Touch your face, what do you feel? Look in the mirror, what do you see? You are looking at your largest organ and the part of you that everyone sees: your skin. Though often under appreciated, your skin performs many important physiological functions and is extremely susceptible to free radical damage. To function optimally and stay healthy, your skin needs nourishing with antioxidants from the inside and outside.
Our bodies are under continuous attack by free radicals, extremely reactive molecules produced by our environment and our bodies that damage cells and tissues. Signs of aging like wrinkles, pigmentation, sagging are all attributed to Free Radical damage. On the inside, free radical damage is implicated in various diseases including cancers, degenerative diseases, and inflammatory illnesses as well as the aging process itself .
Our body has a natural defense mechanism to protect itself from the danger of free radical attack: antioxidants. Antioxidants are specific vitamins, minerals, or nutrients that inactivate free radicals before they can damage cells. Hundreds of antioxidants exist; some, such as Alpha Lipoic Acid, the body produces whereas others, such as vitamins E and C, we must consume. They each function slightly differently but work together synergistically to keep the body and skin healthy.
Antioxidants and Skin
The skin is constantly exposed to free radicals produced by harmful pollutants in the environment and, most significantly, UV light. To maintain healthy, youthful skin we must ensure that our skin has enough antioxidants to adequately protect itself. We can deliver these antioxidants to our skin through diet, supplements, and topical products.
Simply consuming natural foods, vitamins, and supplements will not benefit the skin: topical antioxidants are essential. Internal supplementation improves the levels of antioxidants in skin cells, but research now shows that topical application delivers these important nutrients to the skin much more quickly . Science has concluded with clinical research that antioxidants used on the skin offer protection from UV damage, certain types of cancer, and reduce inflammation.
Topical formulations contain many different antioxidants: all skin is different so you will need to choose the right blend for your skin. Some are stronger than others and many offer additional health benefits. Vitamins C and E, two well-known antioxidants, are both essential for skin health. vitamin E provides excellent hydration benefits while vitamin C stimulates collagen production. Astaxanthin, a carotenoid, is 500 times more powerful than vitamin E and anti-inflammatory. Pycnogenol®helps on sensitive skin, inflammed skin, or even Rosacea .
These topical antioxidants, as well as others, will protect your skin and optimize skin health, but choose topical products carefully. Look for products that have effective concentrations of these important antioxidants and avoid products that contain potentially harmful ingredients such as mineral oil, petrolatum, and parabens.