Anti Aging Home Remedies: Do They Work?

Katelyn Hagerty

Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 4/5/2021

From fine lines to deeper, more noticeable wrinkles, it’s normal to notice changes in your skin as you get older.

While many aspects of your skin’s aging process are unavoidable, some can be slowed down or even reversed by taking a hands-on approach to caring for your skin. 

Although the most effective anti-aging treatments require a prescription, you can often make the effects of aging on your less visible through simple, at-home treatments.

Below, we’ve looked into the most popular home remedies for slowing down and preventing the effects of aging on your skin, as well as the science behind them.

We’ve talked about what works, what doesn’t work, and what work. We’ve also explained how you can combine home remedies with science-based treatments to keep your skin looking and feeling its best at any age.

Anti-Aging Home Remedies: The Basics

  • Aging is both intrinsic and extrinsic. Although some aspects of aging are outside of your control, the right combination of good habits and products can slow down extrinsic aging and help you to minimize the appearance of wrinkles, age spots and more.

  • Popular natural substances with anti-aging benefits include aloe vera, topical vitamin C and others. There’s also evidence that adding certain foods to your diet may keep your skin looking youthful and healthy.

  • Although essential oils are often promoted as natural anti-aging remedies, the scientific evidence to support their effects is mixed.

  • Simple habits, such as moisturizing often and avoiding the sun, can help to protect your skin from damage and minimize the effects of aging on your appearance, all without any need to spend money on costly treatments.

  • For better results, you may want to use home remedies in combination with prescription anti-aging treatments

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Popular Anti-Aging Home Remedies

Search for home remedies that slow down aging and you’ll find hundreds of different products, ingredients and concoctions. We’ve listed several of the most popular below and looked at the science behind each one to find out whether or not it’s truly effective. 

Sunscreen

Sunscreen is the simplest, cheapest and most readily available anti-aging remedy. It’s also one of the most effective, especially if you live in a bright, sunny region and spend a lot of your time outdoors. 

To understand why sunscreen is so effective, it’s important to quickly go over the basics of how your skin ages.

Like we mentioned earlier, the skin aging process is both intrinsic and extrinsic. When it comes to extrinsic aging, by far the largest source of aging-related damage to your skin is UV radiation from sun exposure. 

In fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, photoaging -- the type of aging that’s caused by UV radiation -- is responsible for 90 percent of the visible changes that occur in your skin as you get older.

Using sunscreen every day helps to keep your skin protected from UV radiation whenever you spend time outside. 

Some research even suggests that regular use of sunscreen may help to reverse the effects of aging on your skin. For example, a study published in Dermatologic Surgery found that people who used sunscreen over a period of one year experienced an improvement in skin texture.

For best results, follow the American Academy of Dermatology’s recommendations and use an SPF 30+, water resistant sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection. Make sure to apply it whenever you spend time outdoors, even if the weather doesn’t look overly sunny. 

Moisturizer

Just like sunscreen, moisturizer is an inexpensive, readily available product that you can use at home to reduce the effects of aging on your skin. 

Moisturizer traps water in your skin, which can help to make fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging less visible. 

It also allows your stratum corneum -- the outermost layer of your skin -- to function properly as a protective barrier that keeps bacteria, fungi and other germs out of your body.

Try to apply moisturizer at least once a day. If you’re prone to dry skin, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using moisturizer within five minutes of bathing or wherever your skin feels dry.

For optimal results, look for a moisturizer with active ingredients that enhance its ability to trap water in your skin. Our Tidal Wave Moisturizer, which is also designed to clear up acne, uses a combination of hyaluronic acid and squalane for optimal moisture retention.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a popular skin and hair care ingredient. It’s a gel that’s made from the leaves of the aloe plant, a small, cactus-like plant that grows in dry, subtropical parts of the world.

You can find aloe vera in creams, gels and countless other topical products. It’s also available in table form as a dietary supplement. 

Numerous studies have looked at the effects of aloe vera on skin. Overall, the results are mixed, although a few studies have found that aloe vera may help to prevent or reverse certain signs of skin aging. 

For example, one study looked at the effects of an aloe vera gel powder containing plant sterols on the skin of women with dry skin aged 40 and older. 

After eight weeks of treatment, the women who consumed the aloe vera powder showed slightly better skin hydration than those who were given a placebo. They also had lighter facial wrinkles and a significantly reduced level of body fat.

Another smaller study, which involved 30 women above the age of 45, also found that a dietary supplement containing aloe vera gel improved wrinkles and skin elasticity over the course of 90 days.

When used topically, some evidence suggests that aloe vera may help to reduce burn pain, promote burn healing and help people with certain skin conditions. 

However, there’s very limited research on the effects of topical aloe vera products on wrinkles or other signs of aging.

As such, if you’d like to add aloe vera to your anti-aging skin care routine, you may notice better results from a supplement containing aloe vera than a cream, gel or moisturizer. 

Topical Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that’s found in lots of common foods, from citruses and other fruits to vegetables and certain fortified cooking ingredients.

