If you’re like us, you want to reverse aging using the most potent, gold-standard ingredients. But many can cause discoloration, irritation, and dryness. Here are three natural alternatives to those anti-aging products that deliver the same results, sans the side effects. Find the one for you!
To Smooth Lines
The gold standard: Retinol. It rapidly boosts collagen production and skincell turnover to firm skin. “But it also decreases oil production, leaving skin dry, irritated and sensitive to the sun,” says New York City dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali, MD.
The natural alternative: Bakuchiol. Studies show the Indian plant spurs collagen synthesis, making skin 39 percent firmer and 90 percent more hydrated after 12 weeks of daily use —all without interfering with oil gland activity!
Find it in: Burt’s Bees Renewal Firming Moisturizing Cream (But at Ulta.com, $19.99)
To Fade Age Spots
The gold standard: Hydroquinone. The bleaching agent lightens existing spots. But when used in high concentrations, it can lighten the surrounding skin as well, says Dr. Bhanusali.
The natural alternative: Vitamin B-3. Rather than bleaching skin, vitamin B-3 (aka niacinamide) targets and blocks the enzyme that overproduces skin’s pigment by 68 percent in four weeks.
This helps brighten up dark spots and even out skin tone without altering surrounding skin in the process.
Find it in: Naturium Niacinamide Gel Cream 5% (Buy at Naturium.com, $20)
To Calm Rosacea
The gold standard: Azelaic acid. This compound is derived from grains but is more commonly lab-created for cosmetic use as its anti-inf lammatory and keratolytic properties alleviate redness, swelling and bumps associated with rosacea. The downside? Sensitive skin needs time to acclimate to the acid, which can sting after the first few uses.
The natural alternative: Centella asiatica (aka cica). The ancient Chinese plant is touted for its abilities to soothe and heal even the most sensitive of skin (and rarely causes adverse reactions) thanks to antioxidants called saponins. Using saponins topically has been shown to ease redness and inflammation, regenerate damaged tissue and fight off free radicals from the environment to strengthen skin’s barrier and keep rosacea flare-ups at bay. Simply apply a cica-infused cream nightly to see results in seven days.
Find it in: No7 Laboratories CICA Rescue Skin Paste (Buy at eCosmetics.com, $18.39)
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.
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