Buying Tips: Natural Anti-Aging Creams
Most natural beauty lovers know that they can't have (and don't want!) the same face they had at 20 when they are 45. That would be creepy, for one thing, and would also erase years of experience, smiles, and maybe even enjoying the sunny outdoors for a little longer than one is ‘supposed' to. However, no matter how comfortable one is with some aging, most of us want to look as good as possible (and OK, yes, maybe a little younger) even as we age gracefully. Without going nuts on a million products or spending a million bucks on Botox, there are a host of great natural substances and combos that can help you look your best, and maybe even set the clock back a few birthdays.
“Some of the antioxidants like green tea and reservatol are helpful, and they are sometimes found in combination with helpful Vitamin E and maybe Vitamin C as well, says New York City-based holistic dermatologist Dr. Alan Dattner, who advocates a natural approach that includes looking at overall health (getting enough sleep, eating healthfully, and exercising) as well as natural topical solutions to achieving great skin.
If you are already using an anti-aging regimen, it may contain some nasty surprises; often anti-aging products can contain some of the more suspect ingredients that may have negative health consequences over time. Check yours at the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database. If the specific product isn't listed, type in the ingredients – if they are given by the manufacturer (unfortunately, often all ingredients are not listed).
What to look for:
- Antioxidants, like green tea, pomegranate, and resveratol (from the skin of red grapes)
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
- Companies that openly disclose ingredients
What to avoid:
- Fragrances: They can be made of pretty much anything, and companies don't have to disclose what they are. Often they contain pthalates, which are neurotoxins, and can cause allergic reactions.
- Triclosan: This antibacterial ingredient has been linked to endocrine disruption, skin irritation and heavy metal contamination concerns, as well as contributing to bacterial resistance.
SibuBeauty Repair and Protect Cream is a good bet for those with rosacea and eczema symptoms, who are often shy to try products on their already-sensitive skin. Containing sea buckthorn seed oil (a great facial treatment for a number of skin conditions in it’s own right, and a good line-reducer) it’s totally non-greasy, goes on in a flash and smells lightly of oranges. $13 at amazon.com or $20 at sibubeauty.com. Also available at Whole Foods, GNC and other retailers.
John Masters Organics Vitamin C Anti-Aging Serum contains two forms of the vitamin, acerola and ascorbic, which work in tandem to brighten and refine, along with a sea algae extract toner. This serum is specially formulated for dry and mature skin, or for sun-damaged skin on the face, neck and décolletage. The serum comes in a lovely-smelling base of rose flower oil, aspen bark extract, aloe vera leaf juice and sunflower seed oil (all organic of course). $28 at amazon.com or $30 at johnmasters.com. Also available at Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe and other retailers.
It's Mateira Herba Anti-Ageing Cream for Oily or Combination Skin is Korres' best selling product. This version is ideal for those who want potent anti-agers (like beech tree extract) without the extra weight or oiliness. Bonus: This line is certified organic by EcoCert and its packaging is recyclable. $46 at amazon.com or $39 at korreusa.com.
Recommended for all skin types in those over age 35, this combo of chestnut, camelina and safflower oils, natural free-radical fighters (an Alpine flower) and extract of hibiscus seeds does the trick. The company claims that an independent lab tested its effectiveness and checked out the microsurface of users’ skin after 28 days of use and found wrinkles shortened and surface area decreased. $42 at melvita.com or amazon.com.
Marie Veronique Organics Anti-Aging Oil isn’t just for those with dry skin. Oils are balancing for combination skin types too, and this rich-smelling oil combines protective and repairing grapeseed and borage oils with antioxidant-rich ones like cranberry seed oil and sea buckthorn for a rich, but not-at-all greasy experience. $74 at mvorganics.com.
Packed with natural versions of known skin-improvers, like cane sugar and milk peptides (an exfoliant), willow bark extract (an acne-fighter), and antioxidants in the form of green tea leaf extract, Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Serum is a do-it-all treatment. It's mixed into a base of anti-inflammatory linseed and borage seed oils, and topped off with vitamins C, A and E. $52 at juicebeauty.com or amazon.com.