How to get more antioxidants in your skincare
Written by Shonagh Walker
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are stable molecules in the body that help fight off unstable molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are introduced by stress, lack of sleep, smoking, over drinking, pollution and poor air quality, sun exposure and many more internal and external aggressors. These free radicals can lead to a damaging process known as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress, in turn, can cause inflammatory skin issues, dryness and dehydration, lines and wrinkles, and other signs of premature ageing. Antioxidants help to stabilise free radicals, causing them to become less reactive and damaging.
Where can we find antioxidants?
According to Harvard Medical School your body's cells naturally produce some powerful antioxidants, such as the super-scientific-sounding alpha lipoic acid and glutathione. We also can get antioxidants from foods, mainly lots of fresh fruits and veggies of various different colours.
We're sure you've heard the phrase, "eat the rainbow"; it’s because all the different colours in fruits and veggies represent a group of vitamins, minerals or nutrients as well as antioxidants, and as such, support overall health and wellness - and great skin.
It isn't hard - it simply means that you should try to have as many different colours in fruits and veggies on your plate as possible. This helps you source various antioxidants including vitamins C and E and other important nutrients including selenium, carotenoids (such as beta-carotene), phytochemicals (plant chemicals), lycopene (found in tomatoes), lutein (found in kale), flavonoids (found in cocoa), anthocyanins (found in blueberries), quercetin (found in apples and onions) and catechins (found in green teas).
The wonderful thing about antioxidants is that they can also be used in scientific skincare formulas to work topically on the skin, while our diet works on keeping cells healthy from the inside. From a topical point of view (that means by applying to your skin rather than ingesting them), antioxidants can scavenge free radicals sitting on the skin's surface, waiting to cause potential oxidative stress. They can help combat environmental aggressors like pollution, UV rays, the wind, cigarette smoke and so on. Antioxidants are frequently found in skincare because of their powerful anti-aging benefits.
Products to try
This luxe mask is enriched with organic pomegranate and New Zealand blackcurrant seed oil, which boasts vitamin C and several other antioxidants to nurture, soothe, calm and protect your skin. The plant-based formula is especially great for super-dry skin and those with issues of sensitivity. It's also deeply hydrating, helping to smooth out fine lines as it moisturises and nurtures the complexion.
BLUE Oléoactif® rice bionic extract is a powerful new ingredient that works to protect the skin from both urban pollution and the blue light emitted from our devices. This soothing lip balm is armed with it, together with natural antioxidants and cocoa seed butter, which team up to target lip lines and dry skin around the lips and mouth. Slick it on beneath your lippy, or apply as an overnight treatment to improve lip elasticity, deeply hydrate and protect against environmental aggressors.
This delicious scrub-mask is designed to be used up to three times a week. It relies on ground arabica coffee to slough away debris and dry, dead skin cells, while antioxidant-rich Manuka honey can offer healing and protective benefits. Apply to damp skin, massaging gently for up to three minutes before rinsing off.
Designed to deliver antioxidants directly to the skin, this super powered skin essence relies on potent antioxidants and hydrating agents to target fine lines. Lemon aspen (harvested from the Australian bush) and calming milk thistle help to create a calming infusion and the perfect step between cleansing and hydration.
Brimming with superfood antioxidant oils including grape seed, kakadu plum, pomegranate, passionfruit, kale, camellia, blackcurrant, broccoli, and watermelon, this could well be the Holy Grail of skincare. Its potent nurturing benefits are boosted by antioxidant-rich L22®— a hydrating blend of jojoba, macadamia and olive extract, which works to deliver intense hydration and radiance.
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