You may know about the importance of incorporating antioxidants in your diet to help protect cells against damage, heart disease and cancer. Well, they’re equally beneficial to incorporate into your topical skincare routine.
Antioxidants are naturally found in many plant sources including nuts, fruits and veggies. They provide our bodies and skin with protection against environmental stressors, inflammation and more. Daily exposure to free radicals such as UV light and micro-pollutants (hello, traffic jams and constant city construction work) takes a toll on your skin. Your body can address and neutralize some amount of exposure - it even produces free radicals as a means to fight disease - but when the balance tips, free radicals attack healthy cells, create oxidative stress, and leave skin more vulnerable to photo-damage. In short, get ready for an appearance of fine lines, sunspots, sagging and roughly textured skin, and in some cases, skin cancer.
Even prolonged or frequent periods of stress manifest in your skin over time. Stress creates inflammation in your body which inhibits skin cells from their healthy routine function, and accelerates the breakdown of collagen and elastin. Stressed skin can show earlier signs of wrinkles, sagging, acne, and flare-ups of rosacea, eczema or psoriasis (in those who are prone to it). Again, antioxidants come to the rescue in reducing inflammation and supporting healthy cell function so that your skin can better repair itself.
AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION (plus a little more)
Getting quality sources of antioxidants as part of your daily skincare routine gives you a daily dose of preventative protection against daily exposure. In the case of Vitamins A and C, you’ll even see corrective results like a decrease in existing sunspots, firmer and brighter skin. We’ll put antioxidants right up there in importance with a good, daily SPF and the principle is the same - apply daily for the long-haul for healthier and more radiant skin.
Vitamin C. Clinically shown to brighten skin, reduce and limit new signs of photo-damage including sunspots, fine lines, sagging skin. It also stimulates collagen production which helps to keep skin firmer. Here’s a key tip when choosing your Vitamin C product: look for products in opaque (as opposed to clear) packaging. This vitamin can oxidate and lose potency when exposed to light so it should be in an opaque bottle and stored in a cabinet or somewhere away from direct light.
Vitamin A. The base from which Retinol is formulated, Vitamin A stimulates collagen production and speeds up new cell production. Think of this as your all-around corrective treatment: new healthy cells displace damaged cells (whether replacing acne-scarred spots or dark spots) and plumping up fine lines, boosting firmness, and slowing down the appearance of crepey-loose skin. While retinol must be slowly eased into your routine, is hard if not impossible to find in a non-toxic formulation, causes irritation for most people, and is even off-limits for pregnant and nursing women, Vitamin A is a clean and gentle version that is acceptable for most, even those with sensitive skin concerns.
Polyphenols. A group of about 4,000 plant-based antioxidants, polyphenols reduce inflammation, fight cell damage and skin cancer. Found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, flowers and tree barks, you’ve probably seen some of the hero polyphenols pop up in skincare ingredients - green tea seed, lycopene from tomatoes, pomegranate, cacao, citrus, ferulic acid, and resveratrol.
CoenzymeQ10. Also known as Q10, this antioxidant is naturally present in our bodies, helping to keep skin firm and plump, but this natural supply diminishes as we age. Studies have shown that applying Q10 topically is effective at both the surface and deeper layers of skin, providing protection from short-term free radical exposure and long-term anti-aging benefits.
SHOP IT: Indie Lee CoQ10 Toner
Vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that also helps soothe and heal irritated, inflamed or damaged skin.
Vitamin B3 / Niacinamide. Niacinamide, or Vitamin B3, is a gentle but powerful antioxidant that fights fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. It also combats inflammation, and helps to maintain a healthy skin barrier function which is key to keeping skin hydrated and protected against irritation.
GET CLEAN BEAUTY NEWS, TIPS + SPECIALS: