Aging & Beauty Tips

"One is not born a woman, one becomes one." - Simone De Beauvoir

50 Aging Beautifully Tips

  1. There is a time for the loveliness of youth and a time for the beauty of aging. Beauty does not belong only to the young. If you can learn to relax with where you are right now, instead of being futilely attached to your youth, a softening will occur that will not only melt away your anxiety and fear of aging, but will actually make you appear younger and more radiant.
  2. As with most experiences in life, the more we resist change, the more painful and challenging the experience of change becomes. Worrying about something we ultimately have little control over only adds more wrinkles and stress, which then makes us look older—the very thing we are trying to avoid. The more we resist our natural aging process—instead of embracing the inevitable changes that come with the passing years— the more desperate and fearful we become.
  3. Embracing and accepting your age does not mean that you allow yourself to be defined by a calendar number or the opinions and judgments thrust upon you by a society that worships youth. It does mean that when you stand strong in who you are, and what you have learned as a woman at the height of your power, then midlife, with all it's scary and unknown terrain, has the promise and potential to be the best time in your life.
  4. The first step to personal freedom is to be honest about your biological age. The more we mid-age women are able to step forward and own our true age, the further we advance in freeing ourselves and each other from the social stereotypes of how midlife should look.
  5. With each new year you can choose to age with dignity and grace. You may not be particularly fond of the age spots and wrinkles you have earned on your short journey through life, but they are part of you. If you can't love them, at least learn to accept them.
  6. Your midlife is a golden opportunity to begin this next stage of life with excitement and a sense of adventure, opening up to all the possibilities and joy that aging can bring. The wisdom of life experience and the clarity and perspective it offers is just one of the many assets of aging.
  7. Clinging to false youth at any cost takes away the dignity of the natural passages and cycles of life. Experience, confidence, wisdom, insight, and appreciation of life cannot be bought in a jar of the latest anti-wrinkle cream or cosmetic surgery. They are free, however, for any woman who is ready to make some positive choices and create a better life for herself from the inside out.
  8. Hopefully there comes a point in a woman's maturing where being considered sexy is not a major priority and she has the insight to realize that trying a little too hard becomes a turn-off rather than a turn-on. Sexy is about attitude and confidence, not how short your skirt is or how low your neckline.
  9. A face and eyes that glow with intelligence, kindness, and the serenity derived from a life well lived is a gift of beauty to be beheld. When you are at ease in your skin and you allow the radiance of your inner light to shine forth, you are beautiful. You have so much to bring to the world—don't limit yourself by living in fear and panic. Learn to relax, let go, and smile. It will do more for you than a face-lift. And remember: even a sixteen-year-old will be sixty one day—if she's lucky.
  10. All change begins with a single thought. To change your reality of aging, you must start with changing your perceptions. The adage you are as young as you feel might best be changed to you are as young as you think. When it comes to your health and aging, the body and mind are so profoundly connected that what you think eventually reflects back in your body. The power to affect your health and happiness is in your hands, or to be more precise, in your mind.
  11. We begin to age the moment we are born, but how well you age depends on how well you take care of yourself. The truth is that lifestyle has more to do with how we age than genetics. Everyday we have the capacity to affect our physical, emotional, and mental health by how we think. If each day you tell yourself that you are old and unhealthy, how can you possibly feel young and fit? Growing old does not mean a progressive decline in mental and physical capabilities—unless you believe it to be so.
  12. There is no magic wand you can wave that can take you from unhealthy to healthy. You can go on a fad diet and loose ten pounds, but once you go back to your old eating patterns, you'll put it right back on. If you feel disgusted with yourself after you've eaten that sixth slice of pizza or tub of Cold Stone ice cream, then don't eat it. Sorry ladies but discipline and self-control is the only way. Only you can do that for yourself. It's simple but powerful, though granted, not always easy. If you succumb to temptation like we all do from time to time, just patiently and lovingly start over again.
  13. Your body and mind are inseparable, so protect your health by guarding your thoughts. Don't get old in your head! You are as young as you determine yourself to be. Do the work and reap the rewards. Women are making big and small changes every day, and so can you. Know you are worth your very best efforts, and then make your moves.
  14. With age finally comes the understanding that we get to choose what to let go of and what is worth holding on to. Ask yourself which beliefs and memories benefit your future and which are best left in the past where they belong?
