Antioxidants are everywhere in skincare, rightfully so, and are a buzzword of the industry if you will. But if you’ve ever stopped to wonder exactly how and what antioxidants do for the skin and body, then this article is for you.
Let’s start off with the terminology
Free radicals are oxygen-containing molecules produced by the body in response to bodily processes and environmental factors. They can be found in food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink - think fried food, alcohol, tobacco smoke, pesticides, and air pollutants. Although essential to our immune system in fighting off germs and viruses, an excess of free radicals can also cause damage to fatty tissue, DNA and proteins in the body - leading to more serious diseases in the long term. Antioxidants fight such free radicals by neutralizing their effect by donating an electron and promoting cellular stability in the body. Examples of well-known antioxidants include the vitamins A, C, D, and E. Oxidative stress describes a condition that occurs if there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants. Lastly, phytonutrients are components found in colorful vegetables and fruits that are rich in antioxidants.
Plants have their own defenses to fight off oxidative damage
Which is why plant-based foods such as berries, tea, coffee and chocolate are plentiful sources of these molecules. Now at this point you might wonder, why aren’t we stuffing our bodies with antioxidant supplements if they have so much good in store for us? However, over-ingesting antioxidants can cause a toxic effect that would promote rather than prevent oxidative damage. This condition is known as the ‘antioxidant paradox", and just like oxidative stress, an excess of antioxidants in one's body could also lead to dire health problems, like stroke and cancer. It's still best to consume antioxidants in moderation, as part of a well-balanced and healthy diet filled with rich foods and substances.
The skin produces free radicals all the time - it's a natural process of metabolism!
Similar to internal bodily processes, the skin, due to a mix of environmental and internal factors, is also liable to producing free radicals. As these molecules wreck havoc on the cellular structures of our epidermis, it gives rise to a hose of common skin woes, such as inflammation, pigmentation, wrinkling, and more. Thus, the objective of anti-aging skincare packed with antioxidants – to combat against these damages and return skin to a healthier, more youthful state. Depending on the type of antioxidant, their functions include stimulating collagen production, lightening pigmentation and scars, moisturizing, reducing the appearance of fine lines, smoothening the skin, improving skin elasticity and overall complexion. They contribute towards slowing down signs of extrinsic aging and help restore the skin to an optimum balance of antioxidant to free radicals.
We don’t just praise antioxidants here at akar – we pack our products full of them! Our star ingredients Sea Buckthorn (rich in vitamin C) and Goji Berry (rich in vitamins C and E) help to rejuvenate and protect the skin from all kinds of environmental harms. That's the very reason why we've included them in all our products!
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