Antioxidants Defend Against Premature Aging
Premature aging can have many causes. Genetics can play a significant role, but photoaging from the sun is also a big player. Sun damage and free radicals are substantial players in what affects the rate at which we age.
Up to 85% of extrinsic aging (premature aging caused by environmental factors) can be reversed. Antioxidants help keep skin healthy with beneficial nutrients to ward off oxidative stress done by the sun, inflammation, and free radicals.
"Antioxidant" is a word that I'm sure you have heard of before. But what does it mean? Many products claim to contain synthetic or natural antioxidants. But, unfortunately, many of these claims are false.
Most natural skin care lines contain antioxidants, which perform some tasks for the health of your skin. Watch out, though! Look for natural products with the most natural ingredients. The best antioxidants are naturally derived from fruits and other plants.
What is an Antioxidant?
You may know what these cells do if you have heard this term before. Additionally, when we choose not to eat healthy foods, cells, called free radicals, develop in our skin.
These are especially common in photoaged skin, as the UV rays can oxidize the atoms that cause premature aging. These free radicals then begin to race through our bodies, oxidizing anything they come into contact with.
If left unchecked, free radicals can eventually cause skin cancer, as they both rapidly replicate and cause other cells to reproduce quickly.
The accelerated aging posed by these free radicals is visible on the skin through lines and wrinkles. In addition, discoloration, redness, blotchy, and rough skin may also appear.
We have recently discovered that women who often tanned in the sun or on UV beds develop more fine lines and wrinkles than women who did not undergo this routine. Sun exposure can cause the face to age faster and accelerate the signs of aging.
Free radicals are tiny little molecules that attach themselves to and harm our skin. Environmental pollution can cause free radicals. However, antioxidants attach themselves to free radicals, so they cannot cause harm and premature aging.
One term thrown around a lot is "free radicals." The skincare industry quickly responds, adapts, and develops to meet the demand for younger, healthier skin.
The name may make them sound edgy and exciting, but these destructive little guys are rotten eggs that no one needs lurking around in their bodies. The best anti-aging skincare products help fight these little villains by nourishing and strengthening skin cells.
What is a Free Radical, and How do they Work?
Think back to the old days in biology class. Atoms contain an equal number of protons and electrons. Think of how these molecules affect the body and accelerate the formation of wrinkles and sagging skin.
When atoms, for some reason, don't have this balance, they will typically play nicely with like atoms to make up the correct number, thereby stabilizing the molecule. Alternatively, the particle will acquire or discard electrons to equalize itself.
Sometimes bonds between atoms break. Typically, this works out fine, and the split will happen in a way that leaves everyone happy and balanced. But if the bond is weak or compromised, the separation can cause free radicals to form. In other words, a molecule that is short in electrons.
The resulting fragment needs to steal an electron from somewhere to stabilize itself, and it doesn't care where it gets that electron – healthy skin is fair game.
The problem is that when the free radicals steal from other parts of the body, that molecule then becomes a free radical. It's now short an electron; thus, the process turns into a domino effect, with free radicals multiplying everywhere. Over time, cells become so compromised by this process that they die – this causes aging.
Other Causes of Free Radicals
Meanwhile, the body occasionally produces these molecules to fight viruses or bacteria. However, too many can come into play due to environmental or lifestyle circumstances such as UV exposure, smoking, pollution, and poor diet.
When free radicals get out of control, the results can be anything from premature wrinkles to a higher risk of severe diseases like cancer.
Antioxidants in Skincare
The best anti-aging skincare products contain antioxidants to ward off free radicals. They are often in ingredients such as Alpha Lipoic Acid and Vitamin C ester. Antioxidants work by donating one of their electrons to free radicals.
Typically, this would cause another unstable molecule to become a free radical. But antioxidants can function whether they have that electron or not. This gives them the power to neutralize the age-promoting effects of these thieves.
Skincare products with Vitamins C and E, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Co-enzyme Q10, Selenium, and Retinoids will help your skin fight premature aging.
