Self Care

I Tried J.Lo’s Self-Care Routine for a Week—Here’s What Happened

written by JOSIE SANTI
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Jennifer Lopez is one of those magical celebrities who is so stunning and talented that it’s hard to believe she’s mortal. Her skin glows, her hair is always flawless, and don’t even get me started on the J.Lo booty (or her impeccable dance skills). More importantly, she always looks well-rested and happy, even with demanding tour schedules and long days of filming. Let’s be real: J.Lo invented #goals. So when ELLE published an interview detailing her skincare secrets and how she takes care of herself, you know I had to try it all. As a celeb who adamantly swears she has never gotten cosmetic surgery but looks her best at 50 thanks to how she takes care of herself (and probably really, really good genes), I had to give her self-care secrets a try. Read on for six things J.Lo does to care for herself that I implemented into my routine too. 

My self-care inspo for the week:


1. Repeat a daily affirmation

Update: it’s not just the general public/entire world that thinks J.Lo is youthful and timeless at any age–she knows she is too because she reminds herself every day. Daily affirmations are crucial to her self-care routine (because I’m guessing you can’t shake it in front of millions of people at the Super Bowl without believing you’re awesome). To get specific, she recites, “I’m youthful and timeless at every age, I’m youthful and timeless at every age, I’m youthful and timeless at every age.”

I’m only 26 so I have not considered myself anything except youthful (except my 21st birthday when I felt cool AF), but nonetheless, what the queen says goes, so I repeated the affirmation in the mirror at myself every morning before brushing my teeth. Yes, I felt silly and my boyfriend may have questioned my sanity, but there was something entirely empowering about looking in the mirror and thinking something good. I, like most women, normally look in the mirror first thing in the morning and see dark eye circles, subtle wrinkles, or puffiness.

I’ve never considered myself insecure, but the usual mental conversation I have with my reflection is not a loving one. Making the effort to say something good started to shift the way I thought about myself even throughout the rest of the day. As J.Lo says, “Positive self-talk in your head really does create a beautiful person on the inside who maintains a beautiful person on the outside.” Her suspiciously flawless skin is starting to make a little more sense. 



2. Be a nice person; it’s good for your skin

OK, so “being nice” doesn’t exactly count as a self-care routine (it’s just being a decent person), and I wouldn’t call it something I “tried out” for a week (I like to think I try it out all the time…?), but it’s worth noting for many reasons. We often think of beauty as being skin deep: it’s about bubble baths, under-eye masks, and just the right shade of foundation. Or maybe we even go so far as to define beauty being deeper than skincare and makeup, and about how we feed our bodies and how much sleep we get. But a crucial factor we often leave out when talking about both beauty and self-care is being kind to other people. “You have to be a nice, beautiful person on the inside if you want to have your face reflect that,” J.Lo explained. 

The changes I made in this category were not necessarily about being nice (that’s something we all should practice and prioritize on a regular basis), but about how I saw self-care. Yes, self-care is about caring for yourself, but it’s also about caring for others. When we practice empathy, help whoever we can, and connect with other people, not only does it change the world, but it makes us feel our happiest and most fulfilled. And if I get a J.Lo-level glow and wrinkle-free skin as a result? It will be a welcomed bonus. 


3. Incorporate more olive oil

This one was a no-brainer for me since I eat olive oil in one way or another with basically every meal, but J.Lo goes beyond cooking basics and uses it as a “cure-all” for everything. Cure-all for what exactly, I’m not sure (like, is it the secret to becoming rich and famous or?), but I gathered that it’s a skincare necessity since her entire skincare line contains olive oil extract. I’m already a huge fan of using pantry items in my skincare routine, but was still slightly reluctant. Would the key ingredient I use to make greasy, garlicky pasta really make my skin radiant instead of breaking it out? Spoiler alert: yes. 

I typically pat on oil before bed, but I did not love the idea of olive oil smeared all over my silk pillowcase. Instead, I dabbed a little bit on as the last step in my morning routine. It was hard to get used to since it doesn’t feel like it absorbs like face oil products, but I immediately noticed a difference in my glow. After just the first day, my skin felt well-rested and glowy instead of the dullness and dehydration that normally comes with Mondays. By the end of the week, I had not broken out more than the normal pimple here and there, and my skin was noticeably more radiant. This will certainly be a hack I add into my regular routine, but it also serves as a good reminder that beauty does not have to be expensive and skincare isn’t just about high-end products. The secret to J.Lo skin might be found in your kitchen. 



