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Anti-Aging Skin Care Guide

natural anti-aging skincare guide to remove wrinkles

You may not realize that there are different factors impacting the aging process, and what is happening with your skin. In this guide we walk you through these aspects to give you valuable insight into how to apply an anti-aging strategy for your skin and fight the signs of aging.

The aging process can be split into two parts called intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging. Intrinsic aging is caused by time and some level of your own genetics. Extrinsic aging is caused by your environment, diet and lifestyle. Research indicates that genetic factors only contribute to a small fraction of aging. This is good news as it means that the majority of factors that contribute to aging are within your control to fix.

Intrinsic Aging

The intrinsic aging process leads to the breakdown of your skin’s structure (collagen and elastic), slower cell turnover and loss of moisture content. This manifests as wrinkles, sagging skin or dull, rough skin. To battle this form of aging you need ingredients that help rebuild skin’s structure, moisturize tissue to hydrate and exfoliate regularly to remove dead skin cells and reveal younger, softer skin. As skin is more delicate with age, always use gentle, non-drying cleansers and exfoliants to prevent skin breakage or damage. Moisturizing to beat wrinkles from intrinsic damage needs a 3-part process:

(a) Rebuilding collagen and elastin for firmer skin

rose essenceVitamin C, when applied topically, helps your body rebuild collagen. Most forms of synthesized vitamin C cannot be absorbed easily; however, Ascorbyl palmitate is an ester of vitamin C that is easily absorbed by the body. Look for Vitamin C in your skincare. Oils that are easily absorbed by skin and contain vitamin C are Pomegranate seed oil, Cranberry seed oil, Sea buckthorn berry and Pumpkin seed oil. These oils, when added to skincare products can aid collagen production. Citrus essential oils (especially lemon and orange) are filled with vitamin C. Vitamins E and K help rebuild elastin in your skin. Look for Argan oil, Almond oil, Sunflower oil, Shea butter, Seabuckthorn berry and Ricebran oil that are good sources of vitamin E. Almond oil also contains vitamin K and is very hydrating and regenerating to combat all signs of aging skin. Look for essential oils of Lavender, Rose, Neroli and Frankincense that promote circulation and regeneration of skin tissue. Rose and Neroli are expensive essential oils because it can take a ton of flower to product an ounce of essential oil. But, they do wonders for your skin by penetrating deeply and rebuilding your skin from the inside out, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. So they are worth the cost.

(b) Plump up skin with moisture

moisturize skinTo battle loss of moisture, you need to (1) rebuild you skin’s barrier layer to hold moisture, (2) reduce transdermal water loss and then (3) increase the water content. Rebuild your skin’s ability to hold its water content with fatty acids. Look for Squalene in Macadamia nut oil and Ricebran oil. Evening primrose oil, Pomegranate seed oil, Cranberry seed oil, Argan and Sunflower oil are wonderful sources of fatty acids. Look for Almond, Avocado, Sesame, Olive oil and Wheat germ oils that contain proteins to reduce transdermal water loss. Look for products with potent humectants. Humectants attract water to the skin. Examples of great humectants are Hyaluronic acid, honey and vegetal glycerine. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) also assist with this function. Not only does honey hold water to skin but it is an anti-bacterial and anti-biotic with properties to regenerate skin to bring a healthier glow. Honey with royal jelly is an enhanced compound that also has vitamins and minerals to provide all round anti-aging benefit. Jasmine essential oil is intensely hydrating. Tahitian Monoi oil is an expensive yet highly moisturizing, gentle oil made by infusing Tahitian gardenia in young coconut oil.

(c) Exfoliate for brighter, softer skin

As we age, skin’s ability to shed older skin and replace it with newer younger skin cells, is reduced. So you need to exfoliate regularly. Use gentle exfoliation to prevent damage to skin’s surface. Apricot shells, fine walnut shells and jojoba beads might be great if used in gentle cleansers. Rosehip seed oil is a gentle oil with large quantities of vitamin A that helps shed old skin and bring newer, younger skin to the surface. Botanical extracts like papaya can contain natural Appha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and vitamin A to gently exfoliate skin.

