Beauty business mogul and iconic actress, Gwyneth Paltrow’s most recent series of Instagram photos is going viral, but not for the reason you might expect. Paltrow’s selfie shows the actress strategically covered with her arm, but otherwise topless, relaxing in the Italian sun with her husband. But it wasn’t the cheeky summer vibes that fans noticed.
Instead, commenters were quick to pick out the obvious signs of sun damage Paltrow is sporting.
Paltrow, 50, is known for her out-of-the-box beauty routines and restrictive diets, so the state of her skin was surprising to many followers. The comments are packed with pleas for Paltrow to stop sunbathing and to wear sunscreen.
Other commenters on her recent Instagram were quick to point out that Paltrow also has a history of smoking cigarettes, a habit she wasn’t able to kick until she learned she was pregnant with her first child. Smoking, especially over a period of several years, breaks down the building blocks of our skin—the collagen and elastin that can keep your skin looking plump and young.
“It doesn’t add up to me,” one commenter says. “The poster queen for a health and wellness empire having skin that badly sun damaged.”
For one, Paltrow is sporting a deep tan, evident by the stark difference in shade from her forearms to her normally covered breast. Additionally, her chest and forearms are covered in sunspots. While harmless, sunspots can only develop from prolonged UV exposure, which increases your overall risk of skin cancer.
Paltrow’s Past With SPF
Though Paltrow has consistently recommended mineral sunscreens to different outlets over the years, she was criticized back in 2020 when she shared her shockingly minimal sunscreen routine.
In the video, she says she uses a “clean mineral sunscreen” because “there are a lot of really harsh chemicals in conventional sunscreen, so that’s a product that I really want to avoid.” While she does use sunscreen on her face, she notes specifically that she tends to keep her coverage where she feels it’s most important. “I’m not a head-to-toe slatherer of sunscreen, but I like to put some kind of on my nose and the area where the sun really hits,” Paltrow explains.
The FDA recommends using an entire shot glass worth of sunscreen for your body, using about a quarter-sized amount on your face and ears. So, if Paltrow’s sunscreen application has always been this minimal, that might explain some of the extensive sun damage.
Goop and Paltrow’s team have doubled-down on the importance of sun block in the years since, but the state of her skin is still prompting many to ask her to wear SPF. This most recent photo isn’t the first time in the past few months that her Instagram comments have been flooded with requests for her to take better care in the sun. Just a few weeks ago, a heartfelt post celebrating businesswomen was overwhelmed with comments pointing out the signs of sun damage on Paltrow.
You can find our favorite sunscreens for all skin types and tones here.