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40 Ways to Look Younger After 40

Look your best every day with minimal effort.

While your twenties were all about keeping up with the latest trends—hello, Skechers and bleached hair!—and your thirties were trying to jump right into cool parent-mode, once you hit your forties, it's not uncommon for the stress from the past couple decades to finally start to make an appearance.

All those late nights and early mornings can catch up quick, but it's not too late to reverse time. There are plenty of ways to look more youthful, and some of them only take a few minutes. From giving your skin the attention it deserves to finally signing up for that gym membership, you'll soon be walking around feeling decades younger than you actually are—and fooling everyone else into thinking you're still half your age, too.

Don't wait a second longer to give yourself a little TLC: These anti-aging methods won't just make you look great, but they'll also make you feel great. And if you really want to turn back the clock, steal these 100 Anti-Aging Secrets for Looking and Feeling Younger Than Ever.

Stay Moisturized

woman putting on lotion and looking younger

Ever wonder how French women and men seem to age so gracefully? They're all about moisturizer and use it religiously. Find a type you love and apply it daily to your face, neck, and hands. And while you're at it, slather it on the rest of your body, too—because, as it so happens, regular moisturizing is one of 20 Ways to Look a Decade Younger.

Limit Your Sodium Intake

man shopping for orange juice - looking younger

Sure, salty French fries are great. But the aftermath of all that extra sodium in your body? Not so much. According to the Cleveland Clinic, having too much sodium in your diet can impact your skin by both sucking out moisture and giving you under-eye bags by causing you to retain water. Try and stick to the recommended daily amount of 2,300 mg—or 1 teaspoon—to keep your skin healthy and youthful.

Revamp Your Wardrobe

woman shopping for blue jeans - looking younger

Nothing makes you look younger like tossing out old, unflattering clothes and replacing them with new items that not only make you feel good, but are a little more trendy. Start with the basic pieces you wear every day—like jeans, jackets, and shoes—then start swapping out other basics, like shirts. Pretty soon you'll have a closet full of new options that will make you look 10 years younger. Oh, by the way, here are 40 Best Tips For Dressing Well in Your 40s.

Laugh Often

middle-aged couple laughing and looking younger

As if you needed another excuse to laugh as much as possible, here it is: Laughing is a great stress reliever, says the Mayo Clinic, and getting rid of all that excess tension can help prevent premature aging. Plus, it's the perfect excuse to schedule in some quality time with friends.

Get a New Hair Cut

man getting a haircut look younger 40

A hair cut can make all the difference when it comes to looking younger. If you're a balding man, consider going short or shaving it off altogether. Have lots of hair? Go to a proper stylist who can give you a style that looks youthful and is easy to maintain. As for women, work with someone who can help you find a cut that both looks great with your face shape and knocks a handful of years off. And if you want to cut years off your look (literally), check out these 15 Best Men's Haircuts for Looking Instantly Younger.

Try Out Hair Extensions

woman getting hair extensions looking younger

Speaking of hair, one easy way to look younger instantly is to try out some extensions. But, there are limits: If you do decide to give them a try, don't go overboard. Have your stylist give you an appropriate length that gives you a new look without making you look like you're trying too hard. Because, while longer locks can take years off, they can also add some on if they're not done properly.

Wear Fitted Clothing

man wearing a blue blazer and dark jeans holding a smartphone and talking a selfie

When you're shopping for new clothes, don't just buy any items off the shelf. Really focus on the fit of the items. Go for clothes that hit in all the right places, flattering your shape and bringing attention to the areas you're most confident about. When you have clothes on that look like they were made for your body, you'll instantly look younger and more put-together.

Wear Nail Polish

woman getting her nails done - looking younger

Something as simple as putting on some nail polish doesn't seem like it would do a whole lot when it comes to making you look younger, but you'd be surprised: One study conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found the addition of polish made participants' hands appear younger than those who didn't have polish on. So paint away!

Get Rid of Your Grays

grey hair look younger 40

If you have gray hair, you're bound to look older—it's one of the most obvious signs of aging, after all. Head into the salon regularly to cover up your grays, or own it: You can still look youthful while you're rocking a head of silver. You just have to have the confidence—and the right hairstyle—to do it.

Get Regular Massages

woman getting a massage

When you're stressed out, it doesn't take long for wrinkles to follow. To make sure your mental health is in check, focus on your physical health first: Go to the spa for relaxing massages as often as you can to relieve some tension. With all your worries brushed aside, you'll look—and feel!—younger in no time.

Plump Up Your Brows

woman doing her eyebrows

Brows can thin with age, making you look older than you actually are. Luckily, there are a few ways to make them thick and full again. Either fake it by mastering the art of filling in your brows with an eyebrow pencil, or consider something more permanent. NeuBrow—a brow enhancing serum—has been shown to help give users youthful, more defined brows in as little as 60 days. And there's also the option to try microblading, a semi-permanent procedure where technicians tattoo on natural-looking eyebrows, filling in any gaps and giving you a shape that suits your face.

