9 anti-ageing ingredients to look for!
You’re probably all familiar with the basic signs of ageing skin – those thin lines that start to appear around your eyes, the way your skin feels thinner and how your complexion suddenly seems to have lost its lustre. Knowing what to do can be tricky – after all, there’s no cure for growing older! However, there are natural ways that you can support your skin during this time, allowing your skin to age gradually rather than suddenly lose its youthful qualities. In today’s blog, I take a look at a few natural remedies for ageing skin and how you can implement them into your own skincare routine.
Rosewater has been used for thousands of years when it comes to skincare, often helping to ease sensitive or combination skin types. It possesses inherent antioxidant properties which is an extremely important quality for any anti-ageing ingredient since, unfortunately, most of the symptoms of ageing are linked to free-radical damage.
However, it isn’t just the antioxidant benefits of rosewater that make it a worthy entrant on this list – rose water also has natural anti-inflammatory abilities so it’s incredibly soothing if your skin has become more vulnerable to flare-ups. If you’re considering using rosewater, I would recommend incorporating it into your skincare routine as a natural toner because it’s amazing at balancing your skin’s pH levels and helping to remove oils and residues from your skin.
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2 . Aloe vera
Aloe vera is a familiar face when it comes to a variety of skin problems. For a start, this plant boasts a wide range of nutrients, including a few favourites when it comes to ageing skin, such as the ACE vitamins, zinc, magnesium and a few essential fatty acids! Unsurprisingly, these nutrients, along with its natural antibacterial qualities, make Aloe Vera well equipped for tackling the symptoms of ageing.
One study conducted in 2015 seemed to confirm this as it examined aloe vera gel’s effect on skin wrinkling. Carried out over an 8 week period, participants were administered aloe vera gel. At the end of this trial, the aloe vera group demonstrated a dramatic increase in their production of collagen and a reduction in the appearance of facial wrinkles.1
It’s important to note that aloe vera isn’t just available as a topical cream – many people are now taking aloe vera internally, which may also offer some benefits for ageing skin. Internally taking aloe vera gel can help to support your digestive system due to its anti-inflammatory properties, and relieve symptoms of constipation. Since a healthy gut can also equate to healthy skin, it’s important to bear this particular benefit in mind too!
3 . Green tea
Green tea has really taken off in the West in recent years, although in countries such as China and Japan, the benefits of green tea are old news. When it comes to ageing skin, its green tea’s rich content of antioxidants that make it such a boon. It contains a potent chemical known as EGCG, a type of catechin which not only can help to protect your skin from free-radical damage, but can also help to ward off the dangerous effects of sun damage.
It’s for this reason that you may have noticed that so many beauty products now have ‘green tea extract’ mentioned in their ingredients list. While it might be worth experimenting with natural beauty products that contain green tea, I’m still a big advocate for trying to include more green tea in your diet – that’s why I mention in my blog ‘The best foods for ageing skin!’
Comfrey is an amazing ingredient when it comes to ageing skin, containing a number of benefits that can help to soothe, strengthen and cleanse your skin. Let’s start with the basics though – it’s a natural anti-inflammatory agent so it’s a great option if your skin is sensitive while its content of allantoin can act as an emollient, keeping your skin hydrated!
Comfrey also possesses abundant amounts of tannins, compounds that are capable of protecting your skin from toxins, drawing out impurities and encouraging your natural healing processes. Since comfrey can act as a keratinolytic, it can even help your skin to retain more moisture – a big boost considering that this can become a real problem with ageing skin!
If you want to find out more about comfrey, please read my blog, ‘The amazing skincare benefits of comfrey.’ We also offer a soothing Comfrey Cream that's ideal for gently conditoining and hydrating tired, ageing skin.
5. Rosehip oil
When it comes to ageing skin, rosehip oil should definitely be at the top of your skincare list. Bursting with beta-carotene, vitamin C and essential fatty acids, this oil absorbs quickly into your skin, penetrating the deeper layers to help promote your production of collagen.