4. Focus on quality

J.Lo talked about prioritizing quality when it came to her skincare, but also in regards to how she wants everything she makes in her career (whether it’s a beauty line, album, or movie) to be the highest quality so she doesn’t let anyone down. I don’t have a beauty line, album, or movie per se, but I liked the idea of “fighting for the quality that you want to be involved with.” So I decided then and there that quality was going to be my driver for the week. I put more work into my daily beauty routine by using my best products (the ones that I typically save for before big events), but I also focused on quality in other areas of my self-care routine.

I put more time and effort into meals by DIYing dressings, using the freshest ingredients, and adding herbs and spices, which made even a quick workday lunch feel fancy. I also focused on quality with my workouts by prioritizing form and how my body was reacting instead of running faster or lifting more. After a week prioritizing quality, I realized that “quality” is simply a way to tell ourselves what we deserve. Instead of quickly patting on my normal skincare routine, whipping up whatever I had in my fridge, or rushing through a workout class, bringing more quality into everything I did allowed me to not only enjoy my daily habits more, but also made me believe that I deserved more. J.Lo, I totally get it: quality is worth fighting for. 


5. Read Meditations to Heal Your Life

I’m a huge fan of inspirational books, but had surprisingly never heard of this gem. Jennifer swears by Meditations to Heal Your Life after it was gifted to her by a friend when she was “doing some soul searching” in her 20s. Personally, my “soul-searching” looked like breaking up with my boyfriend and spending all my money on wine while studying abroad in Paris, but if I had read this collection of meditations then, it might have saved me a lot of tears and carafes of wine.

Obviously, I immediately ordered it (with Prime shipping!) after reading that it’s a key part of J.Lo’s self-care routine, and the book did not disappoint. The author, Louise Hay, recommends opening to a random page instead of reading it front to back. So I set aside time every morning to fit in my meditations, hoping some of them would heal my life. I loved the experience and definitely felt a shift in my creativity, optimism, and overall outlook. Since meditations have always been difficult for me, consider me a convert. Reading thoughtful and impactful guided meditations feels way easier for me than listening to an app or sitting in silence. 



6. Wear sunscreen daily

If you can’t tell already, I learned a lot from J.Lo’s self-care routine. One thing I did not expect to learn but certainly did: Don’t follow your boyfriend to the dermatologist. In the interview, Jennifer tells a story about going to her boyfriend’s dermatologist when she was in her 20s. The dermatologist encouraged her to start Botox and, to paraphrase, she ran away and never looked back (probably from both the dermatologist and the boyfriend). I’m not sure exactly what this story was supposed to let us know besides that her taste in men is also high-quality (I can’t even get my boyfriend to use anything besides the 5-in-1 wash), but she is openly not a stan of Botox and instead swears by daily SPF to keep wrinkles at bay.

While I say “you do you” when it comes to any Botox or plastic surgery, J.Lo has a point about the sunscreen. Self-care is also about being preventative–not just in preventing wrinkles, but doing what you can to keep your body as healthy as possible. That includes applying sunscreen. I’ll admit: I put on SPF every time I leave the house without fail, but since I work from home full time, I might not leave the house for days. Since sun exposure can still happen through windows, J.Lo’s cautionary tale served as a reminder to include it in my skincare routine every day. 


The Verdict:

Surprisingly, following J.Lo’s self-care routine was doable and simple. Of course, the article definitely did not cover the money she likely spends on trainers, health food, and facials. But even celebs with unlimited time, resources, and experts on speed dial need those simple things like applying SPF every day or repeating “I am youthful and timeless” when they look in the mirror to feel their very best. Applying olive oil will likely become an occasional indulgence, and I’ll go back to Meditations to Heal Your Life time and time again, but the biggest changes that will stick after trying to be J.Lo for a week had more to do with mindset. Being aware of the way we talk to ourselves, treating other people kindly, and focusing on living a high-quality life are all parts of self-care we don’t talk about often, but are more important than face masks or fancy candles. Whether or not you believe she’s never gotten Botox, she’s right that beauty is more than just skin deep.