Anti-aging skin care products are made to reverse skin cell damage which makes us have wrinkles, loss of elasticity, hyperpigmentations, and an overall lack luster complexion. Scientists have pinpointed the ways our skin gets damaged and ages while beauty companies compete to create products to stop or even reverse this process.
Organic products are free of harmful ingredients like SLS, SLES, propylene glycol, phthalates, parabens, and about 25 others which can actually damage skin cells further. The causes of aging and skin damage boil down to a few big factors, some we can fix and some we can’t.
We’re here to help you find a good organic beauty routine to reverse the damage.
Oxidative Stress and Cell Damage
The biggest cause of skin cell damage is UV exposure which mainly causes dark spots, wrinkles, and dry skin. Other factors, like smoking, pollution, heredity, and poor diet also play a large role in damaging cells. This makes us look older.
All this damage causes oxidative stress, which is when too many free radicals are released from those damaged cells and the body doesn’t have enough antioxidant defense to protect the healthy cells. Over time, this ends up causing a snowball effect of cell damage which makes our skin look older and less vibrant than it did before.
So how do we reverse the damage?
Studies have shown that AHA, like retinol, and vitamins together significantly improve wrinkles, skin texture, and elasticity without significant adverse effects. Many vitamins in skin care products are antioxidants that heal and protect cells.
- Vitamin C brightens and fades hyperpigmentation and is a powerful antioxidant
- Vitamin A, or AHA, as a retinol for fading hyperpigmentations, wrinkles, and as a chemical exfoliator
- Vitamin E softens and moisturizes
AHAs Scientists aren’t totally in agreement about why Alpha Hydroxy Acids, or AHAs, make skin look younger, but the generally accepted reason is that AHAs remove calcium ions from damaged epidermal cells through exfoliation and the reduced calcium levels promote cell growth and slows down how fast cells change (cell differentiation). So cells are growing faster but changing less, which makes only the new younger cells making new cells, which makes lots of younger cells. This reduces wrinkles and increases collagen and hyaluronic acid production which makes cells plump and hydrated. AHAs come as Vitamin A, which is retinol.
BHAs Beta Hydroxy Acids, or BHAs, like salicylic acid, are similar to AHAs except they get absorbed through the sebaceous follicles, or oil glands. This makes them great for oily and acne-prone skin and people with blackheads (open comedones). They’re less irritating than AHAs and have proven anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown they work best at a 1-2% concentration.
Antioxidants and Anti-inflammatory Agents
Antioxidants scavenge for free radicals to protect skin from oxidative stress and damage. Anti-inflammatory agents reduce the cycle of inflammation which ultimately causes more damage to skin cells.
Both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents have been proven to delete damaged cells. Without these damaged cells, skin starts to use healthy cells to make new cells, which creates healthier, younger skin over time.
Softens skin making fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable. They also improve dryness which can happen naturally as we age.
The skin barrier is on the outermost layers of the epidermis. It’s skin’s protective barrier from the environment. It can get damaged by harsh cleansers, retinols and other harsh anti-aging topicals, and UV rays. Rosacea and dermatitis are diseases which damage the skin barrier.
Skin Lightening and Brightening Agents
The most popular are Vitamin C and AHAs. Vitamin C lightens and fades the epidermal layer, where hyperpigmentations form, by stopping the overproduction of melanin.
UV radiation is a huge reason why skin becomes damaged, it needs to be protected from further damage with a SPF 30 or higher. Mineral and chemical sunscreens work in different ways to protect skin cells from photodamage.
To address all of these issues, we really need a great daily organic anti-aging skin care routine.
Best Organic Anti-Aging Skin Care Routine
Step 1: Organic Cleanser
To get makeup, dirt, and oil off skin, you’ll need a cleanser that won’t damage the skin barrier causing more cell damage and signs of aging. Common offenders are the usual harmful ingredients, like SLS, SLES, propylene glycol, phthalates, and parabens. A high quality organic cleanser won’t have these. A nice gentle cleanser is fine, but many have added in beneficial botanicals, like Acai, Red Current, Elderflower, Magnolia Bark, Tea Tree Oil, or Red Currant. These can add vitamins, gentle exfoliants, firming, antioxidants, or oil control.
Step 2: Organic Serum
Serums penetrate deeply into skin. A good one will absorb fast and not leave you feeling greasy. Vitamin C Serum, especially when paired with Vitamin E, helps reverse the signs of aging by fading hyperpigmentations, brightening skin, increasing collagen production, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and improving dry skin. Serums with natural exfoliants, like lactic acid, gently slough dead skin cells making skin brighter and more radiant. Be sure to choose one with antioxidants to scavenge free radicals and repair damaged cells.
Step 3: Organic Moisturizer
The goal is to soften, hydrate, and moisturize. But the best high quality anti-aging moisturizers add in amazing ingredients that do much more than this. Choosing one with Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Corn Germ Oil, or Flaxseed Oil will give you a hydrating cream that deeply penetrates skin cells and builds up skin’s natural hydration. As long as the cream is made with natural botanicals in their purest form, choose the extra botanical ingredients based on your most needed skin issue.
Step 4: Organic Eye Cream
Finding ingredients to soften fine lines and wrinkles while adding in protection for your delicate under eye area is the key to a great eye cream. The cells under your eyes don’t produce oil like the rest of your face, so this area needs extra moisture and hydration. Look for softening and nourishing oils like Evening Primrose Oil, Calendula Oil, Shea Butter, and Argan Oil. Studies have found that Resveratrol reduces inflammation and this is found in Grape Seed and Grape Oil. This ingredient helps break the cycle of cell damage which allows cells to repair and healthier cells to replicate.
Step 5: High Quality Natural or Organic Sunscreen
Top off your amazing routine with a high quality natural or organic sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher, it’s not optional. UV radiation damages skin cells which makes us age faster and less gracefully. Wearing a high quality sunscreen every day is a must. Two types of sunscreens are on the market; mineral and chemical. Avoid oxybenzone at all costs, it is toxic to humans and the coral reef.
Step 6: Hydroxy Acid
AHA, most well known as Retinol or Vitamin A, is a powerful game-changing treatment you can use to fade hyperpigmentation, stimulate collagen production, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.. The best way to get started safely is with a low but effective concentration of retinol only 1-2 nights a week then build up slowly to using every night as your skin tolerates it better. Retionol can cause skin irritation so doing this properly will help you get started and stick with it. Sunscreen is a must.
BHA is great if you have oily or acne-prone skin which is irritated by AHA. Salicylic acid is a popular BHA. It is less irritating than AHA.
Step 7: Organic Mask
Weekly or twice a week masks, or masques, can seriously change the tone and texture of your skin. The trick is to use a high quality organic mask from companies that don’t process the ingredients so much they’re useless. Masks with skin firming ingredients like Acai, hydrating ingredients like botanical hyaluronic acid, with antioxidants and vitamins in whichever type you choose. Clarifying masks are great for acne but not so great for anti-aging as these can take all the moisture out of skin. Using 2 different types of masks is great if you have an oily T-Zone and need a charcoal mask, but want hydration for wrinkles on cheeks and neck.
To Sum It Up
Scientists agree that aging from cell damage, like UV rays, can be treated. Organic anti-aging products are made with wholesome botanical ingredients to nourish, hydrate, replenish, and exfoliate. Finding the right organic skin care routine will not only make you look younger, it will make you feel better, too.