Aging can be a beautiful process filled with self-exploration and love. Oftentimes, we are told to be embarrassed of our signs of aging, but we believe each line has a story and marks a piece of our journey that brought us to be the person we are today.
Anti-aging in itself means nothing. All of us will age with time, so the entire concept is about prevention and aging gracefully rather than turning back time.
The idea of maintaining our youth is not new. Civilizations across the globe have been using natural herbs and spices to prevent aging for centuries. Many cultures have traditions heavily rooted in the nurturing gifts of nature that lend to our skin’s health.
We believe that anti-aging skin care should be about promoting the healthiest skin possible, and in turn, preventing the appearance of aging like fine-lines, wrinkles, and sunspots. Anti-aging skin care should be a lifelong priority since the key to youthful skin is in preventative care.
We’ve compiled a glossary of the best anti-aging herbs and spices and how you can incorporate them into your skin care routine.
Curcumin in turmeric is known for protecting against environmental stressors due to its high levels of antioxidants. This helps slow the processes which lead to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Once or twice a week mix turmeric, flour and water together to make an exfoliating face mask. Leave the mask on for about 30 min then wash away with water in circular motions to promote blood flow.
Basil is high in antioxidants and has been cherished by Indian and Asian cultures as a medicinal herb for centuries. It’s antioxidants also protect against the appearance skin damage, and it’s soothing properties help even the look of skin tone.
Applying cool, wet basil leaves under your eyes will reduce the look of puffiness and using basil extracts in your cleanser will have similar effects. To receive all of the antioxidant benefits we also recommend consuming basil either fresh or in supplement form.
Cinnamon is best known for its calming and cleansing properties that help soothe the skin while keeping it clean and healthy.
When blended into a homemade face mask it will reduce the appearance of redness and giving you glowing, youthful looking skin.
Cloves also contain calming agents and high levels of antioxidants, helping defend against environmental stressors and protect your joints and muscles to keep you looking and feeling young.
You can incorporate powdered cloves into a face mask or use cloves essential oil in a face oil.
Ginger has a unique antioxidant called gingerol which helps protect your body against collagen breakdown. As we get older our body produces less and less collagen which is necessary for keeping our skin looking firm and bouncy.
You can add ground ginger to a lemon juice and honey face mask, letting it sit on your skin for 30 minutes then washing it off. Or you can slice ginger and rub the juice directly on your skin, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then wash off.
Gingko is an Asian tree with leaves used in eastern medicine for centuries. It’s antioxidants also protects against environmental stressors that break down skin cells leaving us with fine lines and wrinkles.
Gingko as an extract can be used in a cleanser because it has also been found to even out oily skin and promote calm skin, as well as pull impurities from the skin.
Ginseng is very similar to gingko in that it has been adopted by Asian cultures for its antioxidant properties that help eliminate issues caused by environmental stressors and pollutants.
While the protection against environmental stressors can prevent the look of fine lines and wrinkles, it also helps vital organs rid themselves of free radicals. If ginseng is taken internally as a supplement your entire body can experience its powerful effects.
Gotu kola is an Indian remedy found in many of their medical traditions. It has been adopted into eastern skin care for its ability to promote youthful looking skin. This means your skin will replenish itself frequently giving you a youthful glow.
Many skin care professionals recommend taking gotu kola supplements to receive all of its best benefits, including stimulating collagen production..
Oregano is packed with nutrients our skin needs to replenish and revive itself. Some crucial nutrients oregano offers are zinc, potassium, copper, boron, iron, magnesium, manganese, calcium, omega 3 fatty acids, niacin, tryptophan, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.
Oregano oil is the most popular form of this anti-aging herb. Because of its strong taste, some people consume it in capsules, while others use a dropper to drop it into the back of their throat.
Clary sage, like many other herbs, protects against environmental stressors because of it is rich in antioxidants.
You can make a cream or lotion by mixing sage essential oils with cocoa butter to add a hydrating element to your anti-aging skin care routine.
Thyme is another herb that wreaks havoc on potential stressors. Through its calming and antioxidant properties thyme will preserve your skin and fight against environmental damage.
Thyme is perfect for a facial toner. Infuse non-alcoholic witch hazel with fresh thyme sprigs to create a refreshing and renewing toner to balance the oils of your skin. When taken internally, the antioxidant properties of thyme are known to fight free radicals.
