This post has been a long time coming when it comes to best anti-aging skin care products! I get asked this question nearly everyday- no joke. I get it. We all want to maintain that youthful appearance. I mean who wants to look older than they are?
Now, I know the word anti-aging can be a faux paw word when it comes to natural beauty. I’m not against aging at all. I know that we all will age. I fully embrace it! However, I love the idea of being able to give my skin the best chance at looking it’s best for as long as possible. I think we can all agree on that.
You can call it anti-aging or maintaining a youthful glow, whatever sounds good to you- the bottom line is the goal is to keep your skin looking good and feeling good!
Since we only get one face, we might as well take care of the skin we’re in.
After being a natural beauty blogger for almost 5 years and having been in the natural beauty industry for over 8, I’ve come to find products that work and those that don’t when it comes to skincare that performs.
I think initially the natural beauty industry had a lot of beauty products that were clean but not effective. Over the years formulators and companies are now not only creating products that are clean but also perform! The best of both worlds.
Basically you can have your cake and eat it too!
Science is becoming more savvy as well and is now able to share how natural ingredients such as plant retinols and powerful antioxidants can truly transform the skin. Science is pretty cool.
What ages our skin?
There are so many factors that contribute to aging skin. Here are a list of the heavy hitters.
- Sun damage- we all hear it but the sun can really do a number on our skin. When UV light hits our skin it damages the collagen and elastic tissue in the skin. The skin becomes weak and delicate and doesn’t bounce back like normal and instead starts to sag. Then later on we see sun spots, and discoloration. The sun is so beneficial for our bodies too- don’t get me wrong. But I just like to wear a hat and protect my face from the sun as it’s more delicate. Also, wearing SPF is crucial for protecting your face from harmful rays.
- Dry Skin- When our skin is dry it starts to shrivel. Just like a grape shrivels and turns into a raisin when dry. The same thing is true with our skin. It starts to shrivel and wrinkles become more prevalent when our skin ages. By keeping it moist and hydrated we are giving our skin a fighting chance even when we are older to keep our skin in tip top shape.
- Good Ol’ Age- Yep, as we age we lose collagen. Collagen helps to give skin it’s firmness and elasticity. As we get older we lose a little collagen every year, or you could say every decade. As collagen decreases we can start to see more fine lines, and sagging appear. Also the production of new skin cells age us as well and we lose fat overall which can give faces fullness and firmness. Taking care of your skin at an early age or when you first learn about the importance of good skincare regimens is the best step in giving your skin a fighting chance of thriving.
- Eating An Inflammatory Diet- I’m excited this one is really starting to pop up more and more. Often people think they can just have great skincare products and that should do the trick when it comes to anti-aging. Unfortunately, what we put inside our bodies make a huge difference on how we age and our overall skin health. When you eat a diet full of processed foods and sugar it accelerates the aging process. For ex. sugar when ingested reacts with nucleic acids, free proteins, fats and forms advanced glycation end products, also known as AGEs. Not only do these cause damage through inflammation but oxidative stress, and free radical damage. Not a recipe for healthy skin! You can tell when a person is consuming a diet rich in good healthy fats, proteins and plants. They literally glow from the inside out!
- Smoking and Alcohol- Probably not a surprise to most of you but these can definitely do a number on the skin.
- Not Taking Care Of Our Skin- Overall skin health is also a direct reflection on how well you take care of it. Consistent skincare routine is vital for keeping skin in tip top shape. There is no magic potion to seeing results in one day, but repeated use and consistency is one of the most effective ways to see skin thrive. So many people aren’t consistent and therefore can see early signs of aging by not taking care of their skin.
- Stress- I’m sure most of you are aware but stress plays a major role when it comes to skin aging. Have you ever seen someone go through a traumatic life event? Often their skin can share the stress and pain of it all without them saying anything. That’s how powerful stress is. From not sleeping because of stress, dark circles from crying, fatigue, and wrinkles appear. Managing stress and learning how to cope with it can help your skin in the long run.
What can you do about aging?
