As I approach my fifth decade (gasp- did I actually just write that for the public to see?!), it’s becoming more of a challenge to keep my youthful glow. I’ve always been blessed with clear skin. Eating a healthy diet is also completely helpful, and will work from the inside out. While I’m glad I have a happy life that shows from the smile lines, the stresses of life also show. Slight discolorations, lines, and sagging skin are all a part of growing older, but I sure do want to fight it each step of the way!
There is so much pressure in our society for women to keep looking young. I have often said how it’s not at all fair that men can go grey and they look distinguished. Women look old. Men can get lines and wrinkles and look wise and even more handsome. Women look haggardly. It’s just not fair, but I’m about to go on a tangent, so back to the point. Ladies, we need to do what we can in a healthy way to keep the aging at bay!
Problems With Commercial Anti-Aging Creams
As I talked about in my post on homemade lotion, there are literally tens of thousands of chemicals being used in commerce. Thousands of those make their way onto our largest organ- and right into our bloodstream. Since I’m a bit on the vain side (another comment I’m actually saying out loud), I rationalized forever about natural skin care on my face. After all, it’s just a TINY part of all our skin, right?! Healthy Kristen finally won out over vain Kristen and I forever made the switch.
So what are some of these chemicals and additives you need to avoid?
Chemicals to absolutely avoid include:
- Parabens- Parabens are used as a preservative and can affect hormone balance, sometimes mimicking estrogen. The big deal is that this can lead to infertility, acne, weight gain, and even hormonal cancers.
- Phthalates- This one is sneaky because you won’t find this listed on any ingredient label. They serve to lengthen the shelf life in personal care items. Over one BILLION pounds are produced annually, leading to possible damage of the liver, lungs, and kidneys. You can avoid phthalates by looking for the word “fragrance” or “parfum.”
- BHA and BHT- These are both used as preservatives. These are classified as human carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. BHA & BHT also mimic estrogen and can lead to a hormone imbalance.
- Formaldehyde- Formaldehyde-releasing agents are used as preservatives in cosmetics as well as in your skin care products. This is another chemical that has been linked to cancer.
Chemicals specific to anti-aging products that you want to avoid:
- Polyacrylamide– Used to stabilize and bind ingredients. Sadly, also used in water, sewage and waste treatment, oil recovery, ore processing, paper making, and to make permanent-press fabrics, to synthesize dyes. Ewww. It never makes me feel good when something used in our food or personal care is used for industrial things too. Polyacrylamide is linked to cancer, reproductive and developmental disorders. Avoid products with polyacrylamide, acrylamide, polyacrylate, polyquaternium or acrylate on the label.
- Nanoparticles– There are SO many types of these. You will recognize most of these elements, but the problem comes when they are made so tiny. They are more toxic than their larger particles. These tiny particles can be inhaled and some can even pass the blood-brain barrier. Ones to watch for:
- Micronized zinc oxide
- Nano zinc oxide
- Micronized titanium dioxide
- Micronized quartz silica
- PFOA– Perfluorooctonoic acid is a name you may have seen before- it’s also Teflon found in non-stick cookware! (This is a discussion for another day, but if your skillets are coated in this material, throw them away! The problems we will discuss here in personal care items also apply to what you consume in your food.) PFOA has been found in body fluid samples from 99.7 percent of the U.S. adults, and this is no surprise considering it is a “forever chemical.” This means it NEVER breaks down in the environment, and has even been found in polar ice caps. There is no avoiding it and even if discontinued now after decades of use, it will never go away. It is associated with cancer, mammary cancer, reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption and environmental bioaccumulation and persistence.
There are several other anti-aging items you will want to avoid. If you want a full research-supported site, you can browse Campaign for Safe Cosmetics which has a wealth of information and helpful articles.
Anti-Aging Ingredients in Homemade Face Cream
- Argan oil– Argan oil is wonderful for dry or aging skin. It is rich in Vitamin E and reduces skin inflammation as well. It may help improve the skin’s elasticity, and therefore reduce physical signs of aging, such as wrinkles. It is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids, while also gives a slight barrier on the skin to prevent water loss. You can see why I chose this as the main ingredient for our homemade anti-aging face cream!
- Coconut oil– Coconut oil helps to keep your connective tissues strong and flexible. It also can hydrate the skin and help it retain moisture. It may also help reduce inflammation, promote wound healing, and has antibacterial properties.
- Shea butter– Known in Africa as “Nature’s Best Kept Beauty Secret,” shea butter has anti-inflammatory properties, making it helpful for conditions like acne, dark spots, psoriasis, flaky scalp, dandruff, stretch marks, wrinkles and more. Many people recommend applying it plain. I tried this in the past but it’s VERY thick when it’s the real deal and unrefined. This made me feel I was doing more harm than good stretching my face all over as I was trying to rub it in!
- Beeswax– Beeswax has anti-inflammatory properties, is high in vitamin A, and can work as a natural exfoliator. Using beeswax on the face will provide hydration, reduce signs of aging, and help clear skin blemishes. It is also what helps in creating the right texture in homemade products, as it thickens it and makes it stabilized. As I’ve mentioned before, I prefer the pellets as all the work is done for you; grating the block can be a hassle.
Essential Oils With Anti-Aging Properties
I choose a combination of rose, helichrysum, lavender, and frankincense. I’m a bit funny about strong smells. Even when I know something like frankincense is super beneficial, I only use about a drop of that one as I don’t care for the smell. Same with helichrysum. The others I can do 2-3 drops, but because this doesn’t make a large batch, you will want to restrict any oils combined to no more than 6 drops.
How to Make Homemade Anti-Aging Face Cream
This site contains affiliate links to products. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you.
Place Argan oil, coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter in a small jar. Fill a saucepan with a couple inches of water, and place the jar in the water. Ingredients will melt slowly (you don’t have to boil the water, just slight simmer).
Remove jar, then add your choice of essential oils. Give a stir, and let set until thickened. You can leave your cream in the jar or place it in a small container with lid.
Let me know if you try this recipe! If you don’t want to DIY but want some wonderful anti-aging products that are completely non-toxic, I love this overnight lift cream as well as the anti-aging oil serum.