Today, the word “antioxidant” is a hot buzzword. From skincare products to natural health foods, someone is always raving about their products and the antioxidants within. Antioxidants are generally important for our overall health, and are especially beneficial to our skin as they help to combat free radicals.
Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, like dominoes. Their chief danger comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs.
Free radicals may be formed through natural human physiological processes as well as from the environment. They may be the result of diet, stress, smoking, alcohol, exercise, inflammation, drugs or exposure to sunlight and air pollutants. Free radicals may form spontaneously or they may be the result of something in the environment. Sometimes the body’s immune system creates them to neutralize viruses and bacteria.
Free radicals are implicated in the overall aging process and are responsible for photo-aging, cancer and inflammation in the skin. They can cause premature aging, skin cancer and cell death. To prevent free radical damage, the body has a defense system of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are molecules which can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction before vital molecules are damaged. Although there are several enzyme systems within the body that scavenge free radicals, the body cannot manufacture the principle micronutrient (vitamin) antioxidants are vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. The body cannot manufacture these micronutrients so they must be supplied from an outside source.
HOW DO ANTIOXIDANTS
Help My Skin?
Our skin is the largest organ of the body (Shocking, right?). Its function is to keep the outside environment outside the body. So, considering the skin is the first to get hit with the free radical “nasties”, it is important to treat it with diligent care. Antioxidants including Vitamins E, C and beta-carotene are thought to be particularly helpful in skin care.Let's examine what benefits antioxidants provide:
Against Free Radicals.
Antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals and prevent them from potentially causing signs of aging in your body including the skin.
Cell & Tissue Regeneration.
Our skin is constantly shedding and re-growing cells. Antioxidants help the body to repair itself and may be helpful in an anti-aging regimen, as they can help fight fine lines and wrinkles.
In skincare, we strive to be less “inflamed” and using skincare products with antioxidants helps promote circulation and cell metabolism that can lead to less inflammation for a more even skin tone, reduced blemishes and scars, and even help prevent skin cancer.
Collagen is the main protein in connective tissue that keeps our skin supple and younger looking. Unfortunately, collagen becomes an easy target when free radicals enter the body. Antioxidants can help prevent and repair the damage of free radicals.
POMEGRANATE SEED OIL:
Pomegranate seed oil contains a high polyphenol content making it a powerful antioxidant. The oil’s remarkable ability to nourish, moisturize and improve skin elasticity makes it effective in treating dry skin, maturing skin, eczema, psoriasis and sunburns. The oil is moisturizing, anti-inflammatory and has also been found to help stimulate the outer layer of the skin. This means that using the seed oil in skincare could help regenerate skin cells and reverse signs of aging, past damage, and revive to a more youthful looking skin.
BLACK CUMIN SEED OIL:
The All-Around Healer.
Black Cumin seed oil is thought to protect healthy cells and is considered a powerful antioxidant – among the highest of all plant oils. It can help soothe inflammation and improve the speed at which skin heals and can help skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.
More Than Just a Sauce.
Cranberry seed oil is extremely rich in antioxidants which help eliminate free radicals that lead to premature aging. Highly nourishing and moisturizing, it also contains significant levels of Omega 3 which reduces the damage and aging caused by sunlight.
CARROT SEED OIL:
What's Up Doc?
Carrot seed oil is rich in beta-carotene and Vitamin A and is believed to stimulate cell renewal, repair and tone the skin, increase elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and scars. It is considered to be one of the best essential oils for dry and mature skin.
GRAPE SEED OIL:
Grape seed oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein, and Vitamin E. Easily absorbed by the skin, it is a nourishing addition to lotion or crème intended for dry, damaged or aging skin and is noted for its excellent skin moisturizing properties.