Turning 50 this month and sharing 7 tips to looking youthful without Botox or fillers

Turning 50 Beauty Tips
A number of people have told me that I look much younger than I am. A few actually thought I’m in my early 40s. So I suppose I won’t get mocked or mopped for sharing my tips on how to achieve youthful looking skin without going for Botox or fillers.

While I wouldn’t claim that my tips are unusual, neither are they the typical “drink more water” or “sleep at least 8 hours a day” spiel. In fact, these two aren’t even part of the list.

But you can be assured that the tips you’ll about to read are from someone who is extremely conscientious about skin care. This is a long post–you’ve been warned. So if you’re ready to find out, let’s jump in!

1. Use a sunscreen with active ingredients and no alcohol
I’ve always been a little obsessed about looking youthful. But this obsession did not begin until my late twenties. I also did not begin using a good sunscreen till I turned 36. Yet I was very adventurous—doing many kinds of outdoor activities without protecting my skin properly.

The thing with sun damage is, it creeps up on you gradually. So over the years, my face developed a number of sun spots. One of them became so large and obvious that I’d it lasered off when I was 36.

I often wonder how my skin would have turned out had I been more diligent with sunscreen back then. That’s why the only advice I shared recently when asked for tips to give my 24-year-old self was “to use sunscreen”. But then again, there were few choices of sunscreen. I don’t even think there were good ones to begin with.

But thank God all those years of sun exposure did not break down my skin collagen and cause my face to look crepey.

Anyway, the doctor who lasered away my sun spot recommended me a mineral sunscreen containing zinc oxide. That began my love affair with zinc oxide. Although I’ve used chemical sunscreen but a zinc oxide mineral sunscreen is always my default choice.

Technically, a chemical sunscreen is more potent because it usually comes with a number of sun protection active ingredients. However, if your skin is prone to pigmentation, I would recommend you to steer away from chemical-based sunscreens because it can cause your pigmentation to multiply very quickly.

Also, stop selecting sunscreens based on texture alone. And don’t just rely on blog reviews that rave only based on how well the sunscreen applies or how high the SPF is but tell you nothing about its actual sun protection abilities. Learn how to read the ingredients to know which ones really provide both UVA and UVB protection.

If you are choosing a mineral sunscreen, go for one that contains at least 20 percent zinc oxide. My all-time favorite is Marie Veronique Everyday Coverage SPF30 (affliate link), which I have been using for over 5 years because I think it’s the best.

If you still prefer chemical sunscreen, go for a European brand (Avene, Vichy, La Roche Posay) because they usually contain Tinosorb and Mexoryl, ingredients that are well tested to provide broad spectrum protection. The Japanese ones, unfortunately, usually contain alcohol. So I’m less incline to recommend.

2. Double cleanse using gentle and effective cleansers
Long before I’d read about double cleansing, I was already doing that–just once, at the end of the day. Somewhere along the way, I was sold on the idea of pre-cleansing.

So as soon I began wearing makeup, I’ve always been using a cream or milk cleanser to remove my makeup, followed by a gel cleanser. This remains as my skin care routine for nearly 30 years till today. I also use a cream cleanser in the morning.

My mantra toward cleansing is: use products that are gentle and effective. That’s why I favor cream or milk cleanser over oil cleansers because I find the latter too drying for my skin. Perhaps some of you will disagree but IMO oil cleansers cleanse too well that they can remove the natural lipids on our skin.

As it is, I’ve been thinking about dropping the gel cleanser even though I’ve always ensured that what I’m using contains no SLS, SLES or ALS. Perhaps I’ll try to do a double cleanse with cream cleanser and finish the routine off using micellar water. Let’s see…

So my advice? I strongly recommend double cleansing just once, at the end of the day, and make sure your cleansers do not contain harsh ingredients.

3. Pick products containing active ingredients
Speaking of ingredients, I’ve to admit that I am a skin care snob. I’m extremely selective about what I use on my skin. This is the only reason why I went the natural/organic route.

