Most of us are aware that consumption of antioxidant rich foods promotes overall good health. What’s less known are the many benefits topical antioxidants have to offer our skin. Incorporating use of a topical antioxidant into your daily routine can help revitalize, protect and preserve your skin’s tone, texture and appearance. It can reverse some of the sun’s damage and decrease signs of aging. It can even reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Physically, we’re constantly under attack by free radicals, unstable and extremely reactive molecules produced by our environment as well as our bodies. Free radicals damage cells and tissues creating problems for us internally and externally. Our skin receives daily exposure to free radicals produced by harmful pollutants in the environment like car exhaust, cigarette smoke and most significantly, UV light from the sun’s harmful rays. Antioxidants are a natural defense mechanism against free radical attacks. Some antioxidants are produced by our bodies. Other we derive from our diet. And now topical antioxidants are being added to the arsenal fighting against free radical damage. Research shows that topical application delivers these important nutrients to the skin more quickly.
Antioxidants can be applied to the skin in the form of a cream, ointment or serum. A wide variety exists in the marketplace. Select one with effective concentrations of some of the following important antioxidants:
Vitamin C and E are two of the most effective and widely used topical antioxidants.
- Vitamin C stimulates collagen production, the substance responsible for skin’s firmness and elasticity. It also corrects pigmentation problems.
- Vitamin E offers excellent soothing, healing and moisturizing properties. It promotes healing of burns and cuts, protects against sun damage and sunburn (not to be confused with sun block) and improves skin tone.
Other topical antioxidants include:
- Beta-carotene is usually synthesized from vitamin A. It helps even skin tone and protects against sun damage (again not to be confused with sun block).
- Astaxanthin, a carotenoid, reduces inflammation and cell damage that can lead to premature aging.
- Pine bark extract helps with circulation and enhances the function of vitamin C.
- Selenium is classified as an antioxidant trace mineral that can help reduce redness.
- Green tea has been shown to offer sun protection benefits and possibly slow down skin aging.
- Alpha lipoic acid or ALA fights against wrinkle formation and offers mild exfoliating benefits as well.
- Ferulic acid protects against sun damage.
Other topical antioxidants found noted on skin care product labels include: phloretin, resveratrol, genistein, coffee arabica extract, silybin marianum fruit extract, caffeine, idebenome, L-ascorbic acid. and glutathione.
These are just some of the ways antioxidants can help improve your skin!