  15. There is no third party out to get you. We harm ourselves the most by clinging to this false belief and alienate ourselves from others in the process. The interesting thing about life is it often shows up the way we expect it to. The universe corresponds by agreeing with what you believe. Expect goodness and grace, and you will attract it into your experience. Expect others to treat you poorly, and guess what, they will.
  16. There is no greater freedom from the past than when we learn to forgive. The inability to forgive festers in our body and can create havoc with our mental, physical, and emotional health. It poisons the mind and makes us feel ugly inside, which in turn affects how we appear on the outside.
  17. Learning to look at life with fresh eyes and childlike wonder can transform our lives at any age. It's not age that makes us old—it's attitude. We all have moments when we feel weary from the challenges of life, and waking up each day can, on occasion, fill us with dread and angst instead of enthusiasm. We can learn to cultivate a youthful mind and vibrant spirit at any calendar age; we just need the desire to do so.
  18. Aging is often associated with stagnation and rigidity, whereas youthfulness is associated with spontaneity and flexibility. A curious and passionate love for life rejuvenates every cell in your body, and can ward off disease and decay, which makes the journey through life more pleasurable. How's that for incentive!
  19. It's up to you to cultivate new ways to enrich and celebrate your own one-of-kind life. Life isn't going to wait for us. The degree to which we enjoy life often depends on the degree to which we engage ourselves in the miracle of creation all around us. Learn to be curious about life and people. Take an interest in others. Surprise yourself and allow life to surprise you. Try on new personas and see yourself from as many fresh and unique angles as possible.
  20. Give yourself permission to be amazed and in awe. The kind of pleasures I am talking about are usually free or inexpensive and don't harm you or anyone else. So indulge yourself in life; the world is filled with things for you to savor and enjoy. All you need is your active participation and appreciation. Engage yourself fully in your life instead of letting it pass you by. A happy life springs forth from simple, pleasure-filled moments that are right where we are. We are so conditioned to be busy and productive that we feel guilty if we take time out to rest, stare at our toes, or watch the fluffy clouds roll by.
  21. To keep our minds youthful, we need the experience of new adventures. What better way to find adventure and stay open to chance and pleasure than when we travel. Nothing broadens our minds more than travel and seeing how people live in other parts of the world. When we experience the riches of other cultures, our own lives become richer because of it.
  22. Laugh, laugh, laugh—especially at yourself. Laughter is a sure way to keep us young at heart. It feels good to be silly and loose as opposed to tense and uptight. Laughter can relieve depression and the anxiety of aging and is a great opportunity to reconnect with our childlike goofiness. It takes wisdom to allow yourself to be foolish. Sometimes we take ourselves far too seriously.
  23. Life is a mixed bag of experiences, but you decide how much pleasure and joy you allow or deprive yourself. Enjoy it all—this flawed, imperfect, beautiful, fleeting life. Cry when you need to, and even when you don't. Laugh until you cry. Find something to celebrate everyday.
  24. Great sex starts in the mind, can ward off all sorts of age-related problems, and improve your overall health. It can lower blood pressure, relieve stress, and protect your heart. Yes, sex is very good for you. It feels good and can be a lot of fun. There are lots of things we women can do to enhance our sexual pleasure. First is the realization that sexual pleasure is your birthright. Then you have to learn how to turn yourself on. The vagina is a muscle, and you have to use it or it can shrink and lose its elasticity.
  25. If you don't feel attractive, it's hard to enjoy sex. Hopefully, as we age we learn to forge a healthy connection with our body; we identify the parts we love (slim legs, pretty eyes, gorgeous hair, etc.), and we make peace with the parts we're not so enthralled with. As a rule, when men are having sex they are usually not focused on your individual body parts, and neither should you.
  26. Very few women reach orgasm through intercourse alone, and many women say they can't imagine life without their little pleasure toy. Masturbation is an excellent way to practice self-reliance. Explore your own body and find out what feels good to you so you can ask your partner specifically what you want in bed.
  27. Some menopausal women also experience a diminished libido often caused by stress, such as elderly parents, health problems, or any number of challenging life issues. Remember, men's desires and abilities change over time too: they may have some plumbing problems and trouble sustaining an erection, or take longer to become physically aroused. Sex doesn't always have to be about penetration. Foreplay and oral sex can be the main event again like it was when we were adolescents.
