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What is the best skin care routine for aging skin? In this post, you will learn about my anti-wrinkle treatment secrets as part of my non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine. You will be introduced to the step-by-step regimen I follow and the age-defying non-toxic skin care products I use. In addition, you will learn whether vitamin A is a good choice for anti-aging non-toxic beauty products and its plant-based substitute bakuchiol. Plus, you will have several safe options for clean beauty products to choose from for the best anti-aging regimen. Learn about the non-toxic makeup I use here and the best tips for skin care routine for dry skin here.
Non-Toxic Anti-Aging Beauty Routine Guide
How Do You Start An Anti-Aging Skin Care Routine?
A fun fact about me is that I really like running. However, it has not always been like that. There was a time I was so weak physically that I thought I wouldn’t make it. Just like you, I have had my battles with health after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and Addison’s autoimmune conditions.
As a full-time consumer goods ingredient researcher, I get to try lots of non-toxic beauty products. As a result, I have found many that I like, but I cannot use them all simultaneously. If I had two faces, I would! So, you will learn about what is, in my opinion, the best age defying skincare products I currently use. And you will learn about safe skincare options I have used or would use, too.
What can I do to stop my face from aging? I started asking myself this question when I was in my twenties. Again and again, I visited spas in a futile attempt to reverse the signs of aging. Looking back, I realize that there was not much to reverse then. Now, in my late forties, I am satisfied with my skin even though I do not pay visits to estheticians. Instead of fretting about aging, I did research to see what I can do to prevent and reduce wrinkles, and what non-toxic skin care ingredients can help me with that.
What Products Really Work For Anti-Aging and Better Complexion?
To begin with, the quality of the ingredients is what makes cosmetic products effective in the fight against aging skin. However, none of them can completely erase the wrinkles that have already made an appearance. What they can do is make them softer, smaller, and less visible, which in turn makes your skin look younger. They can also prevent new ones from forming. Hence, including products with anti-aging ingredients in your non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine seems like a good idea.
What is the best active ingredient for anti-aging?
First, some effective age defying skincare ingredients are:
- niacinamide (vitamin B3)
- green tea
- vitamin C
- ferulic acid, and
- hyaluronic acid (or sodium hyaluronate).
Second, there are peptides that, in my opinion, work best for wrinkles. Third, there is vitamin A that is a little controversial. Keep reading to find out why I choose safe skincare products without vitamin A.
What Ingredient Is Best For Reducing Appearance of Fine Lines? Peptides.
For starters, peptide molecules are short chains of amino acids and serve as the building blocks of proteins. Specifically in anti-aging skin care, proteins refer to collagen that gives our skin its structure. Aging causes collagen proteins to break down, which contributes to wrinkles and a lack of elasticity.
According to this study, cosmetic peptides fall into four main categories:
- carrier peptides
- neurotransmitter-affecting peptides
- enzyme inhibitors
- signal peptides.
First, carrier peptides in clean skincare facilitate the delivery of another ingredient to skin cells.
Second, neurotransmitter-affecting peptides act like Botox, paralyzing the muscles. Namely, they block the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in muscle contractions and related to memory. Hence, in the long term, they may have a negative effect on your memory. (Personally, I avoid using products with Botox-like peptides in my non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine.)
Next, enzyme inhibitor peptides impede enzymes that mediate the breakdown of collagen and other skin proteins. Hypothetically, this helps stave off collagen loss.
Finally, signal peptides increase the proliferation of collagen, elastin, proteoglycan, glycosaminoglycan, and fibronectin (source). Plus, by boosting skin matrix cell regeneration, they help reduce the pigmentation of photo-damaged skin, fine lines, and wrinkles (source). As a result, skin elasticity increases, and skin appears smoother and firmer.
Additionally, there are structural peptides derived from keratin, a protein that gives hair and nails their structure. Specifically, they target dehydration and dryness by improving the skin barrier function and allowing the skin to retain water (source). Consequently, the skin acquires a plumper look.
Know Your Peptides to Stimulate Collagen Production
Ideally, the peptides you want in your non-toxic skin care products should aim at achieving two main goals. One: they should help increase the amount of collagen your cells produce. And two: they should help decrease the amount of collagen protein that gets broken down. This way, your non-toxic beauty products will also act as age defying skincare.
