When it comes to beauty, many women—especially at midlife and beyond—start to feel like they are not as attractive as they once were. One reason for this is because society has conditioned women to believe that, after a certain age, you are no longer beautiful. This is simply not true! Beauty is ageless. And anyone can be attractive at any age and stage of life.
The first step to becoming an ageless beauty is to learn to reject ageism, which I have written about in-depth in my book Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality and Well-Being.
There are also many simple things you can do on a daily basis to look better and boost your confidence in your own beauty starting right now.
Here are 11 ways you can be beautiful at any age:
- Find your personal style. I find that I’m particularly tuned in to the struggle many women have about dressing appropriately in our ageist culture. Once I was at a local boutique trying on clothes in a dressing room. I heard a woman say, “Is this dress too young for me?” I couldn’t help myself. I bolted out of my own dressing room to assess the situation and do an emergency intervention. The dress looked stunning, youthful, and completely lovely. So, I told her so. She ended up buying two gorgeous frocks—that would have worked on anyone 21–70! The boutique owner thanked me profusely. And as a physician, I felt I had “saved” yet another woman from the abyss of ageism and the excess stress hormones that result from feeling bad about yourself because of how long you’ve been living! Don’t think about dressing for your age. Think about what makes you feel beautiful. Then, adorn yourself with your own personal style. Don’t be embarrassed about developing a style that’s perfect for you right now—or asking someone to help you if that’s what you need. I discovered the work of Carol Tuttle, author of Dressing Your Truth, a couple years ago. Carol teaches women how to dress for their energy type—and I found her system right on the mark. I’m a type 1— bubbly energy—and I look good in bright, vibrant colors such as hot pink and yellow. But, I had avoided these colors my entire life, thinking they made me look too frivolous! I was wrong. They’re perfect for my energy. And, since discovering my true innate style, I’ve felt far more confident about how I dress and how I appear. It has nothing to do with my age. Energy doesn’t have an age.
- Take care of your skin. Your skin’s appearance is a reflection of your overall health. Plus, as we grow older, the production of the collagen that provides the underlying structure of skin is reduced. A lot of this has to do with years of stress, poor diet, environmental toxins, and gravity. But, there are simple things you can do to make your skin healthier so it will look younger and more beautiful.
- Wash off your makeup at night. Makeup holds on to free radicals that can break down the collagen in your skin. Plus, it can clog your pores and irritate your eyes. Also, be sure to exfoliate. When you slough off dead skin, your face will glow.
- Try a retinol product. Try an over-the-counter or prescription retinol. Or simply use a washcloth or face loofa. Over time, your skin’s overall appearance and texture will improve.
- Go for the glow. When you wear makeup, opt for a dewy finish over matte. Avoid powders that will sink into fine lines. Instead of matte lipsticks, try glosses and balms.
- Use a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid will help pull water into your skin. You can use it even if you are oily. And don’t forget to moisturize your neck and your hands!
- Try a product that enhances collagen. Pueraria mirifica skin creams have a substance that inhibits collagen breakdown, thus enhancing skin’s collagen. Vitamin C serums can also help to fight off free radical damage that makes skin age faster.
- Stay healthy. Most skin damage is due to cellular inflammation. So, keep your heart healthy, reduce your sugar intake (including alcohol), and lower your stress levels.
- Get your beauty sleep. Quality sleep can help to improve your skin’s appearance.
- Try IPL. Skin discoloration from sun damage can be reversed with IPL, or intermittent pulse laser, a treatment you can get from a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. This procedure works beautifully for spider veins, too.
- Eat right and exercise! As we grow older, what we eat tends to show up on our faces. You don’t have to give up completely on the foods you love, but moderation is key. Be sure to eat lots of whole fruits and vegetables. Include grapes, berries, broccoli, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. Also, be sure to eat healthy fats in the form of almonds, salmon, avocados, and olive oil to keep your skin moist and glowing. (These foods are also good for your figure.) Cut back on processed foods and alcohol. Exercise helps increase the blood flow throughout your body, and sweating helps to flush out toxins, which can help keep your skin clear. Also, be sure to drink and eat enough water to stay optimally hydrated.
- Up your supplement intake. Getting vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants through a balanced diet is important. But, you may also want to add nutritional supplements to your routine to help you feel and look better. A low-glycemic diet, along with antioxidants, will support your body optimally and help it produce collagen. Ingesting antioxidants and using them topically will also help protect your cells from free radical damage. Probiotics will help to balance your gut, which will improve your skin and your overall health. Collagen supplements may help restore your skin’s elasticity. Biotin supplements can help your skin, hair, and nails stay strong and healthy. You also want to keep your vitamin D levels optimal. Experiment a bit, go with what feels right for you, and use your intuition.
