Natural Alternatives to Botox
Aging is an inevitable part of life that leaves undesirable effects on the body, inside and out. Weaker muscles, thinning hair, fine lines, and wrinkles are but a few signs that give away a person’s age.
Injections of botulinum toxin, or botox, is one of the ways a person can ward off aging. However, these shots are quite costly, and the risk of side-effects linger. Also, there is a minimal risk of the botox spreading from the area of injection which may cause life-threatening problems.
Wrinkles and other signs of aging can be managed with the use of natural products and certain changes in everyday life. These are safe, don’t cost much, and give health benefits that are good for the entire body:
1. Alpha hydroxy acids
These are a group of acids found in different kinds of fruits and plants. Their effects on the skin are derived through both consumption and topical application :
Citric acid: Commonly found in citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, and orange. It is known for being a powerful exfoliant and moisturizer, and its vitamin C content helps enhance collagen production. Massage the juice of a chosen citrus fruit (lemon has the highest citric acid amount) on affected areas. Adding a tablespoon of sugar to two tablespoons of the juice will further amplify its effects on the skin. Regular use eventually peels away dead cells, revealing soft and younger looking skin buried underneath.
Glycolic acid: Abundant in cantaloupe, pineapple, grapes, and sugarcane. Its low pH level makes it a mild exfoliant that isn’t harsh on the skin, and being a part of cane sugar makes it an easy to obtain anti-aging product. A glycolic acid face peel is a simple yet effective way of rendering the acid’s benefits on the skin such as removal of dark spots, skin scarring, and wrinkles. This can be done by mixing cane sugar in a bowl with lemon juice. The mix is then rubbed on the face, let dry for 10 minutes, then washed off with warm water. For those with sensitive skin, the lemon juice can be replaced with water.
Lactic acid: Remedies fine lines, rosacea, sagging skin, and wrinkles by boosting collagen development on the skin’s layers. Lactic acid is found on sour milk and other fermented dairy products like yogurt. When used on the skin, lactic acid eliminates bacteria, germs, and the tethers that bind dead skin cells to the face, leading to a reduction in liver spots. Lactic acid peels are made by pouring yogurt in a bowl along with cane sugar, then stirred until their consistency becomes pasty and granulated. Apply the mix on the face and let it sit for up to 15 minutes before washing away with water.
Malic acid: Apples are regarded for having generous amounts of malic acid, as it is the compound that gives the fruit its distinct taste. Topical application of apple juice on the face alleviates cracked skin and wrinkles. Aside from apples, the gel extracted from an aloe vera leaf also has malic acid. It can be directly applied to the face and left for up to 20 minutes before washing off with water.
Tartaric acid: The best source of tartaric acid are grapes, and smaller amounts are found in bananas, cranberries, and prickly pears. Seedless grapes, cut in half, can be rubbed all over the face and washed away after letting it sit for 20 minutes. Another way is to mash grapes into a pulp and applied to the face as a mask, again for 20 minutes before washing with water. This will ease away wrinkles, and the vitamin C present in grapes will shield the skin from damage wrought by toxins.
Oils extracted from different natural sources deliver a wide range of health benefits when applied to the skin, and their efficacy is doubled when used in conjunction with other oils. There are many oils to choose from, but here are a select few that work wonders against signs of aging:
Argan Oil: The Moroccan liquid gold contains vitamins A and E and an abundance of fatty acids that bring back skin elasticity, fade away wrinkles and fine lines, and maintain proper skin health by bolstering regeneration of skin cells.
Avocado Oil: This incredibly thick oil is full of lecithin, potassium, and vitamins A and E. These nutrients, when absorbed by the epidermis, encourages the growth of healthier skin and the protection of skin cells.
Camelina Oil: Derived from camelina sativa seeds, this oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that make it an excellent cardiovascular health supplement and antioxidant. Being an antioxidant, camelina oil eliminates free radicals that contribute to the development of aging’s evident signs.
Cranberry Seed Oil: Omega oils and vitamin E make this oil a remarkable anti-aging product. Facial skin is hydrated, skin lines and wrinkles reduced, and elasticity of skin is improved. Its antioxidant properties help protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun.
Coconut Oil: Along with vitamin E, coconut oil also contains lauric acid, a very healthy fatty acid. Coconut oil heals the skin, and strengthens the resistance of epidermal layers against the effects of aging, cellulite, and UV radiation.