Ultimately, the objective is to help your skin become smoother, plumper, and healthier. Allegedly, direct application of peptides to the skin tells our bodies to make more collagen. However, the way a clean skincare product works depends on the individual peptides it contains. To choose the right products for your non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine, use the following table with some examples of cosmetic peptides.
|Peptide group||Peptide names|
|Carrier peptides||Copper peptides, manganese peptides (manganese tripeptide-1)|
|Neurotransmitter-affecting peptides||Acetyl hexapeptides (e.g., acetyl hexapeptide-3, acetyl hexapeptide-8, acetyl hexapeptide-30), pentapeptide-18 (the list is not conclusive)|
|Enzyme inhibitors||Soybean peptides, silk fibroin peptides, rice peptides|
|Collagen-stimulating peptides||N-acetylcarnosine, carnosine, most palmitoyl tripeptides, most palmitoyl hexapeptides, most tetrapeptides (e.g., tetrapeptide-21 and tetrapeptide TKEK), most hexapeptides (e.g., hexapeptide-11 and hexapeptide-14)|
|Structural peptides||Keratin peptides, wool lipids|
Is Vitamin A The Best Ingredient For Youthful Skin?
On the one hand, retinoids (forms of vitamin A) have a reputation of being powerful anti-aging skin care ingredients. Hence, many include products containing some form of vitamin A in their non-toxic skin care routine (retinol, retinaldehyde, retinyl acetate etc.).
Evidently, researchers acknowledge the beneficial effects of retinoids on skin diseases and photoaged skin (source and source). Reportedly, retinol helps the process of keratinization of the outer skin layer, which reduces water loss (source).
For example, this clinical study assessed the rejuvenating effect of retinol serum on facial skin. Specifically, the researchers used 0.3% and 0.5% retinol concentrations (one per face side) on 37 volunteers for 12 weeks. After the treatment, the skin demonstrated decreased hyperpigmentation, unevenness, and wrinkles. But there was mild or moderate skin irritation, predominantly on the side where 0.5% concentration had been used.
On the other hand, there is an opinion that there is not enough evidence to support the use of cosmetic products with retinol to improve the appearance of aged skin.
Moreover, according to this study, after vitamin A treatment and sunlight exposure, mice had an increase in tumors. (If you use clean skincare with retinoids, please do it at night only.)
Most importantly, to avoid overdosing, consult with your doctor, especially if you take vitamin A internally. As for me, I do not use products with vitamin A in my non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine.
Does Bakuchiol Belong In Anti-Aging Skin Care?
Have you heard of bakuchiol? Derived from the seeds and leaves of Psoralea Corylifolia, this plant-based phenol appears to be an alternative to retinoids. Recently, bakuchiol has become a popular ingredient in skincare products, including organic anti-aging creams.
In fact, this study presented evidence that bakuchiol can function as a retinol analogue, using side-by-side comparison of the modulation of individual genes. Then, the researchers formulated bakuchiol into a skin care product and clinically tested it for 12 weeks by twice-a-day facial application. As a result, they observed significant improvement in lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, elasticity, and firmness as well as reduction in photo-damage. Above all, there were no ill effects associated with retinol, such as skin irritation.
Further, this research compared the clinical efficacy and side-effect profiles of bakuchiol and retinol in a 12-week study with 44 participants. The patients applied either 0.5% bakuchiol cream twice daily or 0.5% retinol cream daily. According to the observed results, both bakuchiol and retinol significantly decreased wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. The patients who used retinol containing product reported more facial skin scaling and stinging.
In sum, the consensus is that bakuchiol is better tolerated than retinol, and non-toxic beauty products with bakuchiol can improve photoaged skin.
For toxin-free skincare with bakuchiol, my top choice is Crunchi Daylight® Advanced Facial Cream (get $10 off on the 1st order of $50+).
Also, consider Crunchi Nightlight® Advanced Facial Cream (get $10 off on the 1st order of $50+), Beauty by Earth Bakuchiol Collection (IREAD12), Beautycounter Ultra Renewal Eye Cream, and Beautycounter Tripeptide Radiance Serum. Unlike some other Beautycounter products with bakuchiol, these two do not contain phenoxyethanol.
Related: My Honest Beautycounter Review
What Should Be The Basic Skin Care Routine?
I believe a beauty regimen is important. Thus, my personal non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine consists of the following steps:
- sun protection.
