Whether you eat antioxidants or put them on your skin they are vital to your health. When applied topically or eaten, antioxidants do the job of reducing environmental damage whether it is from the sun, pollution, or just the very air we breathe. Antioxidants inhibit free-radical damage and research is abundantly clear that doing so has remarkable benefits for all skin types.
From cancer to aging to illness or wrinkles— free-radical damage plays a role. Antioxidants are one of the major ways to slow the impact of free-radical damage. In fact, antioxidants are so important for the body (and skin is the body's largest organ!) they are being studied by thousands of scientists all over the world. In fact, many scientists think that if there is a fountain of youth, antioxidants could be in it!
When it comes to wrinkles, free-radical damage causes collagen and other vital skin functions to break down. A great antioxidant skin-care product, whether it comes in a liquid, gel, serum, lotion, or cream, should contain a potent assortment of stable antioxidants to interrupt free-radical damage and keep it from harming your skin.
There isn't one single miracle, exotic antioxidant with a great story (melons from the south of France or some rare flower from the Amazon) that works the best for your skin. Instead, there are dozens and dozens of effective antioxidants for skin, ranging from familiar ones like green tea, grape extract, or vitamin C, to names you may not be familiar with such as idebenone, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or superoxide dismutase. What counts is that the product you use contains a variety of these—and the more the better. Research has shown skin does better with a cocktail of effective antioxidants than just one. It's exciting news that many companies (including Paula's Choice) are including these in their formulas!
When we are young our skin is loaded with antioxidants that naturally protect our skin from the environment, especially sun damage. Primarily because of sun damage and in a more minor role other factors such as just growing up, menopause, disease, and using irritating skin-care products, our skin loses the ability to produce those antioxidants. If we don't get enough antioxidant protection, either from our own body's production, from dietary sources, or from topically applying antioxidants, free-radical damage wreaks havoc causing collagen to break down, DNA in our cells to mutate, impairing the skin's ability to heal, and on and on.
Although we know that topical application of antioxidants helps to reduce free-radical damage on the skin, the results aren't going to make you look 20 years younger. The claims attributed to these wonderful ingredients are more often than not inane or just out and out lies. In fact, you may not see much difference at all, but that doesn't mean antioxidants aren't truly helping your skin. There is research showing antioxidants can improve cell function, increase collagen production, improve elasticity, create healthier, younger skin cells, and reduce sun damage, but the improvement takes time, it isn't going to be overnight. And just like a healthy diet, the more potent antioxidants you use, the healthier and younger you will be.
Information on antioxidants and free-radical damage comes from a number of scientific journals, including these devoted to the subject of antioxidant research and activity: Free Radical Research, Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Antioxidants and Redox Signaling, Oxidative Stress and Aging, Journal of Anti-Aging Medicine, Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences, Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, Photomedicine, and Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences.
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