Secrets to a younger-looking you

Forget ageing gracefully – here’s how to age youthfully. Keep a healthy glow, a spring in your step, and a radiant appearance with tips from the experts.

Smile, wide!

Young, middle-aged, and older individuals studied thousands of photographs and were asked to guess the age of models with various facial expressions. Neutral expressions yielded the most accurate results, and fearful expressions made subjects look older; happy faces were rated as younger than they really were.

Touch up your hair

As we age, our hair changes. “It often becomes coarser in texture and more dry,” says hairstylist Jenna Mast. Heat styling can damage hair, so try air drying and only use an iron around your face. Whether you have your hair washed at home or at a salon, use deep conditioning treatments regularly to combat dryness.

Frame your face

Keeping your eyebrows well-groomed and shaped helps provide a frame for your face and draws attention to your eyes.

Cleanse and moisturise regularly

Cleansing and moisturising helps protect skin and keep it healthy; but banish regular soap, which can be drying for older skin. Instead, use a cleanser that gently washes without stripping skin of its natural moisture. Avoid skin toners, especially those with a stringent or alcohol base. Follow with a good moisturiser, morning and night.

Give yourself a hand or two

A study showed that people could accurately guess women’s ages by looking at their hands. Use a good hand cream frequently, preferably one that contains SPF for daytime. Brighten dull hands by exfoliating regularly: Mix sea salt with lemon juice and gently scrub into your hands with a soft toothbrush.

Eat more greens and reds

Vitamin K – in kale and other green vegetables – helps your blood coagulate, reducing the impact of bruising. Lycopene in tomatoes gives the skin powerful protection against UV rays. Fruit and veggie consumption resulted in better skin complexion, according to a study.

Wear less makeup

Instead of heavy makeup, pick pink, radiant hues that mimic the look of natural youth, says makeup artist and What Not to Wear star Carmindy. “As we age our skin loosens and is not as taught as it once was, so the more makeup you apply, the more it can move, settle, and travel,” she says. “Less makeup will adhere to mature skin much better so you stay looking fresh all day.”

Eat oily fish

Salmon and other oily fish are rich in DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol), a compound that boosts muscle tone and is one of the must-have ingredients in expensive “mature” skin creams. Eating oily fish twice a week offers the same benefits.

Exercise four or more times per week

A recent study showed that regular exercise can slow the ageing process. You’ll fend off muscle loss and sleep better when you exercise most days of the week. Combine cardiovascular exercise for heart and lungs, stretching for flexibility and resistance exercise for muscles.

“Regular strength training, with your own body weight or using external weights, can help to increase metabolism, increase strength, and improve balance,” says fitness and nutrition expert Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, author of Belly Fat Diet For Dummies, who also recommends Pilates classes. “Pilates can help to increase core strength and improve posture,” Palinski-Wade says. “Holding your body more upright with improved posture improves balance, protects against falls, and helps you look younger.”

Wear the right bra

Gravity affects us all, but properly fitting undergarments can help shape a figure into a more youthful silhouette. “Pop culture research states that over 80 percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra,” says style expert Sharon Haver, founder of Get fitted at a lingerie store to make sure you’re wearing the correct size and style for your bust shape, as well as the right amount of coverage and support.

Drink more water

Our body is mostly water, and our skin is our body’s biggest organ – so we need to keep hydrated to avoid it looking dry and dull, and creating wrinkles. “The more hydrated you are, the more plump, subtle, and youthful your skin will appear,” says Palinski-Wade. “In addition, staying hydrated can improve energy levels and fight against cravings, which makes it easier to stay on target with your exercise goals and healthy eating habits.”

Dress smart, not shapeless

Dress for the size you are, not the size you were – but hiding in big, baggy clothes isn’t flattering. Tailored, clean lines look sharper. “It’s not about volume but the cut of a garment,” Haver says. “It’s better to break free from hiding yourself in your clothing and stand tall and proud in well-fitting garments – not only will you look better but you’ll give yourself an emotional boost by allowing you to step into your star power.”

Seek out certain skin care ingredients

No surprise – SPF protects against free radical damage from the sun’s UV radiation that leads to collagen breakdown, sagging skin and wrinkles, says dermatologist Purvisha Patel, MD, creator of Visha Skin Care. But there are other game-changing skincare ingredients to look for, too. “Retinol and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) can rejuvenate the skin and eliminate fine lines and wrinkles,” she says. “Hyaluronic acid helps your skin retain moisture, which gives it a smooth, glowing look.”