One of the buzz words used extensively in the skincare industry is antioxidants and you hear them used regularly with regards skin care and antiaging. But what are they in real-life terms? To understand really understand what role antioxidants play we need to understand how they work against free radicals another skincare buzz word.
So what are free radicals?
Free radicals are molecules that can cause damage to your skin by attacking your collagen weakening your skin’s elasticity. Free radicals come from air pollutants, chemicals, and cigarette smoke basically environmental pollutants. Antioxidants are substances which basically fight to reduce the effects of these free radicals on our skin.
So what are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are naturally occurring vitamins and minerals—that protect your skin against free radicals. This is because at a cellular level free radicals are unstable and highly reactive molecules which collect electrons from other sources, damaging healthy cells in the process. Antioxidants mitigate this by donating their own electrons to neutralize free radicals or stop them from forming in the first place.
Normally there is a balance between free radicals and antioxidants in the skin which reduces with ageing leading the skin to experience oxidative stress resulting in premature ageing of the skin. The number best way to prevent free radical damage is to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen every day. This protects cells from the negative effects of UVA and UVB rays, however, the sun is not the source of free radicals we need to think about
Fortunately, studies have shown that inclusion of antioxidants in your skincare regimen can reduce free radical damage, they not only help combat the visible signs of ageing and calm skin.
7 benefits of Antioxidants for Your Skin
Antioxidants help correct signs of age.
Oxidative stress breaks down collagen, hinders skin’s natural repair process and triggers inflammation leading to fine lines, wrinkles, loose skin and acne breakouts.
Reduce the appearance of wrinkles:
Although wrinkles cannot be completely removed antioxidant skin-care products help plump out the skin and make it appear more youthful. In this case vitamins, C and E are especially beneficial for reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
Antioxidants also reduce your skins inflammatory response to UV rays, preventing sunburn and providing Protection against photoaging which in turn promotes an even skin tone.
Help skin repair itself.
When skin is inflamed it cannot repair itself so by reducing inflammation, antioxidants stimulate the skins natural healing process. Some antioxidants stimulate blood flow in the skin this help encourage the growth of new cells and make sun-damaged skin appear younger.
Antioxidants help brighten skin tone.
Frequent sun exposure and can also trigger changes in your skin’s melanin production, leading to an uneven skin tone anti-oxidants reduce photodamage prevent abnormal skin pigmentations.
Antioxidants may help prevent skin cancer.
Some antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C and E, have anti-carcinogenic properties and may help prevent skin cancer.
Reduce the appearance of Scars
Because scar tissue has more rigid cellular structure compared to healthy skin, some antioxidants, increase blood flow to scar tissue minimizing the look of the scars.
So there you have it, the benefits of including antioxidants in your skincare routine. Stay tuned for part 2 where I go into specifics on the top antioxidants you need to use ASAP, the best products in each category and their specific benefits to your skin.
Let me know what you think in the comments below and tell me which specific skincare ingredients are antioxidants.