The Side Effects of Anti-Aging Products Are Giving Us Stress Lines

Anti-aging products, also known as “cosmeceuticals,” are some of the most expensive and hotly debated beauty products on the market. Of course, nobody’s keen to see crows’ feet and smile lines when they look in the mirror, so regardless of the controversy, anti-aging and anti-wrinkle creams sell like hotcakes. However, as Sam Epstein, M.D. cautions, “altering the physical structure of skin with chemicals so as to look more youthful comes at a hidden price to the skin, and even more so to health.”

First off, the term “cosmeceutical,” which refers to these age-defying products, was developed by the cosmetics industry in 1984 to circumvent the authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which “does not recognize any such category.” While this class of topically applied creams, lotions and ointments claims to have medical or drug-like benefits, they haven’t been subjected to the battery of rigorous clinical studies the FDA requires of prescription drugs. In a nutshell, there’s scant evidence these so-called “cosmeceuticals” actually work.

They may, in fact, do more harm than good. Anti-aging products typically contain hydroxy acids to increase the permeability of the skin and allow anti-aging ingredients to pass through. Unfortunately, this translates into stripping the skin of its protective surface, which normally helps prevent UV rays from penetrating the skin’s outer layers. For this reason, wearers are vulnerable not only to sunburn, but increased risk of malignant melanoma. Bisabolol, another ingredient often found in anti-aging products, has a similar use…and effect. Limonene, also commonly found in anti-aging products, is an irritant as well as a carcinogen. Finally, if you’re a mother reading this, you’re probably familiar with the side effects of parabens. Used as preservatives in many cosmetic products, these chemicals have been found in biopsies from breast tumors. Notorious for disrupting hormone function, they’re especially off-limits for pregnant women.

For the most part, dermatologists hold that good skincare habits are a safe and effective alternative to investing in anti-aging creams. If you really want to build your skin’s elasticity and overall health, go the natural route. Drink the prescribed eight glasses of water a day. Exfoliate. Moisturize properly; apply all-natural sunscreen liberally. If you’d still like to give your skincare routine a little something extra, some of the best anti-aging creams can be made in your own kitchen—this way you know exactly what you’re slathering on your face, no FDA approval necessary.

We’re partial to Green Boot Living’s homemade anti-wrinkle cream. The mixture is filled with skin nourishing products like jojoba oil, coconut oil, and rose water, but the star of this solution is definitely rosehip seed oil. Known for its cellular regeneration benefits and its ability to increase both skin elasticity and collagen levels, rosehip seed oil is the active ingredient in many high-end beauty products.

Check out the ingredients you’ll need to recreate this age-defying cream below, and then click over to Green Boot Living for the full DIY instructions.

2 teaspoons jojoba oil
1 teaspoon coconut oil
3 teaspoons apricot kernel oil
3 teaspoons rosehip seed oil
1.5 teaspoons beeswax pastilles
8-10 teaspoons rose-water