Read on to find out what I do after these four steps to enhance my youthful looks.
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What Should Be First In A Skin Care Routine? Gentle Cleanser.
In my opinion, there are at least three groups of safe skincare products that you can use for cleansing.
First, there are soap-based cleansers, such as soap bars. They are very convenient and environmentally friendly because they leave no plastic behind. I think soap bars work best for oily skin as soap may dry and tighten the skin.
Second, there are foaming cleansers with mild surfactants, such as glucosides.
Related: Are Glucosides Safe?
Third, there are cleansing oils. When I was less busy, I used oil for cleansing in the following way. After massaging my face with oil for a minute, I wiped it off with a hot wet washcloth. Consistently, it cleaned my skin well and opened the pores for the next step of my non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine.
If you feel like you need to use another cleanser after using the cleansing oil, you can follow up with a foaming cleanser. You can also skip the facial oil and use a foaming cleanser only.
My Best Picks Among Toxin-Free Face Wash Options
At present, my favorite soap-free foaming cleanser is Pure Haven Refresh Cleanser with Pre-Probiotics. Indeed, it cleans my skin well, even when I wear foundation and mascara, without drying the skin at all. Plus, it contains probiotic lactobacillus ferment lysate filtrate to balance the skin. If you have dry or acne-prone skin, this toxin-free face wash may be right for you.
Related: Pure Haven Review
Interchangeably with Pure Haven cleanser, I use Crunchi Gentle Facial Bar ($10 off 1st purchase, embedded in the link). It comes in two kinds – charcoal and gentle. Thus, the charcoal facial bar is good for oily skin because it contains clay and charcoal to clarify skin pores. And the gentle bar is good for normal and sensitive skin due to organic ingredients that soothe and moisturize the skin. Above all, I appreciate the fact that this bar has no plastic in its packaging.
Further, if you are keen on cleansing oils, Primally Pure Cleansing Oil (ReadLabels10) is a great option.
Last but not least, Crunchi I am Polished™ Facial Exfoliator is the key! ($10 off embedded in the link with the 1st purchase.) I love to use it 1-2 times a week for a spa experience. It decreases my nose pores almost to non-existent and makes my skin very clean and radiant.
Toning Is A Second Step In My Non-Toxic Anti-Aging Beauty Routine.
Generally speaking, toners help the skin restore its pH balance after cleansing, as well as hydrate the skin.
At first, I did not think toner was necessary for my skin. But then, I tried Crunchi Clarilight Facial Essence toner ($10 off 1st purchase) and loved it! This non-toxic skin care product is very hydrating because it contains hyaluronic acid, which has great capacity to hold water in the skin. With all the moisture it needs, the skin plumps up and the wrinkles look smaller. Plus, the toner removes any residual makeup and prepares the skin to receive moisturization.
Another option is Neal’s Yard Remedies Rejuvenating Frankincense Toner. Its ingredients that stand out are frankincense essential oil, calming aloe vera, and a smoothing palmitoyl tripeptide. As you remember, signal peptides are what we want in our anti-aging skin care because they stimulate collagen synthesis. And palmitoyl tripeptide-5 is a signal peptide.
Using A Clean Moisturizer Is A Third Step In My Age Defying Skincare Routine.
In my opinion, hyaluronic acid (or sodium hyaluronate) is the best ingredient non-toxic beauty products can use for moisturization purposes. That is because it restores skin hydration and visibly plumps fine lines and wrinkles.
Also, moisturizers can use peptides in their formulations to give the non-toxic moisturizer an anti-aging skin care property. Clearly, we want to avoid Botox-like peptides and use collagen-producing ones instead (e.g., palmitoyl tripeptide-5, caprooyl tetrapeptide-3). To clarify, they can trigger a signaling cascade and increase the production of collagen and elastin, among other things. As a result, skin pigmentation and wrinkles decrease, and skin elasticity increases, making the skin appear smoother and firmer.
Commonly, moisturizing skin care products come as moisturizers, serums, creams, and lotions. You can choose to use one of them or two, such as serum and cream. That is what I do: I use serum first and then follow up with a cream.