I’m not saying that natural and organic skincare products are the best, but the authenic and good ones do eliminate some of the less-than-desirable ingredients. From my experience, they can do wonders for your skin if they contain active ingredients that perform.

What’s the number one active ingredient to look out for? I’d say vitamin C because it offers collagen building and skin brightening benefits.

Marie Veronique offers some good vitamin C serum–the Vitamin C+E+Ferulic Serum. Otherwise, Odacite is another brand to check out. If you prefer something cheaper but still effective, look up iHerb (affliate link) for brands like Andalou Naturals or Mad Hippie.

4. Use facial oil at least once a day
My love with facial oil began as early as 2008. And having used facial oils for over five years now, I can vouch for their benefits and tell you it’s the one product you need to try, no matter your skin type. I have combination skin and my skin has not turned oilier because of using facial oil–whether I use it once a day or twice a day.

I’ve explained that facial oils works because they do not include additives. This means you are reaping the best ingredient neat. A lot of creams have additives such as silicones, which IMO, interferes with product penetration. You don’t have to believe me of course but you might like to know that there is an upward trend for facial oils going by the increase in offerings. Heck, even Korean actresses use face oil diligently.

Also, some facial oils provide limited amount of sun protection–examples include red raspberry oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, etc. They’re a good complement to your regular sunscreen. I use the Marie Veronique Protective Day Oil (formerly Oil de Jour) daily before the Everyday Coverage. It contains red raspberry oil and astaxanthin.

Although I started out using single oils, I really prefer mixed oils because they perform better for me. Check out my post for some recommendations on facial oils to try. If you find that selection expensive, may I suggest you to check out iHerb. They have pretty cheap and good ones.

The only thing that irks me about facial oils is, they can turn rancid very quickly. In my experience, those containing sweet almond oil are particularly at risk. You just have to use them quickly or maybe add vitamin E to try prolong the shelf life.

5. Massage your face once a day
I think I started massaging my face regularly since 2009. I do it at least once a day whenever I am washing my face. Despite being avid about skin care, I am quite lazy. So massaging while washing my face spares me from having to set aside time and facial oil for the purpose.

I adapted my massage technique from Tanaka Face Contouring. It’s a simple 3-minutes massage that aims to lift up my face and to prevent nasolabial folds. Or search for “tanaka massage cheat sheet”. You don’t have to follow the whole works. Just understand how to drain the lymph nodes before and after the massage–whatever is in between can be customized according to your needs.

6. Take a skin care supplement daily
This has been my skin savior. I don’t think my skin will look like how it is now if I hadn’t eaten skin supplements containing collagen daily.

I began taking collagen supplements from Imedeen in my late 20s for maybe a year or so and then I stopped. It was only in my mid-40s that I resumed. This time, I turned to AFC from Japan.

Doctors and experts will tell you these supplements do nothing but it works for me and scores of others who are taking them as well. In fact, I can almost see a remarkable difference when I stop consuming them.

But do note that taking such supplements will make you look kinda fat. When I was checking my photos recently, I thought my face looked like I’d Botox. LOL.

And for those who are adverse toward taking supplements, let me just assure you that you can skip this tip. You can always try to eat foods that are high in collagen eg. Avocado, fish, meat. As for me, I’ll continue eating supplements because between supplements and Botox, I think the former is a healthier option for me.

7. Poo daily
I’m just going to give this tip very plainly: make sure you poo daily. I can’t begin to tell you how much problems I had when I was frequently constipated. Imagine dull skin and constant break outs? Not fun at all.

But I had that reversed once I completed a 2-week detox and upped my intake of fiber in the form of brown rice, apples and kiwis. I also eat dried prunes or apricots whenever I feel constipated.

So there. My seven tips to looking youthful without Botox or fillers. And this is how I look without makeup. I know my complexion ain’t flawless but the point here is that it isn’t wrinkly.

I didn’t cover diet as part of my tips because I’m not very consistent on that count. But I try to eat as healthy as possible and I try to avoid eating too much sugary and cold stuff.

