Secrets from the Fountain of Youth
Updated: Sep 16, 2021
I'm working toward a Certificate in Organic Anti-Aging with a top international formulation school. As you can imagine there is one question that keeps coming up: What is THE secret to younger looking skin?! While I wish I could offer a simple answer, the truth is that it comes down to a variety of factors – avoiding UV overexposure, adopting a healthy lifestyle and using the right skincare products. In this post, I'm sharing some insights on how to adopt a skincare routine that helps prevent early signs of aging.
What happens to our skin as we age?
Beginning in our 30’s, the production of compounds like collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid in our connective tissue begins to slow. We start to notice visible changes because these compounds are responsible for keeping our skin strong and plump. In addition, free radicals build up in our bodies as a result of environmental stressors like pollution, UV light, cigarette smoke and other toxins which cause damage to cell structures.
Some studies suggest that most dermal aging factors come down to lifestyle and our environment and only 3% are genetic. This is good news because it means we can play an active role in keeping our skin healthy.
Building an anti-aging skincare routine
Here’s what a high-performing natural skincare routine should include:
Step 1: Replenish your skin’s barrier function
Building a healthy barrier is the first step for skin that is thick, strong and hydrated. I’ve mentioned before that my journey into natural skincare formulation stared postpartum to fix my flaky and irritated skin after experiencing a significant hormonal shift. This is why I created Evening Bloom.
Barrier replenishing ingredients are high in fatty acid oils – think Evening Primrose, Pumpkin, Plum, Borage and Flax. These oils are really good at penetrating into the deeper layers of your skin and brings actives with them. You simply can’t achieve the same results with water-based products.
Another good habit to start now is to cleanse with an oil-based cleanser. They work by attracting and removing makeup, dirt and grime without stripping your skin of its natural lipid content. It sounds counter intuitive to cleanse with oil, but it really does do a good job! I have a refreshing oil cleaner in the works as you’re reading this and it will be available on the shop soon.
Step 2: Layer on antioxidant properties
Once you’ve replenished your skin’s barrier function and it can now properly retain moisture, it’s time to add in antioxidants. When our skin can’t defend against the load of free radicals being introduced, they damage lipids, proteins and cells. Antioxidants can help protect our skin from environmental stressors that lead to early signs of aging.
Look for oil-based antioxidant products to allow the properties to travel deeper into the skin. Morning Dew was created to do just that. It's jam packed with antioxidant rich ingredients like CoQ10, grapeseed, green tea, currant and sour cherry to prevent loss of firmness and elasticity as well as fine lines.
Step 3: Encourage Epidermal Rejuvenation
As we age our cells turn over more slowly which can result in a dull appearance and rougher texture. Exfoliation to remove dead skin cells is the best way to achieve epidermal rejuvenation.
You can use a chemical exfoliants like alpha- (AHA) and beta-(BHA) hydroxy acids. AHA’s include citric acids from citrus, glycolic acid from sugar cane and malic acid from apples. BHA is also referred to as salicylic acid which is commonly derived from willow bark. Gentle physical exfoliators are also a great option for encouraging epidermal rejuvenation. Think clays, jojoba beads and fine ground fruit seeds.
It is important to not overdo it with exfoliants so as not to damage your skin’s barrier. I’m testing out a few variations of facial polish in my lab at the moment and my goal is to find a formulation that works, but is also gentle enough for sensitive skin.
Step 4: Tackle age-related pigmentation
With sun damage comes dark spots. The best way to deal with hyper-pigmentation is through prevention and that means avoiding overexposure to the sun by wearing sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.
Although brightening products are not a must for youthful looking skin, they do help a lot. My go to is Vitamin C because it’s gentle, effective and can be added to a wide variety of products. I’m currently testing a brightening facial masque with Vitamin C that will be available on the shop soon!
Do you have a natural anti-aging skincare routine? Are any of these steps missing from your current routine?