I’ll cut right to the chase: Antioxidants are not just a beauty industry buzzword. Antioxidants are actually important in skin care because they reduce (and even reverse!) the effects of aging.
No one can escape the daily harmful effects of oxidative damage to our skin. We expose ourselves to environmental factors every day, like ultraviolet light, pollution, alcohol, cigarette smoke, and even stress. On a molecular level, these factors amount to an increase in free radicals – which lead to more wrinkles, fine lines, discoloration, and sagging skin.
The definition of an antioxidant is any molecule that neutralizes a free radical. Antioxidants is neutralize or “stop” free radicals from doing damage to your body caused by oxidative stress.
Antioxidants Protect Against Free Radicals
Antioxidants are important in skin care because they protect against free radicals that age the skin. But what exactly are free radicals? And why should we care about them? Free radicals damage the skin by altering:
- Fatty layers in the cellular membrane, which controls which nutrients pass in and out
- DNA within cells, increasing the risk of wrinkles and sagging
- Collagen and Elastin fibers, resulting in sagging skin, appearance of fine lines, deeper wrinkles, and larger pores
Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage cells, and they play a role in everything from cancer to wrinkles. A free radical molecule is missing an electron, which makes it unstable. By nature, it wants to re-stabilize itself, so it steals an electron from the nearest molecule, transforming the donor molecule into a free radical, creating a chain reaction. This can trigger several mechanisms affecting skin aging, as well as damage to your organs and other serious health conditions.
The Benefits of Using Antioxidants in Your Skin Care Routine
There are plenty of reasons to add antioxidants to your skin care routine.
- Improve the overall texture and tone of your skin
- Brightens and revitalizes dull skin
- Soothes inflammation
- Slows down the effects of UV and environmental damage on the skin
- Eliminates free radicals that cause the skin to age
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Most Effective Antioxidants
Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals and prevent them from causing damage to the skin. So incorporating antioxidants into your skin care routine can help to keep your skin looking young and healthy.
Look for these ingredients in your skin care to make sure you’re getting antioxidants:
Boost Antioxidants in Your Skin Care Regimen
There are many different antioxidants out there, so it’s important to choose one that is right for your skin type. And of course, as with any skin care product, be sure to use it as directed and never forget to apply sunscreen!