Check your lotions and potions for this menu of youth-enhancers
You check your skincare products for nasties such as parabens and silicones but do you actively search for the hidden heroes? We’ve compiled the top 11 anti-ageing ingredients you need in your skincare routine, with a little help from Margaret Weeds, founder of natural skincare brand Odylique and Janey Lee Grace, NH columnist and judge for this year’s Natural Health International Beauty Awards.
“Most of us are aware that as we age our levels of hyaluronic acid deplete,” Janey explains. “Scientific studies have shown that hyaluronic acid improves skin hydration, stimulates the production of collagen in the skin and also works as an antioxidant and free-radical scavenger, as well as maintaining skin elasticity.
“Just as we need to drink lots of water our skin needs to be hydrated too, to help it to appear plumper and firmer to create that all-important luminous glow. Hyaluronic acid's unique ability to hold so much water makes it invaluable to your complexion as it can hydrate the skin, effectively plumping it out to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as improving its texture.”
“The juice from this plant is legendary for the speedy healing of burns and wounds, reducing inflammation and promoting tissue repair and regeneration, making it an exceptional anti-ageing ingredient,” says Margaret. “In addition, pure aloe juice is high in skin-essential antioxidant vitamins, minerals and amino acids so is great for promoting a smooth, hydrated and youthful complexion.”
“This rich cold-pressed oil contains a unique omega 5 fatty acid, called punicic acid, which is high in antioxidants,” explains Margaret. “Couple this with a good helping of polyphenols, vitamin E and phytosterols. Together they have been reported to kill cancer cells, aid skin repair, fight inflammation, sun damage and photo-ageing.”
“Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that can help to unclog pores, boost collagen to reduce fine lines, and speed cell turnover to even out discoloration and smooth the skin,” says Janey. “Because retinol is gradually converted into retinoic acid results can be gradual and usually start to show after 12 weeks. “The ingredient itself is sensitive to sunlight, which is why you should apply it at night before bed. Remember, a small percentage of people with ultrasensitive skin can never tolerate a retinoid and it should not be used if pregnant or breastfeeding.”
“When we are young, our body has abundant levels of silica which is why children normally have beautiful silky hair, soft skin and perfect nails. However as we age, the amount of silica present in our tissues begins to decrease,” says Janey. “This natural decrease in silica levels can have detrimental effects on the body’s organ systems and tissues. Since the skin is our largest organ we want to be sure we are supplying the body with these nutrients.
“When you use silica to repair collagen and elasticity, you also get all the other benefits of tissue repair for the whole body. This includes organ tissues, ligaments, and proteins, including the hair,” she adds.
“High in pro-vitamin A beta carotene and vitamin E, these edible orange berries pack a powerful antioxidant punch to protect from the sun’s collagen and elastin destroying capabilities,” says Margaret. “They are also the highest natural source of rare omega 7, an essential component of healthy skin for repair, collagen synthesis and reducing inflammation. Our skin’s own production unfortunately declines as we age.”
“Coconut oil is also comprised mainly of medium-chain triglyceride lauric acid, known to be one of the healthiest oils for your skin and body. Organic virgin coconut oil is full of antioxidant vitamin E, making it an excellent carrier oil for skin-healing and anti-ageing serums. It can even be used to prevent or treat skin infections,” says Janey.
"Argan oil is comprised of roughly 80 percent fatty acids which work wonders to hydrate skin, restore elasticity, and fade fine lines and wrinkles making this an excellent carrier oil for anti-ageing serums,” says Janey. “Its also excellent for hair. Apply a tiny amount and work through the ends to nourish and repair dry ends.”
“These bright orange petals are another great ally for antioxidant protection,” explains Margaret. “The healing and anti-inflammatory benefits of its antioxidant vitamins, carotenoids and flavonoids have been renowned for centuries.”
“If you suffer from dry scaly skin, it is time to make add the white mallow flower as a part of your regular diet to help keep the skin soft, supple and smooth. Vitamins A and E in mallow are known for their anti-ageing properties. They can help to reduce the visibility of fine lines, age spots, and wrinkles,” says Janey. “Mallow can also help combat dry skin, which leads to one of the first signs of ageing. It also contains vitamin C which helps to promote the production of collagen to keep skin looking supple. Plus, it's a potent antioxidant that destroys free radicals that can cause premature ageing of the skin.”
“Pure distilled rose petal water has amazing anti-inflammatory, hydrating and skin toning benefits,” says Margaret. “Its antioxidant polyphenols are known to protect skin from UV radiation, fight free radicals and enhance cell regeneration, making it a particularly good go-to anti-aging ingredient for sensitive, fragile or mature skin.”
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