Anti-aging products have permeated the market place in the last several years. As we all age, our goal is to age gracefully and maintain the healthiest skin that we possibly can.
As we work to repair skin damage from years of living, such as wearing moisturizer with SPF 15 to prevent sun damage and achieving a healthy diet, we also want to improve skin nourishment. Skin nourishment is the only way to get and maintain better skin tone and complexion. Healthy skin is easily recognized by the clear, unblemished, rosy glow of the skin.
Skin nourishment needs vary from person to person, skin type to skin type. Although most natural anti-aging products do not contain harsh chemicals, we need to be pro-active and understand what natural ingredients are best for our skin, and choose our products accordingly.
A lot of anti-aging products are botanically based. What this means is that the skin products key ingredients are made from plants and herbal extracts, oils, fragrances and vitamins. Understanding what the individual botanical ingredients are meant to do for our skin is the first step in choosing the best natural skin care products for our age and skin type.
Different botanical extracts meet a variety of skin nutrition needs. Following is a botanical glossary of some commonly used botanical extracts that are found in today’s anti-aging products.
Astringents: Alfalfa, Citrus, Orange peel,Lemon, Ivy, Dandelion, Plantain Antibacterial: Dandelion, Eucalyptus Antioxidant: Grapefruit Anti-microbial: Honeysuckle, Thyme Aromatic: Lavender Anti-inflammatory: Mugwort, Mulberry, Pansy Emollient: Algae, Passionflower Fruit Extract Exfoliate: Apple, Green Tea, Sugar Cane Calms, Reduces Response to Irritation: Chamomile Cleans, Conditions: Rose Petal, Carrot, Ginseng, Lemongrass, Sage, Yarrow Moisturizes: Aloe Vera, Mugwart, Orchid, Passionflower Fruit, Wheat Germ
Protects Skin: Wheat Germ, Alfalfa, Aloe Vera Reduces Oiliness, Refines Pores: Birch Leaf, Cucumber, Rosehips, Witch Hazel Removes Impurities: Cucumber, Watercress, Witch Hazel Tones, Stimulates, Rejuvenates: Cornflower, Lemongrass, Nettle, Watercress Smoothes, Soothes, Softens: Althaea, Irish Moss, Kelp, Sage, Nettle, Papaya, Rose Petal, Balm Mint, Clover, Kelp, Lavender, Licorice, Marjoram, Green Tea, Plantain, Yarrow
Astringent extracts will tighten up the skin and close up pores. This is done by causing contractions or shrinkages of the skin tissue and drying up pore secretions.
Antibacterial extracts contain ingredients that destroy or inhibit the growth of bacteria, particularly in the case of bacteria that cause blemishes.
Antioxidant extracts reduce the effects of free-radical damage. Free-radical damage can be caused by the presence of oxygen or any compound that contains an oxygen molecule (such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and superoxide), sunlight, and pollution. Theoretically, when free-radical damage originates from natural environmental factors and fails to be cancelled out by antioxidant protection, then wrinkles appear.
Anti-microbial extracts destroying or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms, giving your skin an additional level of cleanliness.
Anti-inflammatory extracts reduces certain signs of inflammation, such as swelling, tenderness, pain, irritation, or redness.
Emollient extracts soothe and soften the skin by slowing the natural evaporation of water from the skin.
Extracts that assist in Exfoliation address many of the systemic causes of blemishes by systematically stripping off dead, scaly skin and exposing the full healthy glow of living, healthy skin cells.
Extracts that calm and soothe the skin contain proteins such as vitamin A, sugar, starch, vitamin B1, iron, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, and calcium. These proteins assist in cleansing pores; giving the skin a healthy glow and reducing response to irritations. Algae extracts are very popular for these types of skin care extracts.
Extracts that reduce oiliness, remove impurities and refine pores are gentle cleansers that remove oils, and impurities from the skin; thus allowing the pores to remain free and clean.
Extracts that rejuvenate and stimulate the skin act as agents to produce a temporary increase of cell activity to help restore the original health and glow.
Extracts that tone, soothe and soften skin contain anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that give us the toning and softening, and provide that wonderful soothing feeling.
As you shop for anti-aging products with a better understanding of what the botanical ingredients are meant to do for your skin, start slow. Some extracts can irritate sensitive skin, especially those that are for exfoliating and anti-oxidants. Too much of a good thing is too much. Test skin care products on your own skin for at least a week to allow time for your skin to respond.
I recommend that you purchase your anti-aging products from one company for consistency. This will help ensure that the ingredients in each product compliment each other, and not counter-act each others affects once they are applied to your skin.