Antioxidants have been quite the buzzword in the beauty industry, but what exactly are antioxidants? Simply put, antioxidants fight against free radicals and help protect the skin from cellular damage. They are the skins defense mechanism.
Free radicals are everywhere and cause damage, which isn’t typically seen right away, but does considerable damage nonetheless. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells because they are missing electrons. The unstable molecules are constantly trying to bond to atoms or molecules that have these electrons to feel whole again, which causes oxidative stress, or chemical chain reactions inside the body. Oxidative stress is a term used to describe the imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals in the body, and antioxidants help to stabilize free radicals, keeping them from reacting with other molecules.
In skincare, antioxidants play a vital role, and here are the reasons they should be in your skincare routine…
1. Antioxidants aide in correcting signs of aging.
Antioxidants reduce inflammation caused by free radicals, which allows the skin to repair visible damage. Inflammation can be seen as blotchiness, saggy skin, fine lines, wrinkles and acne.
2. Antioxidants brighten and even skin tone.
Free radicals can cause changes in our skins natural melanin production, which in turn leads to dark spots and uneven skin tone. Antioxidants reduce photodamage, or abnormal skin pigmentation such as hyperpigmentation and melasma.
3. Antioxidants can help boost collagen production.
Not all antioxidants help boost collagen production, but antioxidants like vitamin C are known for both protecting the skin and creating more collagen in the body. It is important to note that the body cannot produce vitamin C on its own, so it is important to add it to your skincare routine. Many skincare lines have topical vitamin C options both alone and mixed in serums and moisturizers, but it is also important to add it to your diet through leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits.
4. Antioxidants may fight against certain forms of cancer.
Some antioxidants are anti-carcinogenic, such as vitamins A, C, and E. There have been studies done that suggest antioxidants may slow and/or prevent the development of cancer.
5. Antioxidants can firm skin.
Antioxidants help in reversing the signs of aging and improving skin health. Certain antioxidants like Coenzyme Q-10 are known for their skin firming abilities, and are great for use in products meant to lift and tone the skin.
6. Antioxidants can help improve scar appearance.
Scar tissue is more rigid than normal, healthy tissue. Certain antioxidants, such as those found in aloe, increase blood circulation to the scar area. This in turn makes the scar tissue visibly blend in with normal tissue, reducing its appearance. This study suggests that appropriate doses of vitamin E - not pure vitamin E - can also improve scar appearance by softening the tissue.
It’s no doubt that antioxidants play a vital role in the overall health of our skin. It is important to add products packed with a variety of antioxidants to your morning and evening routine to keep your skin in its best shape and appearance.
Have questions, or would like to explore products that best address your skincare concerns? Call Heather at 720.236.7541 to schedule a free consultation.