As an important antioxidant, vitamin C plays a major role in protecting your cells from damage caused by compounds called free radicals. Some research also shows that it may also play a role in keeping your skin fresh, youthful and healthy.

For example, a small study published in the journal Dermatologic Surgery looked at the effects of a topical vitamin C complex on skin with visible wrinkles. The study found that areas of skin treated with vitamin C showed a significant improvement in wrinkling after 12 weeks. 

Other research has also found that topical vitamin C offers benefits for treating skin aging and issues such as hyperpigmentation (darkened patches of skin).

Essential Oils

Essential oils are extremely popular, both as topical anti-aging treatments and as general home remedies for a variety of ailments.

Although some essential oils may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that are good for your skin, there’s relatively scientific research available on the effects of most essential oils as anti-aging treatments. 

Of the few studies that are available, many use very small sample sizes that make it difficult to know whether or not they’re truly effective.

For example, a study published in the journal Pharmaceutics found that topical use of rosemary oil improves skin hydration and elasticity. However, the study involved just 10 people and had a treatment period of only one week.

Another small study, this time involving 60 people, found that consumption of argan oil improved skin elasticity in postmenopausal women. However, the researchers didn’t measure wrinkles or other visible signs of aging.

As for other essential oils, despite their popularity, very few studies are available that specifically look at their effects on skin aging. 

Zinc, Selenium & Other Minerals

Your skin is your largest organ, and the foods you consume play a major role in supplying it with the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it needs to function and maintain itself. 

Research shows that several common minerals found in certain foods may help to maintain and repair your skin as you age.

For example, zinc plays a large role in your skin’s health. Approximately six percent of your total body zinc is found in your skin. Research shows that products containing zinc can control skin inflammation and improve certain types of scar healing.

Research has also found that zinc-based topical creams may make wrinkles and other signs of skin aging less visible.

You can add zinc to your diet through zinc-rich foods such as oysters, crab, beef and other lean meats, fortified cereals and others. Zinc is also available as a dietary supplement. 

Another mineral that’s important for healthy skin is selenium. Although research into the precise effects of selenium on skin aging isn’t very comprehensive, studies have shown that a low dose of selenium may help to reduce the severity of UV-related skin aging.

Selenium is found in seafood, brazil nuts, cereals and other grains. Like zinc, it’s also available as a dietary supplement.

Other Anti-Aging Treatment Options

Although home remedies and other readily available products can help to slow down the effects of aging on your skin, their effects are limited. 

If you have noticeable wrinkles, age spots or other signs of aging that you’d like to lighten or get rid of, you may want to consider using FDA-approved anti-aging medication at the same time as products like sunscreen and moisturizer. 

For even more noticeable effects, you may want to look into cosmetic procedures to slow down or reverse the effects of aging on your skin. 

We’ve provided more information about both of these options below. 

Retinoids

Retinoids are topical medications derived from vitamin A. They work by speeding up your skin’s cellular turnover process, meaning new skin cells are produced to replace old, dead skin cells at a faster pace. 

One of the most popular, well-known retinoids is tretinoin, which has been used for anti-aging purposes since the 1980s and has since become a mainstay in the treatment of acne and the signs of aging. You may have heard of tretinoin under the name Retin-A®. 

Tretinoin has been studied extensively as an anti-aging treatment, with research finding that it helps to improve skin texture, enhance skin tone, treat hyperpigmentation and make fine lines and coarse wrinkles less visible.

While tretinoin is effective, its effects aren’t instant. In most studies, it takes approximately two to six months before improvements from tretinoin are visible in the skin.

Tretinoin is one of several ingredients in our Anti-Aging Cream, which is formulated specifically to improve the texture and quality of your skin, as well as the appearance of fine lines. 

If you’d prefer something milder than a prescription-strength medication like tretinoin, you may want to consider using an over-the-counter retinoid.

Popular over-the-counter retinoids include retinol and adapalene, both of which are often used in skin care creams, serums and other products available online and from drugstores. 

Cosmetic Procedures

Several different cosmetic procedures are used to treat wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, rough skin texture and other common age-related skin issues. These include:

  • Botulinum toxin (Botox®). This type of treatment works by temporarily weakening or paralyzing the muscles in your face, preventing them from forming wrinkles.

  • Dermal fillers. This type of treatment involves physically filling in contours, scars, lines and other areas of your face affected by loss of facial volume.

  • Skin resurfacing procedures. These procedures involve resurfacing or rejuvenating your skin using chemicals, laser light or surgical skin planing techniques. 

Some cosmetic treatments, such as Botox or dermal fillers, may need to be readministered on a regular basis in order to maintain your results. 

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In Conclusion

While not all anti-aging home remedies are backed up by scientific evidence, products such as sunscreen and moisturizer are. 

If you’d like to reduce the effects of aging on your skin, these inexpensive and readily available products are a great place to start. For even better results, consider using them in combination with science-based treatments such as our Customizable Anti-Aging Cream

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

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