As you age, your skin produces less collagen and fewer vitamins. This causes it to lose elasticity and develop wrinkles, fine lines, dullness, and age spots. The process occurs early for some people, and it can be exacerbated by environmental factors such as dryness, pollution, poor diet, smoking, and excessive sun exposure.
There’s an entire industry devoted to delaying this aging process for as long as possible, with hundreds of commercial treatments, serums, peels, and injections available. But if you want to stay away from chemicals and Botox, you can still keep your skin looking youthful and bright by using natural oils. These oils work with your body to deliver moisture, vitamins, and essential fatty acids that help your skin look smoother, firmer, and younger.
1. Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil is incredibly gentle and suitable for most skin types, with a pleasant, mild smell. It is edible, which means it’s definitely safe to put on your skin! It’s an excellent source of vitamins A and C—antioxidants that nourish your skin and help to defend it from premature aging caused by free radicals in the environment. These vitamins also assist in building new skin cells and collagen, promoting healthy skin turnover and minimizing wrinkles. Pumpkin seed oil penetrates deeply into the skin, and the high level of moisture helps “plump” the skin around your eyes and mouth (which makes fine lines appear less obvious).
Cold pressed pumpkin seed oil is delicate and can go rancid easily; it should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct light.
2. Carrot Seed Oil
Carrot seed oil is extracted using steam distillation; it is amber colored and has a mild smell. Because it is very strong, it should always be diluted with a carrier oil (e.g. olive oil or coconut oil). This naturally anti-aging oil is full of compounds known as carotenoids, which promote the rejuvenation of your skin cells. This keeps your skin looking young and radiant, as well as minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and sagging. Carotenoids also deliver a high level of antioxidants, protecting against damage caused by sun exposure and environmental toxins.
Carrot seed oil has a natural SPF of 40, making it an excellent daily moisturizer if you prefer not to wear sunscreen on your face, neck, and chest.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is thick, soothing, and highly moisturizing, making it an excellent choice for skin that is dry or prone to irritation (e.g. eczema). When it comes to anti-aging properties, its high levels of lauric acid is combats wrinkles and sagging skin—it’s even used in many commercial anti-aging products.
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Coconut oil is fairly stable and takes a while to turn rancid. It is liquid at temperatures over 76 degrees Fahrenheit; if you’re using it in solid form, simply rub a small amount between your fingers to melt it a little and then apply directly to the skin.
4. Rosehip Seed Oil
Rosehip seed oil is considered a “dry oil”—it has high amounts of fatty acids that are quickly absorbed into the skin. These are the same fatty acids in salmon and nuts—anti-aging compounds that your skin uses to produce collagen, heal sun damage, and stay soft and supple. Rosehip seed oil delivers these acids directly into your skin, and it is highly moisturizing, minimizing the appearance of fine lines (especially around the eyes and mouth). It is also high in linoleic acid, which is good for those with skin that scars or develops blemishes easily.
High quality rosehip seed oil has a light amber color and a strong smell; it spoils easily and should be kept refrigerated in between uses.
5. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is rich in vitamins A and E, both of which combat free radicals, prevent sun damage, and help minimize wrinkles and fine lines. It also contains high levels of sterolins, which help your body produce collagen. Avocado oil also helps tone your skin, promoting the cell turnover that minimizes age spots and hyperpigmentation. It also has a natural SPF of 15, reducing sun damage to your skin.
Avocado oil is cold-pressed and incredibly thick, which allows it to deliver a lot of moisture to your skin. However, most people will find it too heavy to use as a general moisturizer. Instead, it’s a great choice for sensitive and wrinkle-prone areas of your face; it can be dabbed on around the eyes, forehead, jaw, and mouth. If your skin tends to break out, start with only a small amount of avocado oil; it is high in oleic acid, which may cause zits.
6. Sweet Almond Oil
Finally, sweet almond oil is expeller pressed from the shelled almond nut; it has a mild flavor and smell, and can last a long time under any conditions. As an anti-aging treatment, it’s gentle enough to use on your entire face, as well as your neck and chest. It has high amounts of vitamins E and K, which helps your skin build new cells and maintain elasticity. It also promotes better circulation, which keeps your skin healthy and soft, and it has a small amount of natural natural UV protection to help protect your skin from sun damage.