I never had a problem with the idea of getting wrinkles when I got older- but I never expected to see them so soon! Now that I’m noticing wrinkles on my face more often, I can’t help but look for natural ways to keep my skin looking full and healthy for longer. I know better than to waste my time and money on a $50 wrinkle cream from the mall.
One of my favorite wrinkle treatments was passed onto me from a friend, whose mother had been using it for ages and swears by it. Here’s why it works.
What Causes Wrinkles?
During the natural aging process, our skin goes through 3 major changes (1):
skin cells divide more slowly, causing the dermis layer to thin out
the deepest layer of skin loosens, which affects every other layer
oil glands shrink, reducing the protection the oil gave our skin
This process of aging can occur prematurely with overexposure to sunlight. UV rays from the sun damage your collagen; while your body responds by rebuilding collagen fibers, it releases free radicals during the process, which further damage your cells (1). That’s why using sunscreen regularly and consuming antioxidant-rich foods are both very important in keeping your skin looking youthful for as long as possible. Find a natural sunscreen recipe here.
Other causes of premature wrinkles include toxins from your environment and especially cigarette smoke. Eating a whole foods diet, exercising, being mindful of what you’re bringing into your home, and quitting smoking are some of the best things you can do for your skin (and your whole body!).
How Do You Fix It?
The natural approach to dealing with wrinkles is, first of all, to remove the bad habits that are causing them in the first place, to restore healthy oils on your skin, and promote healthy skin cells with antioxidants. If the skin under your eyes also seems puffy or damaged, you’ll want to incorporate anti-inflammatory ingredients as well.
This homemade eye cream features 3 ingredients that do just that: Vitamin E, thyme essential oil, and coconut oil. Vitamin E is a fantastic antioxidant that can help fight against free radicals damaging your skin (2). Virgin coconut oil can moisturize your skin (and hair!) very well and is also an anti-inflammatory (3). Thyme essential oil is an antioxidant, might be anti-inflammatory, and has been used anecdotally to firm skin for ages (4,5).
3-Ingredient Natural Eye Cream Recipe
What You Need:
2 units Vitamin E (squeezed from capsules)
2 drops thyme essential oil
1 teaspoon coconut oil
What to Do:
Combine all 3 ingredients and massage under your eyes, taking great care not to make any contact with your eyes. Wipe off any excess with a washcloth or paper towel. Do this 1-2 hours before going to bed daily.
Essential oils are very highly concentrated and potent and it is important to always check the specific safety data provided. Keep out of reach of children, the elderly, and pets. For external use only. Avoid contact with mucus membranes and eyes. If any essential oils have contacted your eye, wash out with a vegetable oil such as olive oil, not water.
Some oils may cause skin irritation in people with sensitive skin. It is recommended to perform a patch test before use. To patch test, place one drop on the back of your wrist and leave for an hour or more. If irritation or redness occurs wash the area with olive oil then cold water and do not use the oil.
For more DIY beauty recipes, check out:
(1). Skin wrinkles and blemishes. University of Maryland Medical Center. http://umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/skin-wrinkles-and-blemishes. Accessed on Dec 1, 2016.
(2). Vitamin E, Antioxidant and Nothing More. Traber et al. Free Radic Biol Med. 2007, 43(1): 4-15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2040110/. Accessed on Dec 1, 2016.
(3). Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil. Intahpuahk et al. Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology. 2010, 48(2): 151-157. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/13880200903062614. Accessed on Dec 1, 2016.
(4). Carvacrol, a component of thyme oil, activates PPARalpha and gamma and supresses COX-2 expression. Hotta et al. J Lipid Res. 2010, 51(1): 132-139. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19578162. Accessed on Dec 1, 2016.
(5). The Antioxidant Properties of Thyme (Thymus zygis L.) Essential Oil: an Inhibitor of Lipid Peroxidation and a Free Radical Scavenger. Youdim et al. Journal of Essential Oil Research. 2002, 14(3): 210-215. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10412905.2002.9699825. Accessed on Dec 1, 2016.