What Are Antioxidants & Free Radicals?
We know antioxidants are beneficial for our skin, but how? Before we dive into the solution they provide, we need to start with the problem: free radicals. Certain environmental factors (air & water pollution, intense sun exposure) can cause atoms in our body to split, prompting the now-singular electrons to bounce around to find another electron to partner with. Molecules strive to have a pair of electrons in their outer shells, so when they lose one electron, they become unstable. Free radicals seek to regain this electron by oxidizing other molecules such as the cell’s own DNA, enzymes and proteins.
How do Antioxidants Save Your Skin?
Free radicals contribute to the weakening of our skin’s elasticity. Oxidation affects the body the same way it would rust a car: It accelerates aging. In their quest to re-couple, free radicals ravage healthy cells, damaging our bodies in the process. Antioxidants exist to stop free radicals. While antioxidants naturally occur in our bodies, we can also increase our antioxidant levels with various nutrients. Antioxidants benefit by addressing both external and internal signs of aging by preventing damage from free radicals, reducing inflammation, and boosting collagen production which keeps skin cells plump and youthful.
Citrus fruits stop cell degeneration with a powerful free radical neutralizer, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as protecting against and healing UV damage for brighter-looking skin.
Produced naturally and stored by your body as needed, Vitamin E can also be consumed via avocados, almonds, and leafy greens, and is known for its effectiveness against dark spots and protecting the skin from photoaging.
Polyphenols are found in fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and tea. They defend plants against radiation (which translates for us as UV damage). For your complexion, this protection helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles, making your skin look more plump, hydrated and rejuvenated.
These natural pigments that protect plants at a cellular level are also responsible for vivid colored plants like strawberries. They're one of the reasons that fruits and vegetables are nutritious, they manage inflammation and help us avoid UV damage and photoaging
This type of flavonoid is found in foods that appear purple, blue or black, like berries and acai, and is associated with treating a range of illnesses such as high blood pressure and colds. It also slows down photoaging, defends against damage due to sun, stress and pollution, and helps prevent collagen loss.