Antioxidants and Your Skin
Antioxidants and Your Skin
Antioxidants are a huge buzzword in the food world. It’s a lesser known fact that you need them for your skin as well. So what are they and what do they do?
Antioxidants and Free Radicals
The main job of antioxidants is to fight off free radicals. Free radicals are little molecules of oxygen in the body and everyone has them. The problem with them is that they’re unstable. Free radicals are missing an electron in their outer shells, so they want to fill that spot. They bounce around the body, looking for a free electron, and they’re not picky. Free radicals will bond with any molecule and take an electron, leaving that one unstable. This starts a chain of free radicals and they can be seriously damaging to your body, causing inflammation, diseases and degeneration associated with aging.
Free radicals start the process of oxidation. You’re familiar with this, as this is also what causes rust to form and avocados and apples to turn brown. When free radicals start damaging cells, they suffer from oxidative stress.
But what causes free radicals? Besides naturally occurring in our bodies, they are also the result of damage to the body, or some debris left over from cell trauma. The most common ways free radicals form in our skin is damage from the sun, stress, smoking, pollution, sickness and products used on the skin. This is a big reason why you should wear sunscreen and generally take care of yourself.
Antioxidants are the superheroes of the body. They seek out free radicals and donate the missing electron so that the free radical won’t disturb other cells. This slows down oxidation and the aging process.
They can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, sun damage and scars by promoting blood flow to the area to rejuvenate it. Other benefits are reversing aging by firming the skin, and being anti-inflammatory. Inflammation and free radicals have a circular relationship. Inflammation causes damage which causes free radicals which cause more damage and more inflammation.
The Best Antioxidants
Having a healthy diet is the number one defense against free radicals, for your skin and the rest of your body. But using them in your skin care regime will also protect your skin and fight free radicals.
Vitamin C is one of the more common and useful antioxidants. Not only does it boost the immune system and help other body systems, it improves the skin by assisting in collagen production, fading hyperpigmentation (dark spots), and giving skin a more clear, even skin tone. Free radicals break down collagen, the biggest contributor to aging. Vitamin C speeds up the immune response to help the body heal itself faster.
While vitamin C is one of the best antioxidants to use on your face, it can be very delicate and unstable, so be sure to look for a safe and stable form. Our Vitamin C Daytime Repair Serum as well as our Vitamin C Night Repair Serum are formulated with stable forms of Vitamin C and many other supporting nutrients and antioxidants.
For more information about topical Vitamin C, how to use it, the best forms for the skin and the many benefits, click here.
Vitamin E works well with Vitamin C. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, whereas vitamin C is water soluble. They both reduce redness and protect the face from the damaging effects of sun exposure when applied topically. Vitamin E improves circulation and assists with tissue repair. Try our Organic Jojoba Oil, which is loaded with high concentrations of Vitamin E for your skin.
Green tea is not only one of the best things you can drink, but it helps protect the skin topically, too. It contains substances called polyphenols, which are responsible for its incredible health benefits. Topical green tea protects the skin from sun damage by reducing inflammation and fighting free radicals. Sunscreen and Green Tea are a powerful team, preventing damage and skin aging caused by sun exposure.
Since it is an anti-inflammatory, green tea also slows down the aging process. Studies also show that topical green tea improves the elasticity of skin. Green tea is a key ingredient in almost every KRS formulation!
Along with Vitamins C and E, Vitamin A is a very useful antioxidant. In skin care it is usually called Retinol. Vitamin A works by increasing skin cell turnover. It has been shown to fade dark/brown spots and clear breakouts. Retinol makes the skin healthier, increases collagen production, and creates firmer skin. Try our Total Nutrition Night Repair Complex or Retinol Evening Renewal Serum and notice results within just a few days! If you are looking to restore a healthy glow, definitely consider retinol!
Other antioxidants for skin include CoQ10, Selenium, and B Vitamins. Scientists are discovering more and more about the power of antioxidants all the time.
There is no one miracle ingredient that can repair and protect skin. With skin care, more is better, a blend of antioxidants can all work their magic, doing different things. Antioxidants come in many different forms, from serums to creams, you just need to figure out what works best for your needs. If you need help, get in touch!
Free radicals are a big problem for our body and skin, but using the right topical actives is a powerful way to prevent damage. Free radicals cause inflammation, skin cancer and other problems, along with aging, and sagging skin. These things are all preventable with the right diet, topical nutrients, and sun protection. While everyone wants younger looking skin, the most important thing is protecting your skin from damage and preserving the health of your skin for the long term.
Looking for more information about the ingredients in your skincare products? We suggest reading this article from POPSUGAR that features the antioxidants listed in this article and other ingredients that are good for your skin as well as questionable ingredients and ingredients to avoid – This Is What the Beauty Ingredients in Your Products Actually Do.
At Kate Ryan Skincare, we believe your most beautiful, youthful skin comes from a healthy lifestyle, including a diet that is rich in antioxidants. If we care about slowing skin aging, we must find ways to slow the effects of inflammation and oxidative stress. Polyphenols are the natural chemicals that give plants their color and provide help in signaling our body’s systems to fight inflammation. Nutrition Advance created a comprehensive overview of the Top 100 Food Sources of Polyphenols. Check out their guide and get started toward a healthier, more youthful you!
Tags: antioxidants for skin, beautiful skin, Best skincare ingredients, Green Tea, nutrients for skin, protecting skin from free radicals, Retinol, skin health, skincare ingredients to avoid, vitamin a, vitamin c for skin, vitamin e
Tamryn is a licensed Esthetician who enjoys blogging about natural skincare and nutrition. She is currently working toward a Registered Holistic Nutritionist designation. She spends her spare time listening to music, being outdoors, and reading.