Quick Summary (Instrinsic Aging)
What to look for (Top picks):
Macadamia nut, Pumpkin and Rosehip seed (Vitamin A) oil
Humectants like Honey, Hyaluronic acid,  vegetal glycerin
Gentle exfoliants like Jojoba beads, Almond, Apricot shells, Papaya
Essential oils of Rose, Neroli, Lemon Balm, Jasmine
What to avoid:
Avoid harsh cleansers that dry skin
Avoid moisturizers with lots of alcohol
Special notes:
Cleanse gently without stripping skin of moisture.
Exfoliate regularly

Extrinsic Aging

Extrinsic aging is caused by your environment (sun exposure, environmental pollutants), diet and lifestyle. Research indicates that extrinsic aging is a major contributor to skin damage leading to lines, wrinkles, sagging skin and age spots.


Sun damage is the main culprit that negatively impacts two major proteins that contribute to skin's youthful properties - collagen and elastin. Photoaging is caused by exposure to sunlight - primarily Ultraviolet (UV-A , UV-B and UV-R) radiation. UV-A passes through most glass in automobiles,  and office/ home windows. UV-B is blocked by window glass. UV-A also penetrates through the epidermal layer of skin and reaches the dermis (underlying layer); estimates indicate that ∼19–50% of the solar UV-A radiation can reach the dermis whereas only ∼9–14% of solar UV-B reaches these cells. UV-B radiation is absorbed by the epidermis and dermis, resulting in a sun-burn when exposed to excess sunlight (the time/ exposure it takes to burn depends on your skin's melanin content; i.e. skin color). 
Ultraviolet (UV-A and UV-B) radiation impacts the dermal layer of skin, degrading collagen in skin which maintains skin's plump structure. UV radiation even slows down the production of new collagen and damages elastin in skin. Loss of elastin will result in decreased elasticity of skin and the ability of youthful skin to "spring" back to its original form when stretched. No longer supported firmly in all areas due to loss of collagen and elastin, skin becomes slightly brittle, weak and sags leading to wrinkles and lines. Prolonged UV radiation (UV-R over the years) also stimulates skin's melanin production heading to hyper-pigmentation and age spots.
You can combat this form of aging by fiercely protecting skin from UV rays and repairing skin following over exposure to sunlight.

(a) Protecting skin from the sun (preventing sun damage)
aloe and sea buckthorn berryAlways use a sunscreen. Sunscreen uses organic and inorganic chemical filters to keep UV rays from penetrating the deeper layers of your skin. Sunblock uses mineral filters which reflect or scatters the UV rays to to prevent them from reaching your skin.  Look for Zinc oxide or Titanium dioxide in sun screens. Ricebran oil, Shea, coco butter and Sea buckthorn berry oil in a moisturizer that also provide some sun protection. Although it feels great to soak up those warming rays of sun, be prudent. Though you may be wearing the best sun screen, it always helps to  practice moderation and stay in the shade for a little while (perhaps when the sun is hottest). Wear a hat, always wear shades in the sun and cover up with light, airy clothing.

