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11 Affordable Ways to Feel & Look Younger in your 40’s!

Here’s 11 Affordable Ways to Feel & Look Younger in your 40’s! These are the things that actually work . Number 1 on this list is a MUST DO.

Best Ways to Feel & Look Younger at 40

I’m turning 46 this week, guys. Wow! The cliché is true, time flies.

So, I thought I’d celebrate my birthday by sharing what is actually working FOR ME to help me feel and look younger in my 40’s.

Let me start by saying that I have ALWAYS been into skin care. I remember reading Seventeen Magazine in the 90’s for tips on how to get perfect skin or makeup.

There have been HUGE improvements in skin care over those 30 years.

And, now that I’m older, I’m always looking at actresses I grew up with for tips on how to feel and look younger at 40. Or, actually late 40’s now. 🙂

You can always tell when some of them had had “work done”. But, half of them won’t actually say what that “work” is. That’s always annoying. I wish we all felt comfortable telling each other what works and what doesn’t, right?!

And, since I want other people to spill it, I should too, right.

So, this covers exactly what I do, what works for me, and what results I’m seeing. And, almost everything on this list is cheap, or even FREE, and not at all extreme or unusual for most people to try.

Here's 11 Affordable Ways to Feel & Look Younger in your 40's! These are the things that actually work . Number 1 on this list is a MUST DO.
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What Kind of Routine Do I Like?

I’ve tried a lot of the most popular skin care products over the years. A lot! I’ve had all of the peels, tried serums, and even the occasional laser treatment.

BUT, I haven’t gotten into the more extreme or expensive medical procedures. AND, I don’t bother with “newer trends” when it comes to makeup.

I don’t spend a lot of money on products or treatments. And, I don’t want to look like a Real Housewife or a Kardashian. I just focus on skin care that keeps me LOOKING LIKE ME for as long as possible.

So, hopefully everything on this list is pretty reasonable and affordable for MOST people in their 40’s. We’ll see. 🙂

Let’s get to what I do to feel & look younger in my 40’s.

11 Ways to Feel & Look Younger in your 40’s

After 30 years of trying MOST of the tips and tricks for looking younger at any age, here are the 11 affordable ways to feel and look younger at 40+ that actually work for me.

1. Exercise is CRITICAL

I’m starting with exercise because it is so important to your health for so many reasons. Proper exercise is one of the best ways to prevent chronic diseases, cognitive decline, and other aging-related problems.

Cardiovascular and strength-training exercise can help prevent heart disease, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, back pain, and bad posture caused by reduced muscle mass.

Exercise is also fantastic at reducing the risk of depression, reducing stress and anxiety, keeping your mind fit, reducing brain fog, and helping you sleep better.

Do you want to know what will make your body actually FEEL old? It’s having a chronic disease or physical problem that causes you to miss out on things. No one wants that. 🙂

Picture of free weights. Exercise is an important part of feeling younger in your 40's.
I have a range of free weights that I can use while I’m watching TV or even on a walk.

Why I Exercise

I LOVE exercise for all of those reasons above!

But, I also love it because it helps to keep my muscles toned and strong too. When my muscles are toned, I look and feel better in my clothes.

Heck, my body feels better and more capable when my muscles are toned. And, I need strong muscles and all of that extra energy I get from exercise to keep up with my 2 young boys.

I’ve also noticed that I stand straighter, have better posture, when I’m sticking to an exercise routine.

When I slack off on my exercise routine, I get joint pain in my knees and one of my shoulders. Keeping the muscles strong around those joints seems to fix the issues that can cause me joint pain.

USE it or LOSE it, guys!

I also love the fresh air and a little bit of quiet and alone time during my jogs. My brain gets downtime and a quick refresh. I can listen to podcasts and just destress before starting my day.

If you’re new to exercising, it’s never too late to start. Just start slow and work your way up.

Find a time and type of exercise you actually like so you’ll stick to it. Walking is a great beginner exercise you can do alone or with a buddy.

Always check with your doctor if you have any concerns.

Walking trail with a sidewalk, trees, water, and grass.
Finding a beautiful place to walk is another key to keeping me motivated. I have 6 or 7 trails I like to visit.

So what is my exercise routine?

5 days a week, I go for a 45-minute light jog. That ends up being about 3 or 4 miles.

I used to just go for a fast power walk, but I decided I needed to increase muscle mass in my legs. And the increased impact with jogging also strengthens my bones.

