10 Secrets of People Who Age Gracefully
How to look and feel great as you get older
We all want to look great as we age. And we all know that woman: She's on point from head to toe and carries herself like she means it, defying aging with every step. So what's she doing? Here's how to take care of your skin, hair, and body, and drum up youth-boosting confidence no matter how many birthday candles are on your cake.
They skip the fancy skincare routine
- Cut through the anti-aging aisle and focus on three products. "If you use a sunscreen, retinoid, and moisturizer starting at age 20, your skin will look much younger compared to someone who didn't use them," says New York City dermatologist Lance Brown, MD, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine. Applying SPF every morning is a must, along with keeping cells plump and hydrated with moisturizer.
- Retinoids are where the magic happens, says Dr. Brown. Dermatologists consistently recommend them because the vitamin A derivative essentially teaches your skin to act young again, stimulating the collagen that prevents fine lines, he says.
They get a move on
We all know how important exercising is for our health, but for some of us, maintaining a consistent fitness routine can be elusive. One key to staying consistent with exercising is finding an activity that you enjoy (and don't dread), so search for something that gets you excited. Watch the video for the other easy ways that you can stay motivated.
They don't hide behind makeup
Dark circles are one of the most persistent beauty challenges women face. They can occur because of lack of sleep, allergies, or aging—and they’re nearly impossible to get rid of entirely. Thankfully, armed with the right concealer and application skills, you can mask the circles and get on with your life. Watch the video to learn the most effective way to hide the raccoon eyes.
They tend to their hands
You’ve heard it before: your hands age before any other part of your body. And why wouldn’t they? Hands simply don’t receive the same TLC that we lavish on the rest of our bodies in terms of sun protection and anti-aging creams. And that means that years of sun exposure and working with our hands can cause spots, wrinkles, and discolored nails. Thankfully, there are ways to reverse signs of aging hands. Watch the video to learn a few of the best ways to make them look young again.
They exude confidence
Women who age gracefully have something big in common: confidence. "Don't do anything with the idea that you're trying to look younger—that can cause big missteps in your sense of style and how you maintain your beauty routine," says Gretta Monahan, style and beauty expert and author of Style and the Successful Girl ($19; amazon.com. "Make your goal to be the best you can look," she says. It can pay off down the line: In an earlier study from Yale University, people who had more positive beliefs about aging lived 7.5 years longer than those with more downtrodden â€˜tudes.
RELATED: 14 Ways to Age in Reverse
They revise their style
Gray hair can make you look older than you feel, but who has the time for regular salon visits? Watch the video to learn some easy ways to cover your grays during those in-between times and get back to doing what you love with confidence.
They are up on the latest trends
Being a certain age doesn't mean you have to morph into an "older" style, says Monahan. "Women who age gracefully don't step aside from trends because of their age," she adds. One example: wearing a classic and great fitting jean (that doesn't have to be on trend) with an of-the-moment funky color shoe or accessory. "That gives your look that extra secret sauce. It's a great instant energy booster," she says. Not to mention, a boon to your confidence and self-esteem.
They aren't afraid to embrace their grays
Women can look stunning when they go gray, says Penny James of Penny James Salon in New York City. "You'll need a super sharp sophisticated cut to really show it off," she says. James recommends a lob or pixie (think Robin Wright Penn) for silver strands. Maintain your vibrant hue with a blue-violet based shampoo, which prevents yellowing from minerals in the water, advises Anabel Kingsley, Hair & Scalp Expert at Philip Kingsley.
They catch enough zzz's
It's not called beauty sleep for nothing. Poor quality sleep not only increases the visible signs of aging around your face (thanks, wrinkles), but also makes you feel less attractive, per a 2015 study in the journal Clinical and Experimental Dermatology. Plus, compared to those who got less than 5 hours of sleep, women who clocked 7 to 9 hours had skin that also bounced back better from UV light exposure. This means sleep helps your skin naturally ward off the damaging effects of the sun, slowing down the aging process.
They ditch the spa
Facials can be relaxing, but for the most bang for your buck, see a dermatologist over a spa. "We have a whole arsenal of therapies designed to prevent and reverse skin aging that can be personalized to you," says Dr. Brown. "We know these are effective and can turn the clock back years." Even if the spa offers the same treatment offered at a derm office, the derm is the better bet. Physicians are experts in using these devices (knowing the settings, dealing with possible complications), providing you with the safest and most effective age-defying results.
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter