These days, you can hardly look up a supplement or skincare product without hearing the buzzword “antioxidant.” Antioxidants are beneficial compounds and play a key role in overall wellness for several major reasons.
That said, it’s a mystery to many just how antioxidants in skincare work or whether they are really worth targeting compared to other beneficial compounds or vitamins. Today, let’s break down antioxidants in detail and explore how they work in skincare products or general supplements.
Despite their prevalence in skincare and other wellness products, antioxidants are naturally occurring compounds, not lab-made ingredients. Your body makes plenty of antioxidants by itself, although you can also find antioxidants in foods and supplementary products.
Some of the most common antioxidants include vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. It’s best to think of antioxidants as a class of compounds, not a single vitamin or mineral. Overall, antioxidants protect your cells from free radical molecular damage.
Free radicals are any molecules that are naturally ‘unstable,’ meaning they don’t have an electron to remain in a stable, noninflammatory state. Free radicals are often created through bodily processes, like digestion or injuries. Your body may also absorb free radicals when you are exposed to pollutants like cigarette smoke or radiation.
In many cases, free radicals may be partially responsible for prematurely aging your skin and other bodily tissues. In a nutshell, free radical molecules accumulate around your tissues and may steal electrons from other molecules. This could damage healthy cells over time.
Antioxidants are the natural foils to free radicals. They donate an electron to free radicals, stabilizing those molecules and “deactivating” them. The free radicals are then no longer harmful and may not damage your cells as they would otherwise.
In summary, your body needs antioxidants to reduce the damage that free radicals would wreak if left unchecked. This is one of the big reasons why you’ll find them in wellness and skincare products ranging from creams to anti-inflammatory salves to vitamins and more.
How Antioxidants Help Your Skin
So, antioxidants are helpful for your body overall, playing major roles in gut health, sleep quality, and more.
But how specifically can they help your skin? As it turns out, antioxidants can provide many benefits to your skin tissues through several actions.
UV Damage Defense
Your skin needs a certain amount of sunlight each day, so your body can synthesize vitamin D. But even the healthiest skin is still bombarded with radiation when it is exposed to sunlight.
Generally, the more sunlight you expose your skin too, the faster it will age. That’s a primary reason why it’s important to wear sunscreen, even if you have overall healthy skin or are young.
Fortunately, antioxidants may help your skin by defending against UV damage. While it’s necessary for life as we know it, UV radiation is also inherently not safe and can introduce free radicals to your skin. Antioxidants can protect your skin against sun damage to some extent – but remember that antioxidants alone are not the same as sunscreen!
More generally, antioxidants can defend your skin against any irritations or discomfort. Remember, free radicals always create discomfort because of their very nature. They steal electrons from other molecules and can destabilize or damage cells in the process.
Free radicals may affect your skin less and introduce less incidental damage over time by simply having enough antioxidants in your system. This is doubly important if your skin is regularly exposed to dirt, toxins, smoke, and other various pollutants. Therefore, if you work outdoors and expose your skin to the sunlight frequently, it may be a good idea to make sure your antioxidant intake is up to snuff.
Reduces Aging Effects
In some cases, antioxidants (when applied topically and absorbed by the skin) may help rejuvenate the skin. For many folks, skin can age prematurely because of various factors or pollutants, including long-term or chronic skin exposure to the sun, long-term exposure to smoke and other pollutants, and so on.
Additionally, your skin may simply be more susceptible to premature aging because of your genetics.
Regardless, antioxidants could help to reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles, aging spots, and blemishes. This isn't to say that antioxidants can turn back the biological clock, but they may help your skin age gracefully.
This is most important, of course, in middle age, when the major signs of aging first start to crop up. But taking care of your skin throughout your life may help you see a more graceful aging process in the long run, especially if you get a head start and begin taking care of your skin while it is still youthful and full of vitality.
Skin Tone Improvements
Lastly, antioxidants may also lend themselves to brightening your skin tone or evening it out if you have an uneven skin tone. That’s because frequent sun exposure and free radical accumulation could lead your skin to change its melatonin production.
This, in turn, could cause the formation of dark spots or a splotchy, uneven skin tone. In this way, antioxidants may also protect against abnormal skin pigmentation or stop your skin from suffering from the effects of excessive sun exposure or free radical accumulation.
Specific antioxidants, like vitamin C, could inhibit a compound called tyrosinase. This enzyme may stimulate excessive melanin production, which may reduce the appearance of aging spots or skin splotches.
How Antioxidants Are Used In Skincare
In most cases, the best way to use antioxidants for skincare is to take them using a topical cream or gel. In this way, your skin cells can quickly absorb the antioxidants.
However, you can also introduce antioxidants for skin benefits through your diet, such as eating specific foods or taking specific supplements.
For example, Hope Health’s Hair, Skin, & Nails Gummies are chock-full of helpful antioxidants that may help promote healthy nails, hair, and skin! Since we only use organic, non-GMO ingredients, these supplements are also not dangerous or potentially toxic for your system like many other commercial supplement products might be.
Antioxidants and other ingredients in this supplement include biotin, vitamin B12, zinc, and collagen!
All in all, antioxidants can’t be discounted as one of the most essential ingredients for long-term skin health, especially if you are entering middle age or are fighting off wrinkles and blemishes. Fortunately, antioxidants are never hard to find, whether you get them from quality supplements like Hope Health’s gummies or your diet.
Want to maximize your wellness and check out other health supplements with organic ingredients? Check out our online store today and see how else we might help your skin look its best!