Every day, we hear the word ‘antioxidant’ whether it is related to healthy food, skincare or dietary supplements. Antioxidants this and antioxidants that. So what is the big deal? Do these microscopic do-gooders really provide the amazing benefits that everyone claims?
Science of Antioxidants
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health, antioxidants are “substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals.” Free-radical are natural by-products of stress on the body. They can be triggered by pollutants, sunlight, stress, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Why are these rebel free-radicals so dangerous? If left untreated, free radicals damage healthy cells, break down collagen, speed up aging and even contribute to skin cancer as well as heart disease and other diseases as well. Antioxidants can be found in a variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains that we consume but how can these little powerhouses affect the skin?
“Antioxidants are substances that can provide protection from endogenous and exogenous oxidative stresses by scavenging free radicals” according to the Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute. When applied topically, antioxidants can prevent signs of aging. Some common antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, beta carotene, alpha lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, retinoic acid, flavonoids, and vitamin B but, which antioxidants work best for the skin? Listed below are the top three skin-enhancing antioxidants sure to bring softer, more smooth and glowing skin.
Topical retinols, a common form of vitamin A, have been found to greatly reduce the signs of aging. Retinols are used to treat fine wrinkles, skin roughness, and mottled hyperpigmentation caused by aging and sun exposure.
A powerful antioxidant and required component in the production of collagen. Vitamin C has been shown to help slow the production of hyperpigmentation (age spots) while also providing mild UV protection.
Tocopherol (aka vitamin E), “protects cell membranes and is thought to play an important role in skin aging because of its antioxidant properties” and should be used as a protectant prior to sun exposure, as stated by the American Association of Dermatology.
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