As we have previously mentioned, antioxidants help protect the skin from free radicals – unstable and highly reactive molecules that cause damage to the cells by stealing electrons from other sources. Free radicals come from both external and internal sources. In the body, they exist in normal essential metabolic functions, and externally from the ozone, pollution, industrial chemicals used in food and in cleaning, and in X-rays, to name a few. This damage can affect DNA, protein, the matrix, and the outer barrier of our skin. Four out of five of our wrinkles come from environmental damage, so it is imperative that we have the protection of antioxidants in our skincare to help fight the aging process. You are never too young to start introducing antioxidants into your skincare routine.
So what are the best antioxidants for our skin? There are several to take into consideration.
Also known as ascorbic acid, this potent antioxidant is a favorite in the skin care/dermatological industry. Not only does vitamin C help to lighten dark spots and even and brighten skin tone, it fights free radicals by binding them and removing them from the skin. Vitamin C is known to stimulate collagen production (think reducing fine lines!), protects against UV damage, and helps to thicken the dermis layer.
This antioxidant encourages healthy skin cell turnover, and can often be found in topical creams such as retinal, retinol, and retinoic acid, all in a variety of strengths. Vitamin A targets and stimulates fibroblasts, which are cells responsible for developing the tissue that keeps skin healthy and firm (youthful!). Vitamin A helps strengthen and protect the barrier of the skin, keeping it healthy and strong for fighting against pollutants and irritants, as well as bacteria and infections.
When using Vitamin A topically, it is best to start off two times a week in the evenings, and add days once your skin has adjusted. During the day, adding a mineral-based sunscreen is imperative at protecting the new skin cells that vitamin A has helped bring to the surface.
Vitamin B3, also known as Niacinamide, packs quite a punch when it comes to antioxidants and offers many benefits. Niacinamide offers immunity support as it helps to build keratin, which keeps skin firm and healthy, and helps to grow the skins lipid barrier, which helps to maintain moisture. Vitamin B3 is also known to regulate oil production, treat acne – especially inflammatory kinds — and diminish fine lines and wrinkles by treating sun damage. Vitamin B3 helps to minimize the appearance of pores, as well as treat redness, hyperpigmentation, and blotchiness.
Niacinamide can be used daily, both mornings and evenings, and can be easily layered with other serums, but always added before moisturizer.
As mentioned in the benefits of Vitamin A, it is always wise to add a mineral SPF to your daily routine to protect your skin to prevent further damage, and to protect new skin cells.
Call to schedule a skincare consultation at 720.236.7541 , and let’s discuss the best antioxidants to add to your routine!