age 45, and the techniques that help them maintain beauty inside and out.
Halle Berry, 55
The groundbreaking Academy Award-winning actress has beauty, brains and a beast mode work and workout ethic. Boxing, doing planks, yoga and stretching are all part of her routine. That practice paid off in Bruised, Berry’s directorial debut streaming on Netflix, where she plays a reluctant single mother and hardscrabble mixed martial arts fighter seeking redemption.
Angela Bassett, 63
With her chiseled cheekbones and beyond buff arms, Bassett is a timeless beauty. What’s maintaining a healthy lifestyle got to do with it? Everything. She keeps her skin care routine simple, but admits she’s had “a little Botox.” To stay fit, she typically works out for thirty minutes a day (free weights are her jam) and eats a mostly organic, sugar-free diet.
Taraji P. Henson, 51
Henson is a sassy sis we love to watch. What keeps her hot girl summer going all year round? The Empire and Hidden Figures star is a fan of changing up her hairstyles from rocking wigs to her natural crown and doing squats to keep her glutes tight. Her biggest beauty secret, however, may be maintaining a positive outlook. “The power is in you — you have the power to shift and change a negative into a positive,” she said in an interview.
Queen Latifah, 51
There’s a reason Dana “Queen Latifah” Owens is an easy, breezy, beautiful CoverGirl. The multi-talented Jersey girl and Equalizer star exudes kickass confidence and she’s always repped regally for the curvy girls. Plus, her healthy, unpermed-but-pressed tresses give us life.
Gabrielle Union, 49
The dimpled temptress (we remember Being Mary Jane) goes hard in the gym, often with her hubby Dwyane Wade by her side. More than vanity, however, Union is motivated primarily by her family’s history of diabetes and hypertension. “I work out not because I get off on it, but because I want to live!” she told Women’s Health.
Nia Long, 51
Like a fine wine, the lovely Long seems to get better with time. To keep that “I woke up like this” flawlessness going, the Love Jones actress gets microdermabrasion treatments regularly and jumps rope daily, for the length of at least one song. If you’d like to follow Long’s lead and jump for fitness, we have the perfect playlist for you.
Viola Davis, 56
We love the deep brown skin Davis is in, and she enhances it with products that are right for her skin tone and age. The award-winning actress also keeps her inner glow shining by setting aside time for self-care rituals, like soaking in Epsom salt baths, applying essential oils in the shower and tuning into the Calm app.
Alfre Woodard, 69
The dynamic character actress was teased about her eyes and lips when she was younger, but over time she learned to embrace her unique attractiveness. Woodard told Oprah.com, “Everybody has a part of her body that she doesn't like, but I've stopped complaining about mine because I don't want to critique nature's handiwork.”
Vanessa Williams, 58
We saved one of the best beauties for last. One important tip the first African American Miss America and mother of four shared with her daughters is to wear sunscreen daily. And when it comes to her diet the actress and singer doesn’t deprive herself of treats like bread and wine. “I listen to my body. I don't weigh myself. I'm not obsessed with pounds — if I feel good in my clothes, I feel good,” she told WebMD.