Antioxidants: The great skin defenders

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One of the questions I am asked most about is antioxidants — more specifically, how they work in skincare products. Whenever my friends ask me about antioxidants, I say that I consider them to be great skin defenders.

Think of the term “antioxidant” as a shield against harmful flying objects. In reality, these “flying objects” are free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that cause tissue damage and aging. These could be things such as cigarette smoke, radiation, UV rays, pesticides, various drugs, smog, and other forms of environmental pollution.

Picture these harmful microscopic contaminants swirling around you. Antioxidants will help shield you from harm, essentially. Think of them as superheroes! They are special molecules that can help stop those free radicals — they are able to neutralize their effects.

Choose antioxidant-rich foods.

According to a study published by The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and blackberries are ideal sources of antioxidants. These are commonly referrred to as superfoods. New research suggests that there are actually many other food sources of antioxidants, from kale to chia seeds. In fact, this was just mentioned Monday in our weekly roundup.

Other food sources that contain antioxidants:

  • Green tea
  • Black tea
  • Coffee
  • Red wine
  • Pomegranates
  • Dark chocolate

Antioxidants protect at the cellular level.

For your health, antioxidants are believed to help inhibit cell damage and are said to help prevent skin damage from the sun’s UV rays, lower the risk of heart disease, help prevent Alzheimer’s and more.

Antioxidants are also wonderful when used in skincare products. Earlier in this post, I mentioned those nasty little free radicals. These not only impact your health, but they also impact your skin. UV damage, smoke and other pollutants can wreak havoc on your skin, accelerating the aging process and damaging cells. This damage causes collagen and elastin to break down, making you look older.

When you apply skincare treatments with antioxidants, you are shielding your skin from harm.

Look for these antioxidants in your skincare products:

  • Beta carotene
  • Grape seed extract
  • Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid)
  • Vitamin E (tocopherol)
  • Coenzyme Q-10
  • Copper
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)
  • Green Tea

Check your labels! Many products are abundant in potent antioxidants to help protect your skin.

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