Many hair and skincare products are packed with chemicals that may or may not be good for your body. Opting for “clean” products that are infused with natural ingredients can reverse years without the side effects of their chemical-laden alternatives. Thankfully, there are plenty of natural beauty products out there for wrinkles, thinning hair, age spots, and more.
Here are some of our favorites, made up of transformative extracts you may have never heard of until now.
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Age spots? Try a niacinamide serum.
As opposed to chemical bleaching agents, which can over-lighten skin, the B-3 vitamin, extracted from foods like green vegetables, beans and grains, lightens skin by blocking the enzyme that produces skin’s pigment. Plus, it sheds dead, dry skin cells to reveal spot-free skin underneath, says aesthetician Heather Wilson. In fact, one study reported that topical use of niacinamide brightened skin by 68 percent in four weeks.
Blemishes? Try a witch hazel toner.
Unlike alcohol-based toners that dry up skin to remove oil, astringent witch hazel removes dirt and tightens pores to limit the secretion of oil, so skin is breakout-free yet balanced.
Wrinkles? Try a bakuchiol moisturizer.
A plant-derived compound, bakuchiol has been found to be just as effective at smoothing out fine lines as retinol—without irritating sensitive skin, says Wilson. What’s more, antioxidants in the plant help shield skin from damaging UV rays, so the complexion stays youthful and supple.
Thinning hair? Try a quinoa spritz.
Many hair-volumizing products contain polyethylene glycol, a chemical thickening agent that can absorb into skin, disrupting hair-growth hormones. But a product containing amino acid– rich quinoa plumps the diameter of strands and increases circulation to the scalp to promote new growth naturally. Plus, the grain’s protein fortifies follicles to prevent breakage and shedding.
Yellow teeth? Try this combo toothpaste.
Whitening toothpastes often contain harsh detergents that decrease saliva, enabling the growth of stain-causing bacteria. But the natural combination of saliva-increasing xylitol (a natural sweetener) and stain-absorbing activated charcoal leaves teeth looking whiter, faster.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.