It suggests that 45-year-olds today, such as actress Nicole Kidman, feel a youthful 36 years, despite having passed the dreaded 'middle-age' milestone.

London - If you thought that your friends and family were just being nice when they told you “40 is the new 30”, think again.

Women are more satisfied in their forties than at any other age – and feel around ten years younger, a survey has found.

It suggests that 45-year-olds today, such as actress Nicole Kidman, feel a youthful 36 years, despite having passed the dreaded “middle-age” milestone.

According to the research, being happy with your appearance is key to feeling younger after 40.

More than half the women in the study were happier in their looks than when they were in their thirties.

Some 27 percent of the 2 000 women surveyed said they felt rejuvenated because they had better dress sense.

And nearly two thirds of the women aged 40 to 65 feel confident enough to wear a bikini.

Some 17 percent said they felt younger because their sex life is better than ever.

An impressive 81 percent said they had banished the insecurities they battled with as young women. Another 32 percent said they felt more financially secure than ever, and 48 percent were in stable relationships.

Joanne Hayden from Linwoods Superfoods, which carried out the survey to discover the impact of turning 40, said: “These survey results reinforce that age really is just a number.

“Women of 40 and over are as full of life as ever and feeling fabulous has much more to do with how satisfied you are in life.”

Actress Samantha Womack, 40, said: “Women who are 40 and older are not slowing down, with many having babies, caring for children, supporting their own parents and working hard to maintain careers.” - Daily Mail