I turned fifty this year and it was a bit unsettling. What the mirror reflected was not how I felt. My head is the same as it was at thirty, but I can see my skin has lost some of its resilience and radiance. I’ve always been lucky and look younger than my age, but time is catching up to me. I’ve done a lot of research throughout my life, to prepare for this time, when genes, good luck and preventatives were not enough.
Below is a guide for anyone who can see the start of lines, loss of firmness, less radiance and pigmentation.
Using sunscreen is top of the list because it is a no-brainer. Sun, especially in countries like Australia, where the sun is strong and shines year round, can age skin like nothing else. It can create sunspots, skin cancer, pigmentation, and ultraviolet (UV) rays break down skin fibres, causing sagging and a loss of elasticity. Protection and prevention is the key. The younger you start to protect yourself from the sun’s effects the longer it will take for the effects of sun damage to show.
Getting enough sleep may seem obvious, but it is often hard to put into practise with a busy social like and long working hours. Poor sleep can negatively impact your health in body, mind, and skin in varying degrees. Your skin cells need time to repair and regenerate, and sleep is the perfect time for your body to do this.
Practising good sleep hygiene is not difficult and includes:
- Staying of your digital devices in the last hour before bed
- If you love naps, make sure that you keep them to less than thirty minutes a day
- Get out in natural light at some part of the day so that your body knows when it is night time
- Keep to a routine and try to go to bed early. The hours before midnight are the most beneficial for looking refreshed
- Have a relaxing and comfortable place to sleep.
My last point under the subject of sleep is the value of a silk
It’s not secret that we need water. As we get older, our cells are less able to store as much moisture as when we are young, so making sure drink water and eat high water content foods, such as fruit and vegetables on a consistent and regular basis. This is very
Drinking water before a meal can also help prevent excess caloric intake during eating, as you feel fuller sooner. With a lower metabolic rate as you age, weight gain can be something that can make you look older than you are.
How much water should you drink?
Often, we drink water when we are thirsty, which would suggest that you follow our instinct, however, when you are thirsty, this is a sign of dehydration and you want to avoid this, so from the research I did, anything between 1.5 to 3 litres of water is effective. It is important to note however that too much water can flush out vitamin C, which the body cannot store. I drink about 2 litres a day, which works for me. I’m also not a huge fan of plain water, so I will add a squeeze of lemon or have herbal tea to mix things up a bit.
There are many health benefits of drinking enough water, read them here…
Continuing on with the water theme, I’ve separated hydration, so I can talk about the hydration of the skin. Drinking water is just one part of hydration. When it comes to skin, dehydrated skin looks
Hydration of the skin can be tackled from the inside with water content in the cells and from
Ingredients that you can apply topically to the skin include Hyaluronic Acid a powerful ingredient absorbs into the skin and can hold 1,000 times its weight in water. This is why it is used in fillers, such as those injected into
It is not secret that a healthy, clean diet can make you feel better and give you more energy and help you
A nutritious diet would include loads of high water content foods, such as salads, steamed vegetables and fruit. You also need soluble and insoluble fibre that keeps you regular and maintains healthy arteries. In turn, this helps with the elimination of waste products, as well as preventing plaque deposits in the arteries.
Another part of nutrition that is crucial are essential fatty acids. EFAs affect metabolism, changing the way cells respond and grow. Omega-3, 6, and 9s, have been shown to provide significant anti-aging benefits to dry skin, brittle nails, and thinning hair.
Hair changes as we age, in particular, going grey. Grey hair is different to your hair at a younger age. It is more wiry and less soft, so older people tend to have hair that is harder to style and looks frizzy or lacklustre. There are some stunning women who can totally rock grey hair, and the silver fox in men is also an example of beautiful grey hair. Salt and pepper hair, in my humble opinion, can be very aging visually. I myself, bleach my hair platinum, which damages my hair a lot, but I slather it in treatments and keep heat styling to a minimum. I also wear my hair in a style that frames my face and I prefer it on the longer side, which can also give the impression of youth.
Keeping your hair in tip top condition and if you colour your hair, choose a natural colour that suits your skin tone. I think that the colour you had as a child is generally the most flattering colour as you age. I was snowy blonde when I was little and I’ve found that having that colour helps me look younger. Sometimes however, darker hair colours can be aging and harsh looking, due to the fact that as we age, we lose the pink cheeks and rosy lips of our youth. If you are in any doubt, ask your hairdresser, what colour and style will be the least aging. They are always in the know and can keep your mane in style.
#7 Fashion to look younger
Dress for the body you have, express yourself in fashion and try to stay relatively up to date with the general trends, without losing your own sense of style. As we get older, we probably know what suits our style and shape. For example, I have large thighs, large boobs and a bit of a tummy these days, so I avoid anything too revealing or tight, but I still want to look sexy. I opt for garments such jumpsuits, maxi or midi dresses and loose palazzo pants, with tops that show off my bust without being too low cut.
