Skin care essentials: Antioxidants

Why are antioxidants so powerful when it comes to keeping your skin young and healthy? Our expert explains the benefits.

Feb 07, 2012
Jessica Padykula
Skin care essentials: Antioxidants

Cindy Crawford is 45, so is Halle Berry. Michelle Pfeiffer and Madonna are both sitting pretty at 53. Ellen Degeneres fronts Cover Girl and she’s 54. With more and more seemingly ageless celebrities gracing magazine covers and movie screens, there is even more pressure to find the ultimate anti aging skin care routine. While the average person has to live without the bevy of beauty products, supplements and skin smoothing secrets of Hollywood’s elite, there are some ingredients in the anti aging skin care spotlight aimed at keeping complexions healthy and glowing.

Increasingly, antioxidants are being touted as an anti aging cure-all. In particular they are continually being lauded as a must-have ingredient for younger looking skin. “Research has shown that topically-applied antioxidants have multiple benefits for skin,” says Dr. Paul M. Friedman, dermatologist and director of The Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center in Houston, Texas. He shared some insight into why this particular skin saving ingredient gets so much attention.

Skin care tip: Antioxidants and free radicals
Antioxidants are substances known to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals, molecules that cause damage to the skin at a cellular level. The main causes of free-radical damage on skin include sunlight, pollution, cigarette smoke and even the air we breathe, Friedman says. “Antioxidants reduce inflammation, repair DNA damage, restore the skin´s surface barrier, help defend against environmental stress, allow skin to build more collagen and improve skin´s ability to heal,” he explains. “Antioxidants also effectively help fight sun damage.”

Skin care tip: Antioxidants and skin health
There are hundreds of antioxidants, which include water soluble and oil soluble antioxidants. Water soluble varieties include vitamin C and glutathione. Oil soluble include vitamin A, vitamin E and CoQ10, explains Friedman. “It has been clinically proven that the best combination of antioxidants include using a combination of water and oil soluble antioxidants. Some antioxidants are all-around free radical scavengers while others work better to regenerate substances in skin that work to defend it from oxidative damage and inflammation,” he says. When it comes to products containing antioxidants, be mindful on packing, the dermatologist warns. Antioxidants cosmetics can deteriorate if they are repeatedly exposed to air and sunlight so look for creams or lotions packaged in opaque tubes or bottles.

More antioxidants that help with anti aging on the next page ...


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