The Art of Aging

By Kevin Raub / September 7, 2011

“If I could turn …back …time…” There I go singing Cher again. I really need to stop doing that, but the woman speaks the truth—we’d all like to turn back time (sometimes a mere 30 seconds would do). But this column doesn’t dabble in such short-term satisfaction. This month, the Green Groomer tackles aging. The thing is, even when we’re not basking in the boiling sun in the Seychelles, our faces take a sunlight beating on a daily basis. Using a daily SPF facial moisturizer is a must for men to help halt that damage, but an anti-aging serum can help reverse the first 20 years or so of our lives. I’m sure you don’t want to be a wrinkled mess at 50, so get into the habit of slapping one of these vitamin and antioxidant-rich fountain-of-youth cocktails on your face now, before your weathered mug turns you into a leathery thug. Check back here in 20 years for full results.

I find Yum Gourmet’s Q10 Pumpkin Seed Serum to be a little greasy, yet still intriguing for its use of pumpkin seed and pomegranate, a combo that feels a little manlier on the mug. Laced with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, an anti-wrinkle formula derived from the sugar apple tree, and its namesake CoEnzyme Q10, this one handles aging, environmental damage, and moisturizing with a product you thought was only good for Thanksgiving pie and Jack-O-Lanterns. Turns out the certified organic pumpkin seed oil here is a natural anti-wrinkle combatant, moisturizer, and nutrient deliverer. Those with oily-prone skin probably won’t appreciate its greasiness, but the rest of us love this one.

The only product from Urth’s Skin Solutions, a new natural-leaning skin-care line for men, that isn’t laced with evil parabens is its Hydra Therapy, a very male-friendly serum that glides on more like a cooling gel than a syrupy serum. For this reason, I’m a big fan, but would like to see some paraben-free improvements in the line as a whole (their Green Tea and Rice scrub is probably the best male scrub I’ve yet seen but, alas, I can’t use it). The two key ingredients in the Hydra Therapy are red seaweed and white tea, two powerful antioxidants, while rosemary and grapefruit peel oils and witch hazel and eucalyptus round out the anti-inflammatory and soothing effects. It’s a little sticky, so it makes me want to fall asleep face-up on my pillow, as not to soil my lovely and very expensive DKNY organic sheet set (I’ve been preaching here for months: You gotta treat your face right!).

Billed by the company as an intensive age fighter, EmerginC’s Vitamin C Serum jolts your face with a powerful burst of orange love. This product is pure joy in the morning, delivering a citrusy shock that is perfectly slippery and light and, if it doesn’t work, it surely convinces you otherwise by it’s pure potency. At night, the company’s P.M. Fortifier aimed specifically for men, makes for a nice complement, tossing Indian lotus, green tea, white nettle, comfrey, calendula, arnica, and magnolia into the facial rejuvenation mix. EmerginC receives a star for its packaging as well—each container is made from Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forest Initiative-certified paperboard with non-toxic vegetable-based inks.

Intelligent Nutrients’ Certified Organic Anti-Aging Serum takes the botanical approach rather than the fruity one, delivering the fountain of youth in an Exorcist-green juice that’s much oilier than others here. That’s bothersome, but it feels so righteously natural, you soon forget. This serum is based around the company’s Intellimune Seed oil, a blend of black cumin, pumpkin, red raspberry, red grape, cranberry, açaí, argan, safflower, and apricot seed oils which discharge an explosive antioxidant blast to your grill. Elsewhere, omega 9 fatty acids help retain moisture and tocopherols work as excellent free-radical scavengers. There is a whole hell of a lot of other plant-derived stuff in here as well, too much to wrap one’s head around. Though this one isn’t my favorite on application (it smells funny, it’s too oily), it’s definitely the one I feel that is doing the best job in keeping people low-balling my real age; as well as the best value-for-money here. And I love the fact that it’s 100 percent certified organic, as is everything in this Minnesota-based company’s extensive skincare line. www.

H. Maloha’s Bionutrient Face Serum is a highly concentrated, small-batch Hawaiian product based around the indigenous ingredient astaxanthin, a naturally occurring red algae said to be 6,000 times more powerful than Vitamin C and 550 times stronger than green tea (how these things are measured, I’ll never know, but I won’t swear 1,000 times over these numbers are accurate). This serum is nearly a star in itself, appearing in the celebrity gift bags at both the Emmys in 2009—and priced accordingly. Instead of using water as a base, H. Maloha is based in rose water and aloe-vera juice—even deep ocean water—delivering more oomph than mere agua. There are no parabens or other bad stuff; and H. Maloha calls on organic bilberry, sugar cane, sugar maple, orange, lemon, and cranberry extracts, as well as a 29-ingredient natural botanical brew to round out the recipe. Though expensive, this serum combines day, night, eye, firming, and antioxidant serums into one product that lasts up to a month longer than average. If you use too much, it will turn a milky white on your face—a nice barometer to keep overuse in check, giving you more bang for the buck. Aloha!

Kevin Raub
Kevin Raub

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