Brows By The Decade: How To Tend To The Arches In Your 20s, 30s, 40s & Beyond

mbg Associate Editor By Jamie Schneider
mbg Associate Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and health. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
Brows by the decade
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Considering it can take years to nail down the perfect brow-shaping technique, it's a cruel twist of fate to learn that your brows do, in fact, transform with age. You won't exactly wake up one morning with an entirely new brow shape, but those arches do lose some real estate over time. Like the hair on your head and the rim of lashes along your waterline, your delicate eyebrow hairs grow older as you do. 

The brows you have in your 20s will not be the same brows you have in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. And that's OK! Your beauty is ever-evolving, maturing, and refining with age—it's a beautiful process in its own right. But if you want to finesse your brows back to the fluffers of your youth? That's totally fine, too: In fact, the pros have tons of tips to tend to each shift as the years go on, and we've outlined the timeline below.   

How do brows change as you age?

Essentially? "Everything goes south," says brow expert Joey Healy. For example, the tails tend to droop, the arches flatten out, and the fronts of the brows recede—oftentimes asymmetrically. "Some people think it [happens] because of the side you sleep on," he explains. Considering you may have your face smashed into the pillow for eight or so hours, the theory certainly has legs

As for the hairs themselves, they can go gray and become more wiry in texture. It's just like the hair on your head: When the follicles produce less melanin, they tend to produce less sebum as well, which is what gives your skin and hair its natural moisture. Once the lubrication is no longer there, the hairs can become coarser.

Finally, "Naturally, as you age, your brows tend to get a little patchier," says Healy. It doesn't happen to everyone (and if it doesn't bother you, don't feel like you need to do anything at all!), but if it is a concern for you, here's how to tend to those arches over time. 

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Tips for your 20s. 

As with other age-related beauty changes, prevention while you're young is key. We're not going to forbid you from plucking stray hairs or opting for a tint every once in a while, but according to Healy: If you can, leave the brows be! 

"Overall, [keep them] thick and fluffy with a light focus on product, like a clear gel and maybe a little bit of powder, just where needed," he says. (Healy's Brow Structure Clear Set offers a flexible, light hold.) Just don't try to rework your entire brow shape and traumatize the follicles.

Celebrity brow artist and founder of Brow Down Studio René de la Garza: "It's important to be extremely minimal with the grooming of your brows, keeping the natural shape as much as possible," he says. 

Tips for your 30s.

"In your 30s, you might want to focus on uniform density, as the brows get a little bit patchier," says Healy. He adds that most people start to see noticeable changes to their brows in their 30s, so it's a great time to tend to the arches with growth serums or moisturizing ingredients. "Your 30s is when the texture of your brows becomes a little more [coarse] and brittle," de la Garza adds, so he's partial to a 100% pure castor oil to condition the hairs overnight.

Tips for your 40s. 

At this point, you may start to notice less definition to your brows (read: less rich and distinct). Just like how a sweep of blush can add warmth and sculpt the cheekbones, Healy notes, defined brows can frame the face and provide lift.

So in your 40s, it's all about defining the arch: Although, "you might want to focus on using pencils, not powders, because pencils can give you more definition, and you can create tighter perimeter line work," he explains. Try this Precision Brow Pencil that’s infused with vitamin C.  

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Tips for your 50s & beyond. 

If your brows start to head south, Healy says a hit of highlighter underneath the brow bone works like a charm. Not only does it help with definition—your brows, as we mentioned above, can appear more washed out as you get older—but it can also create the illusion of lift. 

If you notice some hairs turning gray, you can either opt for a brow tint or a tinted gel to coat them with color if it bothers you. Or, you can always lean into the gray and transition your brow products to ashier tones. "They tend to look more natural," Healy notes. 

The takeaway.

Your skin and hair changes with age, and brows are no exception. Specifically, they tend to shift in texture and recede, which may benefit from a few tweaked grooming techniques.

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