My Top Skincare Secret

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People ask me all the time, “What is your skin care secret?” I’m happy to share what has worked for me. As a bonus, my top skin care secret is also great for your overall health.

I wrote this when I was 53 and at 61, I am still reaping the benefits!

I have been obsessed with good skin care since I was a teenager with acne. I started working when I was 13 so that I could experiment with skin care products that my mom didn’t want to buy for me.

Back then, all I wanted to do was have clear skin. I finally achieved that to some extent by age 15 when I developed my own at-home toner combined with a topical acne medicine.

Yet at the same time, I was spending almost every day of my childhood at the pool or playing outside probably have a bit of sun damage.

Yet, I still have good skin tone, no wrinkles, and just a few lines around my eyes.

Picture of author Sara's face
This is me on the eve of turning 61

May 2023 update: When I wrote this post, I was 52. I still believe that all of this is true. I’ve added a few more things at the end you can do to improve your skin.

When I look back though, at what I think is the biggest factor, it’s that I really limited the amount of sugar I ate starting at age 28 when I was pregnant with my son.

I read a book and became convinced that sugar was not good for me. And as the years have gone by, I have become more and more convinced of that.

Back in the 90’s we still thought fat was making us fat. But in fact, it is sugars and foods that act like sugar in your body that are the real culprits.

These foods can not only make you gain weight but they cause inflammation inside your body and can actually damage your skin.

So what are these culprits?

Sugar and foods that act like sugar in your body are not only bad for your body but they are DISASTROUS to your skin. Year in and year out, this silent damage goes on until one day you look at the loose skin and wrinkles and wonder, what happened?

What happened is that inside your body, these sugars were causing inflammation. Sugar starts an inflammatory process in your body that harms your skin cells and turns off protection against skin damage.

That inflammation reduces collagen and elastin! All the supplements and lotions will not counteract this internal damage!

Picture of woman with the words: How to have great skin after 50

Sugar Does More Than Make You Gain Weight

Of all the things I eat or drink, one thing really shows up in my face. Sugar.

Fortunately I quit eating unlimited sugar back in my twenties. I am so thankful that I realized way back then that eating sugar and foods that act like sugar was bad for me.

In the beginning it was because of weight and overall health. I really had no idea how important that would be to my face.

Sugar is such a common enemy of people trying to lose weight that we really don’t think beyond that. It’s not just calories. Amidst all the damage sugar is doing inside your body, it is extremely damaging to your skin.

People are so willing to pay big bucks for skin care, yet the real secret is in your diet. I love my products too! But I am convinced that no product or supplement can undo or counteract what you put into your body.

What Kinds of Food Hurt Your Skin?

When we think of sugary foods; we think of cake, candy, soda, and sweets like that. But many other foods act as sugar. Bread, pasta, rice, tortillas, and other products made from grains are just as damaging as sweets.

The following foods contribute little or nothing nutritionally but they can wreck your skin:

  • All common sugars: (especially the ones you consume in large amounts) white, brown, corn syrup, high-fructose syrup, agave, honey, and maple syrup.
  • Products made from grain: pasta, rice, grain, crackers, cereals, breads, pancakes
  • Goodies: soda, ice cream, cakes, cookies, candy
Sugar and Foods that Act Like Sugar |

Here’s a PDF of some of the common sugars and foods that act like sugars.
Sugar and Foods That Act Like Sugar

I do eat some of these occasionally now. But if I overdo it on these kinds of foods, I can see it in my face. Puffy and pasty is not my favorite look!

What Do You Eat Instead of Sugar?

This is one of those things easier said than done if your diet has been composed of the above types of food. In a nutshell though, you eat real food.

You eat meat, vegetables, some fruit, and healthy fats. In addition nuts, eggs, some whole grains, and occasional treats.

The building blocks of great skin are also good for you in general. Concentrate on your three main nutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

For protein, I concentrate on meat and eggs. Most women that I work with don’t eat even the minimum amount of protein recommended.

In addition, vegetables and fruit, in as much variety as you can get are great for you and give you plenty of carbohydrates.

Finally, fat is not a dirty word. It is a nutrient that is absolutely necessary for great skin. I enjoy olive oil, butter, avocados and avocado oil. I cook with it and I use it to make dressings and sauces.

Fat is not only good for you–it makes your food taste delicious and fills you up.

It sounds limiting but it’s not. When you remove the crap from your diet you begin to explore and experience the huge variety of real food that is available.

It wasn’t until my diet was fairly clean that I started to really be able to see the difference. Now my face shows me when I’ve been overdoing sugar and related foods.

I also know that eliminating these foods shows an improvement in my skin quickly. If you are not happy with the quality of your skin, consider eliminating as much sugar and foods that act like sugar as possible and see how it affects you.

No matter what your age is, start to research what sugar and foods that act like sugar are doing to your health. I know it’s easy to ignore things you can’t see but this is one that will definitely catch up to you. It is never too early or too late to start!

Other Healthy Skin Habits for Women Over 50

I believe that our obsession with snacking is a problem. Eating around the clock just isn’t good for us. I encourage women to eat plenty at their meals and to not snack.

I also recommend not eating after dinner and giving your body a good 12-break from eating.

Skincare is important to me as well. I use good products and have a consistent routine. I always remove my makeup and wash my skin at night.

After that I use a serum. As we get older we go from toner to serum.

I finish with an eye cream and a moisturizer.

In the morning, I just rinse and lightly apply more serum and moisturizer.

I don’t like heavy makeup so I use a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen.

My last good habit for my skin is to move my body. Exercise is good for just about everything! And despite what some people think, it doesn’t have to be hard or painful.

In fact, for me, gentle exercise is much better. It feels great, I look forward to it, and it provides a ton of benefits.

My final good skin habit is relaxing and rest. When you are overworked and overstressed, it shows on your face.

Along with that, being angry, frustrated, and disappointed also show up in frown lines between your eyes and around your mouth.

As a life coach, I see how women can turn that around all the time. Processing negative feelings in healthy ways makes everyone look so much better.

Having great skin isn’t about looking like an age we aren’t. It’s about looking and feeling good in our own skin. I have a 35-year old daughter who looks like the sun has never touched her skin.

I will never have THAT kind of skin! But all in all, I believe that my healthy skin habits make a big difference to the quality of my skin.

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Keep showing up my friends,



I'm a certified life and weight loss coach who helps women feel better and get the most out of their lives! The process of life coaching teaches you to love yourself and gain self confidence in a safe effective way.

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Hi, I'm Sara Garska and I'm so happy you're here! Big changes can happen with a shift in thinking. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a certified life and weight loss coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 50-minute coaching session.