- Change your hairstyle. At midlife, the texture and color of your hair may change. Of course, hormones and the state of your health and nutrition can affect how your hair looks. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to have healthy, beautiful hair. The easiest way is to try new styles that suit your changing hair, or even experiment with hair color, wigs, extensions, and chemical or natural curlers or straighteners. If your hair is breaking off easily or not growing past a certain length, it could be that you’re under a lot of stress or not eating and sleeping well. It’s also possible that your hair can’t handle the amount of punishment it’s taking. In that case, consider taking a break from the chemicals and hairstyles that put stress on your hair follicles. Make sure you take a good pharmaceutical-grade multivitamin, and get your thyroid function tested if necessary. Oftentimes just adding a little iodine to your diet can help. An easy way to do this is with a teaspoon of wild Atlantic dulse powder added to a smoothie or soup daily. Or just take a couple kelp tablets daily.
- Adorn your feet. For me, beautiful shoes are key to feeling good about how I look. High heels make a woman’s legs appear longer, and the right pair can be incredibly sexy. That said, I consider wearing high heels an “athletic” event. I can keep them on for about two hours, tops. I can give a lecture in them or dance for a couple hours. Then they come off. No woman should wear heels all day long because they’re awful for posture and pelvic health. If you enjoy heels, there are exercises you can use to keep your feet in good condition so they support you and make problems less likely. For example, I love doing a self-massage on my feet and a series of foot stretches and exercises while soaking in a bath of Epsom salts.
- Smile. Our teeth naturally fade from a bright white to a more ivory tone as we age, but it’s possible to whiten teeth somewhat through peroxide treatments at home or at a dentist’s office. As you enter your ageless years, you might want to think about doing the dental procedures that will give you a better smile, even if you’ve put it off because it felt frivolous to invest in your own beauty. Veneers, caps, and whitening can all make you feel more confident as you smile. But make sure you don’t overdo it with the veneers. You don’t want to look like you have a line of Chiclets or piano keys in your mouth. Ultimately, the most beautiful smile is one that’s genuine. It is an expression of sheer pleasure that comes from the heart.
- Meditate. The health benefits of a daily meditation practice are significant, including decreased cortisol, weight loss, decreased anxiety, lower heart rate, and even less pain—all of which can help you look and feel more beautiful. Meditation does not have to be a long or involved ritual. Just sitting with your eyes closed or slightly open and focusing on your breath for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes before you go to bed will benefit your health and your appearance.
- Do a detox. Many people are trying detoxes and cleanses. It’s a fad that has taken hold and continues to grow. Most of us are constantly exposed to low-grade environmental toxins that can build up in our bodies. Plus, there are times, such as when you’ve had too much sugar or alcohol or when you’ve taken antibiotics, that you may feel the need to cleanse your body. In this case, good, sensible, healthy habits can certainly go a long way. And, in my experience, most people don’t need to go to extremes when it comes to detoxing or cleansing your body. Be sure to incorporate foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, and oranges into your diet, as these are packed with vitamins A and C, both of which help restore damaged collagen. Drinking 16 ounces of fresh celery juice on an empty stomach each day for a month is a good cleanse. I have also done the Colorado Cleanse regularly. It’s an Ayurvedic approach that I have really enjoyed.
- Accept yourself. The foundation of all your relationships is the relationship you have with yourself. By this time in your life, you have probably experienced puberty, a career, pregnancy, and menopause. That’s a lot of change. Becoming ageless is about truly accepting who you are and who you are not through all of the different stages of your life. When you are accepting and loving your true self, everything else falls away—including the stress caused by energy vampire relationships, which can take their toll on your health and appearance. One trick I’ve learned from Mario Martinez that can help with self-acceptance is to take a picture of yourself now. Then, find a picture of yourself from a time when you loved how you looked and felt about yourself, and live as if you were that person for 10 days. After 10 days, take another picture of yourself. You will notice that you look younger and more vibrant, and that can help to foster more self-acceptance moving forward.
- Do what makes you feel beautiful. Many women have asked me over the years, “Do you recommend plastic surgery?” While I’m not one to head to the plastic surgeon to fix every wrinkle or flaw, I understand that cosmetic surgery is the right choice for many, and I believe that for some women, plastic surgery can be a godsend—whether for their work or their own comfort. My rule of thumb is, if every time you look in the mirror there is one thing that keeps you from feeling beautiful, then perhaps fixing it is your best option. And plastic surgery and skin treatments have improved vastly in the last couple of decades.
Remember, you don’t have to invest a lot of money in clothes, hair, makeup, and procedures to feel good in your body if you expand your ideas about what constitutes beauty. As you let go of constricting ideas about beauty and the cultural shaming that affects almost all women, your beauty will start to shine through. You’ll laugh heartily, without fearing that someone might think you’re too brassy or that you shouldn’t draw attention to yourself. You won’t care about what anyone has to say regarding your personal style because you will have owned that you are a gorgeous, powerful, and ageless goddess—an expression of the life force that can’t contain its joy. That is your birthright. Claim it and celebrate it, and you’ll be an ageless beauty!
I’d love to hear your ageless beauty secrets. Please leave them in the comments section below.