Ashwagandha is also called Indian ginseng for its similarity of properties. When taken internally, not only is it antifungal, and antibacterial, but it also has a high amount of alkaloids which protect the skin cells from free radical damage.
For external use, you can incorporate ashwagandha powder into many face masks and use it as a thickening agent. We recommend cutting it with something very viscous like lemon juice.
Bilberry has a unique antioxidant called anthocyanin which helps skin cells repair after UV-ray damage and other free radical exposure when taken internally.
Since bilberry is a hydrating and nourishing force, you can use it in almost any way when it comes to your skin. Use a bilberry tincture as a toner or put bilberry powder in a coconut oil based face cream.
Consuming garlic is especially beneficial in the fight against free radicals because it contains sulfenic acid, the fastest reacting compound to free radicals. This ensures minimal damage to your skin cells and other cells in the body.
The easiest way to reap the benefits of garlic is to eat it. You can add garlic to almost any dish you cook or eat it raw, chopped finely for a little kick.
When taken internally, rosemary helps your skin retain its elasciticy, but it also protects again photodamage, or skin cell damage due to excessive exposure to UV-rays.
To use externally, boil rosemary springs, water, and apple cider vinegar, then strain out the liquid for an easy DIY facial spray toner. (Or check out our Rosemary Toning Mist!)
Cayenne is a huge anti-inflammatory agent that reduces puffiness and brings blood flow to the skin cells when taken internally. Anytime you have better circulation to the skin, it means the cells are able to perform their function better and will be revitalized.
For external application, use cayenne as a spot treatment. Whenever a blemish pops up apply a cayenne infusion of cayenne pepper and witch hazel to address the problem area.
Black cumin seed oil is native to the Middle East and used in cooking as well as western medicine. Cumin contains over 100 vitamins and minerals that help your skin lock in moisture, protect against environmental stressors, and maintain its elasticity.
Black cumin seed oil can be a part of a DIY face oil to help hydrate your skin and keep it looking youthful.
Green Tea is one of the herbs contain the highest amounts of antioxidants… which at this point we all are our best friend in protecting our skin from free radicals when utilized internally. Green tea has antioxidant EGCG which also promotes quicker skin growth and cell turn over with internal usage.
Of course drinking green tea will always provide you with its benefits. But if you aren’t a tea fan, you can create your own green tea face mask by applying tea bags to the eyes or a towel soaked in green tea to the face.
Guggula has been shown in many studies to prevent the appearance wrinkles and is recognized as a natural supplement to coenzyme Q10, an ingredient found in many skin care products. It also has soothing properties which help the body fight against environmental stressors.
Mix guggula powder with an oil of your choosing, most recipes call for coconut oil to make a heavy-duty, restorative night cream. Apply to the face before bed, let it sit overnight, then rinse off in the morning.
Horsetail is one of the few herbs and spices that contains natural silicon which the skin needs to remain glowy and firm looking. It also is a great source of vitamins that help your body build more collagen when taken internally.
Horsetail is great for infusions. Add some horsetail shoots to a jar of honey and let it sit for 2-3 days. Use your horsetail honey in DIY face masks, or add it to your meal.
Jamaican allspice gained its name for its complex flavor profile that seems to be a mix of many different spices. And just like allspice[s] on this list it too has anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties that prevent skin cell damage from free radicals when taken internally.
For external use, incorporate allspice oil into your face oil or add ground allspice powder to your next face mask.
Milk thistle is thought to slow aging when taken internally because of its antiglycation effects. Glycation is an aging process within the body that occurs between sugar and protein in the skin. This glycation break down begins around age 30 and leaves the skin looking dull and saggy.
To receive the most benefits from milk thistle, we recommend making a tea from the seeds and leaves.
Nutmeg is invigorating for the skin and promotes healthy circulation when taken internally. This keeps the skin cells functioning at their highest capacity and allows them to fight off free radicals that would otherwise cause fine lines and wrinkles.
For internal use, nutmeg oil can be combined with honey and whatever else you’d like for a nourishing face mask.
When taken internally, peppermint oil is known to be antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and a great source of vitamins that help speed up skin color regeneration to fight sun spots.
Externally, peppermint can be used as a spot treatment if you combine it equal parts with lavender oil to help renew and refresh your skin.
Jessica is a writer & designer who captures the spirit of her generation. She approaches her craft with an anthropological mindset to find the perspective often unseen.
Jessica has studied the art of the written word & honed her craft over the last 8+ years.