Elizabeth Banks Says She Believes Getting Older Is a Privilege: 'You Want to Age, Trust Me'

Banks tells PEOPLE about her new partnership with No7 and which of the skincare brand's products are her go-tos for aging "gracefully"

kincare interview with Elizabeth Banks
Photo: no7

Elizabeth Banks is embracing the aging process.

The actress and director, who just saw her most recent project Cocaine Bear hit theaters, turned 49 last month, and she's embracing her age.

"My philosophy really is age gracefully, whatever that means to you," she tells PEOPLE of the aging process. For her, it means treating her skin with the right ingredients, including those found in No7's stable of skin-loving products.

Banks, who recently partnered with the U.K.-fave brand, tells PEOPLE that at the urging of her dermatologist to try retinol on her aging skin, she found No7. Admitting she was hesitant about how drying retinol could be, Banks says she was skeptical. However, No7's retinol products convinced her.

kincare interview with Elizabeth Banks

"I was thrilled by them," she gushes. "I had to step up my beauty routine, and No7 made me feel comfortable changing things up. People can be a little afraid of change, but No7 made it okay."

The Pitch Perfect alum uses No7 as a skincare system and loves how much she can trust in the products because they "do the work" for her. While she loves a number of the brand's products, she highlights Lift & Luminate Triple Action Day Cream SPF 30 and Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum as a couple of her faves. Both products help skin look more even and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. With the serum especially, Banks likes to keep it on hand when she's traveling.

"No7's serums are tiny but pack a big punch," she says, adding the products help her feel confident in what she's putting on her skin. "I'm trying to age gracefully but I also want to feel confident that I'm doing what I can to stay confident about aging. My mental health is most important when it comes to beauty. That's what I love about these products — they feel appropriate for me, but also I'm taking care of myself and not overthinking it."

kincare interview with Elizabeth Banks

A large part of feeling confident in aging is simply accepting it, Banks says. "You can get away with so much when you're young — now I just realize that I can't," she says with a laugh. That means paying close attention to how much sleep she's getting and how much water she's drinking. As someone who is on the go most of the time, she says she even writes herself notes to drink more water.

"My skin is a reflection of what's going on with me holistically," Banks tells PEOPLE, adding that she views her beauty routine as "health care" for her skin. "So I've really tried to make my beauty routine more holistic. That means a little less drinking, a lot more sleep and a lot more hydration. All these skincare products are super helpful, but only if you're also drinking water, getting sleep and, frankly, managing your stress."

Though for the most part Banks is happy to embrace the aging process as it comes, she's quick to acknowledge that everyone handles it differently, and that's okay. As a woman — and especially a woman in Hollywood — she's familiar with the pressure to look a certain way. She tells PEOPLE that she's not one to judge someone who wants to handle the process differently than she does — because we're all on our own journey.

kincare interview with Elizabeth Banks

"We live in a society that loves and values youth and beauty," she says. "I get it. I love looking at beautiful young people too. I like to remind people, you're never going to look as good as you do today, right now, because aging is a privilege. It's better than the alternative, right? You want to age, trust me."

It can be easier said than done, though, Banks says. As she's looking ahead to entering a new decade, though, she encourages people to examine why they feel that pressure to look a certain way.

"If it's for you, if it's your mental health looking in the mirror, then do what you need to do to keep yourself feeling confident every day," she says. "But if you're looking around and going, 'You know what? I don't need to do this for somebody else,' then make your decisions based on that."

kincare interview with Elizabeth Banks

Banks boosts her own confidence in the aging process by admiring other women in Hollywood who have come before her and who still have active lives and careers, in spite of their ages. She sees them as something to aspire to.

"I follow Sharon Stone and Jane Fonda on social media, and more women like that," Banks shares. "I love seeing women who are vibrant, active, confident, excited, doing fun things at every age. Mix up your algorithm. Follow people of all ages. Make sure you're getting a sense of reality when it comes to aging and not just looking at filtered Instagram photos."

Banks has often been candid about how she feels about aging, and she continues to do just that. And while she'll always encourage other women to find their own confidence in growing older, she'll never judge them for how they approach it.

"I just like to remind people you don't have to do anything," she says. "You can just be comfortable in your skin and do your best to be confident."

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