Pick a time to workout that you’ll stick to. I drop off my kids at school and go straight to a trail for my jog.

And, twice a week, I work on strength-training for my upper body with free weights. I also get a ton of full body muscle work just doing all of my home DIY projects around here.

When I’m really wanting to kick up the muscle-building work or just add a little variation, I try to add 10 minutes of bear crawling, crab walking, or steps to the routine, 4 or 5 days a week.

All 3 of those exercises kick butt and activate muscles you normally won’t use!

I use a Fitbit to track my steps too. I aim for 12,000 steps a day.

As a blogger, I spend way too much time seated. So, having a fitness tracker is key to actually knowing if I’m working out as much as I want.

2. Use the Right Products!

Now, let’s talk about the skin care I’ve tried that seems to actually work, for me. Of course, everyone’s skin is different. You should see a dermatologist about specific concerns with your skin.

Most of these products can be used on your neck, chest, and hands too. Read the directions on the product to get the best results.

Retinol or other Vitamin A Creams

Let’s start with over-the-counter retinols or other Vitamin A derivatives. I have probably been using them for 15+ years. I’ve probably tried a dozen or more brands.

Some of them absolutely work better than others.

These products improve sun spots, fine lines & wrinkles, can smooth the general appearance of skin, can brighten dull looking skin, and can plump skin up a bit.

Just be sure to start using these products slowly. Just every few days at first, then and work your way up to daily use. Your skin needs time to adjust.

Here’s 3 That Work On Me

Hyaluronic Acids

Hyaluronic acids are great at helping your skin absorb the moisture it needs. And, that extra moisture will plump up your skin a bit.

I like CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion as my daily moisturizer with hyaluronic acid. It feels light, and actually works.

I also LOVE Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid. It’s extra moisturizing, for dry skin. And, it’s fragrance-free.

Other Great Skin Care Products

AMBI Fade Cream is a popular and super affordable sun spot and hyperpigmentation fade cream that works well. This one helps on acne scars and melasma too.

I normally don’t recommend supplements because they are generally not well researched or regulated. But, my endocrinologist recommended that I try Biotin to thicken my hair.

I started using Biotin liquid drops and after 6 weeks it does seem like I have new baby hairs around the edge of my face. So, it’s worth trying them for a few months to see if they work for you.

Picture of beauty products that help me look younger in my 40's.
A few of my favorite products.

3. Sunscreen Actually Works!

Whenever I’m out in the sun too much or on a sunny beach vacation, the little brown spots and freckles on my face can really darken up.

And, I wear sunscreen on my face daily. I can only imagine how freckled and spotted my face would be without that sunscreen.

Luckily, a few weeks after my vacation the retinol I use is pretty good at clearing up most of those brown spots and sun-freckles.

But definitely wear that sunscreen if you want to look younger at 40, or any age!

4. Petroleum-Based Ointments & Lotions for the WIN

Turns out, Grandma was right! Using Vaseline on cracked hands and feet is one of those old-fashioned tips that actually works.

When I first heard this I was in my early 20’s. My feet and hands were still perfect. And, I have to admit, I thought this sounded like an old wives tale.

Well, 10 years later my hands and feet were always dry and cracking. I tried ALL. THE. LOTIONS.

And really, the only things that works for more than 30 minutes are Vaseline or Aquaphor. Both are petroleum jelly based products. That are perfectly safe. They are even used to protect wounds and protect new tattoos.

They both work by trapping moisture in the skin. Which also helps it plump up and look smooth again.

I have completely gotten rid of cracked heels by applying Vaseline or Aquaphor to my feet before bed, then covering with socks to help keep the ointment on longer.

I also love to put one of them on under my socks before working out. And, I put Vaseline or Aquaphor on my hands before bed and in the morning to keep the skin soft and smooth.

Amp Up the Results by Layering

You can get even more moisturizing power by putting a thick moisturizing cream, like Vaseline Advanced Repair Lotion or Eucerin Advanced Repair Lotion, under the Vaseline or Aquaphor.

Those creams contain moisture which adds to the moisture levels already in your skin that the petroleum jelly then traps in your skin!

So, I use Eucerin Advanced Repair Lotion or Vaseline Advanced Repair Lotion on my whole body right after showering and towel drying. Then I put the Aquaphor or Vaseline over that on my hands and feet before getting dressed.

