Last year, as my mid-30’s came creeping around the corner, I started noticing things about my skin that I had never noticed before. Did I always have under eye bags? And forehead lines? And loose skin in the middle of my neck?
I’ve always had good skin, so it wasn’t something I really paid attention to before. I rarely used sunscreen growing up for this very reason. So for the past few months, I’ve been doing a lot of research and experimenting with natural solutions for wrinkle reduction, eye bag reduction and glowing skin.
I’ve included some before/after photos below, and I can say, between the face masks, healthy diet, vitamins, and moisturizers, it’s definitely working!
I won’t get into detail with the specifics of what ingredients are in each of these and why they help the skin, because there’s sooo much information out there (and I’ve sure you’ve read a lot of it already!) But I want to share my personal experience and the results.
The day before an event or a photo shoot, if I want extra glowing skin, I eat lots of blueberries, tomatoes and avocado. I also drink green tea and make soup with bone broth (which is commonly referred to as natural botox, since it’s so good for the skin!)
Since I don’t eat as many veggies as I should, I always buy the cold pressed juices at grocery stores. My favorite is the green juice at Trader Joe’s that has spinach, celery, carrots, and cucumber, all of which are fantastic for the skin.
And of course, start hydrated! Coconut water is full of skin healthy goodness, so I like to mix coconut water with regular water to give it flavor.
As I’m sure you’ve heard, vitamin C works wonders for the skin. I take a daily vitamin C supplement, but for an extra boost, I’ve actually gone to the IV Drip place near me and got a Vitamin C shot for $20. (Works great to fight colds too!)
Vitamin A from cod liver oil is another supplement for glowing skin, as well as turmeric. I take a daily capsule of both of these, which are great for anti-inflammatory also.
Bentonite Clay: The first thing I use if I want healthy, glowing wrinkle-free skin for a special occasion, is a bentonite clay mask. I use Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, which is really inexpensive (only $11 for a giant tub!) and you can feel it tightening your skin as the clay hardens. After rinsing it off with cold water, my forehead lines are already gone.
DIY Mask: I follow the clay mask up with a moisturizing mask, as the clay can dry your skin out a bit (but also tighten it!) I mix 1 egg white with 1/2 mashed avocado, 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon Kefir (which is a probiotic you can find in the yogurt section at the grocery store. It’s rumored to be great for the skin.)
After the face masks, I mix coconut oil, aloe vera gel, and SPF moisturizer and apply it to my face, neck and chest.
Eye bag tricks:
I’ve tried a lot of under eye bag tricks (cold spoons, tea bags, etc.) but I’ve found that cucumber under the eyes really does work. I also make spa water and put cucumber slices in it.
(Also, a non-natural cure for eye bags and wrinkles is to dab a bit of Preparation H cream under the eyes and on wrinkles.)
Chest wrinkle pad:
If you’re a side sleeper like me and wake up with chest lines every day, I’m happy to report there’s a cure! I sleep with a Silcskin pad which sticks to your chest, is completely comfortable, and you’ll wake up with no chest wrinkles! They’re a bit pricey ($29 for one pad, which you can only use a handful of times before it loses stickiness) so I only use it for special occasions. (I’ve also tried the forehead and neck one, but they didn’t really work for me.)
I recently got a prescription for Retin-A cream, which my doctor says is THE only anti-aging cream that works (I’ve tried a lot, and I haven’t found any yet that I’d recommend.) Retin-A (AKA Tretinoin) is an exfoliant that sheds you old skin and causes your new skin to grow back twice as fast. For acne, users see results in 3 months, but for wrinkles, it’s closer to 6 months. Your skin will get irritated the first few weeks as it gets used to the cream, but if you stick with it, it’s supposed to be great. I’ve only been using it for a month and a half, so I plan on posting before/after photos once it’s been 6 months. Stay tuned!
If you’re looking to splurge, you can also get a radiofrequency skin tightening treatment, which is about $300. It really does work, but the results are short-term. (Also for special occasions!)
Here are my before and after photos, the “after” being post face masks, moisturizers, healthy diet, vitamins and placing cucumber under my eyes. (The Retin-A cream may have helped also, but I’m not sure yet since it’s only been a few weeks.) As you can see, my forehead lines and breakouts are gone, my under eye bags are much smaller, as well as my my chest lines. The skin in the middle of my neck that was starting to look crepey is a bit better as well, though it’s hard to tell from photos.