Flash a Smile

older woman smiling outside

If you're a big smiler, keep up the good work: A 2016 study found that happy faces are often seen as younger than those who are sad or frowning. And that's all the more reason to keep a positive outlook on life and grin through even the most stressful days.

Get Facials Regularly

woman getting a facial - looking younger

If you want to look young for as long as possible, it's so important to keep your skin healthy—and you can do that through the help of a facial. Head in for a treatment every few weeks—or whenever you feel like your skin needs it—for the best results. When your skin looks refreshed and glowing, you will too.

Eat Plenty of Protein

high-protein foods, milk, salmon, hard-boiled eggs, and grass-fed beef

If your hair, skin, and nails are looking dull, it might be because of your protein intake. According to the Mayo Clinic, eating a balanced diet full of healthy fats, grains, lean proteins, fruits, and veggies is key to looking youthful and radiant. When you're lacking, it will have the opposite effect—especially with your hair, which is mainly made of protein.

Keep Things Trim

man getting his beard trimmed - look younger

All right, guys—if you're not already trimming your facial hair, it's time to start. And not just your beard. If you want to take years off your appearance, make sure tidying up your nostril hair, ear hair, and eyebrows is part of your typical routine. Those hairs can get out of control fast, and keeping them nice and neat will make you look sharp and put-together.

Get a Gym Membership

man and woman doing deadlifts to build muscle

After years of fighting off the urge to pay for a monthly gym membership, now might be the time. Having a regular exercise routine isn't just crucial for your health and well-being, but also makes you look much younger. It could only take a few months to see a difference, whether that's losing weight or being more toned and defined. If you need an extra push to get there, learn the 11 Ways Smart People Motivate Themselves to Go to the Gym.

Get a Proper Amount of Sleep

couple in bed sleeping

Being sleep deprived takes a major toll on your appearance. One study found that poor sleepers had more signs of aging than those who got a proper night of rest. And on top of the premature aging, being sleep deprived also decreases the skin's ability to recover after being out in the sun. So hit the hay early because those eight hours do more for your body—and looks!—than you think.

Hire a Personal Trainer

a personal trainer training a woman in behind-the-head tricep extensions

If you're not exactly sure what to do at the gym, hiring a trainer might be a good idea. They'll know exactly which forms of exercise—and how much—you'll need to reach your goals, and can help you sweat your way to a more youthful appearance. Sure, it will cost you—but there are plenty of benefits to having an expert on-hand.

Drink Some Wine

woman drinking wine in the kitchen - look younger

If you haven't heard of resveratrol yet, it's about to become your new best friend. A 2008 study found the red wine ingredient has a whopping 17 times greater antioxidant activity than idebenone, another antioxidant that's commonly used in many popular anti-aging creams on the market.

Invest in Natural Skin Care Products

organic cosmetics and skin care products - look younger 40

It's never too late to invest in products that will do your skin wonders. Replace your old creams and go for options that will nourish your skin naturally without any added chemicals and ingredients, helping you achieve a more moisturized, glowy complexion that will take years off your face.

Brighten Your Smile

woman applying white strips - look younger

While smiling is a great way to look younger, having pearly whites while doing so definitely makes all the difference. Head to your dentist for regular cleanings, and consider using a whitening treatment like Crest 3D Whitestrips in between visits to keep your chompers looking fresh. And for more ways to score an A+ smile, know that This Simple Trick Will Make Your Teeth Whiter.

Smooth Out Your Wrinkles

man looking in the mirror for wrinkles - look younger

Obviously a tell-tale sign of aging is wrinkles, but there are a few ways you can get rid of them out—or just make them look less noticeable. You can always go the filler or Botox route to correct fine lines and soften wrinkles, but there are plenty of other options you can do in the comfort of your own home. By investing in quality anti-aging products—and using them daily—you can get a more youthful appearance without a needle in sight.

Fall in Love with Face Masks

Young beautiful woman is having a black charcoal mask on her skin. Skincare and spa treatment

Since no one has the time—or money—to get a facial every single day (unless you're spending most of your time on the red carpet), find a face mask you love and use it often. A great one to try? The Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Mask from Herbivore Botanicals, which naturally brightens and smooths your complexion, increases circulation, and helps create healthier skin cells.

Get Manis and Pedis

woman getting a pedicure - look younger

Whether you're a man or a woman, heading to the nail salon can be great for keeping up a youthful appearance. Whether you're just visiting to have everything cleaned up or want to try out a new shade of polish, having soft and moisturized hands and feet will make you look more youthful and vibrant. Because no one wants wrinkly, dry hands at 40.

Take Multivitamins

a bowl of multivitamin supplements - look younger

It's hard to get all the vitamins and nutrients you need through diet alone, so take a multivitamin: The Cleveland Clinic says it's basically an insurance policy against an imperfect diet that can help protect your body—and help you stay youthful for as long as possible.