In your 20’s- Make sure you’re applying SPF. Majority of the sun damage research has shown happens in our 20’s to our skin. Applying an SPF before going outside is one of the best preventative measures to keeping skin looking youthful later in life. This SPF is one of the best for the face and before makeup. Exfoliate, to keep your skin looking fresh and glowing and to reveal those new skin cells. Don’t sleep with your makeup on, as tempting as it might be. This blocks pores, causes breakouts and it can stretch out your pores- something no one wants. Start incorporating one anti-aging product. Even in your 20’s skin starts to decrease in collagen. Pick one serum, or moisturizer that is loaded with active ingredients and is going to give you some mileage to your skin in the long run. I love this serum!
In your 30’s- Your skin starts to slow cell production at this age and collagen decreases as well. Getting by with a few hours of sleep doesn’t seem as easy without looking haggard and some fine lines are starting to appear. Hormones can be all over too as you have babies, which causes more skin changes. Your skin often can feel overall drier too. It’s best to find a skincare routine and really stick with it. Replace foaming cleansers that dry out your skin with more oil or milk based cleansers. Find a hydrating cream to amp up your skin’s overall moisture and get an active serum that is really going to help counteract the aging process. One of the biggest complaints of 30 somethings is pigmentation. Exfoliation is also key at this age as cell turnover is slower. Exfoliating skin keeps it looking youthful and glowing. This is the best exfoliant. Also, don’t forget an eye cream! I love this eye cream. Your 30’s can really start to show the first signs of aging around the eyes. Plus, keep up the SPF as you still want to keep your skin protected!
In your 40’s- Once we hit 40’s our skin’s cell turnover rate has slowed to nearly double of when we were in our 20’s. They say in our 20’s our cell turnover rate is 25 days, but in our 40’s it’s 45 days. So basically our skincare routine needs to be highly fined tuned at this age. You start to see sun spots in your 40’s more than ever and wrinkles appear in areas you use the most such as forehead, around eyes and mouth. Now is the time to make sure you have a skincare routine that delivers. From a gentle hydrating cleanser, an active serum, a day cream and night cream. Plus, an active eye serum or cream and an SPF. Love this facial SPF. Plus, continued exfoliation twice a week as you did in your 30’s. A mask every week to help hydrate, and restore glow is a good idea too. Facial Rolling is a great way to help bring some life into the skin and really increase overall circulation. Facial rolling can help decrease puffiness and gently ease out fine lines. I like this facial roller. Start applying products to your neck as the neck can age even quicker than the face.
In your 50’s & beyond- As an esthetician I always think of skin pre-menopause and post menopause. Although women can experience menopause in their 40’s for many it can be more in the 50’s. That’s why I categorize skin pre and post menopause because the skin’s needs after menopause are usually consistent as you age(meaning as you age into your 60’s and 70’s and beyond). It might seem harsh but skin really changes a lot after going through menopause. When you go through menopause you experience a drop in estrogen which also means a drop in collagen. When you have less collagen you have less fullness and overall elasticity to your skin. Moisture levels go down and so do skin’s natural glow. It doesn’t mean a death sentence for your skin! It’s important to continue hydrating the skin always. This night cream is literally the best I’ve found for delivering lasting hydration, plus active ingredients. From a hydrating cleanser, day cream, night cream and eye cream. Also, protecting the skin always with an SPF as the skin is more fragile. It’s also vital at this stage to exfoliate since our skin can naturally start to lose it’s luster. Adding in a good exfoliation a couple times a week really helps to boost skin’s overall appearance. Don’t forget an active serum. One that is not only is going to deliver nutrients but also help with cell turnover.
Ok, now that we’ve talked about skincare in every stage of life, let’s take a look at what natural skincare lines really deliver when it comes to ingredients and performance!
What are the best anti-aging skin care products?
As I mentioned earlier I’ve been around the block for many years as a green beauty blogger and I’ve found my favorites when it comes to natural beauty products that perform! The natural beauty industry is just getting started and we are learning more and more about the power of plants.
Having tried many products, these 3 skincare companies really deliver when it comes to effective natural skin care products. It came down to 3 brands for best anti-aging skin care products.
If you’ve followed me for a hot minute it’s no surprise that I’m sharing about True Botanical’s. These products speak for themselves. Not only do they have clinical studies to prove their effectiveness but also so many raving customers! I first started to use their products 4 years ago and haven’t looked back.
