I don’t know about you, but I used to buy my skincare pretty blindly. I would listen to a friend’s recommendation or talk to the counter staff at my favourite brand, but I didn’t ever look into which ingredients were actually in my skincare let alone which ones were effective!
From my experience now, I think a lot of conventional skincare has surprisingly few active & effective ingredients – even some of the very well-known brands don’t advertise their ingredients and when you dig into it there is not much that is revolutionary in their formulae.
However, many natural brands are really pushing the boat out in terms of quality and effectiveness of ingredients.
I have done a hopefully, helpful summary of the super power ingredients to look out for in your skincare products as well as a few specific things to avoid.
What happens to our skin as we age?
Our skin starts off plump, soft, smooth and wrinkle-free – think of those baby cheeks.
But it doesn’t last forever. As we age, our skin produces less Collagen. Collagen is the protein found in our skin which keeps it strong, supple and elastic, and we lose the ability to retain moisture as well and then…in comes wrinkles, fine lines, dryness and pigmentation.
What are your main concerns?
Some key concerns people always talk to me about when they are looking for effective anti aging products are:
No1: Wrinkles and fine lines
No2: Dark spots
No3: A general dullness to the skin
No4: Loss of firmness
Regardless of your skin concern natural anti-ageing skin care is all about restoring the skin’s natural balance to maintain healthy texture, designed to replenish the hydration and nutrients needed to maintain youthful looking skin.
Firstly, I want to dispel a few myths that it took me quite a while to get my head around.
Common anti aging ingredients – what you need to know
Hyaluronic acid is everywhere – conventional and natural skincare uses it widely. There is so much confusion and disagreement around this product I found it super hard to work out exactly how to break it down.
Firstly, what is it: Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant, which means it grabs moisture from the air and holds it in the epidermis, keeping the skin plump, firm and dewy. Our skin naturally contains Hyaluronic acid but as we age our hyaluronic acid levels begin to dip, making it harder for our skin to retain moisture.
Where does it come from: There are different sources of Hyaluronic acid – most commonly from horses and roosters. Another source is synthetic Hyaluronic acid man-made in a lab through genetically modified bacterial fermentation. There is also botanical hyaluronic acid – Josh Rosebrook make their own in house for example.
The Problem: according to many dermatologists the molecules of hyaluronic acid are actually too large to pass through the epidermis. Therefore, to receive the real skin-health benefits of Hyaluronic acid in diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, it has to be injected with a needle! But this is hotly debated, and different types of hyaluronic acid can have different sized molecules.
Verdict: There are other natural anti aging ingredients that will help to keep your skin moisturized and hydrated. If you buy a product with Hyaluronic acid make sure it is botanical!
Retinol is slightly less complicated than Hyaluronic acid – thank goodness!
What is it: Retinols are vitamin A derivatives. Retinol stimulates a quicker renewal of skin cells. When you use retinol, the outer layer of the skin is sloughed off and the newer skin underneath comes through.
The Problem: Retinoids can be irritating and drying to the skin, especially when you first start using them. Using retinol can make your skin more sun sensitive. And there is a wide consensus that they are not safe to use during pregnancy. It is rated 9 on EWG mainly due to the increased sensitivity your skin has to the sun and therefore increased risk of cancer.
Verdict: Retinol do work short term – they reduce wrinkle development, dark spots and improve general dullness. It is very important to use them only AT NIGHT – as they will make your skin much more sensitive to the sun. I don’t like that it is not considered safe during pregnancy so where there are good alternatives (see below) personally I would stick to those instead.
Hydroquinone – is to be avoided completely
A skin-lightening chemical that is often found in anti aging products. It that inhibits the production of melanin and is linked to cancer, organ toxicity, and skin irritation. Found in: skin-lightening creams. Hydroquinone is a metabolite of the carcinogen benzene. It is rated 9 on EWG Skin-deep database.
