Portia de Rossi: I Don't Want to 'Chase' How I Looked at 20

04/24/2013 at 10:00 AM EDT



After turning 40 in January, Portia de Rossi says she's ready to embark on the next stage of her life.

"The trick for me turning 40 was to really evaluate what I wanna do with this next phase in my life," she explains on the set of her photo shoot for PEOPLE's Most Beautiful issue, on newsstands Friday.

While she may still be figuring out what's next, the Arrested Development actress knows what she won't be doing.

"The one thing I don't wanna do is chase what I looked like at 20," she says.

As for retaining her youthful glow, de Rossi credits her wardrobe and her vegan diet, which she's maintained for the past six years.

"People do think I look younger than I am because I dress like a teenager," de Rossi says with a smile.

But while de Rossi understands the pressure for women to stay young, she says its actually in their DNA.

"As women we're so conditioned to think that beauty and age area very important that you stay kind of youthful in order to be beautiful," she says. "I don't think it's fair for people to think that women are just vain because they're worried about getting older. It's actually really linked in with a lot of very primitive stuff for women."

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