Hydrating Facial Masks
If you’re in the market for a new facial mask or want to try a rejuvenating cream with more potency than your normal daytime moisturizer, look for natural products containing the following key ingredients.
Both masks and repair creams should contain antioxidants for antiaging benefits. Green tea helps prevent oxidative stress and eliminates free radicals. Look for products containing vitamins A, C, and E, all of which protect collagen (the protein in connective tissue that keeps skin firm and youthful).
Topical vitamin C not only helps boost collagen production, it also regenerates oxidized vitamin E, so look for these vitamins in combination.
Pycnogenol, taken from the bark of the French Maritime pine tree, contains more antioxidant power than vitamins E and C. Likewise, astaxanthin, a marine-based ingredient harvested from micro algae is “500 times more powerful than vitamin E,” says Linda Miles, LAc, DOM.
Alpha lipoic acid, another powerful antioxidant that protects collagen from free radicals, also appears to make other antioxidants work more effectively, says Miles. Certain antioxidant fruit extracts—including acai berry, mangosteen, and pomegranate—work to prevent fine lines and firm skin.
Natural Skin Soothers
Nature’s restorative plants can work overnight to leave skin feeling soft, smooth, and refreshed by morning. Both primrose and borage oils diminish the dryness common to aging skin. Cranberry and grape seed oils offer moisturizing effects along with antioxidant protection.
Calendula flower extract works as both an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant and is good for problem skin. Products containing soy help keep skin firm and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, which naturally decline with age. Research involving soy extracts indicates that this ingredient decreases skin roughness and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.