When it comes to how old you are, age really is just a number. Researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis recently published a study stating that there are a lot more factors that should go into determining age than how long you’ve been alive. There are plenty of super-simple things you can do to keep your complexion healthy and radiant regardless of what birthday you most recently celebrated. Andrea Robinson, the former head of beauty for Ralph Lauren and Tom Ford and the author of “Toss the Gloss: Beauty Tips and Tricks for Women 50+”, shares her insider knowledge on what anti-aging products really work, makeup tips that are guaranteed to make you look younger, and more.
Use the Right Skin Care Products
When shopping for skin care products, there are three powerful ingredients you should look for to maintain youthful-looking skin, says Robinson. One, check the label for a serum containing antioxidants like vitamin C (Robinson likes Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-aging Daily Serum), which will help brighten your skin; two, add retinoids, which increase cell turnover and stimulate collagen renewal, to your routine; and three, start using an alpha hydroxy acid exfoliator to remove the top layer of dead skin cells (Robinson is a fan of Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads, which are gentle enough to be used daily).
Wear SPF Every Day
Whether it’s humid and 90 degrees outside or chilly and rainy, sunscreen is a must no matter what. So add it to your daily routine if you haven’t already, since sun damage not only causes wrinkles, but can leave you vulnerable to skin cancer. “Use at least an SPF 30, but don’t waste your money on anything higher than SPF 50 since there is little evidence that higher SPFs provide more protective benefits,” Robinson says. Try Paula’s Choice Moisture Boost Daily Restoring Complex SPF 30, which is packed with vitamins and helps moisturize dry skin.
Take It Easy on the Foundation
“Heavy foundation tends to settle on the rough patches or into the lines of the face,” Robinson says. “What is needed as we age is a good transparent moisturizing foundation or tinted moisturizer. Avoid anything with a powder base.” Robinson recommends Philosophy Hope in a Jar Hydrating Foundation, which provides light to medium coverage. She also suggests using a primer before applying foundation. “A primer makes your foundation roll on more smoothly, filling in lines and pores; minimizes dark circles; and makes all makeup last,” she says.
Fake a Healthy Glow
There is one easy way to get some color safely: a gradual self-tanner. “Nothing beats a little healthy glow on the body and face at this stage in life,” Robin says. “With a gradual build, you’ll see minimal streaking, blotchiness, and buildups on ankles, the soles of the feet, and knuckles.” On your face, use a cream blush to perk up your complexion. “It blends more easily over rough patches or lines,” Robinson says. “Apply in a circular motion with your finger and blend the edges.” She likes Laura Mercier Crème Cheek Color in Praline, a neutral brown.
Step Away From the Glitter
Bright, bold eye shadow and products with shimmer and glitter will make wrinkles more noticeable. “These products do not flatter or look attractive on skin or lids that are beginning to show tiny lines or have rough patches,” Robinson says. “Dark shades combined with lighter neutrals are the most forgiving and youthful choices for the lids.” And skip liquid liner, which emphasizes the delicate and fine skin surrounding your eyes and opt for a soft pencil liner, like L’Oreal Paris Le Kohl Duo Eyeliner, which can be smudged instead.
Pick the Right Brow Shape
Put down the tweezers and visit a professional to shape your brows, says Robinson. “Droopy eyes can be changed by slightly arching the brows and extending them outward the temples (rather than having the tail curve down around the eye),” she explains. “The arch is an important part of the brow, and should be a gradual and very gentle lift.”
Don’t Forget Your Neck
“As you age, the neck loses elasticity faster than anywhere else on your body, taking on the dreaded crepe-y look,” Robinson says. “You should be every bit as diligent and careful about taking care of your neck and décolletage as you are about your face.” To keep this part of your body looking just as young as your face, follow this three-step routine: Moisturize every morning and night, exfoliate once or twice a week with a gentle scrub, and apply sunscreen daily.
Pay Attention to Your Hands, Too
Remember to always wear gloves while washing dishes and to moisturize frequently. “Chemicals and hot water can strip away the protective lipid barrier on your skin, making it susceptible to irritation and dryness,” Robinson says. “Apply a layer of lotion to your hands each time you put on rubber gloves — not only will it protect them, it’ll give you an extra dose of moisture.” Robinson’s favorite is Jurlique Rose Hand Cream, which contains safflower seed oil, vitamin E, carrot root extract, and aloe vera to protect skin against dryness.