Any serious conversation about skin care, especially anti-aging skin care, will include a discussion about antioxidants.
What is an antioxidant?
Antioxidants are naturally-occurring, plant-based substances that can help fight free radicals – unstable compounds that attack and damage cells. And free radicals are everywhere: pollution, sunlight, food, even the air we are breathing every day. When free radicals damage skin cells, the result is dull or dry skin and accelerated aging of the skin.
To fight free radicals, it is recommended to eat foods rich in antioxidants, such as nuts, beans and legumes, berries, and dark chocolate. But you can fight free radicals by applying antioxidants directly to the skin.
Common antioxidants used in skin care
The body produces Alpha Lipoic Acid naturally. As an antioxidant skin care ingredient, it attacks free radicals by penetrating skin cells to destroy them. Alpha Lipoic Acid is used in cosmetics to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and give the skin an overall smoother and healthier appearance.
Vitamin C packs a powerful punch as a skin care ingredient. As we age, our bodies no longer produce as much collagen and elastin – the building blocks of the skin. Vitamin C has been shown to increase the production of collagen in the skin, helping to reduce wrinkles and give skin a firmer appearance.
Like Vitamin C, Retinol can help increase the skin’s collagen production, essentially “plumping up” the skin. Additionally, Retinol can help even skin tone, improving the general appearance of the skin.
Green Tea extract
Green Tea Extract performs sort of a “double-duty” when it comes to skin care. Studies have shown that, when used topically, it may help prevent skin cancer. It is an antioxidant, and an anti-inflammatory, helping to firm up sagging skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
CoEnzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10)
Another element that our bodies produce naturally, CoQ-10 begins to diminish as we age. The naturally-occurring CoQ-10 production in our bodies helps fight free radical damage, so supplementing the decreasing production with topical CoQ-10 is another way of helping to fight free radicals.