When I think of TB what sticks out to me is a luxe natural anti-aging line. Using the most potent ingredients, TB spares no expense when it comes to creating their products. They care about quality and seeing products that actually perform, while at the same time are safe. A truly unique company in the green beauty industry. The scents of their products are some of the best. Nothing is too strong but smells fresh and real. I also love how they do clinical tests on their products. Something that is rare among the natural skincare industry. Proven results, with clean ingredients-what more could you want? Oh and I can’t forget to mention that all their products come in frosted glass bottles, can you say luxurious? Not only do they make skincare products but also some stellar body products. I’ve tried out their shampoo and conditioner, body wash and lotion and they’re all winners!
If you’re unsure of what line to commit to in TB, then take their online quiz here. They’ve made it easy to help you decide what line suits your skin best.
My personal favorites from the line are their Antioxidant Booster and their Repair Serum.
Let me first share about the Antioxidant Booster.
The Antioxidant Booster is made using whole apple peel which has been shown to be more effective than Vitamin C- hello! It’s basically like your skin’s best friend if you ask me. I mix this with the Repair Serum(you could use the Clear Serum from True Botanical’s, The Calm- whatever line that matches up to your skincare needs). Then I apply it my skin. I apply this before my oils. I find this helps my skin to absorb the oil better. Then I apply my oils. I can’t recommend this product enough! I like the Vitamin C Booster too, but this one has done amazing things for my skin.
I’ve seen hyperpigmentation fade, sun spots and an overall brightness and evenness to my skin. People ask me all the time how I apply it. I don’t follow True Botanicals recommendation of applying my oils first and then applying my Antioxidant booster and cellular repair serum. They recommend you start with their oil, then mix the Antioxidant Booster or Vitamin C Booster with one of their serums and apply to the skin. This isn’t how I was traditionally taught in esthetic school. However, True Botanical’s Oils are different then most oils. Here is an explanation they sent me:
We use oils that are specifically formulated to have smaller particle size and therefore be more easily absorbed into the skin, the oil doesn’t sit on top of the skin and create a barrier that the serum would be unable to penetrate
So if you want to apply your oil first and then Antioxidant Booster or Vitamin C Booster and serum do it. If you want to do it the other way- you can do it that too. They did inform me that the Vitamin C Booster is only water-soluble (not oil-soluble), so if you apply it first and then add the oil, it can sometimes create a bit of a pilling effect if the Vitamin C/Serum mixture hasn’t fully absorbed yet. The Antioxidant Booster is both water and oil soluble, so it’s easier to switch around the order of the products when you’re using that one! Bottom line- It’s my skincare must have! Get the Antioxidant Booster here!
Why do we want antioxidants in our skincare routines?
Free radicals are constantly at work in our skin causing damage. They are caused by the foods we eat, stress, the sun, air we breathe and so on. They can cause skin conditions like acne, rosacea and of course aging. The thing that we need to give our skin to fight free radicals are antioxidants. Antioxidants counteract free radical damage and help to repair and restore the skin. Our skin produces antioxidants on their own, but as we age we lose antioxidants. That’s why it’s important to keep feeding our skin antioxidants as we age.
The Antioxidant Booster does just that! It gives your skin the most potent form of antioxidants the minute it touches your skin because you don’t activate it until right before you use it. Since it’s in powder form, it hasn’t lost it’s potency because it’s not been mixed with liquid. The minute you mix it with a liquid you activate the formula. Imagine all those serums you’ve been buying that have promised to be filled with antioxidants but they’ve basically been deactivated since they’ve been sitting in liquid. This gives you the freshest antioxidants delivered right to your skin!
As you can see, the Antioxidant Booster doesn’t mess around! Get the Antioxidant Booster here!
The Repair Serum is another standout-
This serum is designed to reverse the cellular damage caused by sun exposure and aging. Pretty sure everyone wants to sign up for that-am I right?! Besides reversing cellular damage it also replenishes moisture and plumps up skin. It’s highly concentrated and goes past the surface of the skin to really get to the cellular level. Most serums sit at the top of the skin-not TB’s. Another thing I love about this serum is it’s ability to calm redness and ease congestion. My skin looks clearer over all and more even toned. I apply it after toning/misting my skin. Since it’s a serum my skin doesn’t feel moisturized but slightly dewy. This is a serum that is going to work for your skin everyday. An anti-aging, redness reducing serum all rolled into one. Invest in your skin and grab your serum here!
