How Antioxidants Support Healthy Skin
We all want glowing, healthy skin, and it's no secret that incorporating antioxidants into our routines is key. But what exactly are antioxidants? And how do antioxidants work?
Discover our ultimate guide to brightening up your skin with the help of potent antioxidants.
First Things First, What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are naturally-occurring molecules, some of which can be obtained from dietary sources such as fruits, vegetables, and herbs. These nutrients can help neutralize free radicals, reducing oxidative stress in the body.
Free radicals are molecules that are missing an electron. These unstable molecules are caused by smoking, toxins, and environmental factors like sun damage and air pollution.
Free radicals can damage cells, which in turn can lead to premature aging, wrinkles, and other skin problems. In fact, much of preventative dermatology is about minimizing free radical damage and supporting collagen production.
Antioxidants, on the other hand, can provide the skin with much-needed TLC and protect it from environmental damage. That’s why many dermatologists will recommend antioxidant skincare ingredients to help with uneven skin tone for all skin types.
Why Do We Need Antioxidants?
In addition to fighting free radicals, antioxidants can do some pretty incredible things for our skin health. Here are just a few of the benefits antioxidants may provide for your skin.
Minimize the Look of Signs of Aging
One of the primary benefits of antioxidants is their ability to prevent early signs of aging.
By intercepting free radicals, antioxidants can help minimize the appearance of:
- Fine lines
- Age spots
In addition, some antioxidant ingredients can help support your body’s natural collagen production, which helps keep the skin looking firm and supple by supporting skin elasticity.
Protect Against Environmental Stressors
Environmental stressors, such as toxins and air pollution, can cause damage to the skin. Antioxidants can help protect against this damage by neutralizing the free radicals created by these stressors.
This can help protect skin from signs of premature aging and help it keep looking healthy and radiant. Although we can’t always reduce our exposure to environmental free radicals, we can use ingredients like antioxidants to protect ourselves from their harmful effects.
Antioxidants can help support circulation to the skin. Adequate circulation can help skin cells get the nutrients and oxygen they need, and as a result, the skin stays looking and feeling healthy.
Even Skin Tone
One of the many side effects of free radical damage is dark spots on the skin. These can occur when your skin cells are damaged and overproduce melanin in an attempt to protect themselves. Antioxidants can help minimize the appearance of dark spots by neutralizing the free radicals that cause the issue.
Protect Against Sun Damage
Exposure to UV light can cause damage to the skin, which can lead to signs of premature aging and other skin issues. Antioxidants can help protect the skin from this sun damage by neutralizing the free radicals created by UV exposure, which is why many sunscreens and skincare products feature antioxidants.
What Are Some Sources of Antioxidants?
There are a variety of antioxidants that can help to brighten and protect the skin. Here are some of the best antioxidant sources:
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help to protect the skin from free radical damage. It can also help to soothe irritation, support collagen production, and even out skin tone.
Vitamin C can be found naturally in foods like:
Topical application in the form of vitamin C serums and ascorbic acid moisturizing creams can also help.
Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant that can help support the skin against free radical damage. It can also help to:
- Reduce irritation
- Support skin barrier function
- Maintain skin hydration
- Brighten uneven skin tone and texture
Vitamin E can be found in food sources such as nuts and seeds. It can also be applied directly to the skin or taken as a dietary supplement.
Pro Tip: Support the brightening effects of vitamin E with Clear Skin Probiotics®. This skin-loving probiotic supplement can help tackle acne†-causing bacteria to promote clear and glowing skin.*
Retinol (or vitamin A) is also thought to have antioxidant properties that can help fight skin aging and breakouts. Many use topical retinoids in their skincare regimen to help brighten their skin.
However, if you have dry skin, you may want to avoid topical retinoids. While powerful, this ingredient can trigger irritation in dry or sensitive skin.
Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, is another powerful antioxidant that can help support healthy blood lipid levels and manage acne and wrinkles.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants called flavonoids and polyphenols that can help to protect the skin from environmental damage. It can also help to soothe irritation and brighten overall skin texture and tone.
You can consume green tea as a beverage or apply it directly to the skin in the form of masks and cleansers.
Resveratrol is an antioxidant found in certain fruits and nuts that can also help to support the skin’s natural defenses against environmental damage.
In addition, this powerful antioxidant may:
- Promote an even skin tone
- Support skin texture
- Minimize the look of dark spots and excess pigmentation
Resveratrol can be obtained through food sources like grapes, peanuts, and cocoa, or taken as an oral supplement.
Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that can help to protect the skin from free radical damage. It can also help to minimize the appearance of redness, support natural collagen production, and support overall skin health.
Coenzyme Q10 can be taken as a supplement or applied directly to the skin in the form of serums and masks.
How Can You Get the Benefits of Antioxidants?
Here are a few lifestyle changes you can make to help you experience the benefits of antioxidants.
- Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Skincare isn’t all about creams and serums — your diet also plays a massive role. Fruits and veggies are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that can help support your overall well-being.
- Incorporate antioxidant-rich foods into your diet. These can include foods like dark chocolate, green tea, nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans, and legumes. Each food also offers its own unique set of health benefits in addition to antioxidants.
- Limit processed foods. While convenient, these foods typically don't contain natural sources of antioxidants or other nutrients necessary for proper nutrition.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise can increase circulation, which can help your body circulate more antioxidants faster.
- Try adding antioxidant supplements to your diet. For example, Good to Glow™; this antioxidant-rich supplement is made with high-quality ingredients to help your skin thrive.
- Stay hydrated. Water can help flush toxins from your system and aids in digestion.
By making these small changes to your lifestyle, you can get all the benefits antioxidants have to offer. Just be sure to talk with your doctor first — especially if you have an underlying medical condition.
The Bottom Line
Antioxidants play an important role in keeping your skin healthy by fighting off free radicals that can cause cell damage. They also offer many benefits for aging, including reducing irritation, brightening dark spots, supporting natural collagen production, and adding protection against the effects of sun damage.
You can find them in a variety of foods like nuts and seeds, in antioxidant supplements, or use topical antioxidant serums. By including antioxidants in your daily diet and skincare routine, you help your skin stay glowing all year round!
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