According to a recent survey sponsored by a European skin-care company, the primary concern among older women, at least when it comes to their skin, is dryness, followed by wrinkles and a sagging neck. Natural skin remedies for these problems are always worth a try, considering that, quite often, they’re free and work just as well as over-the-counter products.
Here, we cover the best ways to treat the most common skin-care concerns naturally.
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Buy fatty soaps. Standard soaps contain lye, which can be irritating as well as drying, but some soaps, such as Shea Moisture, contain extra amounts of fatty materials, such as shea butter and olive oil, and will moisturize better than a pricey cleansing cream or any standard-formula soap. And after you wash up, don’t dry your face completely: Moisturizers are more effective when applied to slightly damp skin than to completely dry skin. When it comes to choosing moisturizers, don’t assume that expensive creams are more effective. There’s no evidence they work better than petroleum jelly or mineral oil, says one dermatologist. However, since those are both derived from nonrenewable petroleum, opt for vegetable oils like sunflower or peanut oil, or one of these 4 cooking oils that deserve a spot in your skincare routine.
Smooth and soften your dry winter hands with this simple DIY sugar and olive oil scrub:
The best thing you can do to stave off wrinkles is avoid sun exposure, whether that’s through using sunscreen, wearing a hat or clothing that offers sun protection, or sitting in the shade. Also, grab a pair of shades when you’re outside, as squinting can lead to crow’s feet around the eyes. (Here's how to get a healthy dose of vitamin D from the sun, without worrying about skin cancer.) But back inside, something as minor as how you sleep can lead to wrinkles, too. Sleeping on your side or stomach with your face mashed into a pillow causes wrinkles, while sleeping on your back may keep that from happening.
Related: 6 Things You Need To Know Before Taking A Collagen Supplement
If wrinkles have already set in, buy a vitamin C serum, which helps build collagen and minimize wrinkles. And try a homemade papaya peel: Grind 2 tablespoons of washed and peeled papaya in a food processor, and add 1 tablespoon of dry oatmeal (the oatmeal helps to remove debris from the skin). Pat this mixture onto clean skin and let it set for 10 minutes. Then remove it with a wet washcloth, using an outward, circular motion. Papaya is full of enzymes that help break down the outer layer of skin, minimizing wrinkles. (You can also make this DIY face cream with skin-protecting essential oils.)
The skin on your neck is the thinnest skin on your body, and that makes it particularly susceptible to the process of aging. Using the same treatments you would for wrinkles and dry skin can help prevent neck skin from sagging. And maintaining good posture can eliminate strain on your neck muscles, which can add to sagging. The way you dress can help conceal any sagging you may already have, as well. Standard turtlenecks can pinch loose skin and accentuate sagging skin, but a loose-fitting or scrunch-neck version can help hide sagging. Of course, don't feel like you ever need to hide anything! Aging is natural and beautiful, and as long as you're healthy and content with your appearance, that's all that really matters anyway.
Related: The Most Toxic Stuff In Your Drugstore Makeup, And 8 Natural Beauty Brands To Try Instead