Apply sunscreen to the neck, chest, and hands, where aging skin is most telling.
Fabulous hair, a great plastic surgeon, personal trainers, stylists, and chefs who make house calls—when it comes to maintaining a youthful appearance, it’s true, celebs have it easier than the rest of us. But, never fear, our panel of experts revealed a surprising number of ways to defy your age, and none of them require red carpet access.
The Cosmetic Dermatologist
Who: Heidi Waldorf, MD, associate clinical professor at Mount Sinai Hospital’s department of dermatology in New York.
Top Secret: Diligently apply sun protection. (You knew that was coming.) “Most women miss the jawline, neck, chest, and hands, and they’re all very telling of aging skin,” says Waldorf. Beyond that, if you’re not planning to get pregnant, use topical retinoids a few times a week. You can get them in OTC products or in higher concentrations from a dermatologist. “Studies show they help aged skin look more normal microscopically,” Waldorf says.
Next Best Tips: Once you hit 40, regular, gentle exfoliation helps keep the complexion lustrous. Of all the anti-aging products on drugstore shelves, Waldorf recommends RoC Deep Retinol Correxion Wrinkle Serum and SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum, which she calls, “chicken soup for the skin.”
The Image Consultant
Who: Kelly Machbitz, certified image consultant in Tampa, Florida, and author of All About Face.
Top Secret: Soften the eyeliner. “Women tend to go too heavy, which drags the eyes down and makes them look older,” says Machbitz Instead of black, try a slate or grey. “Then, with your pencil or brush, just dot along the rim where your lashes are, and lightly connect the dots without drawing a harsh line straight across.”
Next Best Tips: Lose the dark-outline lip trick. “You can create a much fresher look by using a nude lip liner to define the shape, and then filling in with a clear or subtle gloss,” says Machbitz. And when it comes to choosing the right foundation it’s worth a one-time splurge at the makeup counter to have a specialist help you pick the right foundation so it looks like you’re not wearing anything. Before buying, let the product dry on your skin (the color can darken) and check it outside in the daylight. Once you have the perfect shade, you can always match it with a less pricey product.
The Dating Coach
Who: Rachel Canis, professional matchmaker and president of Best Foot Forward, a Chicago dating service.
Top Secret: Downplay. “Make sure you’re not going into dead-on cougar attire,” says Canis. “I’m talking about wearing really tight clothes that show it all. I don’t care how great your body is. After a certain age, it looks like you’re trying too hard, and you just come off older.” Then again, she says, “dressing super corporate can age you too.” Young women have a sense of feeling comfortable with themselves, which is why Canis recommends mixing in some softer fabrics. “Try a structured piece with a flowy piece, or a tight tank top with a fuller jacket,” she says. “I always seem to meet people when I’m wearing a cocktail dress and a pair of funky flip-flops.”
Next Best Tips: Err on the side of less makeup, versus more. Peachy colors and a little shimmer are all you need for a young and dewy appeal, says Canis. Also trendy can be tricky. “The short, sculpted hairdos are great in your twenties, but when you’re older, they frumpify you. And at a certain age, you really don’t want to be doing green nails.”
The Photo Director
Who: Katherine Schad, director of photography at O, the Oprah Magazine.
Top Secret: If you’re posing for a photo, “black and white film is more forgiving than color,” says Schad. “And shoot outdoors—an interior flash can be glaring if the photographer isn’t a pro.” The key to projecting “young”, she says, is being relaxed. One tried-and-true trick: Look away from the camera and then turn back so the “click” will capture your spontaneous energy.
Next Best Tips: Schad, who often shoots real women for her magazine’s makeovers, re-dresses her subjects in a classic look with a fun little twist: “Maybe a cute black dress with a pair of great red shoes, or jeans and a crisp, white shirt, with an unusual appliquéd jacket,” she explains. As for hair? Overly-fussy updos are a little dated, she adds. When in doubt, get a blowout.
The “Real Age” Doctor
Who: Micheal Roizen, MD, author of RealAge: Are you as young as you can be? and coauthor, with Mehmet Oz, MD, of You: Staying Young.
Top Secret: Above and beyond everything else, the No. 1 key to looking younger is a healthy attitude, says Roizen, who chairs the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. “And the trick to that is re-focusing on how fortunate you are. Instead of griping, that jerk cut me off, you want to be thinking, At least I’m not as obnoxious as he is—or, in as much of a hurry.”
Next Best Tips: Number 2 on the list (take Roizen’s test to determine your “real age”) is avoiding cigarettes, including second-hand smoke, which is “amazingly detrimental to your skin and health.” Number three is exercise. To get maximum youth benefit for minimum sweat, find 30 minutes each day to walk, and every week do the following: a half-hour of resistance training plus three 21-minute bouts of cardio in which you go as fast as you can for the 10th and 21st minute. Not only will these interval blasts boost your metabolism, says Roizen, “but they’ll increase the size of your hippocampus, which will keep you remembering long into the future.”