beautiful middle aged woman

In our recent survey of women over 40 about their beauty and skin care habits and attitudes, we asked them what advice they would they give their younger selves, looking back on a lifetime of beauty experience. Close to half of all respondents said “Stay out of the sun.” But the other half of the responses were more varied and interesting and give a unique perspective on the beauty secrets of older women.

Here is a sampling of advice our panel would give their younger selves:

  • Don't pick at your skin
  • Exercise
  • Start using skin care products earlier
  • Buy the best you can afford, particularly organic
  • Drink more water
  • Quit smoking
  • Be consistent
  • Always wash off makeup
  • Don't forget the neck and décolletage
  • Be more educated about products and research harmful ingredients
  • Salmon oil — great supplement that helped my skin
  • No microdermabrasion
  • "Don't take a break from facials"
  • Sleep on your back
  • Find a good dermatologist
  • Maintain your weight for the sake of your jawline

The Eyes Have It

  • Use eye cream
  • Stop rubbing your eyes!
  • Start eye creams early
  • Watch out for contact lenses and stretching the skin around the eyes

Eat Clean!

  • Do not eat sugar
  • Drink more water, less wine
  • Eat a proper diet with loads of veggies/fruits
  • Stop eating gluten and sugar if you want your skin to break out a lot less!


  • Enjoy each birthday!
  • "Enjoy it — age happens!"
  • "Enoy it while you have it!"
  • Stop frowning!
  • Enjoy it! Because 10 years from now you will wish you looked this good!
  • Take care of what you've got now
  • Appreciate each and every step and stage of life. Remain in gratitude for who you are. Let your outsides reflect your true spirit inside. Let your Light shine!! :)
  • Actually, I would tell my younger self that I looked gorgeous and to keep it up.
  • Don't take your good skin for granted

Avoid Stress

  • Stay single! Relationships are a real stressor and age expeditor.
  • I'd tell myself to enjoy it rather than to stress about unimportant crap.
  • Aerobic exercise on a regular basis to reduce stress

Give Yourself a Break!

  • Not to judge myself so harshly. To be comfortable in my own skin
  • Eat right and get more sleep.  And most important, do not be so hard on yourself
  • Don't compare yourself to others. Ever.
  • I would tell myself, "You are beautiful, know that you are capable of more than you know, beauty is more than skin deep."
  • Be kinder to myself, my body. Love and accept myself and my skin. Nourish my body, eat well, enjoy food. To not waste time obsessing over perceived imperfections/body parts; to not fragment myself in that way (I'm a whole person, not a collection of body parts).

Say No to Makeup

  • Invest in skin care not makeup
  • Less is more
  • Wear less makeup, go for natural and remember that beauty is on the inside
  • Don't wear so much makeup. Enjoy what you look like and don't worry about having to leave the house all made up.

Some Final Words of Wisdom

  • "More sunscreen, use more gentle products, don't pick at your skin, eat more greens and drink more water— but know everything has been great for future me! Thanks for all you did right all those years."
  • "Place a scarf and gloves in car to protect facial profile and hand from sun when driving"
  • "Take better care of your hands; Use gloves, keep your bare hands out of bleach water and other cleaning products. Moisturize more and use SPF on hands."
  • "Avoid sun, be healthy in general, don't fall for celeb endorsements or fake reviews and ads. Listen to people you know who have tried things over time."
  • "Being happy and healthy are the keys to long-term beauty. Without them, all the artifice in the world can't make a person beautiful."
  • "You are the age you are, so accept it and look as good as you can for as long as you can. It's a relative process. Looking younger does not make you a better person, but taking pride in your appearance at any age is good for the soul."

Read more:

Report: 50s and 60s Top Skin Concerns

Report: 30s and 40s Top Skin Concerns

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