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Antioxidants can really do a number to help your skin look vibrant and healthy. What's the rave about antioxidants? As we get older, our skin naturally loses its elasticity, bounce, and firm structure. The epidermis, which is the top layer of skin, starts to thin and dry out over time. The rate at which cells die and are replaced slows down tremendously, and dead cells pile up, making the skin feel rough. Melanocytes, which are our pigment cells, get bigger as we age. This can look like spots or higher instances of pigmentation. Collagen and elastin fibers in the dermis (the main layer of skin) become thinner and more damaged, and the skin's ability to repair them decreases. This causes sagging and wrinkles. The fat in the hypodermis (the skin's bottom layer) shrinks, which causes lines, folds, loss of volume, and sagging. These changes consequently cause the obvious signs of maturing.

One factor that can accelerate this whole process (aka premature aging) and harm your skin's health is oxidative damage from free radicals. How does this process work, and how does it affect your skin's health?

To understand oxidative damage, we need to know a little bit about science and molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are molecules with an odd number of electrons that are not stable. In other words, free radicals have an electron that doesn't have a partner in crime. This is problematic because the unstable, or free molecule will start looking for other electrons in the skin to bring itself back into balance. This process causes stress at the molecular level, which is where the word "oxidative stress or oxidative damage" comes from.

The Skin & Oxidative Damage
Once a molecule is unstable, it is not safe for its environment. The only way to fix it is to find another electron. This goal makes oxidation happen. In classical chemistry, oxidation is defined as a chemical reaction in which an atom, molecule, or ion loses one or more electrons. Like most things in life, the free radical will take the path of least resistance and go for something easy to get, like water, which is abundant in your skin. The "O" in the chemical makeup of water stands for oxygen, which is a good place for free radicals to steal their extra electron. This process hurts good cells and sets off a chain reaction inside the body that is reflective of the skin.

Although free radicals are a natural process in the human body, the goal is to create the perfect environment for health and minimize the degradation of healthy cells. Whether there are intrinsic (internal) or extrinsic (external) occurrences of free radicals, protection is key!  Outside sources can include UV radiation, smoking, environmental toxins, smoking, a poor diet, stress, and more. Both inside and outside factors contribute to a rise in free radicals overall, especially when they finally manifest on the skin's surface.

How Can You Minimize Them?
We can fight reactive stress by minimizing the occurrence of free radical development! We can do things like leave a stressful job, get enough sleep, quit smoking, eat a balanced, whole food-enriched diet, minimize toxin or pollution exposure, and protect our skin from the sun's UV rays to change some of these things. The other way to stop damage from oxidation is to use antioxidants. Antioxidants are natural compounds that are mostly found in plant-based foods and counteract harmful free radicals in the body. Antioxidants in skin care products are my favorites because they also reduce the damage done by reactive oxygen species and free radicals and provide an optimal environment for healthy tissue to thrive. Consequently, slowing down the effects of premature aging on the skin.

We often try different skin care products and treatments in our quest for healthy skin. But antioxidants are a key factor that we should pay attention to. These powerful compounds are good for our skin in many ways. Here are 5 simple ways to benefit from antioxidants in your skincare:

1. Protection from free radicals: Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage our skin. They are a result of things like stress, UV rays, and pollution. Antioxidants are like a shield. They stop these dangerous molecules from causing oxidative stress by neutralizing them. Antioxidants help keep the skin's natural defenses in good shape by preventing damage from free radicals. This gives the skin a healthier and more durable appearance.

2. Age management properties: One of the most sought-after benefits of antioxidants is their ability to promote healthy aging. As we get older, our skin makes less collagen, which makes fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging appear. Antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, help speed up the production of collagen, which makes skin stronger and more elastic. Also, they can lessen the look of age spots and hyperpigmentation, making the skin tone look more even.

3. Calming inflammation: Skin diseases like acne, rosacea, and eczema often cause chronic inflammation, which makes the skin red, itchy, and uncomfortable. Antioxidants have qualities that help calm and soothe skin that is red and irritated. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation, which makes the skin less red and gives it a more even tone.

4. Better dermal repair: Environmental stresses can damage the skin's natural barrier, which can lead to dryness, sensitivity, and a skin barrier function that isn't as good as it could be. Antioxidants are very important for fixing and increasing this barrier, which helps the skin retain more moisture. This, in turn, helps to improve humidity, reduce water loss through the skin's surface, and give the skin a smoother, fuller feel.

5. Brightening and boosting radiance: Antioxidants can help revive dull and lifeless skin. These chemicals stop melanin, the pigment that causes dark spots and uneven skin tone, from being made. By stopping the skin from making melanin, vitamins can help the skin look brighter and healthier.

Adding antioxidants to your skin care routine can help your skin in many ways. These powerful compounds are a must-have in any skincare routine because they protect against free radicals and make the skin look younger and brighter. Whether you put them on your skin or eat lots of antioxidant-rich foods, antioxidants will help you get healthier, stronger, and more radiant skin. Why wait? Start getting the amazing benefits of antioxidants today by reserving a facial to get you started and you'll find the key to looking healthier.



Impact of visible light on skin health: The role of antioxidants and free radical quenchers in skin protection. (2021, December 20). Impact of Visible Light on Skin Health: The Role of Antioxidants and Free Radical Quenchers in Skin Protection - ScienceDirect.

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