Are you familiar with African Botanic’s- if you aren’t allow me to introduce you! I first discovered this brand a year ago in a Boxwalla box. When creating this post, I knew that African Botanics would be include in the best anti-aging skin care products! If you’ve used them then you know. If you aren’t familiar with Boxwalla, you can read more about them here. They deliver some of the best natural beauty products bi-monthly. Not too mention they always are finding such skincare gems!
So last August I was introduced to Fleurs d’Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil. Let’s just say it was definitely a green beauty standout! I even included it in my best of clean beauty 2018- it’s that good. It was really the first plant-derived retinol that I used that blew me away.
I would literally recommend this oil to for any skin type. Whether you have sensitive skin, acne, mature, dry or oily. It does so much for each skin type. It’s highly active. The formula includes plant-derived retinols, Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, amino acids, minerals, carotenoids and peptides. This oil has it all!
From helping to fade fine lines, dark spots, hyper-pigmentation, and fading redness. It basically helps to come in and repair what environmental factors, stress and the aging process has done to the skin and reverse it.
I have seen a brightness in my skin and hyper pigmentation fade- no joke. If you’ve tried it, then you know what I’m talking about. I struggle with some redness and that faded and overall brightness shown through my skin. The oil is not heavy, but lightweight for an oil. Doesn’t feel greasy at all. I would apply this in the morning and at night. It feels like such a luxurious oil! Get Fleurs D’Afrique here!
But that’s not the only product standout from African Botanics…their Resurrection Cell Recovery Serum.
Say hello to your new favorite serum. But for real. This is a serum whereas the Fleurs d’Afrique from African Botanics is an oil. This serum according to studies minimizes dark spots by 67%! That’s amazing. It helps to smooth fine lines and repair the skin from environmental damage. It contains plant-derived retinol, and plant peptides. Plus, green sea algae which gently exfoliates the skin.
It is a gel serum that can be worn under the Fleurs de’Afrique or any other oil and helps to plump, hydrate and deliver antioxidants to your skin. I’m starting to wonder what it can’t do! It feels so refreshing and moisturizing on the skin. The biggest takeaways from the serum is how hydrated and rejuvenated my skin feels after using. The fine lines in my skin are all filled in and smooth. It’s really like a primer before I put on my makeup! It also really brightened my skin. I can’t get enough.
I apply mine after cleansing and toning. Then I follow with the Fleurs de’AFrique. The serum also contains plant based retinol. Basically, the more you use it and are consistent with it, the more results you will see over time. Get the Resurrection Cell Recovery System here!
I literally want to try all of African Botanics products- no joke. I have browsed their website and may slightly drool. The amount of attention that goes into them is so amazing. Check out the brand more here.
Beautycounter’s Countertime Line
Ok, This is Beautycounter’s first true antiaging skincare line and definitely worthy of the title of best anti-aging skin care products. By using a blend of plant-derived Retinatural Complex of Bakuchiol and alpine rose that support skin regaining youthfulness. Top performing conventional skincare brands you will find use retinol in their formulations. However, much research has shown that retinol is not only phototoxic, discoloration, can cause skin irritation, thin the skin, and even in some studies be carcinogenic. I mean I’m all for keeping my skin looking good but at the risk of my health- I don’t think so! You may have heard of tretinoin(I can just hear my dermatologist suggest this to me), which is toxic. Tretinoin is a form of retinol. Another form often used by many is retinyl palmitate, however, this can become toxic when exposed to sunlight.
If you’ve used retinol then you know how thin and irritated your skin can become. What happens to the skin when retinol is used over and over is it is constantly producing new cells. Which gives your skin that smooth appearance. The problem with the rapid cell renewal is it doesn’t give the new cells time to create the correct barrier function because they lack the lipid and adhesion from normal cell production. Therefore your skin becomes highly sensitive. Wearing sunscreen and protecting your skin from the sun is parmount when using retinols.