Again, I’ve tried tons of lotions. Most of them wear off in 30 minutes or less. These two actually have long-lasting moisturizing effects.

Here’s a great article on Aquaphor vs Vaseline that explains more about the benefits of these products.

Here's 11 Affordable Ways to Feel & Look Younger in your 40's! These are the things that actually work . Number 1 on this list is a MUST DO.

5. If You Haven’t Already, You Need to Quit Smoking

We all know it. But, it’s worth saying again for anyone my age or older. Back in the 90’s and before that, most of us tried smoking.

Even I smoked regularly until my mid-20’s. I’m SO glad I quit!

It really made my lungs feel like crap. And, my mouth always had a dry, bad taste.

Smoking ALSO reduces blood flow and oxygen to your skin. It can cause deeper lines in your face, increase free radicals in your skin that speed aging, cause pigmentation, and cause under eye bags.

There are so many negative effects on the inside and outside of your body caused by smoking. You can read more about them in this article on How Smoking Causes Early Aging.

6. Quality Sleep is Important for So Many Reasons

Yep, insufficient sleep can make you look older than you are too. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep a night.

If you aren’t getting enough sleep all of the cells in your body start to age faster. You might get dark circles or bags under your eyes.

What’s worth is that lack of sleep can increase your risk of chronic diseases and conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, dementia, and obesity.

If you start to develop those diseases, the aging process will start to snowball in your body. So, getting quality sleep is a priority when it comes to how to feel & look younger in your 40’s.

Read more about the connection between sleep and aging in Sleep’s Role in Aging and Chronic Disease.

7. Eyebrow Dye is a Game-Changer

When I had my first son at 37, my thyroid stopped working. I guess that’s pretty common for women that have kids over 35.

One of the visible effects of my thyroid shutting down was thinning hair and my eyebrows seemed to disappear.

Once my doctor got my thyroid levels straightened out, I still had very light eyebrows. I spent years using an eyebrow pencil to darken them up.

But, that sweats off pretty easily. Especially in hot and humid Texas.

I recently tried Eyebrow Dye and LOVED it. All the sudden my eyebrows were back and looking great again. And, it doesn’t sweat or wash off. *Happy Dance*

The first time I had my eyebrows done was at ULTA beauty. It cost around $25. After seeing how easy it was to do, I decided to do it myself at home.

Now I use an Eyebrow Tint Kit at home about once every two weeks to keep my eyebrows darker.

Darker eyebrows instantly makes my face LOOK YOUNGER.

Right now I’m using this Godefroy Tint Kit in Light Brown. Not every dye brand or color works on every face or skin type. So read the reviews and look at the pictures to find the right one for you.

And, of course, dying your hair and/or facial hair can help you look years younger too.

Before eyebrow tint.
Before using eyebrow tint. My eyebrows were so light, I wondered if they were thinning. Turns out they were just too light to see.
After eyebrow tint.
After using eyebrow tint the first time. This is a gamechanger.

8. Keep Those Teeth As White As You Can

Teeth yellow after years of drinking tea, coffee, red wine, soda, and other types of food and drink.

Most toothpaste sold in the US now says that it’s whitening. But, really that can mean different things on different products.

The one whitening toothpaste that I have tried that really seems to work is Colgate Optic White Renewal. It contains 3% Hydrogen Peroxide. And it’s still safe for enamel.

If you have sensitive teeth you might want to stick with a milder whitening toothpaste made for sensitive skin AND try teeth whitening strips instead. Those work great too.

The most important step in getting great results with teeth whitening treatments is to start with clean teeth. And by that I mean plaque-free!

So, go to your dentist and get your teeth cleaned before you try whitening.

Plaque holds onto stains from drinks better than enamel. And, plaque also blocks whiteners from getting to your teeth. So, you need to get rid of the plaque before you start whitening.

9. Have you Heard of Face Exercises?

About eight years ago, I noticed I suddenly had a double-chin in pictures. Yikes.

And, I could feel that extra volume under my chin when I was just leaning back in a chair. It really drove me crazy.

So, I asked my dermatologist about a sign he had in his office for an injectable that can safely dissolve fat under your chin, called Kybella. Here’s a link to the Kybella site, if you’re curious.

He took one look at my chin and said that wouldn’t work for me. My double-chin wasn’t fat. It was sagging muscle. I was bummed I wasn’t getting my quick fix.

