I am constantly being asked about antioxidants. What are they? What do they do and why do I like them so much in skin care?
Firstly, it is important to remember that the skin is the body’s largest organ. Antioxidants are chemicals that protect the skin cells from the inside by neutralising external forces (such as damage from the sun, pollution, wind, and temperature.
Antioxidants are necessary because they combat free radicals. Free radicals are by-products that are formed when oxygen is used by the body. They start a chain reaction under the skin’s surface, which begins a process of destruction. Without getting too technical, the aftermath of this reaction is that the structure of the skin is damaged and the cellular structure is weakened.
Antioxidants in skincare products can do a lot for the health and appearance of your skin, including reducing the signs of ageing. It is interesting to note that antioxidants work 25% better applied topically then taken internally for the skin.
To get the maximum benefit and best results from antioxidants in skincare, you need a range of different antioxidants. Green Tea for example has EGCG (epigallocatechin-3 gallate) that protects the DNA in skin cells from sun damage, pomegranate has ellagic and punicic acid and these two antioxidants are outstanding free radical scavengers. Coenzyme Q10 is another, as is Vitamin A. And don’t forget the those super berries, Blueberry, Raspberry (high sun protection Cranberry, Blackcurrant all have different antioxidants that the skin needs to minimise age spots and reduce inflammation. Black raspberry is one of nature’s most potent antoxidants by virtue of the fact it contains up to 85% EFAs (essential fatty acids) and is high in linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids. They are all cell communicators.
So, when it comes to good skincare the old adage of strength in numbers is the way to go.