Antioxidants & Aging
Antioxidants are one of the most talked about topics in the skincare industry. To understand what antioxidants are, and how they contribute to the aging process, it’s important to first understand what oxidation is.
Oxidation happens when oxygen combines with other molecules and starts the deterioration process. For example, when you cut into an apple, and it turns brown, that’s oxidation. Oxygen “rusts” the fruit, just as it does the iron on an old truck bumper.
The same thing happens to skin over time. As we age, the skin’s natural defense system begins to get weaker, losing its ability to fight the oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable extra electrons that that are attracted to electrons from healthy cells, corrupting the healthy cells and turning them into more free radicals. They cause DNA damage at the cellular level, which is reflected in the skin in the form of age spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and dull complexion. The internal effects are just as damaging, but often aren’t as noticeable.
Free radicals are generated by our environment, life choices, pollution, UVB rays from sun exposure, cigarette smoke, and many other toxic environmental and lifestyle factors. It’s impossible to avoid them, but entirely possible to fight back.
Just like putting lemon juice on a cut apple would keep it from turning brown, putting antioxidants in your body and on your skin can help right free radical damage. Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant in the lemon juice, halts the oxidation process, keeping it fresher, longer. The same rule applies to adding antioxidants to your diet and your skincare routine.
There are thousands of vitamins, foods, and chemicals that act as antioxidants that help to cancel out the negative effects of free radicals, which can dramatically slow down, and in some cases, reverse the signs of aging. Eating a healthy diet of foods rich in antioxidants will help increase the fight against free radical damage and oxidative stress, and using supplements and skincare rich in antioxidants can slow down the signs of again, and promote a healthier, more youthful appearance.