There has never been a better time to turn 50 years old. Compared to the limited options offered to our mothers and grandmothers (and certainly any kind of anti-aging options for men), the advances in science, technology and the understanding of how skin ages make it fairly easy to look great as we get older. Read on for options as to how to look younger at 50 and in some cases, with very little effort.

Cosmetic Surgery

You can completely lift and re-shape your face, neck and just about any other area of your body with cosmetic surgery.

This can be a pricey and permanent solution (based on the scope of work). You really have to do your homework in terms of finding a reputable, certified plastic surgeon who is qualified to perform the procedure(s).

The results are immediate (after recovery) and last anywhere from a few months to a few years based on what you choose to do.

Mini Face Lift

This is an option for addressing mainly the lower half of your face and neck, if sagging jowls and a “turkey neck” seem to be your issues.

Incisions are made in discreet areas, usually along the ear and running into the hairline at the back of your neck. The skin is tightened then stitched in place. Sometimes liposuction is also performed to get rid of extra fat causing sagging or a bumpy appearance before completing the procedure.

This option is less expensive than a full-face lift, but it is still surgery, and should be treated just as seriously as any type of surgical procedure. The surgeon should be board certified, reputable and qualified to perform the operation.

Mini face lifts boast less recovery time and less expense, but remember that individual results may vary. Some people will take longer to recover than others, and any time you have surgery, there are risks. Mini face lifts are no exception. Results can last from a few months to years depending on genetics, lifestyle, and age.

Facial Firming Exercises

This is a completely natural “face lift,” requiring no surgery or injections, is affordable, and can be done in the privacy of your own home.

The exercises consist of a series of resistive movements applied to the face and neck. In as little as 15 minutes per day, results are reported to be comparable to that of cosmetic surgery procedures. Results vary by individual but are natural looking, and become more dramatic with continued use.

A perfect option for anyone who does not choose or cannot afford surgical procedures and injections.

Non-Surgical Face Lift (Fillers, Relaxers)

With non-surgical face lift options, the procedures are performed on an out-patient basis with little or no downtime for recovery or scarring. It is a more affordable option than surgery itself, and the results can last for several weeks to several months, based on the desired effect and price range.

Fillers and/or fat injections are used to plump up areas of the face that have lost volume due to aging and now have a more gaunt appearance. Fillers and injections can also be used to plump up deep lines and wrinkles. Botox is a muscle relaxer which when injected into the face, relaxes the underlying muscle thereby smoothing out and “erasing” the wrinkle.

Laser Treatments, Skin Re-Surfacing

Laser resurfacing can be used to reduce fine to moderate wrinkles, balance out uneven skin tones, repair sun damage and remove age spots. Laser resurfacing is not a permanent solution because it does not prevent wrinkles, it only treats the lines you have. This option cannot remove deep wrinkles nor tighten sagging skin.

Dermabrasion is similar to sandpaper, and is used to remove the outer layers of skin. The idea is that once the old outer layers of skin are removed, the skin that grows back becomes smoother.

Once the outer layers of skin are removed, the tissue underneath forms a scab which usually lasts for a week while the new skin underneath grows. When the scab comes off, the skin underneath is healed but very raw. While the skin continues to heal, discoloration (pinkness) and/or swelling can remain for up to 3 months.

Risks from this procedure include bleeding and infection, and results vary by individual.

A chemical peel is very similar to dermabrasion except acid is used to burn off outer layers of the skin. Chemical peels are typically used for fine wrinkles around the mouth, forehead, eyes or to enhance the effects of other facial procedures. The level (deepness) of the burn will depend on the desired result.

Light therapy is a non-invasive procedure with few risks. Light therapy is believed to increase the production of collagen in the skin. The increased collagen production reduces the appearance of wrinkles and may slow their development in the future.

Light therapy can also improve circulation which speeds up the production of new skin cells which results in the appearance of healthier, younger-looking skin. It may take several treatments to see any kind of measurable results and if performing light therapy at home, be sure to follow directions carefully to avoid any injury or inflammation to the skin.

Anti-Aging Skincare

An absolute must for keeping skin looking its best is a good skincare regime. The skin on the face and neck should be cleaned thoroughly in the morning and before bedtime. All makeup should be removed at night.

At the very least, skin should be cleansed with a gentle but effective cleanser and moisturized. The best skin care products should contain some form of alpha hydroxy to get rid of dead skin cells and hydrate the skin without making it oily or greasy. If the creme is too heavy, you can clog your pores which can result in blackheads and other breakouts on the face.

If you are using a product that is too harsh or strong for your skin type, it can burn your skin, making it red, irritated and painful. This defeats the purpose as you will have to discontinue use of the product until the skin can heal.

Good nutrients and vitamins for the skin include A, B-complex, C and E.

Diet and Exercise

It’s no secret that a well-balanced diet works wonders for skin. Diets rich in fruits and green, leafy veggies will result in a smooth and radiant complexion. Drinking an extra glass or two of water will help flush out toxins from your system and help keep the skin hydrated, which will give you a fresh, healthy complexion.

Even if you do nothing more than walk up and down a flight of stairs for 5 minutes, or walk around the block after work, please do something! Get moving! There is nothing aging faster than not exercising. Exercise will give you more energy and not only improve the look of your skin, but may help you shed some extra weight which will only make you look and feel even better.

Stress Management

Not effectively managing anxiety and stress in your life is like welcoming wrinkles with open arms to come and claim a permanent location on your face. Finding outlets for anxiety and stress and handling things in a healthy manner is a must. You can try journaling, talking with a trusted friend, joining forums or support groups (or starting one), exercising, taking up a new hobby, volunteering or meditating.

If you do not learn to handle stress in a healthy way, it will show up on your face.

Be Good to Yourself

In addition to correcting wrinkles, exercising and getting the proper amount of rest, what else can you do to look younger? Take a good look in the mirror and perform an honest evaluation from head to toe. Ask yourself some of these questions:

  • How long have you had the same hairstyle? Is the color working for you?
  • Are your eyebrows thinning out or too bushy? Ask your beautician about touching up your brows.
  • Are your teeth stained and yellowing? Is the time for a visit to the doctor?
  • Are you wearing the same makeup since high school? Maybe a change is overdue.
  • When was the last time you bought yourself new clothes? Even a new purse or pair of shoes can give you a lift.

Most of these suggestions on how to look younger at 50 are not only affordable but really easy to do. If you want to look younger in 12 weeks or less, decide what options you are willing to implement and then really laser focus your efforts in that direction. You can feel better, you can look younger and you can start today.