I should also highlight that there are some things I rarely do even though they are popular beauty tips promoted by other bloggers or experts.

I don’t go for facials very often–maybe once or twice a year now. I suppose I should increase my visits but I’m usually hard pressed for excess time. I also don’t use sheet masks very regularly. In fact, I use them mostly when I travel.

But things are changing as I write this. Turning 50 is an excuse to introduce new routines and indulge in special skin care. Perhaps I’ll go for more facials from now on, or I might even consider some aesthetic treatments to get rid of my pigmentation. Who knows?

As for now, I’ll just keep to these tips and rely on my Lord to renew and maintain my youthful looks. #k8SjZc9Dxk#k8SjZc9Dxk

So what do you think of these tips?



  1. Paris B says:

    Excellent tips, Sesame and you’re a walking testimonial, so we know for a fact they work! ? Can’t say I keep up with every one, although I’m doing the facial oil and working on using skincare with more actives in them. I actually agree whole heartedly with you about how drying and stripping oil cleansers can be! I started out with them and was a huge fan, but have now moved onto cream/balm cleansers followed by a non-foaming cleanser for 2nd cleanse. Skin feels a lot happier. Ultimately, I think the most important thing is to pay attention to, and understand our own skin and care for it accordingly ?

    Happy birthday in advance, and congratulations on hitting a life milestone! ?
    Paris B last post is: With the Yves Rocher Radiance Rinsing Vinegar and Low ShamPoo you might change the way you wash your hair

  2. Mai says:

    Except for the supplements & massage part, the rest of the tips are also part of my routine. I’m really obsessed with having youthful skin too since my teens and am kinda frustrated at how my skin change as i grow older. Now i’m trying hard to slow down the signs of aging and you website has helped me a lot. Thank you! And Happy Advanced Birthday…ours are the same month..yayyy to Taurean beauties ?

  3. Trang Do says:

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing!
    Love from http://www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

  4. stella says:

    happy birthday! i’ve been wondering about supplements well, having stopped liquid collagen intake for a year and a half since a certain brand withdrew from the market. but i did notice slightly plumper skin when i took powdered collagen last month so…i’m not too sure lol

  5. Sesame says:

    Thanks Stellla! The liquid collagen are fancl’s? They back in Singapore. I think they make a difference but maybe less obvious when your skin is already quite taut.

  6. Sesame says:

    You’re welcome. ?

  7. Sesame says:

    Glad to be of help, Mai. And thanks for the birthday wishes. ?

  8. Sesame says:

    Thanks Paris! Always good to hear concurrences from fellow bloggers. About cleansers, I’ve not tried balm cleansers yet. Always thought they’re a bit troublesome but maybe I should give them a shot.

  9. Sylvia says:

    We are almost the same age ? I’m turning 50 in July..

    I would like to try the sunscreen you recommend. Is there anywhere I can buy it in Singapore?

  10. jid says:

    If surgeon’s scalpels and Botox fill you with fear here’s a softer approach to fighting wrinkles that works

    There are two ways your skin shows the ravages of time. First, there’s intrinsic ageing, the natural, biological processes that occur in the skin, including hormonal changes such as the loss of estrogen in the body which makes our skin drier, the slowing down of collagen and elastin production, so skin loses its plumpness as well as less melanin, the substance that gives our skin its colour, making us more susceptible to UV damage, sun spots and wrinkles.

    Second, there’s extrinsic ageing, which refers to the environmental factors that influence the way we age, for example our exposure to free radicals – organic molecules responsible for tissue damage, and possibly some diseases that come from pollution, smoke, sunlight and food. You probably know that certain habits slow this down, most significantly wearing sunscreen and giving up smoking. Now, experts are finding more evidence that other lifestyle factors can influence specific effects of extrinsic ageing.

