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 Secrets of People Who Age Gracefully

 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 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. Applying sunscreen every morning is a must, along with keeping cells plump and hydrated with moisturizer.

Retinoids are where the magic happen. Dermatologists consistently recommend them because the vitamin A derivative essentially teaches your skin to act young again, stimulating the collagen that prevents fine lines.

They get a move on- Whatever your motivation  to work out —feeling good, blowing off stress, losing weight—you can add one more to the list: staying young. In a study on older adults ,those who exercised functioned physiologically similar to younger people. So it keeps you young on the inside, but what about the outside? “Your skin is the largest organ in your body and the only one you can see. Anything that’s good for your body is good for your skin.”

While you may have heard warnings that certain workouts (namely running) can cause wrinkles and sagging from the up-and-down motion, that’s not the case. Whatever you love doing—whether that’s running, spinning, or lifting—keep on doing it.

They don’t hide behind makeup- If you have wrinkles, brown spots, and bags, you’re probably tempted to slap on a thick coat of foundation and powder all over your face. That technique backfires. “Makeup” can’t completely cover aging. More is not more.” Translation: don’t cake it on, but rather build it by layering. She likes starting off with a blurring primer (like L’Oreal RevitaLift Miracle Blur, R280.00 at clicks) to disguise the signs of discoloration and hyperpigmentation. Top it off with a liquid foundation (it doesn’t settle into lines like heavier cream formulations, which is best for mature skin), dust your T-zone with translucent powder, and finish with a cream blush for a youthful, healthy glow.

 They tend to their hands- Your face and hands are two body parts that get the most sun. But since you’re busy slathering on moisturizers and anti-aging products on your face, your complexion may look young while your hands betray that with brown spots and wrinkles. The same exact products you use for your face can go on your hands. So when you use a retinoid at night, rub a small amount to the backs of your hands. After slathering on a good SPF moisturizer in the morning, do the same for your hands. You get the drill.

They exude confidence-Women who age gracefully have something big in common: . “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.”

They revise their style-  Do you still sport the same long hair you wore for prom? Have you avoided changing your style since you got your first job? “A lot of women struggle to get out of a style rut and they run the risk of looking like they’re stuck in a time warp. In this case, it’s not really about your choice (like long versus short hair) but the message it sends to the world—and yourself about your age. That’s why i recommend finding a new style that works for your life today. The right cut can pay off in other ways. In a 2010 study, women who got their hair coloured or cut and thought they looked younger had lower blood pressure. See, looking good is healthy.

They are up on the latest trends-  Being a certain age doesn’t mean you have to morph into an “older” style. “Women who age gracefully don’t step aside from trends because of their age.” One example: wearing a classic and great fitting jean (that doesn’t have to be on trend) with an of-the-moment funky colour shoe or accessory. “That gives your look that extra secret sauce. It’s a great instant energy booster.” 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. “You’ll need a super sharp sophisticated cut to really show it off.” I  recommend 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.

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. 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. “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

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