What are antioxidants?
To understand what antioxidants are, it is necessary to talk about what free radicals are first. Antioxidants are compounds that counteract free radicals, which are highly reactive and unstable molecules that damage DNA, cell membranes, and other parts of cells. To get a little more scientific, free radicals are any molecules in your body that have an unpaired electron, which constantly look for other compounds to bind to and damage other healthy cells in the process.
Unfortunately free radicals are part of life - they are everywhere an inescapable. Our bodies generate free radicals during activities like digestion and vigorous exercise but also as a response to environmental stress such as tobacco smoke, air pollution, UV light exposure. Some other environmental toxins like ionizing radiation and certain metals may cause very high levels of free radicals to be produce in the body.
Free radicals aren't necessarily bad on their own. They are a natural byproduct of normal processes in cells. It is a problem when free radicals are produced in excess and because they are so reactive, they damage cells through a process called oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is believed to be a contributing factor to the development of a number of conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, and aging-related macular degeneration.
Antioxidants are known as free radical scavengers and work against oxidative stress. They neutralize free radicals by lending an electron, making it less reactive. Antioxidants help your immune system function more efficiently and reduce chronic inflammation by stabilizing these free radicals. Antioxidants may also help repair DNA and cell membranes.
Antioxidants in skincare
It is without a doubt that antioxidants are great for your body. You can either eat your antioxidants through fruits and vegetables or put them on your skin! Antioxidants in skincare can defend your skin from environmental stressors that change your skin overtime. Antioxidants are great at softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and overall increase your skin's health, luminosity and vitality. Of course it is crucial to use SPF daily, which pairs excellently with antioxidants. No amount of antioxidants can save your skin from the sun like sunscreen can!
Here are some of the best antioxidants you can incorporate into your skincare routine. On top of providing protection from free radical damage, these antioxidants do a variety of other amazing things for your skin:
1. Vitamin C
Benefits: improves skin tone and texture, fades hyperpigmentation and dark spots, reduces appearance of acne scars, stimulates collagen production, brightens overall skin tone, support skin's moisture barrier, may improve appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, repairs damaged skin and prevents premature aging.
2. Vitamin E
Benefits: anti-inflammatory, skin soothing, moisturizes the skin, supports wound healing.
3. Vitamin A
Benefits: speeds up skin cell turnover to create smoother skin, stimulates collagen production, diminishes appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, promotes collagen and elastin formation, reverses signs of sun damage, improves acne, reduces sebum production.
Benefits: anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, brightens skin tone, smoothes out appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, may inhibit growth of acne causing bacteria
5. Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)
Benefits: anti-inflammatory, regulates sebum production, increases ceramide production, lightens hyperpigmentation and dark spots, increases skin elasticity, reduces appearance of large pores, boosts collagen production, reduces acne lesions, reduces erethyma (skin redness).
6. Green Tea
Benefits: anti-inflammatory, skin soothing, reduces and balances sebum production, reduces appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, anti-carcinogenic (prevents the development of cancer), may help with acne.
Benefits: anti-inflammatory, brightens overall skin tone, lightens hyperpigmentation and dark spots, supports wound healing, reduces acne lesions, balances sebum production, anti-microbial, skin-soothing.
8. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Benefits: Evens skin tone, reduces sun damage, improves skin hydration, reduces appearance of wrinkles, skin soothing.
Have you tried the Calm Me Down antioxidant cleanser?
Our Calm Me Down cleanser contains 6 fruit extracts that are rich in antioxidants like Vitamin C which helps brightens overall skin tone and support your skin's moisture barrier. It also has high amounts of green tea water in the formula which calms the skin with its anti-inflammatory properties - perfect for reducing redness and controlling sebum production! The cleanser also includes turmeric extract which contains high amounts of curcumin - the potent antioxidant mentioned above that does so many great things for your skin.
Shop for our Calm Me Down Antioxidant cleanser here.