(b) Repair and restore sun exposed skin
Even 30 minutes of continuous exposure can dehydrate skin and affect skin's barrier functions, leading to sun damage. Yet, its quite unreasonable and even psychologically unhealthy to live in the dark forever in fear of sun exposure. Moderation is key. If you like to be out and about in the sun and you've invested in preventative care, you can help your skin repair after sun exposure by treating it with soothing and calming ingredients that can help repair sun damaged skin. After sun lotions are very useful as they help your skin recover from sun exposure, soothe and re-hydrate over exposed, parched skin. Look for soothing ingredients like Aloe, Lavender and Chamomile. Calendula oil is a powerful, yet gentle anti-inflammatory oil that calms irritated skin, yet penetrates quickly nourishing parched skin. Sea buckthorn berry is an all round restorative oil that soothes and repairs sun burned skin as well as fades sun spots. It has been used to treat minor burns in some cultures. Tamanu oil is a therapeutic oil harvested in the south pacific. High in fatty acids, it contains an anti-biotic (lactone) and a potent anti-inflammatory agent (Calophyllolide) that nourish and heal sun drenched skin. During months of intense sun exposure, use a gentle or mild cleanser that will not irritate or dry your skin. Mist your face regularly with a hydrating mist or even water mists. 

Free radical damage

"Free radicals" and "antioxidants" are terms often over used when describing skin care benefits. What exactly do they mean? Free radicals are normal molecules with a negative charge. This makes them highly reactive (needing to combine with other molecules to achieve a stable state). What's important to note is that these radicals seek to stabilize themselves by bonding with other molecules. When produced in the human body (through quite natural processes), these radicals seek to bond with other molecules like proteins, fats etc. Antioxidants are molecules that can safely react with free radicals to stabilize them and keep these rogue radicals from targeting more vital compounds. Antioxidants are the body's defense mechanism to counter free-radicals and maintain a healthy balance within your body's complex chemical factory. Free radical damage (or oxidative damage) occurs when this balance is disrupted and the amount of free-radicals is increased greatly beyond the body's ability to produce counteractive anti-oxidants. As a result, these excess free-radicals start to bond with proteins, fats, carbohydrates and DNA and damage them. In skin, they damage Collagen and Elastin (two crucial proteins to maintain skin structure and volume), leading to fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.
Free radical damage is increased by sun exposure, poor dietary choices, lifestyle choices and even pollution in your environment. You're busy, you're overworked, you eat when you can and grab what you can to keep going. You weaken your body's anti-oxidant levels and are suddenly susceptible to free radical damage that causes your skin to age.

(c) Double up on anti-oxidants (respond to free-radical damage)

antioxidantsCombat free radical damage with anti-oxidant filled moisturizers. Vitamins A, C and E are potent anti-oxidants. Rosehip seed oil contains a high level of beta-carotene (pre curser to vitamin A - retinol). Vitamins A, C and E are found in the oils mentioned above (under ingredients for rebuilding collagen/ elastin) and also in essential oils and botanical extracts. For example Hibiscus, White/green tea, all berry extracts (blueberry, strawberry, acai) are excellent anti-oxidants. Look for Essential oils as they are excellent sources of anti-oxidants. Examples include essences of Rose, Orange, Frankincense, Myrrh, Clove, Nutmeg and Lemon balm (Melissa).

Quick Summary (Exstrinsic Aging - sun/free radicals)
What to look for (Top picks):
Antioxidants- vitamins A, C and E  (eg. Rosehip seed, Pumpkin seed, Jojoba, Cranberry)
Zinc, Titanium dioxide in sunscreens
Restorative agents like Ricebran, Tamanu, Aloe, Sea buckthorn
Essential oils such as Rose, Chamomile, Cacao, Lavender
What to avoid:
Avoid smoking, excessive caffeine or alcohol
Avoid excessive sun exposure without protection - moderation is key
Avoid harsh cleansers that can dry skin and strip moisture
Special notes:
Always use sunscreen
Exfoliate regularly

Finally, the lifestyle
Subscribing to a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy, getting enough sleep and exercise can aid in delaying the process of extrinsic aging. Its not about heavy dieting or exercising long hours. Its about including foods that help fight aging and taking the time to exercise just enough to maintain flexibility and boost your metabolism.
Skincare practices will surely contribute extensively to preventing sun damage as well as restoring skin health. Your diet, environment and lifestyle do not remain constant throughout your life. They change. So, your skincare practice should change accordingly to include the right and timely ingredients to manage the aging process and keep people guessing your age.