10 Ways You Make Yourself Look Older Without Realizing It

Woman s Day
January 4, 2013

By Alina Dizik

Despite concerted efforts to erase years, there are things you do every day that have the opposite effect-and you probably don't even notice you're doing them. The colors you wear, how you do your makeup and so much more can make you look older. It's not easy to spot what you're doing wrong, especially if it's become routine, so we've rounded up the 10 biggest mistakes with solutions to restore your youthful look. Photo by Getty Images.

1. Dyeing Your Hair Blonde

Lighter hair doesn't go with all skin pigments and can age you, points out Teri Guardino, director of education at Alfaparf Milano, a hair-care brand. "Most skin becomes sallow or yellow as we get older, so it's not always recommended to go blonde," she says. Instead of matching your hair to your skin tone, counteract it. If you have olive skin, choose a deep, reddish-brown hair color; if you have paler skin, brighten your look with a light brown dye, she suggests.

2. Lifting Too Much at the Gym
No, you shouldn't stop exercising. But overworking large muscles, such as the triceps, quads and biceps, can cause sagging in the long run, says celebrity fitness instructor Tracy Anderson. "As connective tissues loosen with age, an overworked aging muscle produces an undesirable skin tone," she explains. Focus on accessory muscles around the larger thigh and belly muscles, which can give you a more balanced look. For each group of muscles, use weights under three pounds each and do more reps, Anderson adds.

Related: Discover easy exercise drills to slim down fast.

3. Skimping on Deep Conditioning
Stiff, dry hair can be more aging than grays peeking through. "Our hair needs moisture as we get older," says Guardino. So stray a bit from your typical shampoo and conditioner routine, and use richer hair products, including hair masks and deep conditioners, at least once a week. That'll help your hair become softer and shinier.

4. Over-Exfoliating
While getting rid of dead skin cells is a must, over-exfoliating is a major no-no, says esthetician Lydia Sarfati, founder of Repêchage, a line of spa beauty products. "When new skin cells are exposed to the elements before they're ready, skin becomes fragile and looks aged," she explains. It's especially important to avoid harsher forms of exfoliation such as microdermabrasion, highly concentrated chemical peels and laser resurfacing, she adds. Just opt for a gentle facial scrub two to three times per week.

5. Wearing Old Bras
"Many women continue to wear the same size and brand they've always worn, without considering that our bodies change as we age," says Barbara Grufferman, author of The Best of Everything After 50. She suggests visiting a lingerie store to get professionally fitted. A correctly fitted bra can instantly improve your posture (no hunched-over ladies here!) and the draping of your clothes.

6. Choosing Coffee over Water
No matter which facial moisturizers you use, staying hydrated from the inside is key for glowing skin and helps flush toxins out of your body. "Double your water intake. When you think you've had enough drink more," advises Grufferman. Sip about nine glasses of water per day and don't overdo it on coffee and alcohol, which have a diuretic effect.

Related: Check out these 10 style tricks to look younger instantly!

7. Applying Heavy Eyeliner
Using harsh eyeliner can instantly make eyes appear smaller, which can add years and highlight wrinkles around your peepers. "Try a soft pencil that easily can be blended after applied," says Erica Bishop, a "Beauty Genius" for cosmetics brand Prescriptives. Blending in eyeliner gives your makeup a more natural look that's less aging.

8. Wearing Dull Colors
Clothes with gray undertones can wash you out and make you seem older, says Natalie Jobity, an image consultant and author of Frumpy to Fabulous. "This is especially true about the colors you wear closest to your face, like those in scarves," she says. Common hues to avoid: pale lavender, taupe, dusty rose and pale gray.

9. Wearing Baggy Clothes

Even if you've gained weight around your middle and are eager to cover up the bulge, choosing very loose clothing to hide the pounds "will backfire and make you look heavier and older than you are," says Grufferman. So forget the most forgiving styles. Rather, work with a tailor to create contours in loose-fitting clothing.

10. Overusing Powder and Concealer
Caking on makeup to hide wrinkles and other imperfections can actually accentuate fine lines, says Grufferman. Instead, start off with a lightweight moisturizing foundation and add extra concealer only when "absolutely necessary," like to cover under-eye circles and discolored spots, she adds. Less is more here.

Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.

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