It’s also more than capable of fighting free-radical damage, improving the pigmentation and tone of your skin whilst providing plenty of hydration and reducing any signs of inflammation. Rosehip oil is also effective at combatting wrinkles, as one 2015 study demonstrated, allowing participants to consume rosehip powder for 8 weeks. After this time, it was found that the rosehip powder helped to improve ageing-induced skin conditions and fine lines around the eyes.
Turmeric is definitely in trend at the moment, acting as a major buzzword when it comes to everything from tea to skincare. But why is this vibrant orange root so prized? Well, unsurprisingly, it often comes down to antioxidants.
When it comes to the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) scale, turmeric is ranked impressively. This is because it contains powerful antioxidant compounds known as curcuminoids, which can help to protect your skin against scavenging free-radicals.
There are also studies that show that turmeric may even potentially be able to support your skin when it comes to UV radiation, although further human trials are still needed.3 There’s even some evidence to suggest that turmeric may even help to hinder an enzyme known as elastase, which inhibits the production of elastin, a protein that is essential for smooth, pliable skin!4
If you’re looking to incorporate turmeric into your skincare routine then there are plenty of turmeric face mask ideas out there for you to try – just remember that a little turmeric goes a long way! You could also try to boost your internal intake by including the spice in more culinary dishes or by taking a supplement such as BetterYou’s Oral Turmeric Spray!
7. Grape seed extract
Grape seed extract is one skincare ingredient that’s garnered a lot of attention in recent years, cropping up both as an oral supplement and in topical products such as moisturisers and cleansers. It contains oligormeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) which are estimated to have 50 times the antioxidant power of vitamin C.5
It’s believed these antioxidant properties help to protect your skin from the premature ageing effects of UV radiation and can help to bond with collagen, increasing your skin’s elasticity. Grape seed oil also contains a chemical called ‘resveratrol’ which can help to repair broken skin cells while nourishing and strengthening your skin6 - no wonder it’s so popular!
How can you make the most of this new skincare ingredient though? As I’ve mentioned, grape seed extract is now present in many skincare product but, as always, natural is best. Getting more nutrients into your cosmetics is always a good start – so many of us are aware of the importance of having a nourishing moisturiser but forget when it comes to our make-up! PHB Beauty offers a fantastic BB cream that not only contains grape seed extract, but also aloe vera and rose hip oil too!
8. Coconut milk
When you think of coconut-related skin ingredients, the chances are your mind will immediately jump to coconut oil and for good reason. However, coconut milk is another coconut-derived product that’s also worth mentioning when it comes to skincare, particularly with ageing skin.
Let’s start with the basics; coconut oil is an amazing source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin c, calcium, copper, phosphorus, magnesium and fatty acids.
It’s extremely hydrating so it’s a good call if you’ve noticed that your skin has become increasingly drier or if you’re suffering after spending too much time in the sun! Also, given that coconut milk also contains vitamin C, it still supports your production of collagen as well as strengthening your blood vessels so nutrients are transported more efficiently to the deeper layers of your skin.
You can still consume coconut milk internally of course, but if you are curious about how to introduce this creamy milk into your skincare routine, then why not start by using it to whip up a natural make-up remover? Simply mix 1 part olive oil with 2 parts milk and you’ve created a simple make-up remover that’s perfect for getting rid of stubborn eye make-up!
9 . Avocado oil
Olive oil and coconut oil can make way, there’s a new skin-boosting oil in town. Avocados are incredibly rich in essential fatty acids and carotenoids so it’s no surprise that avocado oil has taken the world of skincare by storm.
One particular carotenoid that it contains, lutein, is often a nutrient that I recommend when it comes to eye care, however, this antioxidant can also have a nourishing effect on your skin, protecting against sun damage and even enhancing the absorption of carotenoids from other food sources!7
Not bad and, thanks to its burgeoning popularity, you can find avocado oil in a variety of skincare products, some specifically formulated for ageing skin like Dr Hauschka’s Regenerating Day Cream. Containing a blend of avocado oil, jojoba oil and rose flower extract, this moisturiser has been prepared with ageing skin in mind which is why I only recommend it for those over the age of 40!