You have reached a milestone — your 50th birthday.  Maybe your own mother turned 50 while you were in college, starting your career, or getting married. That time seems so far removed, yet here you are at 50 or older.  When you step out of bed in the morning, you may feel like your energetic thirty-year old self.  However, when you look in the mirror, your reflection may tell a different story.

Maybe you have started noticing a few more lines on your face.  Your skin isn’t as firm as it once was.  Your eyes are a little downturned.  Your hair isn’t as thick and lustrous as it once was.  There is hope, though.  Beauty need not be in your rearview mirror just because you have crossed over into the 50s and beyond.

Age 50-plus can be a remarkable time for women.  Maybe it’s the first time in a while you can make yourself a priority.  Your children are nearly raised.  Your professional life is in a fairly stable place.  You have created some financial reserves.  You can now prioritize yourself.  This is your second act — a time when you are positioned to positively impact the world with your hard-earned wisdom in tow.

When you look in the mirror in the morning, you should look as great as you feel.  Here are five powerful beauty strategies for women over 50.  These are not makeup tips and tricks to conceal your flaws.  These are real strategies for changing the trajectory of your appearance over time.  You will be looking and feeling better than ever when you implement these five tactics.

Drink a Green Smoothie

If you are already thinking, “I could never drink a green smoothie,” please hold your judgment for a moment.  A green smoothie each day has the power to deeply transform your health.  These nutrient packed drinks offer a plethora of health and beauty benefits.  What’s more, green smoothies offer a quick dose of mental clarity, energy, and satiety.

The kind of green smoothie best for your anti-aging beauty routine consists of a handful of dark leafy greens, some fruit, and maybe a frozen banana, avocado, or Greek yogurt for creaminess.  You can also add a scoop of collagen or protein powder, and a sprinkle of a superfood like flaxseed or chia seed.  For your desired consistency, you can add water or almond milk. 

A green smoothie is a great opportunity to ingest many nutrients each day.  Unlike juicing, green smoothies utilize the whole fruit or vegetable, and leave the fiber intact.  This fiber can aid in natural weight loss.  When you eat too many processed foods, toxins build up in your body.  The fiber from green smoothies can aid your body in flushing these toxins and releasing excess water and fat.  Also, when you replace empty calories with nutrient dense ones, you stop craving unhealthy foods.

Here is a breakdown of the beauty benefits of the other ingredients.  Green smoothies start with a handful of greens like spinach, kale, or Swiss chard.  Vitamin A, found in high amounts in greens, staves off acne by slowing the production of sebum.  Vitamin A can also help strengthen the protective tissues of your skin and flush out toxins.

With the vitamin E found in leafy greens, your skin receives protection from free radical damage.  The Folate in leafy green helps your skin produce and maintain cells, as Folate is a key component in DNA repair.  Beta-carotene, another powerful antioxidant found in leafy greens, also helps to repair and renew skin.

Disease-fighting phytochemicals are also found in leafy greens and help to protect against the aging effects of free radicals.  Finally, lutein boosts hydration levels in the skin, helps to promote elasticity, and protects the skin against the sun’s damaging rays. 

Since your green smoothie will be so delicious and creamy, it’s easy to boost its nutritional value by adding a scoop of collagen or protein powder, and some super foods like flaxseed or chia seeds, with little effect on the taste.  Hydrolyzed collagen — the kind you can put in your smoothie — is touted to ease joint pain, soften wrinkles, and improve the skin’s elasticity.

Consider Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

As people age, their hormone levels fluctuate and decrease.  Low hormone levels can wreak havoc on your skin, energy levels, sleep patterns, muscle strength, and libido.  Your hormones may be to blame if your skin is looking dull, saggy, lined, or dry.  This is because hormones can affect the thickness of the dermis and epidermis, and cause collagen and elastin levels to decline.  Specifically, the hormone estrogen helps your skin look younger through its production of hyaluronic acid.

If you want to look and feel younger, you may want to consider Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT).  BHRT is the process of replenishing the hormones your body no longer produces in sufficient amounts.  It is believed BHRT can actually reverse many of the typical signs of aging.

Bioidentical hormones are man-made hormones derived from plant estrogens.  The human body cannot distinguish these hormones from the ones the body produces on its own.  Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are the most common ones replicated and utilized in hormone treatment.  Typically, BHRT is offered in the form of creams, lozenges, pellets, pills, or vaginal inserts.  You can talk to your gynecologist about BHRT, or look for an anti-aging specialist in your area.

Use These Anti-Aging Products

Time in the sun, smoking, diet, and heredity all affect your skin as you get older.  As you age, your skin doesn’t turn cells over as quickly as it once did.  The oil production in your skin slows down, and the skin gradually becomes less elastic and more prone to dryness.

There are many anti-aging skincare products on the shelves today.  Here are the non-negotiable ones — the products critical for your 50-plus, anti-aging beauty arsenal.  The first two are sunscreen and moisturizer.  You should apply sunscreen, rain or shine, all 365 days a year.  Sunscreen is one of the easiest ways to protect the appearance of your skin.  Sunscreen not only prevents sunburn, but also wards off premature aging and skin cancer.

