Our skin is subject to both intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging. Intrinsic aging or chronological aging is the unavoidable natural process of skin aging controlled by genetics. Starting in your mid-twenties dermal collagen production decreases as well as melanin production, cellular turnover slows, and your skin begins to show the first signs of aging. On the other hand, extrinsic aging is caused by external factors within our control such as climate, pollution, diet, stress, and skincare!
Most skincare products accelerate the aging process
Chemical ingredients (sulfates, SD alcohol, ethanol, methanol, benzyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol, DEA, MEA, TEA, mineral oils) in all our skincare products – and even anti-aging skincare– can actually accelerate aging process and lead to more wrinkles, fine lines, and dryness. Applying makeup and skincare products every day cause the absorbed chemicals to accumulate in skin tissue, fatty tissue and throughout, accelerating the aging process and encouraging the onset of disease.
My first recommendation for an effective anti-aging skincare routine is to seek out for skincare products which contain natural ingredients! When it comes to your skin, as with the rest of your body, your focus should be on replenishing it with everything it needs to be the best it can possibly be. The signs of aging will automatically be reduced if the skin is nourished with good nutrients such as fatty acids, vitamins, and polyphenols as the skin will be at optimum health.
5 natural anti-aging tips for younger looking skin
1. Cleanse your skin with oil
The objective of this cleansing method is to gently deep clean your skin by removing impurities, dead skin cells and bacteria while balancing your skins oil production at the same time. You can use many different vegetable oils for that like Argan oil, Apricot kernel oil, Sweet Almond oil or Jojoba oil. However, always choose from organic, natural, cold-pressed oils as these have nutrients, vitamins, and essential fatty acids that mineral and other refined oils don’t. If you prefer using cream cleanser instead of oils I recommend the Sukin Cream Cleanser enriched with rosehip, avocado, and wheat germ oils.
In the evening, prior to bed, pour a generous puddle of oil into the palm of your hand and rub your hands together to warm the oil and begin massaging the oil into your face. Massage at least 5 minutes to give the oil enough time to work on dissolving sunscreen, makeup, dirt, and other impurities in your pores. Then, just wipe the oil gently away with a washcloth soaked in warm water.
2. Tone with floral waters
Floral water, or more accurately called hydrolate or hydrosol is the condensate water that remains after the extraction of an essential oil by distillation. When essential oils are produced by distillation some of the aromas and oils are left in the water after the essential oils are separated out. So a floral water contains some of the aromatic and healing properties held within the plant.
Always choose organic floral water and read the label as a high-quality floral water should be pure: no perfume, no alcohol, and no preservatives. I will recommend using floral waters with good anti-aging properties such as Geranium Water (Pelargonium Graveolens), Jasmine Water (Jasminum Officinalis), Neroli Water (Citrus Bigaradia) and Rose Water (Rosa Centifolia) according to your preference.
3. Seek out for vitamins ABCE and polyphenols in anti-aging serums
Combination of vitamins C and E to neutralize free radicals
Vitamins C, B3, and E are the most important antioxidants for anti-aging skincare because of their ability to penetrate the skin through their small molecular weight. Vitamin C in concentrations between 5 and 15% was proven to have a skin anti-aging effect by inducing the production of collagen. Thus, seek out for anti-aging serums with vitamin C in concentrations at least 5%; look at the label and verify that L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is in the top 5 ingredients.
Also, it has been proven that the antioxidative protection is higher with the combination of vitamins C and E than with the vitamin C or E alone. Vitamin E used as a component of anti-aging skin care has anti-inflammatory properties and improve moisture and elasticity of the skin in concentrations between 2 and 20%. I’ll recommend the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic which combines ascorbic acid (vol. 15%) and vitamin E with ferulic acid.
Niacinamide (vitamin B3) to improve skin elasticity
Niacinamide (vitamin B3) regulates cell metabolism and regeneration, and it is used in 5% concentration as an anti-aging agent. If you’re looking for an all-purpose ingredient, look no further! Niacinamide evens skin tone, reduces the appearance of enlarged pores, and improves skin hydration by decreasing skin’s water loss. Niacinamide is the perfect anti-aging ingredient for “younger” skins (combination/ acne-prone skin types) because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
However, Niacinamide shouldn’t be used simultaneously with skincare products that contain vitamin C as applying the 2 formulas at the same times can cause skin redness and irritations. I’ll recommend the Institut Esthederm Intensive Retinol Oil Serum which smoothes lines and improves the elasticity of the skin, giving it a firmer and denser look.
Retinol (vitamin A) to stimulate the production of collagen
Retinol acts directly on the collagen metabolism and stimulates the production of collagen and elastic fibers. Retinol is, at the moment, the substance that is most often used as an anti-aging compound. It has been shown that retinol has a strong positive effect on collagen metabolism; it can help visibly diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and can improve firmness of the skin.
But be careful with retinol as it increases turnover of skin cells, retinol can cause redness and slight flaking and dry skin. A soothing and hydrating mask 2 or 3 times a week might help in conjunction with a good moisturizer that hydrate and protect the skin. I’ll recommend avoiding retinol products that only give your skin retinol, your skin needs a mix of beneficial ingredients to thrive. I’ll recommend the REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil which fights the appearance of aging without the irritating effects of synthetic retinol.
