Friday, June 14, 2019

What Are Antioxidants?

“Antioxidant” is a big buzz word in the health and beauty industry. But what exactly are antioxidants, and what do they do for your skin? Keep reading to find out!

What Are Antioxidants? 

Before we get into antioxidants, let’s talk about free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive compounds that can damage our body’s cells, leading to premature aging and even cancer.

Some free radicals come from outside sources like UV rays, smoking, or pollution. But some free radicals occur naturally in our bodies, as a defense against viruses and harmful bacteria. However, this can be a case of “too much of a good thing”, and any extra free radicals can bind to and damage the cells in your body.

While we can reduce our exposure to excess free radicals by following healthy habits, we can’t avoid them entirely. That’s why it’s so important to incorporate plenty of antioxidants into your lifestyle.

Antioxidants are compounds that stop or delay damage to cells by neutralizing harmful free radicals. Antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E are found in many foods, especially plant-based foods. Thus, eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits can increase your antioxidant intake and reduce free radical damage to your cells.

Benefits of Antioxidants for Skin 

Free radicals can also cause damage that leads to premature aging and even skin cancer. Luckily, there are some ways to lower the amount of free radicals that interact with your skin, like:

  • Wearing sunscreen daily, even if the weather is cloudy 
  • Not smoking cigarettes and avoiding secondhand smoke 
  • Limiting your alcohol intake 
  • Washing your face after spending extended periods outdoors if you live in an area with a lot of air pollution 

Of course, your daily habits can only do so much to diminish your free radical exposure. Free radicals are everywhere! Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can definitely help to neutralize free radicals, thus fighting inflammation and visible signs of aging. But using skincare products formulated with antioxidants can also effectively delay skin aging.

How to Incorporate Antioxidants into Your Skincare Routine 

When shopping for skincare products with antioxidants, look for the below ingredients. Since oftentimes the antioxidants are contained in a botanical ingredient, we’ve also added the names of plant-based ingredients to search for.

Vitamin C - Boosts collagen production and fades dark spots. Vitamin C may also appear as ascorbic acid. Melon fruit extract is an example of a botanical ingredient that is rich in vitamin C.  
Vitamin A - Boosts cell renewal and repair. Sweet almond oil, shea butter, jojoba seed oil, and melon fruit extract are all excellent sources of vitamin A. 
Vitamin E - Promotes skin healing. Look for vitamin E in the form of plant oils like avocado oil, sweet almond oil, shea butter, and jojoba seed oil.  
Coenzyme Q10 - Stimulates collagen production.  
Niacinamide - Improves skin texture and tone.  
Polyphenols - Prevent UV-induced skin damage. Some examples of plant-based ingredients that include polyphenols include aloe, Lupinus albus (white lupin) seed extract, Camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, and Vitis vinifera (grape) leaf extract.  
Carnosine - Prevents glycation, one of the top causes of premature aging. 
Flavonoids - Reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. To add more flavonoids into your skincare routine, look for ingredients like Chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, Nelumbium speciosum (lotus) flower extract, and Vitis vinifera (grape) leaf extract. 

Our goal is to keep your skin healthy, which is why Herbacin skincare products are formulated with plenty of plant-based antioxidants.

How do you incorporate more antioxidants into your lifestyle? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comment section below.