How Botanical Extracts Counteract the Aging Process
Our skin and the bones and cartilage under our skin change as we age. While this change is a natural (and to a large extent, inevitable) process, there are things that we can do to slow down or alter it. Many people resort to surgery or use botox, some use collagen implants. Stem cell research is promising. People may also change their diet, meditate, avoid the sun, sleep more, exercise, drink more water, increase their consumption of vitamins, and/or use creams and serums and other skin-care and beauty products.
Aging and Beauty
The desire to slow down, or eliminate the aging process is almost universal and dates back into ancient times. Beauty was an obsession of Cleopatra's, who tapped into the anti-aging and beautifying qualities of what was available to her at the time (much of which was botanical). Throughout history women, and men, have sought the fountain of youth and chased elusive cures to the lines, wrinkles, sagging, and age spots that appear without effective intervention. While aging is completely normal and follows a fairly predictable process, personal habits and genetics will have some influence on its rates and the signs. Certainly taking control of diet, sleep, stress, sun exposure, hydration and exercise can all help you look more refreshed and radiant. Surgery and implants are invasive options to bring about change and can cause unwanted side effects. Serums with botanicals can also be incredibly effective, especially when paired with a healthy life-style. Not all products are made equally, however, so before reaching for a product on the shelf, or hitting "buy-now" online just because it has the word botanical, you may want to better understand the aging process. Along with that, understanding how the aging process impacts the skin can help you to choose the right anti-aging product for your desired beauty result.
The Biological Aging Process
As skin ages it loses elasticity, plumpness, moisture, firmness and radiance. Some of this is due to changes in the blood vessels below the skin, which contract and grow harder with age. The loss of fat, bone and cartilage that occur through the natural aging process lead to wrinkles and a change in the shape and appearance of the face. As skin's elasticity diminishes, due to losing collagen, gravity plays a role and sagging or drooping occurs. The exposure that we have had to the sun and its UV rays, can break down elastin causing wrinkles as well. If you have smoked, these effects are multiplied due to the chemicals inhaled. Every part of our skin is impacted by the aging process. It is the epidermis, or the outer layer, that is visible and that we typically focus our attention on. However, it is the dermis, the middle layer, where collagen is found, that supports most of what we recognize as beauty. The blood vessels of the dermis provide nutrients and remove wastes. Sebum, the oily substance created by the sebaceous glands, is produced in our pores and protects the skin from the elements and promotes hydration. These oil glands are found in the dermis and as we age their functionality and production of sebum decreases. The subcutaneous layer, sometimes referred to as the fatty layer, holds the connective tissues and fats. Like the other layers, as we age the ability for these functions to work well diminishes.
Aging Beautifully Botanically
The rate at which we age, and the extent of its visible signs are related to our diet and other lifestyle choices, and while no one has figured out how to preserve perpetual youthfulness, the science of beauty is progressing by leaps and bounds. Nowhere is this more noticeable than in the skin care and beauty product industries. This is thanks in no small part to scientists and dermatologists embracing the natural and organic anti-aging properties of botanicals. Even a decade ago peer-reviewed research was showing that plant-based natural and organic products reduced wrinkles, fine lines and signs of aging. Beauty magazines and blogs all espouse the benefits of botanicals and almost every commercial skin-care and cosmetic product line now promotes plant-based extracts and oils as part of what makes their products enhance your beauty. But why? What is it that makes this work? The short answer is, it depends. The long answer is that it depends on the botanical. For example, antioxidants, which are found in everything from green tea to blueberries to guava, neutralize the free radicals which can cause wrinkles and dull skin. Vitamins A, D, C, and E are common, easy to find, and all well recognized as beneficial to healthy skin. Selenium may be able to reverse some discoloration and even keep further damage from occurring. Chocolate, derived from the cocoa plant, has flavonoids which are strong antioxidants. Pomegranate, promotes cellular regeneration and helps the growth of collagen. Soy isoflavones help to decrease redness in the skin, brighten it, and also boost collagen. Avocado fats and olive fruit oils are well recognized as having anti-aging qualities. Aloe leaf juice, which is used by Calysta Labs, has anti-inflammatory and healing properties that contribute to beautiful skin.
When plant based oils, extracts and other gifts from nature are combined with anti-aging ingredients that are scientifically formulated, the results are potent. Collagen boosting retinoids and smoothing alpha-hydroxy acids can be enhanced with natural and organic ingredients for firmer, more elastic, and more radiant skin. This won't keep you from aging, but it will keep you looking younger.