Article by Geraldine McColgan
Confused by all new anti-ageing skincare products on the market? Then why not take a more natural approach. Geraldine McColgan shows women over 50 how the ingredients in our own fridge can offer effective anti-ageing skincare.The anti-ageing skincare industry is huge – and growing by the day – but it is possible to follow a more natural path to anti-ageing skincare – here Geraldine talks about the choices we can make in our 50s and beyond for a more holistic approach to skincare.
You talk about powerful nutrients fighting off premature signs of ageing inside and out – which are the nutrients we should consume as part of our diet?
Yes, there is a phrase – what you eat you wear tomorrow! An organic, wholefood diet rich in plant based foods contain an array of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Eating a varied rainbow diet will allow the cells to be nourished by different nutrients and these foods will contain anti oxidants which are vital for skin health.
Protein is important as protein is the building blocks of cells and our skin is composed of protein after all.
Particular nutrients which are useful are A C and E anti oxidants and nutrients which help to reduce inflammation such as omega 3’s.
Which are the main foods we should avoid?
Skin enemy number 1 has to be sugar, is responsible for a process called glycation, this is where collagen and elastin fibres cross link resulting in wrinkles, it will also encourage inflammation another enemy of the skin. Read food labels as you can be surprised how much sugar is added to processed foods.
Alcohol, will dehydrate the skin and is a nutrient robber.
Processed foods, can contain high levels of salt which will dehydrate and contain trans fats which can be harmful to health and the skin.
Can applying products to our skin actually create a more youthful appearance?
Yes, products will help to lock in moisture, nourish and protect from environmental damage.
What are the main ingredients in natural skincare products that we should be looking for?
This is a very tricky question to answer as nature has provided us with an abundance of options! Aloe vera is great for rehydrating and soothing the skin. Evening primrose oil has anti inflammatory properties due to its gammalinoelic acid content but also helps to soothe. Rosehip seed oil is rich in Vitamin C and can be useful for softening wrinkles and scar tissue, honey contains enzymes which can help to loosen dead skin cells, and can help to lock in moisture and heal skin. Aromatherapy oils can be very effective rose, neroli and frankincense can have fantastic results on the skin.
Effective natural anti-ageing skincare products
How effective are natural skincare products in anti-ageing?
They can have a phenomenal effect on skin health, it makes sense if a diet rich in super foods will make your body function better, give you more energy and of course look better then applying these same foods / ingredients on the skin will do the same. Natural products will also have more of an affinity with the skin allowing it to breathe and regenerate.
Are there topical applications we can make at home with food ingredients from our own cupboards or fridges?
Absolutely! A good example are Avocado’s, they are rich in Vitamin E which will help to nourish a dry skin but will also help to provide anti oxidant protection, B Vitamins which help to energise and the Carotenoid lutein which is another potent anti oxidant.
Blend half an avocado with a teaspoon of raw honey for a highly effective face mask which won’t break the bank!
What are the main products in over the shelf skincare products that we should try to avoid?
Look out for cleansing products that contain SLS or SLES (sodium lauryl sulphate or sodium laureth sulphate) these ingredients will strip the skin of protective sebum and may cause sensitivity.
Petroleum is a very cheap ingredient that can temporarily make the skin feel more “plumper” however it can cause the skin to age quicker in the long term as well as clogging pores.
About Geraldine McColgan
Nutritional Therapist and Skincare Expert.
Geraldine has over 20 years experience in the health and wellbeing sector. Suffering from skin issues herself led Geraldine on a holistic journey to learn more about optimizing the skin from an external and internal perspective, including studying Nutritional Therapy with CNM.
Geraldine, who now runs Geraldine McColgan Nutrition, has travelled the world lecturing about Natural Skincare in many 5 star Spas and also runs workshops and courses with the College of Naturopathic Medicine (CNM).
Meet Geraldine at the Anti-Ageing Show
Geraldine will be sharing more tips on Natural Choices for Anti-Ageing Skincare at the Anti-Ageing Show at London Olympia on May 10th/May 11th 2014. The show has a special ticket offer for Fab after Fifty Readers