We all have been there…asking people to guess our age or not revealing it when asked! This is especially true with women, as we all want to look young and beautiful forever.

Unfortunately, ageing is inevitable and everyone has to eventually go through the natural process of ageing.
Many young women live in fear of getting old and losing all their charm when they enter their forties. While most women are worried of having prominent signs of ageing such as dry skin, wrinkles, sagging skin, etc.

Although ageing is natural and cannot be prevented, it need not be an ugly phase in our life. Ageing can also be a graceful process, if we know how. And while it cannot be avoided, it can be delayed.

Research suggests that people who maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and healthy diet, tend to age slower than those who have an unhealthy lifestyle.

Lifestyle habits and factors such as smoking, unhealthy diet, mental stress, exposure to pollution, etc. speeds up the ageing process. Some experts also suggest that reducing the free radicals can slow down the process of ageing.
Ayurveda is the science of longevity and one of the oldest surviving medicinal systems that has the power to heal several illnesses and ailments that cannot be managed by modern medicine.

As per Ayurvedic principles, following the right din charya makes you shatayushi. This means following a right healthy lifestyle can make you live up to 100 years! Ayurveda offers several therapies that are rejuvenating and restorative.
The original Ayurvedic classic texts also mention several herbs, essential oils, minerals, spices, etc. to have anti-ageing benefits.

Ayurvedic experts or rishis have developed several formulas that can be termed as life potions, the regular intake of which can slow down the ageing process and make us appear more youthful.

This article describes some of the important Ayurvedic herbs that are known to have anti-ageing properties and can be used to prevent the early signs of skin ageing.

1. Sandalwood

Sandalwood

Sandalwood also known as chandan is one of the important Ayurvedic herbal ingredients found in perfumes, creams, lotions, and soaps. While Sandalwood is popular for its fragrance, it is also used commonly for its skin benefits.
Sandalwood is rich in antioxidants that help to get rid of free radicals accumulated in the body. Sandalwood also shows astringent properties which helps to reduce the pore size on the skin.

Due to its anti-inflammatory action, sandalwood improves blood circulation and thus gives youthful appearance to the skin.

Traditionally in India, a mixture of sandalwood and turmeric has been used for ages as a home-made face pack to give a glow to the skin.

2. Saffron

saffron

Obtained from the dried flowers of Crocus sativus, saffron is considered as the world’s most expensive spice. The saffron flowers are purple in colour but it is the threadlike red yellow coloured stigma of the flower that is valued for its flavour, use as a colorant and an important herbal ingredient for skin care.

Ayurvedic experts report that over 200,000 dried stigmas (obtained from about 70,000 flowers) yield 500g of pure saffron, and thus is becomes very expensive. Traditionally saffron has been used as a sedative, a cure for asthma, cough, and also for pain relief.

Clinical studies also report that Saffron contains strong and potent antioxidant principles and hence saffron shows its therapeutic effects in treatment of illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Saffron also finds a special place in the beauty industry due to its beneficial effects on skin. Studies report that creams containing extracts of saffron increase the moisture content of skin while reducing the transdermal water loss.
Since ageing skin tends to have rapid moisture loss, saffron seems like the best remedy to keep the skin hydrated. Being a rich antioxidant, saffron also helps to scavenge the free radicals and toxins from the body that are responsible for rapid skin ageing.

Some studies also reveal that saffron has antisolar properties and thus creams or lotions containing saffron can be used as natural sunscreen.  Saffron therefore appears to be the most versatile remedy to protect your skin from showing early signs of skin ageing.

It forms the main ingredients of Kumkumadi Tailam an ancient Ayurvedic formulation used for special Ayurvedic facials and for improving skin texture and complexion [1].

3. Turmeric

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Turmeric is used for years in Indian tradition as a remedy for skin ailments. It finds special place in religious occasions as well as weddings in India.

In a special ceremony before the wedding, bride and groom both apply a paste made of turmeric, chandan, saffron and yogurt to their skin to get rid of toxins and add a glow.
Turmeric is obtained from the roots and rhizome of curcuma longa. Curcumin, the pigment that gives a distinctive yellow colour to turmeric has strong antioxidant potential. Antioxidants play a vital role in delaying the ageing process.

In addition, Ayurveda has described turmeric as a skin lightening agent. It thus can prevent the dark patches or the melasma that occurs on ageing skin.

4.  Grape Seed

grape_seed

The grape or draksha is a medicinal herb. Most of the parts of this plant are used for their healthy benefits. The leaves of the vine are used to treat inflammation and pain, whereas the fruit possesses potent antioxidant potential.

The grape seeds are rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E. Grape seed oil extracted from the seeds contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that is suitable for maintaining oily skin.

Grape seed extracts act as an astringent and helps to tighten the skin that tends to start sagging due to ageing. Research suggests that grape seed extract boosts the collagen in skin and thus help sthe skin to retain its strength and elasticity.

5. Aloe Vera

aloe-vera-gel

Aloe vera is the oldest medicinal plant known to humans. It has been used externally to heal several skin conditions such as cuts, cracks, burns, insect bites and skin irritation.

Aloe vera is rich in vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin E), flavonoids, and phenolic acids that play a major role in fighting against free radical species responsible for numerous negative skin changes including the skin ageing.
It is known to help slow down the appearance of wrinkles and actively repair the damaged skin cells that cause the visible signs of aging. Aloe vera has a water holding capacity and thus works as a perfect moisturising agent for skin that gets dry due to ageing.

Aloe vera also produces cooling effects on the skin. Overall, aloe vera is a versatile herb that has anti-ageing, moisturising, cooling and antibacterial properties.

 

Sources:
[1] Ayurvedic facials

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