You might be reading this and be wondering, what are antioxidants?
….or maybe you have heard about them and know for a fact that they can cause some pretty visible changes on your skin.
But do you know how they really affect your skin? Are they good or bad? When they come in contact with your skin, what exactly do they do, and should you be avoiding skincare products that have antioxidants in them?
All these questions will be answered very soon, as you continue reading.
So, let’s get started…
What are antioxidants and why should I be concerned about them?
Antioxidants are vitamins and minerals that help reduce the production of free radicals and prevent them from doing any damage to your skin.
At this point, I have to explain what free radicals are.
Free radicals are highly reactive and unstable molecules in the body. They are unstable because they do not have electrons. In order to get stable, they feed off the electrons of healthy cells in your body, thereby damaging them.
When they increase more than necessary, they cause an imbalance between the rate at which your body produces free radicals, and the ability of your body system to fight against their harmful effects.
With your cells weakened, they make you vulnerable to health issues. For your skin, you might begin to notice premature aging signs and skin blemishes popping up.
What causes an increase in the production of free radicals?
Environment factors can trigger an increased production of free radicals. So, watch out for factors like sun rays, radiation, cigarette smoke, pollution, toxic chemicals, etc.
Back to antioxidants…
They ensure that these free radicals do not cause harm to your skin or your entire body system. See them as your skin’s protector. They keep your skin cells healthy and strong.
How do antioxidants affect your skin?
Antioxidants have a great effect on your skin. The good news is they make your skin better not worse.
Here are some of the things antioxidants do for your skin:
They reduce skin inflammation
One of the admirable qualities of antioxidants is that they are anti-inflammatory.
This means that they help to prevent inflammation of the skin, that is, they prevent your skin from becoming red and swollen.
They also reduce inflammation and prevent an already inflamed skin from getting worse. This, in turn, gives you an even skin tone and keeps wrinkles and acne far away from you.
Antioxidants such as green tea reduce inflammation in the skin by increasing blood circulation and cell metabolism within the skin.
Antioxidants make your skin firm
Antioxidants also help to make your skin firm and youthful.
They also tighten fine lines and smoothen uneven skin, leaving your skin smooth and soft.
This prevents your skin from becoming loose or saggy, reverses aging signs, improves your skin’s health and rejuvenates your skin.
They can be used to treat acne
Acne is an inflammatory disease.
With antioxidants, you neutralize the power of these radicals, which reduces the occurrence of acne.
Not only do they protect your skin and prevent toxins from penetrating into it, but they also stimulate skin healing which makes the process of treating acne faster.
They fasten the treatment of acne scars
Antioxidants do not just stop at treating acne but go ahead to treat acne scars that might occur.
They increase blood flow to scar tissue which reduces the appearance of the scar and makes it blend easily with the development of the new skin.
Aloe vera and allium in onions can help reduce the appearance of acne scars.
Common antioxidants found in skincare products
This can also be referred to as niacinamide.
It makes your skin barrier stronger which prevents toxins from penetrating your skin. It boost the effectiveness of other antioxidants, helps your skin to retain moisture, smoothens fine lines and brightens pigmentation.
Vitamin C helps to prevent oxidative stress caused by free radicals. It also counters the effects of the Ultra-violet rays from the sun and can be used in lightening dark spots and skin patches on the skin.
It also soothes, hydrates and boosts collagen production in your skin.
Vitamin C is sometimes written as L-ascorbic acid.
Green tea extract
Green tea is rich in plant polyphenols which increases your skin’s immunity, helps treat damage to the skin and fights against inflammation.
This promotes wound healing and makes it a great solution treating for psoriasis, rosacea, acne, etc.
It can be written as Camellia sinensis leaf extract on some products.
When you see retinol or retinoids in the ingredient list, it means the product contains Vitamin A.
Retinol is basically concentrated Vitamin A.
Retinol smoothens rough patches on the skin, fades scars, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, smoothens fine lines and helps to treat acne.
Vitamin E has great moisturizing properties.
It also acts as a strong shield for your skin against free radicals, prevents premature aging and keeps your skin soft and supple.
It helps to boost the healing process of your skin.
Do you remember how you were wondering if antioxidants are good for your skin at the beginning? I am sure you have your answer now.
Antioxidants are great for your skin. When you buy your skincare products, you should watch out for these ingredients.
It doesn’t stop there. Most fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants. So, not only can you apply these antioxidants on your skin. You can also eat your antioxidants.
Cheers to a skin protected from free radicals.