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Forget Plastic Surgery

5 tips to a great looking face no matter your age

Kim Alexis without and with makeup

Michael Waring

Model Kim Alexis with and without makeup.

En español  |  Even supermodels look better with makeup. And older supermodels, such as Kim Alexis pictured here, know all the tricks of the makeup trade. They learn them from people such as Lois Joy Johnson, founding editor of More magazine and co-author of the new book The Makeup Wakeup: Revitalizing Your Look at Any Age. We asked her to share her best tips for care of mature skin and hair and for looking as great as we feel from 50 onward.

SUNBLOCK ALL DAY, EVERY DAY: "Many of us have severe sun damage accrued at an early age," says Johnson. "This is a big issue cosmetically because of brown spots and potentially with more serious conditions such as basal cell carcinoma. Men and women should use a high SPF every single day, rain or shine, and don't stop at the neck. Protect any visible skin, hands included. Also wear sunglasses to protect eyes and the eye area from wrinkles caused by sun exposure."

EXFOLIATION IS KEY: Using an exfoliating cleanser is essential for men and women. "As we age our circulation slows down, pores seem to clog more, and we have more dead surface skin cells," Johnson says. "Exfoliating helps to keep the tired look at bay, because most of us don't get enough sleep."

DEALING WITH HAIR LOSS: "It's a huge problem for men and women. Men usually shave their heads, which has become very chic lately. To stave off hair loss, make sure you're stimulating the scalp during washings and using hydrating and moisturizing products. Many people use volumizing mousses, lightweight shampoos and conditioners that won't weigh hair down.

EMBRACE GRAY: "Deciding to go gray after many years of single or double process coloring of hair is a complicated issue," Johnson says. "To ease out of it, you can start adding low lights to return to your natural gray shade. If you've been double processing, it'll take months, don't attempt this without a professional. You've got to give the process one year if you're going from dark hair or light blonde to fully gray, your stylist may want to cut your hair along the way to speed up the process."

LOVE YOUR AGE: "There's a difference between looking young and looking youthful," Johnson says. "If you're trying to look 35, it's not going to happen. Don't obsess by looking in a magnified mirror and examining yourself. There's a lack of perfection now in popular culture that's wonderful. Look at Helen Mirren and Hillary Clinton. Helen's refreshing adult, sometimes quirky, irreverent and beautiful, and Hillary is very real. She has good days and bad days. More than surgery, it's better to take good care of your health and body and to have fun with clothes and makeup. Looking youthful rather than looking young means having a certain energy and good health. That's something we can aspire to and achieve."

Originally published August 2011