At Byrdie, we talk at length about how to keep our skin, bodies, and minds youthful. Typically, the tips we report come from experts in their 30s and 40s. But as interest in brain health, longevity, and lifelong wellness increases, we've been inspired to look for advice in new places.
According to WorldLifeExpectancy.com, the average life expectancy of an American woman is 78.6 years. (Unsurprisingly, the longest-living U.S. women reside in Hawaii.) But there's a difference between simply living long and living well. As beauty and health aficionados, our goal is to make the most of every year we've got (and to look great while we're at it).
To figure out how to accomplish this, we consulted four women who've lived happily and healthily for eight decades or more. We asked these impressive 80- and 90-somethings to reveal their beauty and health secrets so we could steal them as soon as possible. Keep scrolling to learn how to stay young forever, according to women over 80!
1. Move your body every day (but don't push it too hard)
"I used to walk a lot as a young girl. Now it is something I need to do every day to keep everything working. Luckily, I have a pool, and I exercise in it at least twice a week." — Anita, 81
"Exercise modestly! You are no longer in your teens." — Liliane, 90
2. Surround yourself with youthful people
"It's very important to have close friends with whom you can talk freely. Nurture friends who are at least 15 to 20 years younger than you if you are in your 80s and older." — Liliane
"I try to keep company with positive people and stay open to new ideas. Never underestimate good friends and strong family ties. They are very important." — Anita
3. Always use natural skincare products
"Being from Iran, my mother always taught me to use natural products as part of my beauty routine. I also use pure rose water (the same one I use when I make rose and cardamom cakes!) with a cotton ball all over my face, neck, and décolleté as a natural toner." — Ferri, 80
4. Exercise your mind constantly
"I make a point to learn something new every day to keep my brain stimulated. One of the ways that I do this is with the NY Times daily crossword puzzle. I have the app on my iPad, and it challenges me greatly. I sometimes have to look into the crossword dictionary if I get stuck, but it helps me find the answer, which contributes to learning something new. I just learned today that Aloe Blacc is the name of the artist of a song that I enjoy!" — Shirley, 80
"Keep intellectually active by attending talks on subjects which interest you, and read as often as possible." — Liliane
"I love doing puzzles especially cryptograms!" — Anita
5. Stay active in your community
"My church activities are special to me. I am an international chairperson for the council of catholic women in my city—we do mostly charity work and meet twice a month. My hands are moving daily by sewing little dresses for missions or crocheting for the homeless or making baby hats for a nun in New York." — Anita
"Volunteer, since you will meet people who have similar interests." — Liliane
6. Cleanse and moisturize your skin every night
"One of the most important beauty secrets at any age is moisturizing daily and before bed. And never go to bed with makeup on!" — Anita
"Every night, I use almond oil to remove my eye makeup. It is hydrating and good for the skin but also gets the job done while being a gentle remover." — Ferri
7. Find what makes you happy, and do that all the time
"I like listening to music—all types. Anything to keep my toes tapping!" — Shirley
"Laugh a lot. It's good for you." — Anita