Antioxidants protect the skin from sun and environmental damage. The skin naturally contains antioxidants such as Vitamin E and superoxide dismutase (SOD), however, these are rapidly used up when the skin is exposed to sun. For this reason, applying antioxidants in a topical cream, eating a diet rich in antioxidants and taking antioxidant supplements can boost the skin’s defense against the sun and other environmental damage such as cigarette smoke and pollution.
What is the best antioxidant?
There is no one best antioxidant, in fact they work better when they are combined with other antioxidants. Think of antioxidants like a football team. They are much stronger with many good players on the team than they would be with only one good player. For this reason, you want to get as many antioxidants as you can- in your diet, skin care products and as supplements. Luckily- antioxidants can be delicious and are found in red wine, coffee, green tea, dark chocolate, fruits and vegetables and spices such as ginger, curcumin, oregano, dill, thyme, rosemary, peppermint, and coriander. Cosmeceutical ingredients that are strong antioxidants include argan oil, green tea, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and resveratrol. The packaging and formulations of antioxidants is very important. Your doctor will help you choose the best ingredients and formulations for your Baumann Skin Type®.
What are antioxidants used for?
Antioxidants are used to prevent skin aging, lessen skin inflammation such as rashes, rosacea and sunburn, and to prevent skin discoloration. Vitamin C is a unique antioxidant because it can stimulate the skin to increase collagen production (which makes the skin stronger and improves fine lines) and can lighten skin discoloration in addition to being a strong antioxidant.
What is a free radical?
Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules generated by UV rays, pollution, and lifestyle factors like alcohol and cigarette smoke. Inside the skin, free radicals damage skin cells, cell membranes, DNA and proteins such as collagen and elastin. This damage can lead to visible signs of skin aging, inflammation and even skin cancer. Antioxidants “neutralize” free radicals rendering them harmless. The problem is- the antioxidant can only neutralize one free radical before it loses the ability to do so. For that reason your skin needs a constant supply of antioxidants. Several different antioxidants working together as a team can neutralize more free radicals.
Antioxidants and sunscreen
Research has shown that sunscreen only blocks 55% of the free radicals generated by the sun’s UV rays. Using sunscreen and an effective antioxidant together on a daily basis provides maximum protection against daily sun exposure that leads to visible signs of aging and skin cancer.