What Are Antioxidants & Do I Need Them in my Skincare?
Why are antioxidants important in skincare for youthful ageing?
Oxidation is one of the major causes of cellular ageing. Oxidative damage causes wrinkles, loss of elasticity, uneven skin tone and disease all the way to cancer. Anti-oxidants fight oxidation.
Antioxidants are vital, as oxidative damage causes reduced collagen production, detrimentally affects collagen quality and causes mutations in cellular activity. The upshot is premature ageing. Protecting against oxidative damage (and undoing/repairing the skin damage) is a vital step in restoring or retaining youthful skin.
What are antioxidants?
There are hundreds and all sorts of antioxidants. They are substances that prevent, partially or totally, the oxidation of substances including skin cells that are subject to attack by oxygen. For example, skin proteins, lipids, DNA and sugars. Oxidation results in the formation of free radicals, which are highly reactive oxygen molecules that damage skin cells lead to signs of ageing. The body has it's own antioxidant molecules (glutathione, catalase, peroxidases) and absorbs antioxidants via food e.g. Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Flavinoids and certain (not all) skincare. However, the body's antioxidants may become overwhelmed when the skin is exposed to UVA (skin ageing UV rays), pollution, cigarette smoke or chemical and psychological stress. Therefore, antioxidants in skincare are preventative and protective, helping to reduce skin ageing damage to the skin.
How to anti-oxidants work?
Anti-oxidants work either sacrificially, by giving themselves up to fight oxidation. An example of this is Vitamin C, which you must ensure is encapsulated so that it retains it's potency by becoming active only when it is applied to your skin. Or, like Vitamin E, they work as a 'chain-breaker', disrupting the process of oxidative damage.
Which are the best anti-oxidants?
A combination is best, so look for brands that use multiple variants. Most common is Vitamin C (note advice above) and Vitamin E. Other excellent options are Mangosteen Extract and Echium Oil.
When ingesting, chose fruits and vegetables with the strongest colours as they usually provide the most potent anti-oxidants and you wont go far wrong.
In conclusion, it is vital for vibrant, healthy looking skin to include antioxidants. You might like to try the skin brightening effects of encapsulated Vitamin C in Treatment Toner™.
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