Best Serums For Youthful Skin Texture
To begin, Crunchi Goldenlight Multi-Peptide Serum ($10 off 1st purchase) is the best I have ever seen or used among non-toxic skin care options. In fact, it contains niacinamide, organic green tea, hyaluronic acid, and FOUR collagen-stimulating peptides that work overtime to reduce the signs of aging. Additionally, it does not contain any cyclical silicones, such as cyclopentasiloxane. To clarify, cyclical silicones mask the appearance of wrinkles without improving the skin condition and may contribute to endocrine disruption. Also, this serum for aging skin was clinically tested to be non-irritating to the eyes and gluten-free. On top of that, it has no fragrance or even essential oils and comes in glass with a glass dropper.
Next, Crunchi I AM Bright™ Vitamin C Facial Serum ($10 off 1st purchase) is awesome because it features stable vitamin C (ascorbyl glucoside), ferulic acid (a potent antioxidant), niacinamide (vitamin B3), kakadu plum (a potent antioxidant), and mushroom extract (hydrating with antioxidant properties).
Related: Is Natural Fragrance Safe?
Finally, Pure Haven Hyaluronic Acid is a light-weight non-oily serum that contains aloe vera along with hyaluronic acid. It also comes in glass and has organic botanical extracts and one of the safest preservatives, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate.
My Best Picks Among Clean Moisturizer Creams
First, I fell in love with Crunchi Daylight Facial Cream ($10 off 1st purchase) because it is so light and hydrating. Because it contains sodium hyaluronate, it became a staple of my non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine. Another great hydrating ingredient is sea kelp that helps plump the skin and reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles. It is perfect for very dry skin. I also like the fact that the cream comes in a glass bottle.
The advanced version of this cream called Crunchi Daylight® Advanced Facial Cream features vitamin C, bakuchiol, and azelaic acid in addition to sodium hyaluronate. And Crunchi Nightlight® Advanced Facial Cream contains these wonderful ingredients, too (get $10 off on the 1st order of $50+).
Second, Crunchi Powerlight Eye Cream ($10 off 1st purchase) contains niacinamide, organic green tea, and hyaluronic acid. It also has vitamin C, squalane, and collagen-stimulating palmitoyl tripeptide-38. Besides, it has no fragrance and no essential oils.
Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Is A Fourth Step In My Non-Toxic Anti-Aging Beauty Routine.
To begin with, sunscreen in your non-toxic skin care is crucial for preventing wrinkles. Indeed, the UVA rays can get through clouds and windows and are even reflected on snow. Therefore, it is a good idea to wear sunscreen everywhere, even at home.
Related: Best Non-Toxic Face Sunscreen Guide
My best pick is SPF30 Crunchi Sunlight Facial Sunscreen ($10 off 1st purchase) with 12.5% non-nano zinc oxide. It has no whitening effect because Crunchi uses non-whitening zinc oxide and many emulsifying ingredients. Plus, it is vegan, gluten-free, fragrance-free, essential oil-free, was tested negative for carcinogenic benzene, and comes in a glass bottle.
Then, there is SPF25 Blissoma Photonic Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen, which also contains 12.5% of non-nano zinc oxide and has practically no whitening effect. Plus, it features niacinamide (vitamin B3) that helps protect the skin from UV light damage and improves skin elasticity. It also reduces blemishes and inflammation (source). Light and non-greasy, Blissoma sunscreen will work well for oily or normal skin. It comes in a glass bottle, too.
Finally, as part of my organic anti-aging skin care routine, I have tried and liked the texture of SPF20 Beauty by Earth Facial Sunscreen (IREAD12). It also uses 12.5% zinc oxide as well as organic botanicals and oils. I like the fact that it contains vitamin C and the way it looks and feels on my skin. However, it is packaged in plastic and has an SPF of only 20.
After My Non-Toxic Skin Care Regimen, I Use Foundation.
To enhance my youthful appearance, I use non-toxic makeup and foundation. In my opinion, a good foundation is one that you do not have to re-apply during the day. It should provide good coverage but feel weightless on your skin and mask the wrinkles. For those with visible wrinkles, it is best to use a foundation with linear silicones, such as dimethicone. They fill fine lines and wrinkles, making them look smaller.
Honestly, I cannot imagine my non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine without my favorite Crunchi Beautifully Flawless Foundation ($10 off 1st purchase). It is very lightweight and spreads easily, evenly, and smoothly. That bottle will last a very long time – I use less than half a pump to achieve medium coverage! I do not need full coverage because my skin has no blemishes. Also, I use a number 1 brush to achieve flawless application.