Polyphenols to reduce oxidative stress
A study has proven that the application of green tea polyphenols before UV exposure reduces DNA damaging effects of UV radiation in the skin (skin photoprotection). Yes, polyphenols may act like sunscreen (but this doesn’t mean you can skip UV protection) and that is how polyphenols slow down the aging process and the appearance of wrinkles. It has been proven that polyphenols, specifically dietary, possess anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties that reduce oxidative stress by destroying free radicals caused by pollution, UV rays, poor diet, etc, and can prevent a variety of skin disorders and skin cancer in particular.
However, in the case of polyphenols topical treatment (polyphenol skincare based), the penetration of polyphenols into the skin is limited and a successful delivery of plant polyphenols requires cream-base, organic solvent-based or lipid soluble formulations. So look at the label of the products and seek out for polyphenols, such as green tea polyphenols, grape seed proanthocyanidins, resveratrol, silymarin, and genistein.
It’s quite difficult to find a high-quality serum or moisturizer polyphenol based, even the SkinCeuticals Resveratrol BE and Caudalie Vine[Activ] Anti-Wrinkle Serum are not highly concentrated in resveratrol and polyphenol. I will simply recommend these natural anti-aging ingredients for their exceptional richness in antioxidants and polyphenol: Organic Olive oil, Cupuacu butter or pure cold pressed Acai Oil.
4. Swap your daily moisturizer for face oils
The oil that you’re using is entirely up to you and should be determined by your skin needs and the properties of that oil. However, always choose from organic, natural, cold-pressed oils as these have nutrients, vitamins, and essential fatty acids that mineral and other refined oils don’t. Face oils are smart alternatives to moisturizer, as every drop is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and mineral that penetrate deeply into the skin and that slow down the aging process. Don’t be afraid of applying oil to your face; oil alone will not bring you acne as these are the result of several different factors including hormones, bacteria, dead skin cells etc. Instead, vegetable oils (all-natural, organic and cold-pressed) contain many phytochemicals and nutrients (vitamins A, E and fatty acids omega-3) that help moisturize, protect and strengthen your skin. Here is a list of the best anti-aging face oils.
Argan oil is rich in vitamin A, vitamin E, fatty acids ( ~80% of omega-3, omega-6), and polyphenols which are well-known to hydrate the skin, restore elasticity and fade fine lines and wrinkles. Argan oil is rich in antioxidants which help to heal irritated, cracked, or damaged skin but also reduce skin inflammations. Not only does argan oil act as an effective moisturizer, it can also give skin a youthful glow and reduce the visibility of wrinkles.
Rosehip seed oil
Rosehip Seed oil is most well-known for its high concentration of natural vitamin A, linoleic (omega 6) and linolenic (omega 3) acids. The oil targets signs of photo-aging (premature aging signs caused by repeated exposure to UV) and improves the elasticity, texture, and appearance of skin. Rosehip oil is also known to correct dark spots, hydrate dry, itchy skin and even reduce scars and fine lines by encouraging cellular regeneration. Rosehip oil helps to heal damaged skin by boosting the growth rate of new cells and increasing collagen production deep under the skin’s surface.
Prickly pear seed oil
Prickly pear seed oil contains the most vitamin E of any beauty oil on the market (150% more than Argan oil), and the highest percentage of unsaturated fatty acids (88%) – making it an incredibly powerful oil for skin health and for anti-aging. This oil intensely hydrates the skin (suitable for all skin types) and works particularly well on dry and mature skin. The high linoleic acid and antioxidant content soothe even the most dehydrated skin while stimulating cell renewal, reducing redness and hyper-pigmentation and stimulating the production of collagen. What’s more, this oil contains the highest levels of betalains of any known plant (more than acai, pomegranate, blueberries, goji, and beets), a super antioxidant with powerful anti-aging effects.
5. Exfoliate to stimulate collagen and elastin production
Exfoliation of one of the most effective ways to promote youthful skin. By exfoliating your skin, you will remove dead skin cells from the surface layer of your skin and improve your skin’s texture and tone as the new as it will bring fresh, new cells to the surface of your skin. What’s more exfoliating your skin helps stimulate blood flow as well as the production of collagen and elastin which are crucial to anti-aging and youthful-looking skin. Collagen and elastin both work together to strengthen the skin’s structure, but as we age our collagen and elastin levels decrease that’s why exfoliation is so important as it’s a boost in production and can diminish wrinkles and result in the more youthful-looking skin.
Twice a week use either chemical exfoliation with glycolic acid or if you have a sensitive and dry skin use a very smooth exfoliator with very thin grains. Also, when exfoliating your face, be sure to include temples, jowls, jawline, neck, chest, and hands. I will recommend using the Sukin Facial Scrub a non-abrasive scrub enriched with Aloe vera, chamomile, rosehip, jojoba and sesame oils that remove dirt and impurities leaving clean, radiant skin.