  28. Spontaneous sex is fantastic in theory, but the fact is that it's hard to maintain some degree of mystery inherent in new and adventurous sex with the inevitable predictability of a long and even deeply close relationship. Even the randiest couples have to endure an occasional dry spell. When we disconnect sexually, we run the risk of drifting apart in more ways than just the physical. It's a bit of a catch-22 because when we don't feel emotionally close to our partner, we don't want to have sex, and the less we connect sexually, the more distant we feel emotionally. Waiting to be "in the mood" doesn't work. If you're waiting for the perfect moment, it may never appear. We have to create the mood ourselves and make it happen.
  29. Too much merging together can kill desire, even when two individuals love each other deeply. Time apart is essential if you want to keep your relationship and sex together fresh and energized. It gives us the opportunity to be missed, and so much more to share when we come back together. We can take comfort in stability and closeness without completely dousing out the sparks. We don't necessarily have to give up one to get the other. When you are together all the time and think you know your partner so well that there're no surprises, sustained desire becomes impossible.
  30. Sometimes you may need more sex, sometimes less. Sometimes we want sweet, loving sex, and sometimes we want more heat and spice. Sometimes we don't want any sex at all, and sometimes we want sex but just can't get it. Wherever you're at, know your needs and do your best to have them met one way or another.
  31. We have to learn to think differently and stop beating ourselves up so much. It takes vigilant determination not to let yourself get swept away in the losing game of comparing yourself to another woman, especially the actress or celebrity of the moment. It is a contest you can never win and will only leave you feeling more miserable than ever. If you sit around reading celebrity gossip magazines, will it make you happier? No, it will just push you into a downward spiral of self-disgust and judgment. No wonder most women feel bad about their looks. Isn't it time we stop buying into this demeaning nonsense?
  32. Start your day with five minutes of self-appreciation. Stand before a mirror and praise yourself lavishly. If you burst out laughing, that's okay. You might feel a bit foolish at first, but do it anyway. You'll get used to it eventually, and if the best comment you can come up with is not bad, then that's a pretty good start.
  33. We know that much of what we see in Hollywood is an illusion. But nothing is more of an illusion than the fake images that are presented to us on magazine covers and beauty ads. Many hours and many tools go into perfecting one single look, not to mention the liberal airbrushing away of any slight flaw or imperfection. More magazine is probably the only magazine I know that generally refrains from this practice. Next time you look at the cover of a famous celebrity and lament over how you could never look like that, remember all the tricks and time that went into producing that one perfect image.
  34. Comparing steals away your energy and zaps your self-confidence, so why not use that energy to practice building your self-esteem up instead of tearing it down. Or at least compare yourself to someone your own age. Learn to have compassion for every part of your body, especially the parts you don't like. How can you possibly be satisfied with your looks and your life after time wasted on self-flagellation? So put down your whip, your People and Us magazines—with their ridiculous lists of the world's most beautiful people—and spend some time loving and appreciating the beauty that is you.
  35. Self-care is a positive, nurturing act of loving kindness toward oneself. Caring for yourself is a divine expression of your belief in your true worthiness. It is a declaration that says, I deserve to be nurtured and treated exceptionally well by others and most importantly by myself. The problem is that many women don't feel they are worthy and deserving and give to others while neglecting themselves.
  36. There's one thing I know for sure: it is very rare that time for yourself is offered to you. We have to make the time and space to nurture ourselves without asking permission from anyone. Set your intention to make yourself a priority in your life, not the last on the list after everyone in your family has been taken care of.
  37. The most important first step toward healthy self-care is to toss out the self-criticism and practice speaking kindly to yourself. It has to start there. The silent voice in your head is the one you hear all the time, so let the words be sweet and merciful. Promise yourself each morning: no self-criticism today.
  38. Ask yourself on a daily basis, what are my needs? Start with basic stuff like rest, food, sleep, and exercise, and then move on to the bigger things, like getting annual medical exams. It's your responsibility to yourself to be informed and proactive. Many diseases can be prevented or treated with early detection. Be vigilant about your medical care and know your family history. Consult regularly with your primary medical doctor and gynecologist to stay on top of your midlife tune-up and individual medical requirements. At midlife, a bone density test and colon exam need to be added to your annual maintenance list.
