With age comes wisdom, but with each birthday — and every quick glance in the mirror — also comes a host of beauty bothers that can increase anxiety and decrease our confidence. Luckily, we’ve got anti-aging beauty solutions for some of the most common complaints. Here are eight problems that crop up in our 40s and beyond, and how to fix them. Keep scrolling to see our experts’ picks for best anti-aging beauty products, home remedies, and exercises!
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Where to buy: $15.30, Amazon
Thanks to the oil-producing hormones that start to rage again in midlife, those breakouts you thought you left behind with high-school graduation? They’re baaack! What can help: a glycolic acid toner. “The astringent acid removes pore-clogging oil and toxins to reduce the occurrence of acne, but it also attracts moisture into skin, so it won’t dry out the complexion like many acne-fighters do,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman. To get breakouts under control, saturate a cotton ball with this toner and sweep onto clean, dry skin once a day for blemish-free skin within two weeks.
Where to buy: $21.99, Amazon
The eyes may be the window to the soul, but according to surveys, they’re also a dead giveaway of our age. Since the skin that surrounds eyes is 10 times thinner than anywhere else on the face, it’s the first to crease as collagen begins to decline, says Heather Wilson, aesthetician and director of brand development for InstaNatural Skin Care. Her expert advice: Pick an eye cream infused with peptides. Comprised of amino acid, peptides increase collagen production to help plump and firm the delicate skin around the eyes while moisturizing the area so it remains line-free. Simply massage a pea-size amount of this cream onto skin around the eyes twice a day for smoother skin in just four weeks.
Where to buy: $27.59, Amazon
A slower cell turnover rate (which means dead, flat cells live on skin’s surface that much longer) leaves our skin looking parched and lackluster, says Wilson. To the rescue: an anti-aging beauty solution scrub made with sugar, strawberries, and olive oil. Sugar’s granules slough off dead cells, strawberry’s vitamin C brightens and olive oil’s fatty acids deeply hydrate. Just mix 1 Tbs. of sugar, 1 Tbs. of mashed strawberries and 1 Tbs. of olive oil, rub onto damp skin, and rinse. Use twice a week for fresh, glowing skin in two weeks. Don’t want to wait? This cheek gel offers a quicker fix! Just two drops will give you a dewy flush that instantly wakes up your complexion!
Where to buy: $18.99, Amazon
Remember when freckles were considered cute? Thanks to years of sun exposure and a shift in hormones that activates melanocytes (the cells that produce skin’s pigment), the accumulation of the pesky brown spots are less adorable and more annoying. Plastic surgeon Anthony Youn, MD, recommends treating them with niacinamide (vitamin B-3). The vitamin inhibits the activity of melanocytes to fade spots, and it encourages cell turnover to reveal the healthy skin underneath. His tip: Apply a niacinamide-infused night cream like this one before bed when skin goes into repair mode. Use nightly and see results in as little as a month!
Where to buy: $14.76, Amazon
Did you know that we’re actually born with three rows of upper eyelashes? Unfortunately, by the time we reach our 50s, they’ve dwindled down to a single row. The spa-inspired solution from aesthetician Bella Schneider, who’s worked with Michelle Pfeiffer and Gayle King and has her own line of skin care? A castor oil “mask.” Its ricinoleic acid promotes new growth, while fatty acids moisturize and strengthen lashes at the root to keep them from falling out. Before bed, simply swipe two drops of this oil onto lashes using a clean spoolie brush (like this one from Amazon). Repeat nightly for fuller-looking lashes in just one month.
Where to buy: $26, Sephora
A natural decline in circulation as we age makes these shadows appear when blood pools and shows through the thin skin under our eyes. To lighten the area, try a turmeric eye cream! The miraculous spice’s vitamin K promotes blood flow to keep stagnant fluids moving, its vitamin C brightens skin, and its curcumin reduces the inflammation and puffiness that makes circles more obvious. Just mix 1⁄2 Tbs. of plain Greek yogurt (it moisturizes) and 1 tsp. of turmeric, rub under each eye, and rinse after 5 minutes. Use every other day for results in one week. Another idea? Use an under-eye concealer that won’t settle into fine lines, like this one!
Where to buy: $7.99, Amazon
The main reason your pout is no longer as plump as it once was? “A decline in collagen and elastin production causes them to shrink over time,” says Dr. Jaliman. Also, a lack of oil glands dries them out so they look even smaller. She suggests making a balm with cinnamon and cayenne pepper (they increase blood flow while boosting collagen and elastin production) and coconut oil (its lauric acid hydrates) to restore volume fast. Just mix 1 Tbs. of coconut oil, 2 tsp. of ground cinnamon, and 1 tsp. of cayenne pepper. Apply a pea-size amount to lips; rinse after 2 minutes. Use twice a week for results in three weeks. For a quicker fix, peppermint oil is a great lip-plumper! Just dab onto lips and cover with clear gloss. The menthol temporarily swells lips, and the gloss’ shine optically plumps them.
Where to buy: $14.99, Ulta
How ironic! The one place we don’t want to lose fat — the fat pockets that keep cheeks plump and lifted — starts to thin out in our 50s! Dr. Jaliman’s magical fix? A facial exercise that strengthens the orbicularis oculi muscles around the eyes and mouth to “prop” cheeks up. It also stimulates collagen production to firm the skin around them so they stay in place. Simply cover your teeth with your lips and make an “O” with your mouth, then smile wide with teeth covered; release and repeat six times. Next, hold the smile with teeth covered, tilt your head back and move your jaw up and down. Repeat twice; relax. Do once a day for a more lifted look in 30 days. Meanwhile, try a shimmery highlighter, like this one, to make cheeks appear fuller. Dot onto the top of cheekbones — the shimmer will direct the focus up, to optically lift cheeks.
A version of this story originally appeared in our print magazine.