You might have come across the word ‘antioxidants’ on your favourite serum or while reading a blog on health and wellbeing. Before buying another product branded with buzzwords, here’s why there’s so much hype surrounding antioxidants.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances that protect the skin by limiting free radical production, which can damage skin cells. Free radicals are all around us- pollution, cigarette smoke and radiation are known to trigger the formation of this harmful substance. When our skin is exposed to too many free radicals and too little antioxidants, it experiences oxidative stress, which leads to premature aging and hyperpigmentation. It can also trigger inflammatory conditions like eczema and acne, as well as skin cancer.
If the thought of oxidative stress now has you worried, here are some antioxidants in skincare that can be added to your routine:
- Vitamin C: Widely-studied and well-known as a free radical scavenger, Vitamin C is a must in everyone’s skincare regimen. Apart from its antioxidant properties, Vitamin C helps boost collagen production and fades dark spots. We recommend storing your Vitamin C in a cool, dark drawer or cabinet, since Vitamin C is highly unstable and can lose its effectiveness when exposed to light or air. While we can source Vitamin C from several foods, it is most effective to our skin via topical application.
- Retinol (Vitamin A): It’s easy to see why retinol has recently become the darling of the skincare world. With its small molecular structure, retinol can penetrate the skin deep enough to accelerate cell renewal and stimulate collagen production. In doing so, it smooths fine lines and improves your overall skin tone. Look no further if you want to turn back the clock on aging. Retinol can also help reduce acne as it decreases sebum production.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E plays a pivotal role for the proper function of many organs, including the skin. It helps the skin heal quickly and is often found in moisturisers, lotions and creams used to treat dry skin and reduce stretch marks. Studies have shown that Vitamin E can decrease the risk of skin cancer and stabilize the skin barrier. Vitamin E is most powerful when combined with Vitamin C, as the two are especially effective in fighting UV damage.
- Resveratrol: a chemical compound found in red wine, tea and the skin of fruits like grapes and berries, resveratrol is the environment’s defensive armour. It shields plants from air pollution, infection, UV radiation and climate change. Resveratrol helps fight UVB-induced photodamage, pigmentation and collagen degradation.
- CoenzymeQ10: remember when you could party all night and still look fresh the next day? Thanks to the large supply of coenzymeQ10 or coQ10 in your body, all-nighters didn’t take much toll on your skin back then. However, as we age, the presence of this enzyme dwindles, making us more vulnerable to wrinkles and photo-aging. Applying coQ10 helps stimulate collagen production, improve elasticity and texture and fight free radical damage.
- Niacinamide: Also known as Vitamin B3, niacinamide helps improve the skin’s texture and tone. It also diminishes the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Suitable for all skin types, this vitamin can also treat rosacea and acne. It helps boost the performance of retinol and vitamins A and C, making it a perfect addition to your skincare routine.
- Polyphenols: Sip your wine and eat your chocolate guilt-free, as both contain the powerful antioxidant polyphenol. This plant-based vitamin helps prevent UV-induced skin photodamage. You can find this powerful vitamin in green tea skin-care products.
- Flavonoids: Also found in green and black teas, flavonoids can calm rosacea, reduce inflammation and prevent oxidative stress. They work by absorbing UV light and adjusting cell pathways to prevent photoaging and damage. In doing so, they maintain collagen production, delay skin aging and fight skin cancer.
- Glutathione: glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that aids in cell repair and protection of vital organs like liver, kidney, brain and the skin. It can also reduce signs of wrinkles and give you smoother, more supple skin. However, be careful of this product as it may cause skin-whitening.
- Curcumin: found in turmeric, this antioxidant decreases inflammation and accelerates wound healing. Like other antioxidants, it is photo-protective and anti-aging. However, unlike its counterparts, it helps prevent oily skin and acne due to its anti-microbial properties. Studies have found it can also help with dermatological conditions such as psoriasis and scleroderma.
The benefits of antioxidants are endless. Besides helping correct signs of aging, they prevent sunburn, brighten skin tone and firm the skin. Browse our website or visit our store for the latest antioxidants. Feeling unsure of where to start? Book your free skincare consultation here
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