Get Bangs

a woman with bangs - look younger

Bangs don't just add a little playfulness to your hairstyle—they're also great at hiding forehead wrinkles. Having your stylist cut some fringe will upgrade your look and help you cut some years off your age.

Don't Heat-Style Your Hair

a woman heat-styling her hair - look younger

While heat-styling tools are fun to use, try not to use them all the time. Proper protection or not, they can dry out your hair, making your strands look dull. And when your hair looks dull, you do too. Let your hair air-dry as often as possible, and fall in love with your natural hair. The less damage your strands have, the more vibrant and youthful you appear.

Give Eyelash Extensions a Try

eyelashes look younger 40

One of the easiest ways to give your eyes a youthful lift is to try out eyelash extensions. The semi-permanent lashes can last from six to eight weeks before they fall out naturally with your regular lashes. Sound like too much work? Invest in a solid eyelash curler (like this one from Shiseido) and some lengthening mascara (like Tarte's cruelty-free option) to get a similar effect.

Take Workout Classes

exercise class look younger 40

Workout classes aren't just great for your health—they can also help you keep a youthful appearance. Scheduling a few a week—whether that's yoga, HIIT, or spinning—will help you get into shape and feel great in your own skin, making you glow from the inside-out.

Drink a Lot of Water

woman drinking water

Drinking water for younger, healthier looking skin? It sounds too easy, but it works, says the Mayo Clinic. Being properly hydrated keeps your skin looking vibrant, helps get rid of under-eye bags, and can give your face a firmer appearance.

Use Some Blush

woman holding blush - look younger

Sometimes the easiest way to give yourself a youthful glow is to use a little blush. Skip powder—which can make fine lines stand out more—and go for a creamy formula like the new Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick from Fenty Beauty by Rihanna. A playful pink color blends into the skin for a pretty and natural look.

Eat a Balanced Diet

balanced diet with fish, fruits, and vegetables

It's easy to eat whatever your heart desires in your twenties, but it's harder to get away with the same routine—and love of take-out—in your forties. To make sure you stay healthy, eat a balanced diet full of fruit, vegetables, fiber, protein, and healthy fats. That way your entire body will be healthy and youthful, from your head to your toes.

Always Wear Sunscreen

woman applying sunscreen look younger

Rain or shine, always have some sunscreen on hand. It's easy to get a sunburn even on cloudy days, and sun damage of any kind is responsible for premature aging. By protecting your skin the best you can, you'll prevent dark spots, wrinkles, and everything that's going to make you look older than you actually are.

Lay Off the Sugar

hand pouring sugar out of a soda can

Sugar is everywhere, but making sure it's not a big part of your diet is huge for your health—especially when it comes to your face. In Dr. Nigma Talib's book Younger Skin Starts in the Gut, she said eating too much sugar can actually lead to "Sugar Face"—or, in other words, wrinkles and fine lines, blemishes, and under-eye sagging. Basically everything you don't want.

Use Concealer

woman applying concealer - look younger

While the first step is trying to revive your skin, the second step is covering up any imperfections in the meantime. Unfortunately, dark spots and under-eye circles don't go away overnight, so dabbing on a little concealer can instantly take years off your face. Just make sure the formula doesn't settle into fine lines and wrinkles by grabbing a moisturizing option like Origins' Anti-Aging Concealer.

Buy a Properly-Fitted Bra

woman putting bra on look younger

Listen up, ladies, because this one is a biggie. As time goes on, it's easy to start caring less and less about how well your bra fits. But by getting properly fitted and buying a few options you can rotate throughout the week, you'll not only get an instant lift but will also have a more youthful shape that will totally change the way you look in—and out of!—your clothes.

Have Sex Regularly

a couple in bed look younger

Having sex on a regular basis is great news for your health. One study showed couples who had sex often tended to look up to seven years younger than those who didn't. Best news ever, or best news ever?


man meditating in the lawn

Aside from laughing on a regular basis, meditation is also a way to help get rid of extra stress, says a 2016 study. By setting aside time to calm down your nerves, you'll prevent premature aging—and keep your body healthy while you're at it.

Become BFFs with Retinol

woman applying retinol in the mirror look younger

You've probably seen retinol listed in the ingredient lists of your favorite beauty products, and it can do your skin some good. Many studies have shown its powerful effects in improving fine lines and wrinkles, making your skin look more youthful by simply using a cream.

Lay Off the Alcohol

hand denying a double whiskey neat - look younger

While a glass or two of wine is great for your help, too much of any alcohol can have the opposite effect. A 2009 study found women who drank excess alcohol looked older than their twins who didn't. So have a little, but know your limits or that extra glass could come back to bite you. And to find out how much is too much, Here's What Your Boozing Habits Say About Your Health.

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Tehrene Firman
Tehrene Firman is a freelance health and wellness writer. Read more
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