Do antioxidants help with aging and help you look younger?
Antioxidants are a must in preventative anti-aging skincare. They are essential to boost the skin’s immune system and help build a strong, healthy, resilient skin and skin barrier.
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are ingredients or compounds in plants and foods that prevent molecules from oxidation. They hold the balance between cell life and breakdown. For example, do you know how when you slice an apple and leave it for 30min on a plate, the apple will turn brown? This is the process of oxidation. The fresh apple, when sliced and now does not hold the protection of its skin, comes in contact with oxygen in the air, goes under the process of oxidation, and turns brown. But, if you squeeze little lemon juice on the apple slice before leaving it out standing on the plate, it will stay fresh for a longer time without turning brown. The same goes with the Avocado. Have you mushed it into a guac with a lovely lime squeeze so it can stay out longer without turning brown? Limes, lemons, and oranges all contain natural forms of vitamin c and antioxidants that protect cells from oxidative damage.
How does this oxidation happen in our skin cells?
When the skin is exposed to specific stressors, it produces something called “free radical.” Those are super “oxidizing,” aggressive, and unstable molecules that have lost an electron and steal other electrons from healthy cells so they can survive. This creates a chain reaction leading to free radical damage, which, on our skin, manifests as premature aging, collagen and elastin breakdown, fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, dullness, and sensitivity.
Luckily the body and skin’s immune system will kick in and fight this free radical damage to stop it temporarily. But what happens when we are constantly exposed to stress that we have difficulty finding ways to cope with? What if we are surrounded by polluted air, blue light, too much sun exposure, unhealthy lifestyle, sleepless nights, indulging in processed foods, alcohol, smoke, and similar? All of this is what triggers oxidative damage to the skin. If we do not take breaks from indulging in busy and not-so-healthy lifestyle habits, the skin and body’s immune system will not have the time to keep up with the accumulated free radical damage they are trying to reverse.
Triggers of oxidative, “free radical” damage:
- Sleepless nights
- Polluted air
- Blue light
- Excesive sun exposure
- Indulging in processed foods
- Cigarette smoke
For all these reasons, Antioxidants are a must in our daily lifestyle. Topically and internally. Antioxidants will help us boost the skin and body’s immune system to neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals and help the skin cope with the damaging effects of environmental stressors. Once the antioxidant has access to the free radicals in the skin, it will neutralize them and prevent the oxidative damage from continuing.
Few examples of how this works in real life:
If we incorporate antioxidants under our sunscreen, its protection will improve. The antioxidants will build the skin’s natural resilience towards the heat and damaging sun rays long term. This comes as a bonus reward for the days when we forget to apply that sunscreen. Remember that no sunscreen can protects the skin 100% from the sun. But, healthy and resilient skin will have the natural ability to stand strong on a sunny, warm day.
In another situation, we might be surrounded by polluted air. Skin that is nurtured with antioxidants will have the ability and immunity to neutralize that oxidation pollution is creating. Air pollution manifests as dullness in the skin. Skin boosted with antioxidants will have enough nutrition and resilience to keep its natural glow.
Natural sources of Antioxidants:
Many fruits and veggies contain antioxidants. For example, citrus fruits are abundant in Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin, stimulates new collagen production, and has brightening abilities.
Berries are an antioxidant powerhouse. In natural skincare, we use them as potent extracts or oils pressed from the seeds or fruit pulp.
Sea Buckthorn Berries are abundant in nutrition and antioxidants. They promote cell tissue building, enhance the skin’s immune activity, and, as a powerful antioxidant, have exceptional efficacy in fighting free radical damage and supporting the skin’s ability to resist sun damage. Read more on our ingredients page.
Green tea is another powerful source of antioxidants. It comes in an extract form or an oil pressed from the plant’s seeds. More details on green tea skin benefits.
Red Grapes are a natural source of Resveratrol, a type of antioxidant. Tomatoes contain lycopene. And Cacao is rich in flavanols, antioxidants that stimulate blood flow to the skin.
All of these examples of antioxidant ingredients benefit the skin’s health on many levels. Moreover, they are necessary in modern times as our skin and body need that extra boost and protection daily.
As you can see, in natural and holistic skincare, we use ingredients derived directly from nature, with minimal processing. And we strive for this to be 100% of the product.
The ingredients mentioned above are primarily a food source for us humans. And we need to remember that as much as we can do for our skin topically, that much we can do internally. So consuming these foods abundant in antioxidants in our regular diets will not only help our skin’s health and boost its immunity and resilience, it will benefit our whole body and the skin as the largest organ. So our skin can glow from the inside out.