I also know the colours that suit me and as such tend not to deviate from a basic colour palette of black, peach/pink, ivory and grey. If I purchase in these colours, everything tends to be mix and match, and if I stick to my basic silhouette of wide leg pants or skirts, fitted tops with sleeves, everything is flattering. I avoid buying clothes that aren’t timeless and opt for quality over quantity.
Just because you are getting older you don’t have to give up being sexy or stylish. I see many women and men stop trying and will often wear what they think they should “at their age”. This attitude can make you look older than you want to. Men have a habit of wearing their belts and pants higher with each year that they get older, and women seem to fall into the habit of wearing clothes that hide their shape in massive shapeless kaftans or dresses like tents, or worse, tracksuits.
#8 Look younger with movement
Get moving because if you don’t use it you’ll lose it. Staying active is the key to joint and muscle health which also aids getting sleep and boosts your immune system and keeps your metabolism firing. Now I’m not talking about thrashing yourself at the gym, but what I mean is regular activity, such as walking, swimming, yoga, pilates or just being generally active.
There are exceptions and right now I am experiencing this at the moment with a knee that is ready to retire and a next that needs help so I am giving it rest. But, I am also being mindful about moving my joints, doing gentle stretching and ensuring that I keep as active as my body will allow.
Listen to your body, and follow the cues, but do try to maintain muscle mass in your core, arms and legs so you stay strong. Strong people look younger in most cases.
#9 Attitude to look younger
Make happiness and joy a priority. A happy person is an attractive person. If in doubt, smile. All anyone wants is life is happiness, so someone who smiles exudes this. Happy people look more radiant and uplifted, which can give the impression of a more youthful you.
If you are feeling down, go talk to someone, get some help. Sites like Beyond Blue, can offer resources to help those not feeling happy or not enjoying life.
I’ve saved the best until last. In this section, love can be family, friends and or lovers. Having love in your life is a must-have to look younger.
Friendships are important and cultivating and nourishing those friendship keeps you busy and socially energised.
At this stage in your life, only love those who love you back. Now is not the time to waste on toxic friendships, so while you are ensuring your diet, skincare and wardrobe are up to date, take a look at the people who enrich your life, not those who wear you down. I’ve had to cull my friends since I separated from my husband because I realised that many of my so-called friends, we just in my life by default. I know who my genuine friends are these days, and being a working mum, I don’t spend time with people who don’t reciprocate the energy and value I place on friendship.
Be generous to those who you love, and in true friendships, this will be reciprocated. Apply the same principles to your family. Just because someone is a family member, it doesn’t automatically mean that they are a positive person in your life. Lose the sense of obligation and treasure the real loves of your life.
In terms of love life, my boyfriend puts the sparkle in my eye, keeps me “active” and generally helps me to feel fulfilled “in that department”. He is younger than me and as they say, “you are only as old as the man you feel”. I am much happier when I have a significant other, and it helps motivate me to stay young and look after myself. I didn’t hang out at bars, but I did join a dating app and met him through that. Just get yourself out there and have fun. A good sex life can bring benefits:
- Sex is exercise and is good for your health
- Pain relief
- Less stress and lower blood pressure
- for men – Lower risk of prostate cancer
- Better sleep
- More positive mood
- Glowing skin and a twinkle in the eye.
In finishing, there are many things you can do to look younger at half a century, that aren’t just good genes. You can take steps today to look younger, feel younger and be happier and they aren’t difficult and don’t require loads of resources. So get out there, look after yourself and have a beautiful life…
Lastly here are a few little tips that I have found that make women look more youthful:
Matte eye shadow – frosted and shimmery shadows on an older eyelid can draw attention to the fine lines, but matte shadows highlight and contour much more effectively. If you want some sparkle, use sparingly on the inner eye corner, lightly on the highest point of the lid and under the brow bone.
Go easy on the concealer – the under eye area if one of the first places to show age, and something that makes this area look older is heavy concealer, set with powder. If you don’t set heavy concealer, it ends up in the lines, but if you set it with powder it can enhance the look of the lines. It’s a bit frustrating however, because the under eye area can get darker with thinning, older skin, so you need to find a concealer and under eye highlighter that isn’t heavy and sets easily. Light concealer with the minimum of powder is the best way to go.
Don’t go mad with Botox – while fantastic for reducing forehead and frown lines, Botox can change your expressions if you go overboard and you can end up with drooping eyelids. Sure your forehead may be line free, but you will also be expression free and look tired. Use as little as possibly in the frown and forehead and don’t freeze those smile lines, also known as “crows feet”. Smile lines are beautiful in my opinion and show evidence of a happy life.
Minimal fillers – nothing is more off putting that obvious lip fillers, especially in the top lip. There is a ratio for lip symmetry and if you deviate too far from this your lips will look odd and it will be obvious that you have had some work. The more subtle fillers are the better they look.
Drink less booze – alcohol is very ageing, as it dehydrates your body, including your skin. It also can cause redness and flushing, which isn’t flattering. Note also that alcohol is full of empty calories and can lead to weight gain, especially in the belly and face. Try to drink less and alternate with virgin cocktails and water. Your face and body will thank you.