Antioxidant has become quite the buzz word in the food and cosmetics industry in the last few years but many of us do not know what an antioxidant is and what benefit they can provide our bodies, much less know how much of a positive impact they can have on our skin health as well.
Let me explain…
Antioxidants slow down the aging effects and they also limit the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that contain an unpaired electron. Free radicals are triggered by environmental factors such as radiation from the sun, smoking, pollution & in an effort to become stable, free radicals steal electrons from other molecules in the skin and this causes damage to our skin. This damage shows up as inflammation, dehydration, fine lines and wrinkles.
When we add antioxidants to our skincare regimen, our skin remains youthful, moisturized, supple & gleauxing. This list is not all-inclusive but I’ve decided to highlight some of my favorites found in products that I use daily and that many of my client’s home care regimen include as well.
POLYPHENOLS: These are plant derived vitamins that are packed with antioxidants. They are found in vegetables, green tea & fruits. Polyphenols help prevent aging through decreasing the amount of free radicals.
FLAVONOIDS: Flavonoids are a type of polyphenol and they are found in black & green tea and dark chocolate. Flavonoids prevent skin aging by protecting against photo damage & neutralizing free radicals.
VITAMIN C: Vitamin C helps build and maintain collagen levels in our skin. Collagen is responsible for keeping our skin strong & it also helps to promote an even skin tone.
VITAMIN A: (Also known as retinol): Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative and it is one of my favorite skincare ingredients. It is a powerhouse in the skincare world because of the many benefits it has on skin health. These benefits include stimulating collagen production,reducing pore size, exfoliating and it also helps to fade hyperpigmentation.
Antioxidants are extremely beneficial to the skin but they are also very unstable, which means that they loose effect when they are exposed to light and air. All formulas are not created equal & many companies have produced products that contain trace or inactive forms of antioxidants in an effort to woo unsuspecting consumers. In order to get the most for your money, please seek the advice of a skincare professional to help you choose a quality antioxidant that will improve your skin’s health.
And while I love these great topicals for optimal skin health, we must remember that feeding our skin from within is very important, too! Try incorporating more of these skin friendly, antioxidant-rich foods into your diet…these include fatty fish such as herring and my favorite fish, salmon, walnuts, avocados and berries.