In the ongoing fight against aging, no miracle in a bottle will make all the wrinkles magically disappear. (Sorry.) Rather, preserve your skin from the onslaught of years with a multiprong approach. “First, you need to have a healthy lifestyle,” says Tara Skye Goldin, ND, of Boulder, Colorado. “Eat organic food, exercise regularly, don't smoke — the usual.” Think you have the healthy lifestyle down? Then slow the aging process with these up-and-coming plant-based ingredients.
Argan oil, made from the nuts of a Moroccan tree species, contains twice as much vitamin E as olive oil. Like other antioxidants, vitamin E slows the damaging effects of free radicals — molecules in your body that start attacking and breaking down healthy cells when exposed to environmental stressors, such as ultraviolet rays and car exhaust. Argan oil is also rich in squalene, a compound that promotes collagen production. Look for argan oil in ingredients lists, or cook with this slightly nutty oil, which is just starting to become available in the United States. Because argan trees are a threatened species, make sure that any product you buy comes from sustainably harvested nuts.
Find it in: L'uvalla Age-Defying Day & Night Moisturizing Cream; Pangea Organics Italian Red Mandarin with Rose Facial Cream.
To keep those crow's feet under control, get in the habit of putting on sunscreen — every day. Using sunscreen is the “number-one thing” you can do to stop premature aging, says Goldin. Still, not all sunscreens are created equal. Check for creams that contain physical blocks like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, as well as astaxanthin, a carotenoid harvested from microalgae (it's also found in salmon). This antioxidant packs a double punch: Not only does it protect cells from future damage when applied before sun exposure, but it also shores up skin after a day outside by fighting off oxidative damage.
Find it in: Derma E Anti-Aging Moisturizing Complex with SPF 15; MyChelle Dermaceuticals Perfect C Serum.
The skin care aisle is flooded with salves and moisturizers that contain green tea — and for good reason — but over the next couple of years, red will become the new green. Recent studies show that red tea, also called rooibos (pronounced “ROY-boss”), contains nearly 50 percent more skin-salvaging antioxidants than green tea. Bonus: This South African tea is caffeine-free and packed with zinc, a mineral that helps the body metabolize fatty acids and keep cells plump.
Find it in: Jason Red Elements Daily Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15. Or sip Honest Tea Pomegranate Red Tea with Goji Berry.
The spice that makes mustard and curry yellow, turmeric is one of nature's most powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herbs. Curcumin, a naturally occurring chemical in the spice, slows down the aging process by fighting inflammation-causing proteins called cytokines. Don't like Indian food? Turmeric is just as effective in supplement form.
Find it in: Avalon Organics Lavender Moisture Plus Lotion with SPF 18. Or take 500 mg turmeric capsules three times per day, after eating.
How can omega-3s help you age gracefully? Read our related article, The omega standby.