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How to look younger at 50, in 7 ridiculously easy steps

Do you want all of my secrets on how to look younger? Here they are. Your mileage may vary.

Amy wearing a backwards baseball cap and holding a skateboard, with the caption "How do you do, fellow kids?"

For the second time in two weeks, someone I don’t know has mistaken me for being about 30 years old. I am, in fact, pushing 50. (Do you want proof? My first concert was Rick Springfield, and Corey Hart opened. They both had current hits at the time.)

This kind of thing delights me to no end. My husband will tell you that when I enter places that have a minimum age requirement, I pause briefly as I enter, hoping that someone will stop me and ask to see some ID. When it happens, I add it to my greeting for several weeks. “Hi, I’m Amy, nice to meet you. I was carded on New Year’s Eve.”

I feel like it’s just unfair at this point for me to keep my beauty secrets to myself, so I’m spilling them all here. I follow every single one of these rules religiously.

Don’t go outside

Bad things happen to your skin outside, like sun damage and really good fast food. Stay inside and watch TV, preferably with the blinds closed.

This rule applies double if you live in New York City, like I do. Everyone here is fit and younger looking, and nothing good comes from standing near them.

Be boring

Don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. Don’t be the life of the party. In fact, don’t even go to parties. Live a drama-free, event-free life. Being boring keeps you young. And as a bonus, the endless monotony of your days will make your years feel much longer! You’re basically twisting time.

Keep your metabolism guessing

Don’t eat badly for too long, but don’t eat well for too long, either. Keep your body guessing as to whether you’re a healthy eater who would like to fit into your jeans again, or a teenage boy who plays football.

This is also known as yo-yo dieting. There’s a good chance you’re doing it anyway, so do it with purpose.

Grin like an idiot

Smile all the time. Funerals, at the DMV, while yelling at your kids in public, everywhere. Just look at the difference:

Two pictures of Amy, one with her not smiling and the caption "Resting Jowls Face", the other with her smiling and the caption "Smiling Idiot Face".

For women over a certain age, this is the only way to avoid a facelift. Sure, smiling that hard all the time accentuates your crow’s feet, but if you call them “smile squiggles” they’re charming. There’s no cute name for saggy jowls. Even the word “jowl” is ugly.

Don’t drink water

Seriously. It’s bullshit. I think the bottled water people are behind the whole “water is good for your skin cells and will keep you from dying” myth.

One of the secrets to my beautiful skin is massive amounts of Diet Dr Pepper. I mean, post hoc ergo propter hoc. My logic is infallible. Plus, all that caffeine? Buzzing around my house like a bee is helping to reverse the aging process.

Don’t wash your face at night

Are you wasting time (and water!) on a nightly beauty routine? Stop it right now! You know how you have to moisturize your face after you wash it or your skin feels dry? That’s because washing it strips away all of the wonderful oils and the protective coating of pollution that has built up during the day.

If you remove this layer, you’re just starting over from scratch. You have to wash your face eventually, but at least let the gunk settle in overnight. My youthful glow is about half hot flashes and half grease.

Sleep irregularly

Don’t let your body settle into a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at 9:30 a few nights in a row, then stay up until 3:30 am, with an occasional all-nighter when you forget to do your taxes. Over time, this will trick your body into thinking you’re still in college. And who looks young? College students!

That’s it, my own seven easy steps to looking younger. Foolproof.

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