What You Can Do
There's no cure for aging. But specific steps can slow the process and increase the chances of avoiding premature aging caused by free radicals. You can rescue your complexion. In addition to keeping a supply of the best anti-aging skincare products from Skin Perfection on-hand, other best practices include:
- Starting every single day with a dose of sunscreen – regardless of weather, location, or time of year
- Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits.
- Taking a high-quality vitamin supplement if you are not getting proper nutrition every day
- Using a skincare product with vitamin A
Simple steps can help reduce the effects of free radicals and help keep your skin younger-looking and more beautiful.
Spin Trap (the "Smart Antioxidant") is a newer antioxidant that controls free radicals and turns them into healthy nutrients the skin can reuse.
Antioxidants are abundant in fruits and leafy green vegetables. Getting antioxidants through a healthy diet is the best way to accumulate a healthy, functioning body. However, if your food isn't as good as it should be, you can supplement it with a multivitamin and use topical serums.
- Beta-carotene is obtained from fruits and mainly orange veggies: Cantaloupe, carrots, pumpkin, apricots, and sweet potatoes.
- Lutein, which keeps your eyes healthy, is found in kale, spinach, and other leafy green veggies.
- Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes. You can also find it in watermelon, papaya, and grapefruit.
- Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is in citrus fruit, cantaloupe, strawberries, and papaya.
How do Antioxidants Benefit Skin?
The best way to counteract the effects of aging is by using a skincare product that contains antioxidants. These essential molecules absorb quickly into the skin. As a result, they begin to protect skin cells from the havoc that free radicals can cause. Additionally, they hunt and neutralize those free radicals, allowing them to be removed from the skin.
Potent antioxidants are great for improving the appearance of aging skin and enhancing the vibrancy of the complexion. The enzymes are a catalyst that encourages our cells to work more efficiently. As a result, antioxidants protect the skin from premature aging. In addition, they give your skin a chance to undo the photodamage that begins to appear.
Our bodies need to have antioxidants replenished continuously. If not, free radicals can get the upper hand, and oxidation can occur. For example, oxidation happens to apples that are exposed to air.
Our once-healthy collagen and elastin that kept our skin firm and supple disappears. Consequently, the fibroblast cells that generate collagen and elastin are cross-linked.
Pollution and Your Skin
Today, we live in an age where environmental pollution bombards us, from chemicals in the air to everyday items we touch containing BPA. As a result, our skin is continuously exposed to smog and smoke, while chemicals pollute our grass.
We are exposed to harmful chemicals that continue to grow. This abundance of chemicals we come into contact with has contributed to early aging. The inflammation we are unable to see what occurs in our bodies shows on the outside as premature wrinkles.
Below are some examples of where you can get antioxidants naturally. Loading up on these substances can help your body win the battle over oxidative stress. If you cannot have a diet rich in natural sources of green leafy vegetables and fruit, take a vitamin supplement to help curb the effects of free radicals.
Where are Antioxidants Found?
Mostly plants! You will see them as Vitamin A (beta-carotene), C, and E (tocopherol). You may also see them as Astaxanthin, Lycopene, Resveratrol, Selenium, or Turmeric.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid: ALA is from plant or animal sources.
- Carotenoids: The bright orange, red, and green phytonutrients. They can be found in leafy vegetables and fleshy parts of fruits.
- Co-enzyme Q10: Naturally stored in our body. However, our stores decrease after age 20.
- DMAE: Dimethylaminoethanol, found in salmon.
- Flavonoids: EGCG Epigallocatechin Gallate from Green Tea, Resveratrol in Red Wine, and Soy Isoflavones.
- Vitamin C: Naturally found in vegetables and fruits like strawberries and oranges.
- Vitamin E: Contains potent tocotrienols from Rice Bran Oil.
- Super-fruit Cantaloupe Melon Antioxidants.
Examples of antioxidants include:
- Super Fruits: Commonly found in Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Pomegranates, Cranberries, and Goji Berries.
- Vitamins: Coenzyme Q10, Idebenone.
- Dermaceuticals: Spin Trap.
- Spices: Turmeric.
For more information on antioxidants and their role in aging, visit Wikipedia.