Shhhh, we want to let you into a little beauty secret.
Antioxidants could be the holy grail of the skincare world.
That’s right, your secret weapon against ageing.
They are the most effective free-radical fighters known to humankind.
But what are antioxidants, and how do we harness them in our skincare?
Join us as we look at how antioxidants are here to save the day, one radiant complexion at a time.
We’re all waking up to the importance of these superstar ingredients.
Our world is buzzing with environmental assaults – from radiation to sunlight, cancer-causing free radicals, and even pesky smoke; they are the villains of the skincare world, breaking down our precious collagen, stressing out our skin, and hitting the fast-forward button on ageing.
But guess what? Antioxidants are the hero we all need; they shield against these foes, countering their mischief and tackling many skin issues, as this study demonstrates (1).
They don’t just bring their protective powers; they also have anti-inflammatory properties and work their magic as depigmenting agents, and they play a crucial role in collagen production.
Understanding Free Radicals
In order to understand antioxidant’s role on your skin and how they combat free radicals, we will have to dive into some skincare science.
Free radicals are the troublemakers of the skincare world; when they get all riled up, they latch onto healthy atoms and go on a stealing spree, swiping electrons like a bandit. This electron thievery makes them super unstable.
Here’s where the plot thickens: when a free radical snatches an electron, it turns into another free radical, often quite different from the original, like a never-ending chain of electron-stealing chaos.
Free radicals usually start as simple oxygen, but they search for another atom to calm themselves down when they get reactive. Jeez, chill out, man. And guess what? Even your skin cell membranes aren’t safe from them; these pesky free radicals can also swipe electrons from there, as this study demonstrates (2).
When this happens, your cells go haywire, and the lipids in the cell membrane lose electrons, transforming into a different type of free radical called lipid peroxides. This is where the oils in your skin start to deteriorate and break down. The result? Inflammation, premature ageing, and collagen damage.
And the madness doesn’t stop there; these peroxides continue the party by stealing more electrons, creating yet more free radicals in a never-ending dance of destruction on your skin. This chain reaction leads to oxidation, a subject we dive deep into here.
Oxidation is a natural process in your body, but things go south when it goes into overdrive, leading to—you guessed it—premature ageing.
Antioxidants Super Powers
These savvy fellas are waging an epic battle against this free radical damage and the chaos known as oxidative stress.
Here’s how they pull off this incredible feat: Antioxidants are like cool-headed negotiators. They say, “Hey, you volatile free radicals, take one of my electrons and calm down.” By donating one of their electrons, they stabilise them.
This superhero act ends the “electron-stealing reaction” and ends the destruction of your skin cells. You could say antioxidants are like the peacemakers of your skincare world.
You can recruit these heroes in two ways: directly on your skin through topical products or by including them in your diet. They’re versatile like that. But here’s the thing: because there are so many types of extremists in this inflammation cascade, you need more than one antioxidant to build a solid defence.
For these antioxidants to work their magic, they must get past your skin’s surface barriers and reach the cell nucleus; they go on a journey to reach the heart of the action, and different antioxidants block other free radicals. This is why looking for a broad-spectrum antioxidant to combat this destruction on your skin is important.
But wait, there’s more! These superheroes aren’t just about squashing free radicals; they’re also the masters of calm and soothing. They have a knack for taming inflammation, making your skin feel like it’s at a spa retreat.
Let’s give a shoutout to some of the standout antioxidants:
- Vitamin E: The reigning champion of fat-soluble vitamins. It’s all about defending against oxidation and lipid peroxidation, like a shield for your skin.
- Vitamin C: The water-soluble hero that works its magic in cellular fluid. It even helps vitamin E return to its natural form. Our C+ ascorbic acid complex is a powerhouse, reversing the damage caused by free radicals.
- Arnica: The speedster that zips up wound healing and dials down inflammation.
- Centella Asiatica: The anti-inflammatory powerhouse, ready to calm the storm.
- Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF): These amino acids are like the repair crew, healing skin injuries and kickstarting cell proliferation.
- Ergothioneine (L): A naturally derived amino acid with potent antioxidant properties.
