1. Be sun smart
You’ve heard it before, but wearing SPF 15 or 30 every day will keep you looking younger longer. “Sun protection is always key, whatever your age,” says Michael Davis, dermatologist and medical director of dermatology at Spa Medica in Toronto. “Even if sun damage has already occurred, continued use of sunscreen will prevent further damage.” Remember to apply SPF daily to often-forgotten areas, too, such as the neck and décolletage.
2. Clean your face at bedtime
“Thorough cleansing will prevent pore blockage, which can lead to acne,” says Davis. Whatever your skin type, consider a cleansing oil to remove all traces of waterproof or long-wearing makeup and water-resistant SPF. Believe it or not, it won’t clog your pores.
With the passage of time, our skin’s natural renewing ability slows, which can lead to a dull, patchy complexion. Help out with regular use of a gentle exfoliant to clear dead skin cells, smooth the skin’s surface and boost circulation. Bonus: Exfoliation will prepare your skin â€“ face and body â€“ for optimal moisture absorption
4. Add serums to your regime
Serums have a higher concentration of active ingredients. Apply to freshly cleansed skin before moisturizer.
Crank up skin’s luminosity with moisturizers containing light-reflective properties.
6. Banish red
Hyperpigmented patches or rosacea will add years to your face. Address the issue with anti-redness products.
7. Hydrate your skin
Combat dryness with moisturizers containing hyaluronic acid (it appears as sodium hyaluronate on the label), a super-hydrating ingredient that binds moisture to the skin. And boost hydration in minutes with a pre-moistened facial mask. These are particularly good if you are prepping for a special event or spend a lot of time in airplanes and your skin feels parched and thirsty.
8. Keep your pucker primed
For soft, hydrated and kissable lips, wet a washcloth with hot water, wring it out, then use it to buff lips lightly. Follow with lip balm.
9. Don’t be afraid of acids
Look to alpha-hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid, to help skin shed complexion-dulling dead layers, improve skin’s ability to absorb moisturizer and other anti-ageing ingredients, and reduce fine lines. But they can increase sun sensitivity, so use your sunscreen religiously.
10. Target wrinkles
Retinol reduces the appearance of wrinkles and stimulates collagen production, which helps keep your skin plump and smooth.
11. C the difference
Vitamin C helps brighten the complexion and firm the skin.
12. Get a faux glow
Lotions with a hint of self-tanner give you an overall youthful, rested and relaxed glow.
13. Pamper your hands
Keep them groomed and hydrated; use rubber gloves when dishwashing or housecleaning; keep your cuticles cared for; and wear your nails shorter in a modern, youthful mani. Trade in the tired French manicure for a sophisticated nude shade. And don’t forget to slather your hands with sunscreen. “When patients complain about how old their hands look, it’s almost always about the freckles and sun spots,” says Spa Medica’s Davis.
14. Chop, chop
“Go no longer than 10 weeks without a trim and avoid stiff hairstyles,” says stylist Jami Symons, owner of Jami Symons salon in Calgary and artistic director for AG Hair Cosmetics.
Dark hair against pale skin gets less flattering as we age. Ask your colourist for highlights around your face, or “lighten your base colour a couple of shades,” says stylist Howard Barr, owner of The Howard Barr Studio and Canadian creative consultant for John Frieda hair products. Crank up your hair’s shine with DIY shine kits or in-shower glaze treatments.
16. Bang on
Opt for bangs unless you have a small forehead. “Whatever your age, they soften the face and put the focus on your eyes,” says hair and makeup artist Alexis Jardin. “I like them slightly long, a little past the brows, so you can sweep them to the side to change things up.”
17. Have touchable hair
A look-younger do should appear effortless, so get a cut that works with your hair’s texture and requires little maintenance. If you’re a hairspray addict, seek lightweight sprays that hold your style without stiffness or stickiness. And don’t be afraid to go big: Voluminous hair is healthy and young-looking. If your locks are on the thin side, work with your stylist to find a cut that makes them look thicker, and stock up on volumizing hair-care and styling products. “Hot rollers in varying sizes set randomly all over your hair will do the trick,” says John Steinberg at John Steinberg and Associates in Toronto.
Do it regularly, especially if your hair is dry or over-processed. Implement a zero-tolerance policy on split ends. If ignored, they travel up the hair shaft, increasing frizz. And prep with protective serum or spray. Steinberg’s conditioning choice: “Kérastase hair care: It’s expensive, but so worth it.”
A foundation primer instantly minimizes large pores and fine lines to smooth skin’s surface and help makeup glide on. (Wrinkle or line fillers are essentially primers you tap on over grooves and fine lines to create a wrinkle-reduced surface before you apply makeup.)
20. Lighten up
Concealer can downplay age-related shadows. Choose emollient formulas a half shade lighter than your skin tone and apply under the eyes and at the base of your nose. Brightener along brow bones, at the inner corners of the eyes and down the nose will make you look perkier instantly.
21. Bat those lashes
“Use very black mascara,” says Eddie Maleterre, makeup artist for L’Oréal. “Wiggle the wand at the base of the lashes to make the roots look thick before sweeping the brush to the tips.” And try false lashes at the outer corners of your eyes.
22. Take it easy
“Less makeup is more youthful,” says makeup artist and Cover Girl Pro Paul Venoit. “But it doesn’t mean no makeup. Foundation in particular helps gives the complexion a fresher finish.”
23. Leave fluorescents to the kids
Stick to complexion-flattering palettes that take their cue from your natural skin tone: rosy pink, peach, copper and bronze. That said, if you have an uncontrollable yen for a pop of colour, put the focus on your eyes with a sheer wash of bright shadow on the lid only, or go for a vivid yet sheer lip colour.
24. Wing it
Heavy eyeliner can make eyes look small. Keep the line thin and work it into the base of the lashes along the upper lid. Winging liner up slightly at the outer corners is an instant eye lift. Ditto, lining only the top lash line. And curl your lashes, too. Your eyes will look bigger and brighter. A curler with a silicone or rubber pad delivers a good curve in one squeeze.
25. Support your arches
Too-thin brows can make your face look severe. Fill them in with feathery strokes using a matte eyeshadow that matches your hair colour.
26. Cream, please
Powder blush can settle in fine lines and exaggerate them, while cream blush blends better and gives healthy radiance.
27. Swear off dark matte lipstick
Instead, opt for creamy formulas with a satiny finish. And use gloss, since shine makes lips look fuller. “I like to mix gloss with lipstick on the back of the hand before applying,” says Maleterre. “It makes the lipstick more sheer and keeps the shine from being too much.”
28. Line subtly
Obvious lipliner is ageing. Instead, fill your lips in with a clear or nude liner and then blend your lip colour or gloss overtop.
29. Show those pearly whites
Teeth-whitening kits are budget-friendly and effective if you follow instructions. And take note: “Brushing immediately after consuming teeth-staining food pushes the stain deeper into the enamel,” says the Baltimore-based dentist Michelle Dozier. “Instead, rinse as soon as you can, and brush about 30 minutes later.”
30. Don’t overdo it when you dress up
“If you choose an elaborate hairstyle, tone down the makeup,” says Charla Krupp in her book How Not to Look Old (Springboard Press, 2008, $30). “If you have serious makeup, go with casual hair.”