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Secrets of anti-ageing

Natural cosmetics are packed with ingredients that nourish and protect your skin which can really benefit it in the long-term

“Conventional beauty products tend to contain cheap, man-made ingredients that are used to bulk up the product or to make your skin temporarily feel a certain way, but take their toll on the skin in the long term,” says Niamh Larkin, beauty specialist at Evergreen in Mainguard St, Galway. “Parabens disrupt hormone function – they are a cheap preservative that should be avoided at all costs. Petroleum has many names and is used in bulk in many cheap skincare products. It clogs pores and, like silicones, inhibits the absorption of other ingredients into the skin.”

“Chemical ingredients have the potential to irritate and age the skin and include sodium lauryl sulfate, sulphates, mineral oils and parabens,” agrees Ingrid Hume of beauty company Pravera. “SLSs in skincare products strip the skin’s natural oils; mineral oils clog the pores and hinder the skin’s natural ability to remove toxins; parabens can cut down existing collagen levels in the skin and can speed up the ageing process making wrinkles and fine lines appear in younger skin.”

“Conventional beauty products may contain ingredients that can damage the skin as it ages and becomes thinner and dryer,” says Ian Taylor cosmetic scientist at beauty company Green People. “Dry, delicate skin is more vulnerable to damage from skin-drying alcohols as well as harsh, synthetic ingredients.”

Natural alternatives

“Healthy, vibrant skin needs hydration and nourishment so it is important to hydrate your skin morning and evening with an antioxidant serum and moisturiser or facial oil,” says Ian Taylor. “To keep skin looking younger for longer you should also consider investing in skincare products with (SPF) sun protection and taking an astaxanthin-based beauty supplement to boost your skin’s health from within.”

“UV rays are damaging and cause ageing to skin, therefore you should use a daily moisturiser with a natural SPF (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide) to protect the skin from premature ageing,” says Ingrid Hume. “It is never too late to incorporate an SPF into your daily skincare routine.”

“Natural skincare products generally contain beneficial, nourishing ingredients, chosen with specific skin types in mind. They don’t contain ingredients that will clog or damage the skin, even with long-term use,” says Niamh Larkin. “Skincare that’s free from harsh chemicals will keep your skin looking younger and fresher for longer, because your skin can actually utilise the healthy ingredients within.”

Ingredients to look for

“When shopping for natural skincare you should remember that no single ingredient offers all the anti-ageing benefits and can completely stop the ageing process; a combination is needed to feed, hydrate and protect the skin,” says Ian Taylor. “Look for blends using baicalin, olive squalane, plant stem cells and precious omega- and antioxidant-rich plant oils such as rosehip and pomegranate.”

“Hyaluronic acid is one of the most popular natural anti-ageing ingredients in skincare,” says Niamh Larkin. “It naturally draws moisture into the skin cells, plumping the skin and visibly reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Coenzyme Q10 is another natural ingredient gaining popularity for its ability to brighten the complexion, boosting circulation to the area, leaving the skin looking fresh and banishing dullness. Rosehip seed oil is well known for its high content of essential fats. It can drastically improve skin’s elasticity making it a favourite for prevention of (and solution to) fine lines, wrinkles, scars, pigmentation and age spots.”

Anti-ageing tips

Cut out sugar – it can cause skin to lose elasticity.

Take vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant that can protect skin from free radicals.

Cook with turmeric and garlic – great antioxidants with cleansing properties.

Take green superfoods – chlorella, grass juices and wild berries are high in antioxidants.

Sleep well – the most important thing for skin is a good night’s sleep.

Take algal oil – an algae-based superfood that is anti inflammatory.

Cook with macadamia nut oil – rich in essential fatty acids which help to keep skin taut.

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