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7 Natural Ingredients in Your Skincare to Combat Skin Ageing

With so many skincare options, you probably wonder which gets you glowing skin. Try picking the ones made of natural herbs.

A partial view of a woman in bathrobe holding two skincare products in her hands.

Everyone wants to prevent skin ageing; it’s the reason why the beauty industry has grown in recent years. We have seen more and more local and international skincare brands coming up with their own unique inventions. Some offer products made with the latest technology, while others champion natural ingredients. 

With so many options to choose from, you probably can’t help but wonder which one to get. So, how about picking the products composed of Chinese herbs? Read on to learn more about these herbs and how they can help you get youthful skin. 

TCM Ingredients That Prevent Skin Ageing

An aerial view of a bottle of skincare product surrounded by a spoon of goji berries, a bowl of honey and leaves against a blue background.
Skincare made from Chinese wolfberries can fight skin ageing.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners often prescribe herbs to patients. Every herb is believed to possess its own benefit for the body, including nourishing skin.

But modern science has discovered that these traditional remedies work not only on the inside but also on the outside. Realising this, several skincare brands have incorporated them into their products. 

Here are the seven herbs known for their ability to give your skin a glow-up: 

1. Bird’s nest 

Since ancient China, many have used bird’s nest to make skin brighter and look younger. Its status as “beauty food” has withstood for centuries, thanks to its component, called epidermal growth factor (EGF). Studies have found that EGF can repair tissue, which helps to rejuvenate skin. In addition, some bird’s nest products also come with collagen to boost skin elasticity even further. 

2. Chinese wolfberries 

Also known as goji berries, Chinese wolfberries are known as a superfood containing a variety of antioxidants such as vitamin A, which improves eyesight. Vitamin A is beneficial for not only the eyes but also the skin. A vital component in skin cell development, vitamin A in Chinese wolfberries can enhance skin appearance and slow skin ageing.

Another antioxidant in Chinese wolfberries is zeaxanthin. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology investigated the effectiveness of zeaxanthin-based dietary supplements and topical applications. The results showed that a combination of the two is superior in refining facial lines and wrinkles. 

3. Ginkgo biloba 

Although many people use it to treat memory impairment, ginkgo biloba has also been utilised by many popular beauty brands to fight skin ageing. A 2003 study by the medical faculty at University Palacky in Czechoslovakia has revealed that ginkgo biloba contains a high concentration of antioxidants, especially polyphenols and flavonoids, which can help prevent UV-induced skin damage.

Furthermore, a 2010 study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science has also shown that a topical formula containing ginkgo biloba can increase skin moisture and smoothness while reducing unevenness and wrinkles.

4. Green tea

An aerial view of a bowl of green tea powder and a bowl of green tea cream.
Green tea is another super ingredient that can give your glowing skin.

Another well-known ingredient in skincare products, green tea is an abundant source of plant polyphenols. An important antioxidant, polyphenols also have immunomodulatory and photoprotective functions. A 2012 study by researchers in Ohio found that both oral and topical uses of green tea can delay the impacts of skin ageing. Additionally, the polyphenols in green tea may also have the potential to prevent and treat skin diseases and skin cancer. Green tea also has antimicrobial properties to treat acne and oily skin. 

5. Soybeans 

Soybeans are a natural and rich source of a substance called isoflavone, which possesses anti-photoaging effects. After further purifying and evaluating soy isoflavone extract, researchers in Taipei found that its topical use could decrease oxidative stress, inflammation and skin cell damage from UVB exposure. Soybeans contain bioactive ingredients that have depigmentation properties. 

6. Cordyceps 

A type of medicinal fungi with centuries of history, cordyceps provides a wide range of health benefits when consumed. However, a 2020 study in China has observed that cordyceps extract may also work optimally as a topical product. With its antioxidative and anti-DNA properties, cordyceps can help increase photoprotection and lower the risk of basal cell carcinoma from UVB rays on the skin. Simultaneously, it can also retain the metabolites of UVB, such as steroid hormone and vitamin D3. This fungus has anti-inflammatory properties and provides rich moisture to the skin. 

7. Ginseng 

From strengthening the immune system to reducing inflammation, the all-encompassing anti-ageing benefits of ginseng have long been documented. Signs of ageing, of course, are most visible on the skin, and ginseng has been proven to be an effective treatment for this problem as well. This is due to the fact that this herb contains ginsenosides, which help diminish the effects of skin ageing. Multiple studies have discovered that ginseng can reduce wrinkles and signs of ageing, promote elasticity and collagen production, brighten skin and protect it from UV radiation-induced damage.

Getting youthful skin may not be an easy process. Products may work differently for each individual, and it may take continuous trial and error before finding the perfect ones for your skin. In uncovering the amazing herbs that you should look out for in your skincare to reduce skin ageing, you can narrow your search and achieve a beautiful complexion much sooner.

This is an adaptation of an article, “Super Six Herbs in Cosmetics”, which first appeared on the Eu Yan Sang website. 


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