We all know that antioxidants are great ingredients to have in our skincare products, but what actually are they and what do they do?
Skin is the body’s largest organ with multiple functions, one of which is to protect us against oxidative stressors such as UV radiation, toxins, pollution and allergens. While our bodies naturally produce antioxidants to counteract the effects of such oxidative stress, the amount produced lessens with age.
Free radical is an unstable atom or molecule from the oxidative stressors that is missing an electron. To make itself whole, it attacks the nearest stable molecule and steals an electron. This action not only leads to damages to all components of a cell, including DNA, proteins, lipids and its membrane, it also sets off a chain reaction of cellular disruption whereby the victimised molecule, now missing an electron, is transformed into a free radical. To neutralise the damage, antioxidants scavenges the free radicals and offer up one of their electrons, thereby preventing healthy cells and tissues from breaking down.
It is important to note that damages from free radicals do not only cause skin issues such as wrinkles, aging and hyperpigmentation, but can also lead to many chronic health conditions.
While a healthy and balanced diet supplies your body with an array of antioxidants, studies suggest that applying antioxidants topically has great benefits for the skin.
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1. Vitamain C
While increasing your Vitamin C intake does not necessarily have any impact on your skin, applying Vitamin C, its derivates or botanicals extracts rich in Vitamin C topically can help repair skin cells to stimulate collagen production.
4. Grape Seed
Extracted from vitis vinifera, grape seed is rich n proanthocyanidins that are potent antioxidants with strong free radical scavenging activities and anti-inflammation properties. In fact, it has been shown to be an even stronger scavenger of free radicals than vitamins C and E.
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5. Green Tea
Rich in catechins that can clear skin cell damage, reduce sun damage, fight free radicals, reduce inflammation and repair wrinkles and blemishes.
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6. Superoxide Dismutase
An important antioxidant defense in nearly all cells exposed to oxygen, Superoxide Dismutase overpowers the damaging reactions of superoxide, protect the cell from superoxide (the most common free radical in the body) toxicity, and reduce free radical damage in the skin, therefore preventing wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, help with wound healing, soften scar tissue, protect against UV rays, and reduce other signs of aging.
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