Rice Bran Oil
This edible oil has such a reputation in Japan that women who keep their youthful skin tone are sometimes referred to as “rice bran beauties.” It smells faintly nutty, and coats the skin lightly and with low viscosity. Squalene, one of its skin-rejuvenating constituent compounds, is typically derived from either olive oil or shark liver oil, so rice bran is attractive as an animal-free, less greasy alternative. As an added bonus, rice bran oil protects the skin from ultraviolet radiation damage. Here’s a sneaky tip: when ordering, look for the stuff that’s marketed as a veterinary dietary supplement for horses. There’s no significant difference from the “human” versions, and it’s much cheaper.
Silicic acid, abundant in the horsetail plant, stimulates collagen formation, while its trace minerals support the manufacture of elastin. This reinforcement of skin infrastructure yields appearance benefits that don’t wash off at the end of the day. Though also available as a pill or extract, tea is preferred as a delivery method to offset the mild diuretic effect. Some people find the taste odd and “dishwater-y” but not offensive. The smell is green and pastoral, and tends to fill a room.
Sun damage and cosmetic scarring may not be an unavoidable part of getting older, but for many people they are the consequence of having lived an active, outdoor life – especially back in the days when sun exposure was considered to be healthy and safe. Serrapeptase stands alone among protease-family supplements as the only one to selectively target dead and/or scar tissue. If you have sun damaged skin on the scalp or forehead that just won’t budge from other remedies, it might be worth a try.
Purple Corn Extract
Made from high-altitude Peruvian corn, this purple powder acts to stabilize collagen, decrease inflammation, and improves the integrity of the capillary walls. The flavor is an odd tart/bitter combo but mixes well with yogurt or kefir. It’s not yet very popular in brick-and-mortar stores, so if you have to order it, make sure it’s the deep dark purple stuff. The lighter, lavender colored extract is less effective, and the liquid extract is not as good of a value. Be careful – the fine powder has a tendency to spill and, because it’s a pigment, can be a pain to clean up or wash out.
Refined from the spice turmeric, curcumin supports collagen formation and may help (at least in a mask or cream preparation) in the lightening or removal of age spots. It’s been found to be safe at very high doses when taken orally, which is fortunate because (until better delivery methods come to market) its bio-availability is poor. As with the purple stuff above, it’s a plant pigment and tends to stain a bright yellow, so handle carefully and always try on a small, inconspicuous skin patch first to ensure the results aren’t undesirable.