If you are tempted to eschew sunscreen in the winter, know that although UVB rays may be lessened in the winter, UVA rays are still very present — even indoors.  UVA rays permeate the skin at a much deeper level than UVB rays.  UVA rays also play a role in the signs of aging like wrinkles and dark spots. 

You will also want to make sure you moisturize your skin day and night with a high quality moisturizing cream.  As you age, your skin can become thin and crepey.  The amount of oil on your skin decreases.  The ingredients usually available on the surface of your skin to heal and rejuvenate are now unavailable. 

You can maintain the barrier of your skin by always wearing moisturizer.  Look for ingredients in your moisturizer like hyaluronic acid and ceramides — products that mimic the oils of your skin and serve to protect it.

Once you are consistent with your use of sunscreen and moisturizer, you may want to consider adding products with vitamin A, vitamin C, or Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs).  New skin cell production can be stimulated with topical vitamin A.  Vitamin C has been shown to promote collagen production. 

AHAs are a group of plant and animal-derived acids typically used in skincare products.  AHAs are mainly used to exfoliate the surface of the skin.  Exfoliation is the process by which you remove dead skin cells and make way for new cell formation.  As mentioned previously, the skin cell cycle slows down with age, and dead skin cells may build up.  This accumulation can cause your complexion to look dull and tired.  Be careful not to over exfoliate though, as you are removing the only protective layer your skin has.

AHAs can also help promote collagen and blood flow.  Collagen is a protein-rich fiber that helps the skin look smooth and plump.  As people age, these collagen fibers break down.  Sun damage may also quicken the destruction of collagen.  AHAs can also decrease discoloration from scarring and age spots, brighten the complexion, improve the appearance of surface lines and wrinkles, and increase product absorption.  Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid seem to be the most promising of the AHAs.  You can find AHAs in various skin treatments.

If you still feel as if your skin needs help after incorporating these items into your skincare regimen, you may want to consider some cosmetic procedures.  Botox or Dysport can ease the wrinkles on the upper third of your face.  You can use fillers to plump up your skin and erase lines.  Chemical peels can diminish fine lines and dark spots.  Microdermabrasion can erase ultra fine lines and improve your skin tone and color.  Laser resurfacing and skin rejuvenation can improve sun-damage, scars, and wrinkles.

Treat Your Hair Like Your Skin

Your hair may be adding years to your appearance.  As you age, your hair follicles can become thinner and more brittle.  If you want thick and lustrous hair, you need to care for your hair as thoughtfully as your skin.

Like your skin, healthy hair begins with a good diet.  Having a well-balanced diet with an abundance of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins will help with hair growth.  If you have nutritional gaps in your diet, you can also add supplements.

Vitamin C helps protect the hair against oxidative stress, and also helps to create collagen.  Collagen is an important part of the hair structure.  Vitamin E can stimulate circulation in your scalp and help to hydrate the hair follicles at the root.  Some research also suggests biotin supplements can help make fine hair thicker.  Fish oil is also an excellent anti-aging supplement.  In addition to improving the function of your heart and immune system, fish oil is well known to stimulate hair growth.

Make sure to wear a hat when you step outside in the sun.  Hopefully, you are already diligent about putting sunscreen on your skin.  However, when people step outside, they often neglect their scalps.  Sunburns can not only make your scalp itchy and flaky, sunburns can also damage the hair follicle.

You may also want to consider using a heat protectant spray if you regularly use a hair dryer, straightener, or curling iron.  Dry and split ends can make your hair look dull and lifeless, and a heat protectant can help to protect your ends.  Also, try to use “light hold” products.  Hairsprays that offer “strong” or “ultra hold” are often drying to the hair, because they have a higher alcohol content.

Try Some Yoga

Last, but not least, you should consider yoga.  You are probably well aware of the health benefits of regular exercise.  However, yoga can be particularly beneficial for anti-aging.  In addition to improving posture and strength (which are awesome beautifiers themselves), yoga can benefit skin tone and complexion.  A challenging yoga class will make you sweat, which is an excellent way to expel toxins from your body.  Toxins often get deposited into fat tissues.  These toxins can then lead to acne, skin discoloration, and accelerated aging.

Yoga is also a great way to help you calm down and relax.  By doing yoga, your blood can flow more freely and can nourish all the organs better, including the skin.  This enhanced blood flow ensures your skin is receiving the oxygen it needs which keeps the skin flexible, supple, and toned. 

Also, stress can directly affect your body by causing the release of specific hormones.  These stress hormones have been shown to increase inflammation in the body and reduce its ability to repair.  Excess inflammation can break down the collagen in the body, which as you know, affects the skin and hair.

Hopefully, these beauty tactics have given you some great ideas for improving your anti-aging beauty routine.  When you look in the mirror, hopefully, you will embrace who you are at all ages and celebrate your unique beauty!