The ultimate tips from GH Live’s talk on midlife beauty

Good Housekeeping Live in partnership with Dyson’s talk on midlife beauty was rich with insight and wisdom, bringing together industry experts across skin, hair and makeup. Chatting to Lynne Hyland, GH’s beauty editor, was Dr. Thivi Maruthappu, the UK’s only dual qualified dermatologist and nutritionist; Zoë Irwin, creative director at John Frieda Salons; and Amanda Bell, director of artistry at Pixi Beauty.

The 45-minute conversation was jam-packed full of excellent tips on how to look better for longer, ranging from the 2-minute hair hack to the unsung ingredient to incorporate into your skincare routine.

The best midlife beauty tips

  1. Frequent scalp massage is an excellent way to promote hair growth

Speaking of the challenges hair loss and thinning can present for midlife women, Zoë Irwin shared the easy (and free!) tip she gives her clients experiencing shedding. “Massaging the scalp and increasing the blood flow to that area has been shown to increase growth by 24% in 6 months. The cells within the follicles stretch when you massage them. I tell my clients not to give up; after a year of massaging and upping their iron intake, some of my clients double the amount of hair they have on their head in a year.” It’s incredibly easy to do, too: Zoë’s demonstration featured her starting at the hairline above the temples, and manipulating her fingers across the scalp to get the blood flowing to the area.

2. Good skin starts from within

Dr. Thivi is aware of the dialogue surrounding restriction in diet, especially when relating to skin health. “Instead of taking things away, I focus on what to add in. When thinking of food for great skin, I think of what I call the ‘Glow’ acronym. G stands for greens, particularly leafy ones, which are rich in phytonutrients (essential for glowing skin); L is for lean proteins, which can be vegan, meat or fish; O is oils, good fats from nuts and seeds; finally, W is whole grains, which people often tell us to cut out. They’re actually incredibly important for your gut, and we know that your gut is closely related to skin health.” Incorporating these into your diet, she says, is excellent for achieving glow.

midlife beauty tips

L-R: Lynne Hyland, Dr. Thivi Maruthappu, Zoë Irwin, Amanda Bell

Sammie Thompson /

3. Don’t underestimate the power of a primer

They’re a makeup non-negotiable for Amanda Bell. “I’m a massive fan of primers for the way they act as a cushion between makeup and skincare,” she says. “For most people, skin dehydrates as we age. As it gets drier throughout the day, your skin will drink in moisture from the surface; most foundations are water-based, so they’ll disappear into your skin. When you create a barrier between your skin and makeup using a primer with a humectant in (like glycerin or hyaluronic acid), it keeps your skin hydrated and therefore your makeup in place for longer.”

4. Be aware of the pressure you’re applying to your hair

Our dominant hand often places heightened pressure on the hair when brushing it, says Zoë. Her solution? “One of the smallest but most effective tips would be to brush your teeth with your non-dominant for 30 days. You’ll start to activate muscles in your other arm and hand. You’ll develop great flexibility to brush behind your hair with the non-dominant hand, and put less pressure on your strands in the process.”

5. There’s one particular skincare ingredient that doesn’t get enough attention

Vitamin C and retinols are two ingredients Dr. Thivi recommends for brightening and reducing fine lines, but also waxes lyrical about another active ingredient that works incredibly hard. “Azelaic acid is excellent. It’s fabulous for redness, pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, and suits all skin types. You can buy it over the counter.”

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