Natural essential oils extracted from plants are often used as ingredients in anti-aging and other skin care products. Although some essential oils are more effective at treating wrinkles than others, plant oils help to keep skin moist. Clogged pores can cause premature aging; therefore, a primary advantage of using essential oils as anti-aging agents is that they deliver nutrients to the skin without clogging pores.
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Sandalwood softens dry skin and can be used as a moisturizer to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The herb also promotes the formation of new skin cells. High in sesquiterpene compounds, sandalwood increases circulation and gives skin a smoother look. Sesquiterpenes stimulate activity in the pituitary and hypothalamus glands, thereby boosting natural production of human growth hormone (HGH), which normally slows as individuals age. Results of a milestone clinical trial published in the July 1990 issue of the “New England Journal of Medicine” showed that HGH increases skin thickness and elasticity. Thicker skin tends to have fewer wrinkles.
Myrrh is an antibacterial and antifungal oil that can be used topically or as massage oil to smooth out wrinkles. Antibacterials are powerful antioxidants that aid in repairing and preventing skin cell damage caused by free radicals. The molecules known as free radicals produce chemical reactions, which break down collagen and other proteins in the skin. Unfortunately, free radical damage increases with age.
Women often use orange blossom, known as neroli, to treat wrinkles and aging skin. The moisturizing effects of neroli on the skin help improve skin elasticity. Hydrating your skin externally is important as you grow older and your skin becomes more dry. Keep a small spritzer bottle handy so that you can spray a hydrating mist on your face throughout the day. Adding a couple drops of a botanical essential oil to the water is even better for your skin, and can give you a refreshing lift. Close your eyes when misting so that you don’t get any of the solution in your eyes.
Clary sage is an essential oil that helps to remove fines lines and wrinkles, especially when used in combination with skin moisturizers. Both an antiseptic and an antibacterial, clay sage oil aids in balancing sebum production, which helps to tighten pores. Closing open pores improves skin texture and tone. Firmer skin gives a smoother appearance, making facial wrinkles less noticeable.
Geranium has a long history as an ingredient used in fine cosmetics because it can be used on dry, oily or even sensitive skin. Properties of the herb help to increase blood circulation and skin elasticity. When added to massage oil, geranium oil acts to reduce dry skin and sagging by retaining moisture in the skin. The botanical also helps fight wrinkles when added as an ingredient to skin moisturizers and toners.
Grape Seed Oil
Antioxidant properties in grape seed oil help fight free radicals. A class of flavonoids from grape seeds known as proanthocyanidins bind to collagen, helping to repair damage to the skin caused by free radicals. The oil is especially effective for reducing wrinkles around the eyes. Grape seed extract is also naturally rich in vitamin E, which can slow the aging process. Vitamin E protects the body against free radicals, which can damage cells. The role of vitamin E is important; according to James V. Jessup, Ph.D., associate professor, University of Florida School of Nursing, the body begins to produce more free radicals and fewer antioxidants as people grow older.