Of all the changes we go through as we age, wrinkles are seen as one of the least desirable. Wrinkles are caused by the skin losing collagen, which gives the skin its elasticity and fullness. Without that protein, the skin begins to sag and develop those infamous fine lines. While there are medically-based treatments for wrinkles, they’re often both expensive and temporary. Luckily, there are a number of natural remedies that can reduce or eliminate wrinkles, some of which you may have in your pantry right now!
Coconut or Olive Oil: Coconut oil contains loads of antioxidants and emollients; which stop the formation of free radicals and smooth out wrinkles that are already in existence, respectively. Meanwhile, olive oil is not only rich in antioxidants; it’s also high in Vitamins A and E, which boost the fight against free radicals. It has been used as a cosmetic and moisturizer since it was first extracted from olive trees over 5,000 years ago. Both of these oils make excellent moisturizers when applied directly to the skin 1-2 times per day; additionally, olive oil makes a great .
Fish Oil: Fish Oil contains Omega 3 Fatty Acids. These fatty acids are rich in Vitamin E, which helps maintain cell membranes and retain moisture within cells. These fatty acids are most prevalent in oily fish such as tuna, salmon, and herring. If you’re vegetarian, almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds and oil are all excellent Omega 3 sources as well.
Antioxidants: Antioxidants are chemical compounds that fight the formation of free radicals. The best-known antioxidants are Beta Carotene, Vitamins A and E, and Lycopene. They can be found in colorful fruits and vegetables (tomatoes, blueberries, and spinach are great sources of antioxidants!), in meats, in nuts and legumes, and in fortified cereals. If you’re worried about getting sufficient antioxidants in your diet, you might also want to look into antioxidant supplements as well.
Trace Minerals: Trace minerals are minerals our bodies require in small, balanced increments in order to function properly. Two that are most needed to maintain skin health are Selenium and Copper. Selenium is an antioxidant which neutralizes free radicals and may restore skin elasticity, while Copper aids in the formation of collagen and elastin in the skin. Good sources of Selenium include tuna, salmon, Brazil Nuts, eggs, and brown rice. Copper can be found in shellfish, legumes, beans and lentils, and nuts.
Green/White Tea: Your antioxidant choices aren’t just limited to food! A lot of beverages are also high in antioxidants, including freshly brewed green and white teas. Both of these teas have been shown to be high in catechins and epicatechins. These compounds help to stop the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin, but they are diminished in other tea types due to oxidation during the fermentation process. While green tea has high levels of these compounds, white tea is the best source due to its lower levels of oxidation.
Masks: Masks are a great way to absorb vital nutrients and antioxidants through the skin. There are a couple you can make at home to help improve your skin:
~Banana. Mash up a banana and mix it with yogurt and orange juice. The Vitamin A will help fade blemishes and dark spots. The Potassium will help hydrate skin cells, while vitamin B helps prevent aging and Vitamin E will protect against UV damage and help fight free radicals.
~Egg White. Mix an egg white with a teaspoon of lemon juice and half a teaspoon of honey. Honey contains antiseptic and antibacterial benefits, while the lemon juice works as a mild astringent. Egg whites themselves are packed full of protein, which helps with repairing the skin. It also contains Riboflavin and Magnesium, which are great for repairing the skin and making it look radiant!