BUT, a few weeks later I FINALLY realized what he said to me. That it was SAGGING MUSCLE. Well, I know how to fix sagging muscle…targeted exercise.

So, I dove into a YouTube search on “How to Fix a Double Chin”. As you can guess, there are tons of videos about this. I highly recommend the Neck & Jawline exercise videos from The Face Yoga Method Channel.

I watched 6 or so to get a good idea about what to do. And, it WORKS! I generally do lower face and chin exercises while I’m driving or watching TV.

That makes it easier for me to remember to do them. I maybe spend 5 or 10 minutes a day on this.

It’s no big deal and can work pretty quickly if you figure out how to focus on the right muscles. It’s actually tightened up the muscles along my jawline too.

If you think about it, it makes sense that these muscles start to sag as you age. When you’re young you are constantly talking, laughing, making crazy faces.

Then, somewhere in your 20’s, most of us start to work a job that requires very little talking or laughing. So those muscles don’t get nearly as much use as they should.

So, YEP, exercise is good for your face too!

10. Botox or Dysport

Let’s get to the one thing on this list that costs the most money. And, it’s not for everyone. You should do your own research and decide if it’s right for you.

But, this is my experience with Botox or the very similar injectable Dysport. This has a HUGE impact in helping me feel & look younger in my 40’s.

About 15 years ago, I was in my early 30’s working as a Software Developer. So, I spent my days at a computer. That’s when I started to get what I would call “tension headaches” in my forehead.

The muscles in my brow and forehead felt tight and cramped up, all the time. I was constantly tapping on my brow and forehead trying to get that muscles to unclench. But, of course that didn’t work.

I was starting to get a furrowed look to my brow too. I kind of looked annoyed or mad most of the time.

And, I felt like I was carrying STRESS in my forehead. That feeling in my forehead made me feel stressed and worn out, all over.

So, I decided it was time to try Botox. I had a Plastic Surgeon do the injections and it worked amazingly well! It takes a few days for full results, but it was definitely worth it FOR ME.

The “tension headaches” and clenched feeling went away. And, my face looked relaxed again. That annoyed look on my face was GONE. Yay!

Photo of a woman drinking from a Darth Maul mug. Taken on my 43rd birthday.
Here’s a picture of me on my 43rd birthday showing off my new mug. I’m a huge Star Wars fan. BUT, look at that relaxed forehead. That’s all due to Botox injections.

How Often Do I Get Botox or Dysport?

For the first 5 years, I probably only needed Botox once a year to maintain results. For the last 10 years, I get it twice a year.

And, for the first 10 years, I was only getting it in my forehead and brow area. Now, I get it around my eyes too.

I probably need to get it again soon. I’m starting to get bunching around one of my eyebrows and between the brows. Maybe I’ll wait a couple months so I can make a before and after video for you guys. Stay Tuned.

I ALWAYS have an experienced Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist do my injections. But, I’m sure there are some MedSpa’s that can do quality work.

Again, just do your research and read those reviews!

ALSO, I’m not sure if it was necessary or not, but I didn’t get Botox while I was pregnant or breastfeeding. I just wanted to be extra safe.

And, you can talk to your doctor about whether Botox (the original) or Dysport (the newer alternative) is right for you.

I usually get Dysport now because it’s usually cheaper. But, in my 15 years of experience, I think Botox might last a little longer. So, maybe I’m not really saving money in the end.

11. Get Your Medical Tests Done

And last, but certainly not least, I highly recommend talking to your doctor about what medical tests you should have done in your 40’s.

For women, this article in Prevention Magazine goes into detail about 9 tests women in their 40’s should have. Men need pretty much the same, except the mammograms and cervical exams, of course. 😉

You should be monitoring your blood pressure now. So far I always have great blood pressure. I think that’s all due to the fact that I exercise regularly.

It’s good to be aware of potential health problems before they turn into chronic diseases.

You can take tests that will show prediabetes and warning signs for heart disease while you still have time to reverse it. So, get on it friends.

If we all live to be 90+, you’re going to want to spend that time exploring the world and enjoying your family and friends. 🙂

That’s it for my list of 11 affordable ways to Feel & Look Younger in your 40’s! Here’s some of my favorite things from this list.

Skin Care and Fitness Products I LOVE

Here's some of my favorite skin care and fitness products for people in their 40's or any age!


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Feeling inspired? Now that you’ve seen my list for how to Feel & Look Younger in your 40’s, get out there and exercise. 😉

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