  39. Endurance and resilience are fine qualities in anyone, but suffering in silence at the expense of one's health and sanity is not. When we are afraid to speak out, all that anger stays bottled up inside of us somewhere, ready to explode when we, and those around us, least expect it. That, or it shows up in our bodies as disease and mental unrest in the form of repression and neurosis. Taking good care of oneself is a necessity, not a luxury or indulgence. So be your own best friend and most ardent supporter.
  40. Our appearance is the first thing people notice about us before they have the opportunity to know the fabulous you on the inside. The way in which we present ourselves to the world is indicative of how we view ourselves. Unfortunately, women sometimes have the misconception that self-care equals superficial vanity. Not so. And besides, what's wrong with a little old-fashioned vanity and primping?
  41. Sometimes we literally forget to breathe. When we are stressed and tense, we hold ourselves so tightly that we actually withhold the breath. Most of us are accustomed to shallow chest breathing instead of the deep abdominal breath that restores and rejuvenates every cell in the body. There are so many incredible healing benefits to breathing correctly, and you don't need to go anywhere or buy anything to do it.
  42. With so much information available to us on the connection between the food we eat and how well we age, it's amazing that many women still put junk in their bodies. Genetics may determine to a certain degree your basic body type and natural weight range, but you have a huge say in where you end up in that particular range. It's not about being a size two or four; it's about being healthy for your body type.
  43. It's just not possible to be healthy and lead a sedentary life style. There's no way around that, and no excuse. Everyone can walk or dance around the living room, even if you can't afford to join a gym. The hard fact is the older we get, the more important exercise becomes. It's best to do some form of exercise every day, but even three times a week can make a huge difference in how you look and feel.
  44. A serious commitment to daily exercise can add years to your life and keep you more fit than ever. Aging does not mean your body has to atrophy or decay, but if you don't get moving, that's what happens. No one can exercise for you—it's up to you—so no more excuses. Stop waiting to be in the mood for exercise, and just do it.
  45. Menopause is another transition in life that has the potential to be a positive experience if we choose to think of it that way. Yes, it can be annoying at best and sometimes downright awful. But it is not a disease as we have falsely been led to believe. If you think of it that way, it will only add to your misery. Go beyond the outdated notions that menopause means the end of your femininity, allure, and sex appeal. The end of your menstrual periods is the beginning of a new crossroad and opportunity for personal reinvention. Heed the wisdom of your all-knowing inner goddess and discard any false beliefs that limit you from living your life to its fabulous fullest.
  46. Research shows that meditation is one of the most direct and effective ways to reverse aging and improve your overall health. It is that powerful. It is also the most potent beauty secret you will ever find and available to anyone willing to learn a few simple guidelines.
  47. Everything in your life will be greatly enhanced when you make regular meditation a daily habit. Your life will begin to look and feel better, and so will you. It will help you feel both relaxed and energized. A calm focused mind will also help improve your memory and concentration, and help you sleep better too. If you want a healthier mind (and who doesn't), learn to meditate.
  48. Self-sufficiency in a woman is a very attractive quality, and most importantly, it fosters a sense of empowerment when one knows how to enjoy and value her own company first. We then enjoy others more. When we come together with friends and loved ones, it is because we choose to, and not because we are needy and desperate. Instead of wondering about the emotional wellness of people who enjoy their own company, perhaps we should be concerned about the person who can never be alone.
  49. Feeling beautiful at any age depends to a large degree on the quality of our relationships—with marriage being the most significant for many women. The person we choose to be our marriage partner can have a profound affect on our health and aging. A healthy marriage can add years to your life, while a dysfunctional marriage can make you feel old before your time. Also, it seems to me that a woman who has been fully loved and treasured doesn't mourn the passing of her youth as much as one who has not.
  50. If we desire to greet death with an open heart and peaceful mind, the time to start preparing is now. If we want to die well, we must begin to live well. How we live our lives from moment to moment will be reflected in how we experience death. That is why it's so important to take care of unfinished business while you still can. No more putting off till tomorrow when you may never have that chance again. How would you live your life differently if you knew you had only six months left to live? Ask yourself this question, and see if it doesn't wake you up from sleepwalking through your life. If your answer is there isn't much I would change, then you are on track. If, however, the question sends you into a crazed panic, then you don't have a moment to lose to make some necessary changes in your life.

