I frequently get asked what is the best anti-aging serum or moisturizer. Like, the best one, in the whole entire world. And to be honest, it's not a question I can answer. Of course I recommend my own line, Trofi Apothecary, because I know its potent while still respecting the integrity of your skin and its functions, but there are lots of other great lines and products out there.
I'm never going to be that esthetician that says my line is the only line that can get you results. Come on now, there are thousands and thousands of anti-aging creams and serums out there. At least a couple of them are going to work for you. I would just be lying if I said otherwise. (And PS, any esthetician that says that is either lying or doesn't know their ingredients.)
I would rather teach you what is going on in your skin and what ingredients are best to correct those conditions.
So today, that's where I'm going to start. What exactly is happening to cause your skin to show the signs of aging?
Aging is simply the lack of regeneration in your body.
That's right. We're all little Wolverines out here, albeit much slower at our regenerating capabilities.
Our skin cells (and all other cells) are created to develop, carry out their specific tasks, die, and then be reabsorbed into our bodies to become the building blocks of new cells. This is the complete healthy life cycle of a cell.
As we age however, our DNA can become damaged, which leads to hiccups in this process, called cellular senescence.
Many things can cause cell damage, for example:
Glycation (damage from sugar)
Oxidative stress (from those pesky free radicals)
Malnutrition (from a lack of proper nutrients)
A significant majority of the aging process is caused by choices that we actually have in our control, such as diet, toxin exposure, and lifestyle choices. In fact, scientists believe that if the natural aging process was the only factor causing our cellular breakdown, the average life expectancy would be 120 years. OMG.
So then how do we combat this damage?
I recommend coming at it from two sides. One, we need to stop creating the damage. And two, we need to clean up the mess that's already been made.
And that is how I've come up my list for the five most powerful anti-aging ingredients. I believe that the best creams and serums need to be determined by what is in them, rather than the label or logo on them.
So here it goes in no particular order.
This is one you may not have heard of. It is a type of algae that is loaded down with nutrients and antioxidants. It is extremely potent, so you don't need a lot of it, consuming just a teaspoon a day provides you with so much dense nutrition. It is touted as being the most nutritious food on the planet.
Spirulina contains all the amino acids you need to create collagen and elastin, as well as so much more, including essential fatty acids your body can't create on its own, Niacin (that helps repair glycation damage from sugar), Copper (that helps balance melanin and collagen production), and Manganese (that also helps collagen production and repair oxidative stress damage).
Spirulina can be found in my anti-aging cream Peptide Shea Moisturizer.
Sailing on the coattails of Spirulina is the mighty Rosehip. This makes the list because of its crazy high Vitamin C content. See, in order for your body to be able to make that collagen and elastin out of those amino acids Spirulina provides, it must have a good storage of Vitamin C inside.
We humans are incapable of making our own Vitamin C, which is kind of weird because most other mammals can. But we like being special and all that. So we have to get it from outside sources.
Rosehips hold the honor of having the highest Vitamin C content amongst almost all fruits and vegetables. (Its a fruit in case you were wondering). They have 30 times the Vitamin C content of oranges.
Rosehips also help fight free radical damage with their high antioxidant content, moisturize with high omega 6 fatty acids, and contain anthocyanin which calms inflammation.
This root looks like a stick. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory, but it makes my list for a different reason. It solves hyperpigmentation problems by dispersing the melanin in the skin properly.
It stops the damage from UVB rays in its tracks and stops the cells over-producing melanin.
And it does all this without causing damage like bleaching agents, OH AND it has been shown to be 16 times more effective than hydroquinone, without any of the side effects.
This ingredient is a pretty little yellow/orange flower found in Egypt, India, and Somalia. She makes the list because she fights dehydration like a monster. It is a botanical form of hyaluronic acid.
We naturally make hyaluronic acid in our bodies, but as we age we're not able to produce as much. Hyaluronic acid its what helps make our joints springy and our skin bouncy and firm.
The seeds of this senna plant have a high content of polysaccharides, which have a similar reaction to water molecules as hyaluronic acid. They bind to them and help keep them in our skin.
In addition, Cassia creates a light occlusive layer on our skin that further helps keep moisture in, is a strong antioxidant (healing that oxidative damage) and an anti-inflammatory.
And finally we have the much overlooked Dandelion flower (and leaves). This garden flower makes the list because it. is. the. bomb.
Dandelion not only helps protect from sun damage and oxidative stress (free radicals) in the present, but it heals the damage from the past.
And if that wasn't enough, they help stop cellular senescence from the ozone that we're exposed to on a daily basis.
So there's my top five. They're by no means all the great ingredients out there, but I do believe they are some of the very best anti-aging ingredients. Hopefully you can use this list to narrow down some of your favorite creams and serums!