- Glucosamine HCI (D): The anti-glycation wizard that lends a helping hand.
- Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids: The skin-building rockstars, with linoleic and oleic acid leading the charge against inflammation.
- Peptides: These protein pros involve activating tissue growth factor (TGF) and cranking up collagen production.
- Cinnamon: Adding a dash of spice to your skincare routine, known for its antioxidant properties.
- Green Tea: Sipping this tea is a treat, but applying it to your skin is a game-changer. It’s a well-known antioxidant powerhouse.
- L-Glutathione: The ultimate detoxifier, fighting free radicals and helping your skin look its best.
- Resveratrol: Found in red wine (cheers!), this antioxidant is famous for its anti-ageing properties.
- Steryl Glycyrrhizinate (Extracts from Licorice): A soothing and skin-loving addition to the antioxidant team.
- Superoxide Dismutase: The enzyme that knows how to disarm superoxide radicals.
- Grape Seed Extract: A true gem among antioxidants, packed with protective powers.
- Coenzyme Q10: We’ve met this superhero before; it’s the turbocharger for your skin’s batteries
- Sea Buckthorn Oil: The natural oil that brings its antioxidant might to the mix.
- Butcher’s Broom: The botanical buddy that supports skin health.
- Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract (Plant Stem Cell): The inflammation whisperer that helps calm the skin.
- Astaxanthin: It supports your skin’s collagen layer, helps reduce fine lines and age spots, and supports hydration.
- Coenzyme Q10: This is an important antioxidant that’s naturally produced by the body but declines with age. When supplemented (especially in its bioactive ubiquinol form), it increases your natural levels, which leads to enhanced cellular energy, rejuvenation, and decreased lipid breakdown.
- Pomegranate whole fruit extract: This can improve photoprotection in the skin, meaning your skin cells are better equipped to deal with damaging UV rays. For example, one trial (3) found that pomegranate extract increased skin resilience against UVB rays and changes to the skin microbiome.
It’s like a treasure trove of skincare superheroes with unique superpowers. With these new recruits, your skincare arsenal is like an elite squad ready to take on any challenge, keeping your skin youthful, fresh, and radiant.
An Antioxidant Rich Diet
In addition, a healthy diet loaded with antioxidants is like a secret weapon for overall skin health. Here’s where to find these skin-loving antioxidants in food:
Vitamin C: Load up on camu camu, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, guava, and citrus fruits.
Vitamin A: Look for this gem in carrots, kale, spinach, pumpkin, liver, and cantaloupe.
Vitamin E: Find this protector in olive oil, walnut oil, wheat germ oil, oats, tomatoes, and carrots.]
Bioflavonoids: You’ll uncover these beauties in citrus fruits, berries, onions, tea, red wine, dark chocolate, and sea buckthorn.]\
Polyphenols: Berries, tea, dark chocolate, walnuts, peanuts, and pomegranates are your go-to sources.
To conclude. The naked truth
So, as we established, antioxidants are the superheroes of your skincare routine. They are crucial in combating free radicals, preventing oxidative stress, and protecting your skin from premature ageing and damage.
Whether you get antioxidants from a healthy diet rich in colourful fruits and vegetables or incorporate them into your skincare routine, their benefits are undeniable.
They work synergistically to maintain a youthful, vibrant complexion, neutralise free radicals, reduce inflammation, support collagen production, and promote skin healing.
So, whether you’re savouring a plate of colourful berries or indulging in skincare products packed with these skincare superheroes, you’re giving your skin the love and protection it deserves.
Antioxidants are not just a trend but a fundamental part of any effective skincare routine, and here’s the exciting part: the world of antioxidants is ever-evolving. New antioxidants are constantly being discovered, so keep your eyes peeled for the latest skincare superheroes.
It’s a thrilling journey we are sure you will love to take towards healthier, happier skin.
1. Antioxidants in dermatology.
2. Free radicals and extrinsic skin ageing.
3. Pomegranate Juice and Extract Consumption Increases the Resistance to UVB-induced Erythema and Changes the Skin Microbiome.