Aging has puzzled humanity for years. Many theories try to explain why we age, but none of them is conclusive. At this point, what we can do is help you slow down the process or try to hide the effects of aging.
The most commonly observed sign of aging is facial lines. These lines can be caused by various factors, including reduction of collagen, cellular changes, or damage due to free radicals from the sun and environment.
Facial lines can also be caused by repeated muscle contractions from smiling, frowning, raising eyebrows, or squinting. These facial expressions cause the skin to furrow and fold. This results in the formation of facial lines.
Botox has been the go-to non-surgical treatment for facial lines and wrinkles on the skin for quite some time now. Unfortunately, as useful as it is, it comes with some pretty daunting side effects. This has pushed us on a quest to find the most suitable replacement – hibiscus.
But, before we get to hibiscus, let's first discuss why Botox is terrible for your health.
What is Botox?
Botox is a protein derived from the botulinum toxin, produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum- which is awkwardly the same toxin that causes botulism (a potentially fatal illness).
Botox prevents signals from your brain reaching the muscle tissues. The infected muscles are unable to contract. This makes wrinkles soft and relaxed.
It is commonly used on the forehead lines, frown lines, and crow’s feet (lines around the eye). The temporally ‘muscle paralysis’ caused by Botox causes the muscles to soften and relax. This reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles on your face.
Although Botox is a toxin, it has both medical and cosmetic benefits when used in the correct dosage. Despite this fact, just a single gram of the crystalline form of this toxin can kill up to a million people, and a few kilograms can literary annihilate humanity as we know it. If that's not enough to get you off it, here are a few more reasons why you shouldn't use Botox.
Why you Shouldn’t use Botox
- Too much Botox will age you.
Many young women have a misconception of how Botox works. In their 20s, they start using Botox as an aging preventive measure. What few know is that using too much Botox for a long time can have some pretty adverse effects on your face. Although Botox typically lasts for about three to six months, facial muscles weaken naturally over time. Using too much Botox on a particular area might produce the opposite of the desired effect.
Using too much Botox on your forehead for many consecutive years causes your muscles to get weaker and flatter. Your skin might also appear thinner and looser.
Moreover, as the facial muscles in your forehead become weaker, they start to recruit other surrounding muscles when making facial expressions. For example, you might begin squinting using your nose and have wrinkles along the side of your nose. This might cause you to use even more Botox on newly recruited muscles.
- Botox doesn't erase wrinkles.
Since Botox is the most commonly used non-surgical treatment for wrinkles, many people assume that it erases them. However, as we have seen while discussing how Botox works, Botox is used as a preventive measure rather than a treatment.
By preventing your facial muscles from contracting in areas that would have otherwise developed facial lines, Botox limits the formation of facial lines on your face, but it doesn't erase existing wrinkles.
- It hurts
While definitely not as painful as childbirth, Botox injections are still more painful than your ordinary mosquito bite; after all, what would you expect from a needle in your face? After the Botox injection, you’re still left with a substantial amount of pain that lasts about thirty minutes after the injection.
- There are certain things you can't do after the injection.
The Botox injection leaves you vulnerable to bruising and other undesirable effects. After the injection, your dermatologist might tell you not to take ibuprofen or any other blood-thinning medication as it may increase bruising to the injected area.
You will also be told not to do any heavy exercise until the next day and not bend your head forward for at least two hours. Pretty uncomfortable, isn't it (apart from the fact that it is a neurotoxin)?
Hibiscus: A Natural Alternative to Botox
When you think of hibiscus, the first thing that probably comes to mind is its exquisite beauty. But, beyond its aesthetics lies an abundance of benefits, both to skin and health. You can incorporate hibiscus into your daily skincare routine or take it as hibiscus tea. Either way, you're going to love the benefits it offers.
The hibiscus flower comes loaded with a rich mix of plant compounds, including vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and malic acid.
Anti-aging and Skincare Benefits of Hibiscus
- Hibiscus supports your body's natural collagen production.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body-accounting for about one-third of your body's protein composition.
This protein is one of the primary building blocks of skin, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It is also found in many other body parts, including teeth, blood vessels, and corneas.
There are plenty of ways to increase the amount of collagen in your body, including taking collagen powders with mixed drinks. But, thanks to the vitamin C present in the hibiscus flower, your body can increase its collagen production naturally, without any supplements.
Collagen plays a significant role in the hydration and elasticity of your skin. As you age, your body's ability to produce collagen reduces, leading to wrinkling and dryness. An increase in the level of collagen in your body can improve your skin health by improving its elasticity and hydration properties. This reduces wrinkles and dryness.
- Hibiscus can prevent the elastic breakdown of skin.
Hibiscus also aids in the production of elastin. Elastin is a protein produced naturally by your body. Elastin comprises amino acids, fibroblasts, and peptides, structured differently, depending on their function.