(Not so Secret) Beauty Secrets

  1. Start the day with a cup of hot water, fresh ground ginger and half a lemon. It's great for your complexion and excellent for digestion and bowel elimination.
  2. Posture is high up on my list of potent and completely free beauty secrets. If you want to take years off your age and pounds off your body, then learn to stand straight and tall. Pilates and yoga are excellent for posture as they help strengthen the stomach and lower back which is the trunk or core part of our bodies.
  3. The one beauty aid I absolutely cannot do without is sleep. Most women need more sleep, not less. There is a reason we call it 'beauty sleep.' When we have deep restful sleep we not only look better, we wake feeling refreshed and full of energy.
  4. A warm open smile can make a huge difference in how we look. Nothing beats a beautiful smile but let's face it, yellowish, coffee and nicotine stained teeth are not attractive. Try professional whitening or Target brand whitening kits. Another option which I use daily is to take one capful of 3% hydrogen peroxide and swish it around in your mouth for 5 minutes before you go to sleep at night. Inexpensive and very effective.
  5. As we age our hair needs more moisture so I only wash my hair every 4-5 days. It's also good to rotate shampoos and conditioners and deep condition every few weeks. My favorite shampoo-conditioner combo is WEN cleansing conditioner by Chaz Dean. It's a miracle in a bottle. To brighten your face, highlight your hair a shade or two lighter around the front hairline.
  6. Beautiful skin is possible for any woman at any age. Here is my mini checklist for great skin:
    • • Stop smoking (or best never start).
    • • Don't use body soap on your face. Regular perfumed soaps and grainy scrubs are too harsh for sensitive facial skin. Try Cetaphil cleanser or DHC's Deep Cleansing Oil instead.
    • • No matter how tired you are, never go to sleep at night with makeup on. Keep a box of moist facial wipes and a bottle of moisturizer on your bedside table for easy access.
  7. Skin care basic essentials.
    • • Sunscreen. If you don't liberally apply a broad spectrum high SPF sunscreen everyday (yes even in winter, especially in California), don't bother wasting your time doing anything else.
    • • Retinoids. Prescription retinoids are still considered top of the line in fighting sun damage and erasing fine wrinkles. For prescription strength use Retin-A, Renova or Tazorac. With even less potent over-the-counter retinoid products like Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle serum you should still notice results after several weeks.
    • • Antioxidants. For extra protection against the sun and added defense against environmental stress use a moisturizer or serum filled with nutrients such as soy, topical green tea and vitamin C.
  8. Makeup. As I get older I stick to the less-is-more approach to makeup. The goal is to look fresh and radiant, not overly made-up. These are my makeup basics:
    • • Under-eye concealer. Use a yellow toned concealer that isn't too dry or chalky. A good concealer is as important as wearing a well fitted bra so invest in a high quality one.
    • • Foundation. A light weight foundation in a beige yellow tone looks most natural. I like a tinted moisturizer for everyday use and for more coverage I'll use a stick foundation or Bare Mineral foundation.
    • • Powder. Again look for a silky powder in a lightweight translucent yellow tone. I don't use a lot of powder and sometimes prefer to use Japanese rice paper to blot excess shine.
  9. Miscellaneous tips.
    • • I like cream blush in the winter and powder blush in the summer. I think everyone looks better with a little color, I know I do. Jergens Natural Glow moisturizer with a self tanner for your face and body is the most natural looking and works well for most skin tones.
    • • Use a flesh toned lip pencil to enhance your natural lip line and prevent lipstick or gloss from bleeding. Avoid dark shades of pencil and lipstick as they make thin lips look thinner. Use pinkish nude tones instead or try a flattering classic bright red for an evening look.
    • • Stick with neutral shades of brown or gray for eye shadow and avoid shades that are too glittery and bright.
    • • And finally, well-groomed brows with perfect arches give your face a polished and put-together look. For sparse brows fill in the gaps with a brownish taupe eyebrow pencil and finish off with a clear brow gel. For stubborn gray hairs use Men's Only Moustache and Sideburn Dye. It's the only product I have found that does the job.
For more extensive beauty secrets and tips check out the Love Your Body section in my new book, The Beauty Of Aging.