  11. Ági says:

    I’m so glad that I found your blog yesterday:) You’re really made my day:)
    It’s almost two years now when I first heard about asian skincare, and it was love at first sight. I was really impressed about how women can take care about their skin while we in the other side of the world are so envy about asian women and think this is only gens…but now I know it’s rather hard work and a long journey, just as your 50 years shows us. I’m so happy that not I’m the only one in the world (sometimes I feel like in my country, Hungary) who is looking for natural and organic solutions for her asian skincare rutin. I was so desperate and lost so I made my own skincare regimen from natural ingredients. I buy them in a local store (pure oils, flower waters and active ingredients) and have the same result just you said: this is so noticible how my skin changed in this two years.
    Happy birthday to you and I’m getting started to read all your previous posts ?

  12. Sesame says:

    Hey Sylvia, we’re in each other’s good company! ?

    About the sunscreen, I have always purchased direct from US. Currently not aware of its availability here yet. Another product you can try if you want to buy from Singapore is Juice Beauty’s stem Cellular CC Cream which has 20% Zinc Oxide. My review is here: https://www.vivawoman.net/2016/02/juice-beauty-stem-cellular-cc-cream-review/. The product is available at Bud Cosmetics.

  13. Sesame says:

    Thanks for sharing. 😊

  14. Sesame says:

    Hi Agi, so glad for your visit and comment! I’ve never interacted with anyone from Hungary yet…you are the first! I would love to hear more of your experience with natural products. Like you, I believe that they helped my skin what the usual commercial products couldn’t.

    Drop by often. I try to blog at least once or twice a week and would love to receive comments. 😊

  15. Ági says:

    Thank you so much:) You mentioned in your site that Singapore is only a dot on the map…well it is very rare when I find someone who live in country which is smaller than mine:) ….Hungary is only two dots:)

    About natural products: where do I begin…?:) It is a long journey, and a great experimental game (not yet closed) but I’m so in love with it. When I first read about the 10 steps of korean skincare rutine, I knew that this is what I’m looking for. On the other hand it scarred me a little bit that all the products have a very long ingredient list ? So I made my own:) First I strict to the steps and start to thinking how can I replace them with diy products.

    I was very lucky as I know my skin very well and I guess I always make the right conseqvences when I try a new thing out. For example: I do not pay for a cleansing oil as olive oil or grapeseed oil do the same for my skin:) As well as I do not buy a toner, as aloe vera or rose water do the same for me. I only need to pour them to a spray bottle (I prefer this iso cotton pad, to much waste) and gently press it to my skin.

    When I planned my whole new regimen I do not want to put all of the ingredients into one holly product, so I separate them. I use Vitamin A E and Coenzym10 in my oil basis and hyaluronic acid, ascorbic acid, AHA and BHA in water basis. I also considered which oils have benefits but phototoxic, so I can’t use them in the morning rutin, but in the evening (pomegranate seed oil) they are safe:)

    I have to face the problem that I’m not able to replace and make everything on my own, mostly the essences and snail creams …so I still buy them ?

    I like to encourage everybody to try homemade creams and lotions and others as you can buy very good natural products nowdays, but in this case you know exactly what is in your cream.

    I’ve also put my lip balm recipe in my comment about your blog post of your favourite lip balms. Hope you gonna like it:)

  16. Sesame says:

    Wow, sounds like you are having loads of fun experimenting and making your own cosmetics! I lve that! In fact, I wanted to try it at one stage but just can’t find the time. So I’ve to fall back on products. I’ve tried making DIY sun protection oil, cuticle oil, balms, and dry shampoos. Wanted to make a cleanser but never got down to it. Hopefully, I’ll find some time to start again in the near future. ?

  17. Diana_nyc says:

    Sesame, you’re skin really looks great. I’ve had the same experience with more gentle cream cleansers, very positive. In regards to facial massage, I had been doing it regularly for almost 2 years, and although I know it has rewards, it does cause me redness. I was doing it as part of my morning ritual, and more often, I noticed redness on those days. Perhaps I should do it only at nite? I use grape seed oil, which I think is a gentle enough oil.
    The 2 other things I’m doing (in my mid 40s), which I do not know if you have tried, is Micro Needling 2x a month (at home). And I use retinol cream for sensitive skin, at nite.
    I’ve had great success with micro needling, I’ve been doing it about 5 years now. It really plumps up the skin, and softens lines, if done properly/carefully.
    Take Care

  18. Sesame says:

    Thanks for your kind comments, Diana! ?

