High-tech lotions and potions dominate the skin-care market, but is it possible to get the same benefits from all-natural products? Yes, according to Helga Surratt, President of About Faces Day Spa & Salon in Towson, Md “There are dozens of products on the market that have natural ingredients that can help mature skin” look better, Surratt says.
When going the natural route, it's important to know about the most beneficial natural ingredients, which skin-care step each is used for, and how this approach to natural skin care may help improve the appearance of mature skin.
Natural Skin Care: Cleansers
There are a variety of natural skin-care cleansers you can choose from; some of the ingredients you may find include:
Shea butter. “Soap bark, otherwise known as shea butter, is a good ingredient for cleansers,” says Pam Messy of Mary Kay Cosmetics. “It is a natural fat from the Karite tree. It has been shown to increase blood flow to the skin and provide protection from the environment.”
Orange oil. Often used to reduce inflammation around the eyes and remove toxins from your skin, it may also increase circulation to your skin and is very moisturizing.
Carrot seed oil. Says Surratt, “It’s full of beta carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, which is known to be good for stimulating skin cell turnover and preventing wrinkles. It has a natural healing quality and is also great for dry skin or aging skin as it protects your skin from harsh weather.”
Tomato. Beneficial for the skin as a cleanser and full of vitamin C, it balances the pH of your skin because of its natural acidic nature. Tomatoes are also loaded with antioxidants that can prevent further wrinkling.
Natural Skin Care: Exfoliants
Exfoliants are helpful for sloughing off the outer layers of skin, revealing fresh, healthy-looking skin underneath. Some natural skin care exfoliants include:
Willow bark extract. It contains one of the beta hydroxy acids, which help unclog your pores, explains Surratt.
Orange oil. Messy says, “Use exfoliants that have orange oil, which is good for aging skin because of its ability to unclog pores and stimulate perspiration. The orange peel is a great exfoliant.”
Sugar. Exfoliants made with a sugar base are also great for anti-aging skin care, as the sugar gently removes dead skin cells and dissolves easily in warm water.
Oatmeal. “This is another ingredient to look for in an exfoliant,” suggests Messy, “as it is gentle and effective in removing dead skin and getting your skin glowing.”
Natural Skin Care: Moisturizers
An important part of any anti-aging arsenal, moisturizers also come with natural ingredients, including:
Vitamin E and aloe. Surratt advises, “Use a moisturizer with vitamin E, which is well known for its antioxidant properties and ability to heal skin. Look for a moisturizer that also has soothing, hydrating aloe vera as an ingredient.”
Almond and avocado oils. They make up the base for wonderful moisturizers with anti-aging effects. Both are known for their soothing and moisturizing properties.
Carrot oil. A great base for a moisturizer, carrot oil is loaded with beta-carotene.
Evening primrose oil. “This oil is very high in the fatty acids your skin needs to replenish moisture,” says Messy.
Royal bee jelly. This comes from bees and has pollen, vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients that are known to benefit the skin. It is the primary food of the queen bee, which lives 20 to 30 times longer than the worker bees.
The ingredients you need to look for in natural skin care products depends on your personal preferences and skin-care needs. You may like the feel and smell of one natural ingredient over another, just as you might like to eat carrots more than you do tomatoes. As you shop for natural skin-care products, Surratt suggests, “Look for companies with a reputation for natural ingredients and read the labels to ensure you are getting what you think you are buying.”
Then have fun trying them out and seeing the difference these products makes in the feel and appearance of your skin.