The main function of elastin is to provide elasticity to cells. It is abundantly present under the dermis (the middle layer of the skin) in elastic fibers. The main purpose of elastin in the skin is to help it maintain its shape by enabling it to return to its original position when stretched.
However, unlike collagen, elastin is continuously broken down by the enzyme elastase. Elastase increases gradually as we age. This results in loose skin and sagging.
On the upside, hibiscus decreases elastase activity. This protects the skin against wrinkles by sparing elastin. This effect is attributed to one of the compounds present in hibiscus – myricetin. Myricetin reduces the formation of wrinkles and acts as a chemopreventive measure against skin cancer.
- It evens your skin tone.
One of the most visible signs of aging is the appearance of age spots or hyperpigmentation. Age spots can occur due to various variables, including genetics, excess melanin production, or radiation exposure.
The exfoliating effect of the organic compounds present in hibiscus-like malic acid and citric acid helps to speed up cell turnover, resulting in a more even-looking skin tone.
- Hibiscus is rich in antioxidants.
Hibiscus is full of anthocyanocides, a group of antioxidants found in individual medicinal plants. Antioxidants effectively fight the skin-damaging characteristics of free radicals, which spawn when pollutants such as traffic pollution and ultraviolet radiation contact your skin. These pollutants can cause premature skin aging.
Anthocyanocides also have slightly astringent properties. This means that they reduce the appearance of large pores. This gives you a smooth complexion. They also have an anti-inflammatory effect and can help soothe inflamed skin, making hibiscus particularly suitable for people with sensitive skin.
How to use Hibiscus to Control Skin Aging
The hibiscus flower has everything you need in a skincare product. It hydrates, exfoliates, lifts, and tightens skin, all at the same time. The collagen and elastin present in the hibiscus flower also makes it a perfect natural substitute for Botox.
Here are five ways you can use hibiscus to make face masks that moisturize, plump, and fortify your skin.
- Deep cleansing mask for stressed skin
This mask works like magic after a long day at work or after a night out with friends. Hibiscus is full of antioxidants (anthocyanins), which fight off free radicals that cause skin aging. It also helps reduce inflammation.
Hibiscus also has surfactants called saponins that help cleanse the skin. When mixed with Multani mitti, hibiscus can work as a soothing and exfoliating agent that draws out oils and toxins while healing the skin.
When making this mask, mix hibiscus flower powder with rose water and Multani mitti to create a thick paste. Apply the paste all over your face, only leaving out the area under your eyes. When you wipe off the mixture, your skin pores are refreshed, and your skin looks glowy and healthy.
- A softening and hydrating body scrub
Hibiscus contains natural alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) that help purify skin and restore an even completion by controlling breakouts and breaking down dead skin cells. These acids help to melt down the intercellular glue that holds our skin together, thus speeding up the turnover process.
To make this body scrub, mix crushed hibiscus, granulated sugar, and honey to create a hydrating scrub that will scrub off dead skin and leave your skin moisturized. You should apply this paste on damp skin, especially after a shower, and massage it in with circular motions.
- Lifting and tightening mask to fight fine lines
The skin-firming powers of hibiscus are well documented, touting it as a natural 'Botox.' The antioxidants present in hibiscus decrease elastase activity, which breaks down elastin. Hibiscus also contains vitamin C, which promotes the production of collagen, thus maintaining skin elasticity.
This mask is made by simply mixing ground hibiscus powder with avocado to create a two-punch. This mixture effectively restores your skin's elasticity since avocado is also known to stimulate elastin and collagen production.
- A hydrating mask for dry, flay skin
Hibiscus contains a high level of mucilage, a viscous fluid found in most flowers. Mucilage helps to moisturize the skin. When making this mask, ground-up hibiscus and mix it with Aloe Vera to create a light face mask. The phytochemicals present in Aloe Vera help to soothe skin from irritation and redness. It also has anti-inflammatory characteristics.
Using CRÈME DU NIL for Younger Looking Skin
If you are looking for a lightweight moisturizer that you can use at any time during the day or night, then you should check out this 100% plant-based formula. CRÈME DU NIL contains hibiscus flower acids, deeply nourishing Nilotica Reserve™, antioxidant-rich Ugandan vanilla, and more.
This potent botanical cocktail delivers moisturizing fatty acids, anti-inflammatory oxidants, gently exfoliating alpha-hydroxyl acids, and nourishing vitamins to protect, repair, and brighten your skin. One of the best things about this product is that it can be worn under makeup or layered with a serum at night.
How to use
First, clean your face thoroughly, then massage the product into your face using light upwards strokes. You can also apply it using the depuffing copper wand tool we've provided for a luxurious facial massage. It is perfect for use both as a lightweight night cream and under makeup.