As you can see there is a reason why Beautycounter has retinol on their Never List of Ingredients. It’s not something you want to be applying to your skin and absorbing into your body. Check out the full Never List of Ingredients here.
Beautycounter wanted to create something that not only proved to be effective but safe. This is where they created a plant-derived Retinatural Complex of Bakuchiol and alpine rose.
There’s been a lot of buzz lately about plant-derived retinols. What are they and are they safe? Let’s dive in.
Bakuchiol is derived from the seeds and plants of the babchi plant. This plant has been used in Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic for diseases. Bakuchiol is one of the very few plants shown to actually work(scientifically proven) in the same way as retinol but without the side effects. (Source here) It helps to add firmness to the skin, fade pigmentation, improve skin elasticity, and improve fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, it helps to stimulate collagen production. Did you know your face from your mid 20s and on loses between 1-1.7% of collagen a year? You could say I’m all about upping my collagen production with a little Bakuchiol! Bakuchiol helps to repair the skin.
The other all star plant-derived retinol is alpine rose. Alpine rose helps to protect the skin. It is grown in the Swiss Alps, where it has to protect itself from harsh climates. When scientists saw how well the plant protected itself from the environment they wondered if it could do the same thing for human skin cells. If you think about the human skin it’s much the same way. When we are able to fight against environmental stressors and protect the skin while at the same time keeping barrier function intact and fluids in the skin is less likely to age. The whole process protects the skin from fine lines and wrinkles- yes you can read that again! Aren’t plants SO cool?! Read about alpine rose here.
As you can see Bakuchiol and alpine rose are a match made in skincare heaven. Not only repairing what’s been lost but protecting skin from future damage. What’s even better is you can find this Retinatural Complex of bakuchiol and alpine rose in the new Countertime line of Beautycounter products!
It’s obvious this isn’t a line that was casually made but intentionally and thoughtfully created. I love how every detail didn’t go unnoticed. Even the glass jars are sourced from North America, eliminating the 5,000 mile travel from China where most beauty containers are made. The jars are also recyclable too. Overall less impact but greater performance!
The line was formed in a new lab with over 100 trials performed to test for contamination as well. Beautycounter didn’t want to win some awards for best in natural beauty but they wanted to be the BEST in beauty.
Countertime has been in the works for 3 years- not an after thought. Beautycounter brought research and development in house, along with 5 chemists. The goal is to create natural products but in the end people want products that are going to be effective. Countertime definitely delivers on this front. This quote from the founder, Greg Renfrew really sums it up.
First the full Countertime line consists of 6 products. Spoiler alert: the Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream is the best antiaging cream I’ve found in natural skincare. It’s that good!
- Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil
- Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence
- Tripeptide Radiance Serum
- Antioxidant Soft Cream
- Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream- (Best antiaging cream in natural skincare)
- Ultra Renewal Eye Cream
Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil- This cleanser is unique and so good. The cleanser is a spin off of Asian skincare. You apply it to dry skin as an oil but as you add water it emulsifies into a milky consistency. It removes all my makeup effortlessly, no stinging and my skin doesn’t feel stripped after using. I’m hooked! I literally want to use this every night- it’s that good. Trust me I have a variety of other products I could use but I keep reaching for this one over and over. Did I mention the smell? AH-MAZING! Get it here.
Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence- This is similar to a toner/hydrosol. Instead of spritzing it on your skin you shake some into your hands and press it on your face. I apply this right after cleansing before I use serums, oils, moisturizers. It has a milky consistency compared to other toners I’ve used. This has of course the plant-derived retinols bakuchiol and alpine rose but also mineral-rich sea water, and a fermented blend of sugars. It gives your skin hydration but also an overall glow- you’ll love it. It’s so refreshing especially in the morning- wakes up my skin . Get it here.
Tripeptide Radiance Serum- This serum is jam packed with active ingredients from the plant-derived retinol to tetrapeptide. Tripeptide is a peptide with three amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Our skin loses collagen every year as I mentioned earlier. By adding peptides to your skin you are tricking it into thinking it’s lost collagen recently and it signals your cells to make more. When collagen production happens, then you notice your skin feeling plumper, and repaired, making y