Life is complicated enough without worrying about the 1,001 rules you have to follow to postpone the whole aging-gracefully thing. That’s why we asked three anti-aging pros for their simplest, most effective tips for turning back the clock (minus the needles, of course!). Here’s how you can take it easy and still take a few years off your face.
#1 Get your beauty sleep. “The biggest compliment someone can give is to tell you that you look well rested,” says Doris Day, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the New York University Langone Medical Center. Even better, sleep is one of the few beauty “products” that don’t cost you a penny! Aim for at eight hours a night.
#2 Stay out of hot water. “Women often ask me why their skin becomes ruddier as they age, and often the answer is that they’ve been washing with water that’s too hot,” explains Macrene Alexiades, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale University School of Medicine “When you’re 20, you can take a hot shower, be red and swollen, and recover in an hour. In your 30s, it’ll take a few hours, and by the time you’re in your 40s, your skin just doesn’t have the ability to shrink back to its original state.” To keep redness at bay and maintain youthful elasticity, shower and bathe with the coolest water you can tolerate.
#3 Covet thy concealer. “You don’t see many young people with dark circles under their eyes,” says Maybelline makeup pro Gabriel Almodovar. Fake that youthful brightness with a liquid concealer like Lancôme Maquicomplet Liquid Concealer. For natural-looking coverage, press it into the skin and blend with your ring finger, making sure there’s no space between your lower lash line and the concealer.
#4 Drink plenty of water. “It makes your skin fuller since the hyaluronic acid that naturally exists in the skin will pull in and hold the water,” explains Day. “But make sure to watch your salt intake too, or you’ll look puffy in all the wrong places.” Eight glasses of H2O each day is the minimum, and you should up your intake depending on your activity level.
#5 Apply moisturizer asap. “You only have a couple of minutes to lock in hydration after you bathe, and the clock starts ticking the minute you pat skin dry,” says Alexiades. Lock in moisture by applying a product with dimethicone, a silicone-based humectant, and you’ll see plumping and an improvement in the appearance of fine lines as skin drinks up the moisture (like the difference between a raisin and a grape). Try Ole Henriksen Nurture Me.
#6 Slather on the sunscreen. We know, we know—you’ve heard it a million times, but wearing sunscreen (we like: Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+) is the single easiest way to look younger for life! “Ninety percent of wrinkles are from sun exposure,” says Day. “It’s so much easier to prevent the damage than it is to fix it aftewards.”
#7 Define your brows. Eyebrows give structure to the entire face, not just the eyes. The right shape can visually “lift” the eye area, while an ample thickness looks years younger than skimpy, overplucked arches. To define them, Almodovar recommends starting with an eye pencil in a shade that’s slightly darker than your hair color. Draw quick, small strokes that emulate your brow hairs, and finish with a comb to soften the pencil strokes. Try Maybelline Define-A-Brow, a pencil/comb combo.
#8 Exfoliate! Cellular renewal slows down as we age, which is why skin often trades in the luminous glow of youth for a dull, lackluster tone. Exfoliating with a mild scrub like La Roche-Posay Biomedic Micro Exfoliating Scrub once or twice a week helps remove the outer layer of cells that need a little nudge to come off and reveal the smooth, glowing skin underneath. “Be careful not to be too aggressive,” warns Day. “You don’t want to strip the skin or make it blotchy or irritated.”
#9 Plump up your pout. As we age, our lips get thinner. Add fullness in seconds by choosing a lipliner that’s an exact match to your natural lip color. “Then you can slightly overdraw your lip line, creating a bigger, more defined mouth,” says Almodovar. Follow with lipstick and a dab of gloss in the center of the mouth. Try Hourglass Trace Lip Liner.