The world of anti-aging products can appear complicated and out-of-reach for many, a smoke and mirrors game hidden behind technical jargon and pricey products. What does all of this mean? Do anti-aging products actually work? Continue reading for a breakdown on one of beauty’s biggest categories.
On your skin, signs of aging come in the form of wrinkles, crows feet, fine lines, dark circles, dark spots and sun damage, and a gradual dulling of the skin tone. These are changes that are natural and are part of the aging process.
Signs of aging can be accelerated by environmental conditions and by not taking care of your skin. From neck creams, night creams and anti-aging supplements, reducing the signs of aging is a massive sector of the skin care industry—world-wide it made 50 billion dollars in 2018.
Today we’re going deeper on two ingredients that have been shown to be effective in anti-aging treatments, how they work and how they can be plant-based.
Vitamin A & Retinol
First, we’ll begin with one of the most commonly cited effective anti-aging compounds—retinol. It’s prevalently touted as an incredible anti wrinkle, but what is it?
Retinol (and retinoic acid) are a form of vitamin A. In many skin care products it’s been synthesized, because vitamin A from beta-carotene is actually orange. However, vitamin A is also abundantly available in natural sources, as well. One of the ingredients in our Radiance Boosting Face Serum, Wild Plum extract, contains high amounts of vitamin A (and C!). You can read more about the benefits of this ingredient here.
Everyone says that eating carrots make your skin and hair healthier. This is because the vegetable contains high amounts of beta-carotene, another form of vitamin A that is one of the stars of the skin care show.
Vitamin A occurs naturally in everyone’s skin and is what keeps your skin youthful with cell turnover and increase the lifespan of collagen. However, it’s also expected for the amount of natural vitamin A produced by your body to decrease over time, which is why in-part your skin loses some elasticity and develops wrinkles.
Essentially what retinol and vitamin A do is promote a higher turnover of your skin cells, which along with exfoliation and regular cleansing, sheds your face of dull, dead skin cells and replaces them with fresh, glowing new ones. This is also what helps treat discoloration. Finally, promoting collagen growth helps reducing the signs of sagging and wrinkles.
If vitamin A and retinol are the ultimate repairers, then antioxidants are the ultimate aging preventatives. Antioxidants are wonderful because they help protect the skin from damage and thus, aging. This includes free radical damage.
How they accomplish this is simple: a free radical is a molecule that has an unpaired electron, making it unstable. Essentially, it needs another piece to be balanced. These atoms roam around looking for another electron to pair with, wreaking havoc in the process (free radicals involve some complicated chemistry, but they’ve been connected to everything from skin aging to Alzheimers).
The body has natural ways to fight the effects of free radicals, but as time goes on, these defenses degrade. That’s where antioxidants come in—they pair with these free radicals and neutralize them from doing further harm.
Two key antioxidant ingredients to look for are vitamins E and C, both of which are found in the previously mentioned Wild Plum extract and Caviar Limes, the other key ingredient in our Radiance Boosting Face serum. Used along with sunblock, they also help block damage from UV light and pollution. Like vitamin A, they also fight dark spots!
Note that these ingredients may not always be sustainably or even naturally derived. With any skin care product you’re using, do research before you shop and be sure to read the ingredient label. We’re proud of our clean ingredients and other companies doing the right thing are, too, so look for call-outs on the label. Terms like plant-derived are key.
Aside from introducing skin care products that contain these vitamins, you can also start incorporating anti-oxidant foods and drinks to your body. Green tea, blueberries, pomegranate are great options to begin with for they high levels of antioxidants and their anti-inflammatory properties, they are also great for your immune system.