    For the massage, perhaps cut to once a day. Hopefully, that’ll reduce the redness. As for micro needling, I’ve tried it a few times maybe three or four years ago when I was desperate to heal my acne scars. But I no longer do so.

  19. Mari says:


    You look great! With regard to face sunscreen, I agree it is a must. By the way, I miss your reviews of sunscreens so much. I know you love Marie Veronique, but I don’t like tinted lotions, so I’m still in the search for a light and non-greasy face sunscreen. Have you heard of the new face sunscreen by Badger with rose spf 25?
    Take care

  20. Sesame says:

    Thanks Mari! I haven’t seen that new sunscreen from Badger but I’m trying one with SPF35 and will review that in a while. I am also trying another sports sunscreen and hoping it’ll not be as heavy. Look out for my review in two weeks or so.

  21. Ivan says:

    Congratulations! These tips are very useful for anyone no matter the age. Best if you start early. The most difficult part is having the discipline to maintain this daily routine.

  22. Sesame says:

    Thank you. Yes, having discipline in skin care is important.

  23. Brita says:

    You look 35!

  24. Sesame says:

    Wow, thanks so much for saying that! #k8SjZc9Dxk.#k8SjZc9Dxk

  25. Mari says:

    Thanks so much! I liked the review of the spf35 sunscreen, but I have a concern about the table of the spf value according to the % of zinc oxide. The point is that I read somewhere that the spf depends not only on the %, but also on the size in nanometers of the zinc oxide. That is, with a visual example: nanoparticles are like a lot of rounded mirrors reflecting the sun, imagine large mirrors, there will be a lot of space between them that will let the sun pass, now imagine little mirrors, the space between them will be much smaller, therefore, letting less sun pass. Thus, you should know the size in nm of the zinc oxide in your sunscreen to know the spf according to the % of zinc oxide. We shouldn’t go below 100 nm due to the risk of skin absorption, but you could get high spf-s with less than 20% zinc oxide. Anyway, I do understand if you feel comfortable with that number because it seems to be more of less the higher % available in the market. By the way, that new sunscreen from Badger is available at iHerb. I already ordered because I couldn’t wait to read the reviews ;D

  26. Sesame says:

    Interesting info you’ve shared. You can find the info at Badger’s page…they have quite a detailed explanation here: http://www.badgerbalm.com/s-33-zinc-oxide-sunscreen-nanoparticles.aspx. I prefer non-nano zinc oxide and micronized zinc oxide. I’m most vary about clear zinc oxide. But Badger’s sunscreens are great. I brought their SPF35 to the beach recently and had no burn. But it’s quite thick and greasy so not the most wearable. I should go check out their SPF25 one soon.

  27. Jo says:

    You have younger and better skin than I do, and I’m only 26. :[ I get really depressed about my skin and large pores. I am caucasian though…I guess I should get used to it now because it’s going to look awful by the time I’m your age >__<

  28. Sesame says:

    Thanks for your kind comments. You can start taking care of your skin now and it will improve. Don’t give up!

  29. Jenny Spears @SkinClinic says:

    Our skin undergoes several changes as we grow older, so we really have to take care of our skin more. Great tips! Thank you for sharing!
    Jenny Spears @SkinClinic last post is: Best Non-Surgical Anti-Aging Face Treatments

  30. Ageless botox preço says:

    My mom is just like you, every body says her that she looks younger than most of people of their age !

  31. Earl Olusola says:

    Avois stress as well and also eat a lot of healthy foods it will make your skin glow.

  32. Jo says:

    Hi, where did you go for laser treatment for pigment spots?

  33. Sesame says:

    I went to Medical Aesthetics but the doctor who did for me is no longer there.

  34. tabuk says:

    Great Post!!!

    Thanks for share these tip and its valuable for me.

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