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Antioxidants for Skin Care
- A skin care vitamin that contains an excellent source of antioxidants could include vitamins A, C and E
- Antioxidants fight the harsh effects of free radicals by repairing damage to the body and skin, which is why they work well as an anti aging skin care treatment and for anti wrinkle skin care
- One of the powerful effects of antioxidants is that they can act as skin tightening agents in their repair processes, which will reduce the appearance of lines and creases in the skin
Antioxidant is a common term used in lots of health and skin related writing. Fads involving antioxidants have been ruling several industries for years now. However, antioxidants have proved to be a potent and effective skin care treatment and there are a lot of benefits of antioxidants for skin. In addition to be holistic and completely natural, using plant extracts and oils for skin care is proven to increase health and beautify one’s appearance. This form of treatment is also the only method completely free of any negative side effects.
Antioxidants are molecules that can prevent, or at least, reduce the oxidation of other molecules. They help in protecting the cells by neutralizing external factors like sun damage, wind, temperature and pollution. They also neutralize internal factors like metabolism, emotion and the prescense of excess oxygen. Some of the most common antioxidants are: Vitamins A, C and E, beta carotene, coenzyme Q10, flavonoids, lycopene, selenium, lutein and green tea. These special chemicals assist in strengthening the blood vessels and repair the skin.
When addressing issues of aging skin, you can’t just rely on foods containing antioxidants. There are several antioxidant products available in the market for topical application. They keep the skin healthy and destroy free radicals.
Free radicals are the main culprits in unhealthy skin. They are triggered by sunlight, pollution, improper diet, smoking, alchohol, etc. They lead to the occurrence of age spots, wrinkles, blemishes and the loss of elasticity. Free radicals also play a large role in contributing to skin cancer.
Antioxidants are absolutely necessary for our body as they fight against these free radicals. Let us have a look at some of the widespread antioxidants and their natural sources:
• Vitamin B / Beta Carotene: Beta carotene helps in protecting dark green, orange and yellow fruits/vegetables from sun damage and solar radiation. It affects the human body in a similar fashion. Rich sources of beta carotene include squash, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, kale, cantaloupe, collards, apricots and peaches.
• Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid: Vitamin C is easily soluble in water and acts as an antioxidant. Citrus fruits like sweet lime and oranges, broccoli, green peppers, green vegetables, raw cabbage, tomatoes and strawberries are rich sources of vitamin C.
• Vitamin E: One of the antioxidants which is fat-soluble and present in our body. By acting as a sheild of sorts, Vitamin E protects the cellular membranes, the oily structures and the lipoproteins. Our skin contains unsaturated fats and fatty acids that are susceptible to damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin E, taken orally or applied topically, can combat these free radicals. Rich sources of Vitamin E include nuts, wheat germ, whole grains, seeds, green vegetables, fish-liver oil and vegetable oil.
• Flavonoids: Flavonoids are diverse plant pigments and have antioxidant properties. They contain polyphenols and proanthocyanins, which are very good for our skin. Flavonoids are the source of color in our vegetables, fruits and flowers. They also have anti allergic, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.
• Coenzyme Q10, cysteine, methionine and lipoic acid have potent antioxidant properties.
The antioxidants mentioned above are known by many and available in stores. But, what about zinc? Zinc is contained in all our body tissues, but it’s five times more concentrated in the dermis and epidermis skin layers. It is a great protection against the sun’s UV rays and it enhances the healing of wounds and injuries. It also contributes a lot to the immune system, the neuropsychiatric functions and reduces the risk of getting cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Antioxidants are mostly found in our regular food. And, if we take care of what we eat, we can actually fight against free radicals. Topical application is a viable option for preventing skin damage, but natural means are always preferred.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Antioxidants for Skin30 Sep 2008|