Penelope Cruz
The mother-of-two graces the November issue of Esquire Reuters

Penelope Cruz has proved that '40 is the new 30' by taking home the title of the World's Sexiest Woman Alive.

The Hollywood actress, best known for her roles in Vanilla Sky and Pirates of The Caribbean, topped Esquire magazine's list thanks to her striking looks.

In the accompanying shoot Cruz – who has two children with husband Javier Bardem – shows that at 40 she still has it by posing in an array of outfits.

One image sees her don a dramatic red dress, while the cover image shows her in a plunging black bodysuit.

And it looks like fans were more than impressed.

"She is seriously gorgeous!! Take note skeletons," one admirer said.

And as her looks get better with age, it seems that Cruz's artistic interests have also developed over the years.

"I've made it hard for me sometimes, especially in my teens and twenties," Cruz told Esquire. "I had an attraction to drama.

"Most of us have that, especially if you are an artist – you feel like you are tempted to explore the darkness. I could not be less interested now. For me, the most attractive, charming, cool, fun, interesting thing – how could I call it? A plan."

The Spanish star inherits the accolade from fellow actress Scarlett Johansson, who took home the title for the second time last year.

Previous winners include Angelina Jolie, Rihanna, Halle Berry and Charlize Theron.

Back in 2013, Cruz revealed that she maintained her healthy lifestyle by giving up caffeine and dancing.

She said: "I know how to cook and it's important to me to make fresh food every day. I don't do crazy diets, just the good Mediterranean food that I love because it's important to eat well," she said.

"I love ballet and it's a little boring for me to go to the gym because I'm used to the dancing discipline. It's really hard but much more fun."