No one sets out to age poorly. Cigarettes are smoked from youthful hands, complexions are baked in an unforgiving sun—40 is forever and a day away, so why worry? Until you turn 40. Or 35. Or in certain parts of the country, at a sprightly 22 after a night of hard drinking.
So, what happens? Women and men start to seek out a little ‘tox there, a little filler here. “It’s just a light touch,” they say. “No one will be able to tell.” And yes, some people are able to pull this off without looking like a wax model. At the same time, others refashion their faces into silicone masks ready to burst forth like a Vegas fountain.
Welcome to aging in the first world. On one end of the spectrum, there are the blissful Botoxers who insist that constant injection of onabotulinumtoxinA into their skin is the best way to look young, God bless. On the opposite end, there are the consumers who insist that wrinkles are a badge of honor and the only moisturizer they need is their great-grandmother’s olive oil dabbed behind their ears at night, thank you very much.
The rest of us? We fall somewhere in between. We spend a lot of time and money flopping around on the spectrum, hoping to find that magical product made entirely by gossamer organic elves who know just what to do. Our faces will be graced with a health glow, not reshaped into funhouse masks.
As a woman approaching the big four one this year, I’m striving to age as gracefully as, say, Naomi Watts, who says she’s avoided the ‘tox and yet still looks like a personal lighting crew travels with her at all times. Personally, my anti-aging regime will never involve injections. But hella if I don’t moisturize. Or tone. Or invest in large crates of safe sunscreen.
Sure, I’m not using a biological weapon to plump up my face, but I’m still trying to slow the progress of an indentured groove that’s taken up residence between my brows. Does this mean I’m not aging gracefully? To some, yes. But that’s okay. I enjoy olive oil too, especially in delicious, delicious lemon cakes.
So for my comrades out there who care about safe ingredients, yet still want to retain a healthy glow—here are five fantastic anti-aging products that won’t kill you in large doses.
1. Complexion Conserve Remedy Reserve Serum by Farmaesthetics ($48.00)
This serum may be better known as youth via glass dropper. Containing certified organic oils and the all-powerful vitamin E, I found it to be one of the most quickly hydrating moisturizers I have ever encountered. If you invest in one new product this year, you can’t go wrong with this one.
2. Pumpkin Enzyme Masque by Shamanuti ($32.00)
Skin that is congested and pavement-radiant inevitably looks dull and tired. Made with pumpkin and bilberry fruit extracts, this organic enzyme face masque offers up the same rejuvenating effects of alpha hydroxyl acids. Shamanuti’s products are specifically formulated with nutrients to nurture your skin, enhancing its natural beauty via vitamin-rich and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
3. Stimulastine Jour and Stimulastine Nuit by Yon-Ka Paris ($110.00 per bottle)
Okay, yes, these products come at prices that are not for the faint of heart. However, this day-and-night duo from long-time botanical giant Yon-Ka promises, among others, to “fight the deterioration of elastin, reduce the span and depth of wrinkles, and smooth skin.” A French company dating back to 1954, this would be the product your fashionable grandmother used to maintain her youthful glow. It is made with 94 percent natural ingredients, including shea butter, coconut oil and good old vitamin E.
4. Supreme Polypeptide Cream by MyChelle Dermaceuticals ($54.00)
This product promises you a world of rejuvenation—and claims to have the science to back it up. Formulated with an ingredient called Proteasly TP Pea Peptide, it promises to improve skin’s elasticity and increase overall firmness by 35 percent in just six weeks. Vegetarian-friendly and gluten-free, it offers up a more “refined” appearance for mature skin.
5. Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner ($9.95)
Sticker shock on the price of natural youth? Check out one of my all-time favorite products, this Whole Foods-available toner from Thayers. Spritz it on your face after every shower and you’ll tone, moisturize, and sooth your complexion, highlighting your natural beauty at any age.