Yes, many women can thank their genes for that youthful glow (and there’s Harvard data to prove it). But slithering into your 40s, 50s, and even 60s with smooth, dewy, apparently ageless skin is not quite that simple—and not quite that despairing for those of us who aren’t genetically blessed. There are assured lifestyle hacks and habits that can help halt the clock, oscillating from the expected—eat your fruits and veggies and drink loads of water—to somewhat more uncommon tricks.
Here’s the proof: the following five women, who’ve revealed their secrets, plus the photographic evidence.
They grease themselves up.
“I smear Vaseline all over my face at night—my cheeks, eyelids, under my eyes, my neck, everywhere. It locks in moisture and keeps my face looking smooth and supple. I know I should be using an expensive over-the-counter or prescription retinol product, but they make my eyes itchy. I’ve always wondered about those reports claiming Vaseline is actually toxic, but as a physician, I figure if it hasn’t killed me yet, and I’ve been doing it for over 20 years, it probably won’t. I also sleep with the windows open at night, even when it’s extremely hot or extremely cold. I think it’s good to get some fresh air on my skin while I sleep.”
–Carey August, MD, 59
They exfoliate like crazy.
“I use a nail brush—yeah, I know, brutal, but my loofah just wasn’t doing the trick—to scrub my entire body every day. I’ve been doing this since my early 30s after having kids. Since my skin was so loose, stretched, and dry, I thought exfoliating would be a good way to refresh the skin, get some blood flowing, and maybe, possibly, hide some cellulite. And it totally works. As a bonus, when I apply self-tanning moisturizer, it goes on really evenly.”
–Renata Bregstone, 43
They prioritize organization.
“I keep my home as clutter-free as possible. I file papers away immediately, so they aren’t lying around. The surfaces in my house are completely bare; for example, the only thing on my kitchen counter is my coffee pot. When everything is neat and organized, it automatically decreases my stress levels. Since I’m so anal about that, I can let other messes go. For example, I was playing with shaving cream and food coloring with my son today, and it ended up all over the place—on the dog, on the couch, on the carpet. But the giggles coming from my son were all worth it. I think this sort of attitude has really helped me look younger, despite the fact that I have a crappy diet and drink way too much coffee and not enough water.”
–Jen Scott, 39
They embrace the indoors.
“I’m 4’11” with a baby face, so I have always looked much younger than my age—that’s one reason I was carded at bars well into my 30s, and got a free bobblehead at a Mets game when I was 33 and passed for under 14. But another important reason is that I rarely venture out into the sun. I almost never go to the beach, and I’m not an outdoorsy person. On weekends or on vacation, I’d rather do cultural things like go to a matinee theater performance or to a museum.”
–Marisa Cohen, 48