Look for these super power ingredients
These ingredients are natural safe and have some seriously good anti aging properties:
Cacay Oil is a little-known ingredient that comes from a nutrient rich plant oil in the Amazon. Cacay Oil helps is rich in vitamins and antioxidants and will definitely give your skin a boost of radiance. There is even more vitamin A packed than Argan and Rosehip Oils. It is extremely effective, with visible results – improves skin tone and reduce the appearance of environmental damage.
Find it in:
Oilixia Cacay Face oil – Based in the Uk and Based in the Uk and ships globally
Curelle Cacay Oil – Australia
Native Botanics Cacay Oil – UK
Carrot Seed oil
Carrot seed oil is a powerful anti-aging skincare ingredient. Nearly 40% of this oil is made up of carotenoids, a bright orange pigment that is a seriously good antioxidant. The outermost layer of our skin is very good at absorbing carotenoids, making this ingredient that much more effective.
Carrot seed oil has some serious anti-aging effects. Combining skin-mending vitamin A, collagen-boosting vitamin C and moisturizing vitamin E, this essential oil helps smooth lines and repair sun damage, scars and any other skin trauma.
Your skin will also benefit from you eating carrots – we eat this carrot salad every week – so yummy.
Find it in:
De Mamiel Facial oil: this one has rosehip, prickly pear and carrot oil – UK and worldwide shipping
Pomegranate is amazing…as long as you don’t have to get the seeds out yourself!
Pomegranate is also a good one to look out for in your skincare. It has lots of anti aging properties – it’s high levels of vitamin C and punicic acid are especially crucial. Punicic acid is an Omega-5 fatty acid that helps skin hold onto collagen.
Find it in:
Goddess Garden Bright Eyes Firming Eye Cream, as well as their day repair and night creams.
Rosehip oil is in essential fatty acids and antioxidants, it smooths, softens, strengthens and promotes elasticity. Rosehip can boost the skin’s protective barrier. It can also be used to improve the pigmentation of scars and damaged skin.
Rosehip is a good alternative to retinol which can make you more susceptible to sun damage.
Find it in:
Pai Skincare – BioRegenerate Rosehip Oil – UK and worldwide shipping & in Hong Kong at various locations including Beautysaur
Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil – widely available.
Coffee oil sounds like a contradiction doesn’t it…drinking coffee definitely doesn’t help your skin! But coffee oil in Skincare has a high concentration of essential fatty acids, sterols (steroid alcohols – naturally occurring in plants), and vitamin E. These combined make it a potent antioxidant that can offer protection against UV damage and its associated cellular degradation. This article in the Medical Science Monitor, gives a good overview of the antioxidant properties of caffeine.
Find it in:
100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream – US
Extremely Rich in vitamin E and full of antioxidants, prickly pear seed oil is one of the most powerful, luxurious skin care ingredients on the market.
Prickly pear is a luxury ingredient with a corresponding price tag however it has been proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines, helps prevent premature wrinkle formation, brightens dark under-eye circles, calms redness, helps relieve sunburn, and brightens and evens complexion. Prickly pear seed oil is also very high in linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid), which is proven to lighten sun-induced hyper-pigmentation. Prickly pear contains the highest percentage (88%) of unsaturated fatty acids of any beauty oils on the market, which are essential to stimulating healthy cell production and turnover.
Find it in
Mun Aknari Brightening Youth Serum – UK and worldwide shipping & widely available in the US.
Lilfox’s Prickly Pear Illuminating Beauty Nectar – UK and worldwide shipping & widely available in the US.
Best organic skincare for anti aging
With all the information on superpower ingredients above I am confident you can find the best organic skincare for anti aging available in your market.
At the moment I am using Lilfox’s Prickly Pear Illuminating Beauty Nectar & Pai Skincare – BioRegenerate Rosehip Oil. I am keen to get my hands on Oilixia Cacay Face oil now it is just back in stock!