Geranium Oil: Acts as an astringent, or causes contractions on the body. Among the parts affected are the muscles and skin wherein contraction prevents sagging, and reduces instances of wrinkles by contracting facial skin..
Olive Oil: Minerals, proteins, and vitamins that are found in olive oil helps preserve elasticity of skin and its resilience. As a kitchen staple, olive oil also works its wonders for the skin when consumed as part of healthy dishes.
Red Raspberry Seed Oil: Aside from its high essential fatty acid content that cures several skin conditions, this oil has vitamin E that protects the skin from elasticity loss, liver spots, and wrinkles caused by free radicals
Sweet Almond Oil: A light and odorless oil packed with vitamins E and K that helps maintain the consistency of skin elasticity and regeneration. It also protects the skin from UV radiation.
3.) Honey Masks
Honey masks are regarded as one of the oldest skin treatments as the sweet yellow liquid, along with some skincare methods, have been around since the ancient times. Honey is renowned for its three important properties namely:
Hygroscopic: This defines honey’s tendency to absorb moisture during air exposure. When applied to the face, honey’s hygroscopic property is what keeps the skin hydrated.
Antibacterial: Honey’s powerful antimicrobial capabilities inhibit the growth of bacteria and promote faster regeneration of damaged skin.
Antioxidant: Being an antioxidant, honey fights off free radicals and encourages skin rejuvenation to maintain a more youthful appearance. Studies show that the darker variants of honey like buckwheat are more potent antioxidants than their lighter counterparts.
A honey mask can be as simple as rubbing raw honey on the face, and letting it dry for ten minutes before rinsing. Other methods include adding avocado, milk, or yogurt to the honey for extra potency. When performed religiously, the face will become hydrated and smooth with a significant reduction on fine line and wrinkle visibility.
Used by the Japanese in their cuisine and medical needs, seaweed has gained popularity due to its vast number of vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, F, K) and minerals (calcium, iodine, potassium, sodium chloride). Seaweed hydrates the skin, reduces cellulite count and inflammation, and rejuvenates with its iodine content. The combination of seaweed’s beta-carotene, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and other minerals act as antioxidants that destroy free radicals, enhance regeneration of cells, and defend the skin against incoming toxins. A lot of Japanese dishes include seaweed, and health stores sell different forms of organic edible seaweed.
5.) Bone Broth
A warm bowl of soup is often given as a form of healing food to those who are sick. Bone broth is the perfect example of a soup that’s comforting, delicious, and extraordinarily healthy. Some of its age-defying contents are:
Collagen: A protein that strengthens the skin against wrinkles and other effects of aging. Gelatin is a form of cooked collagen that reduces wrinkles and supports the body’s formation of better skin. This makes bone broth an ideal substitute to the expensive “miracle cream” in the market.
Glycine: Helps the liver in eliminating pent up toxins that will inevitably harm the body’s cells, including skin cells.
Bones of beef, chicken, lamb, or turkey are the variants used for bone broth. Leftover bones are okay as long as they are of high-quality. Fish bones are acceptable as well. Chopped carrots, celery, garlic, and onion are great additions to the broth, along with chosen herbs that may enhance its health properties. Apple cider vinegar helps draw out the nutrients locked in the bones. A minimum of eight cooking hours is recommended, even past a whole day if need be. If the bones have become very soft, it means that your broth is packed with many nutrients. Strain the broth and store in the freezer on bowls. When it cools, it should become gelatinous in form as it is an indication that the broth is teeming with anti-aging collagen.
6.) Lifestyle Changes
Of course there is no absolute way to turn back time and become young again. But there are ways that can delay the inevitable sagging and wrinkling of skin by committing to a few changes in lifestyle:
Regular exercise encourages better circulation, which then leads to a younger skin and stronger body. Even a simple walk of 30 minutes on a daily basis is enough as a starting exercise routine. Add more minutes in the following weeks.
Cut down foods that are excessively salty. Too much sodium has been proven to accelerate the aging process of the body’s cells, and this process eventually makes its effects known externally.
Never underestimate the importance of sleep. This is the only time when the body performs detoxification and repairs. Deprivation is linked to a handful of life-threatening conditions, and not giving the body time to restore itself leads to faster aging.
Keep stress at bay, as it has the tendency to exacerbate the signs of aging and other health conditions. Meditate, take relaxing walks, and stay away from potential stressors.