Additionally, Beautycounter Foundation contains only mineral pigments (as opposed to synthetic pigments). This clean foundation has no essential oils and provides medium coverage. For full coverage, Crunchi Beautifully Flawless Foundation is a better choice. Importantly, I do not recommend all Beautycounter foundations because some of them contain phenoxyethanol and/or synthetic pigments.
Related: My Honest Beautycounter Review
Summary Table Of The Best Anti-Aging Regimen Products
For your convenience, I have assembled all the discussed clean skincare products in the table below and some of their beneficial age defying ingredients (there are others).
|Non-toxic skin care product||Beneficial anti-aging ingredients|
|Beauty by Earth Facial Sunscreen (IREAD12)||Ascorbyl Glucoside (Vitamin C), Zinc Oxide (Non-nano)|
|Beauty by Earth Bakuchiol Collection (IREAD12)||Bakuchiol, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide|
|Beautycounter Foundation||Dimethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate|
|Beautycounter Tripeptide Radiance Serum||Squalane, Bakuchiol, N-Prolyl Palmitoyl Tripeptide-56 Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate|
|Beautycounter Ultra Renewal Eye Cream||Squalane, Bakuchiol|
|Blissoma Photonic Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen||Zinc Oxide, Niacinamide, Squalane|
|Crunchi Clarilight Facial Essence Toner ($10 off 1st purchase)||Sodium Hyaluronate|
|Crunchi Daylight® Advanced & Nightlight® Advanced||Vitamin C, Bakuchiol, Azelaic Acid|
|Crunchi Daylight Facial Cream||Chondrus Crispus (Sea Kelp) Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate|
|Crunchi I AM Bright™ Vitamin C Facial Serum||Vitamin C (ascorbyl glucoside), Ferulic Acid, Niacinamide (vitamin B3), Kakadu Plum, Mushroom Extract|
|Crunchi Gentle Facial Bar||Organic oils|
|Crunchi Beautifully Flawless Foundation||Tremella Fuciformis (Mushroom) Extract, Dimethicone|
|Crunchi Powerlight Eye Cream||Squalane, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Niacinamide|
|Crunchi Goldenlight Multi-Peptide Serum||Niacinamide, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract|
|Crunchi Sunlight Facial Sunscreen||Zinc Oxide (non-nano), Sodium Hyaluronate, Squalane|
|Earth Mama Tinted Mineral Sunscreen Stick||Zinc Oxide (non-nano)|
|NYR Rejuvenating Frankincense Toner||Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5|
|Primally Pure Cleansing Oil (ReadLabels10)||Organic Oils|
|Pure Haven Hyaluronic Acid||Sodium Hyaluronate|
|Pure Haven Refresh Cleanser with Pre-Probiotics||Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract (a great source of Omega-3), Pre-Probiotics|
What Are The 3 Most Important Skin Care Products?
If I had to narrow down my non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine to just three steps, I would choose cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection.
Hence, the 3 most important non-toxic skin care products for me would be Pure Haven Refresh Cleanser with Pre-Probiotics, Crunchi Goldenlight Multi-Peptide Serum, and Crunchi Sunlight Facial Sunscreen. (Embedded in the links, $10 off 1st purchase on all Crunchi products.)
Summary Of The Non-Toxic Anti-Aging Beauty Routine Post
To sum up, a non-toxic skin care routine for aging skin is very important, in my opinion. Consequently, my age defying skincare regimen consists of cleansing, toning, moisturization, and sun protection. Afterwards, I apply facial liquid foundation, which helps me look more youthful.
You have learned about several clean skincare product choices for each step in the sections above. At present, my favorite non-toxic beauty products are Crunchi skincare and makeup (embedded in the link, $10 off 1st purchase on all Crunchi products).
Further, I believe some of the best age-defying cosmetic ingredients are hyaluronic acid, peptides, vitamin C, ferulic acid, niacinamide, squalane, and bakuchiol (as a plant-based form of vitamin A). Hyaluronic acid is also good for dry skin.
Visit the I Read Labels For You blog and shop for more options of safe skincare and personal care products. Check out our e-books, including Your Savvy Consumer Superpower that will teach you how to estimate the safety of a product in seconds! And for our professional services, please turn here.
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