Skincare 101: Antioxidants
Antioxidants are the new IT word, not just in food but in skincare too. It's something that we know we need but how much and what they do is often a little sketchy. The beginning of this year saw the flu hit hard once again and with more and more people wading off the antibiotics and looking for alternate medicines, could the answer lie within the products on our shelves and the foods in our fridge?
Antioxidants vs. Free radicalsAntioxidants are reducers, our front line defence from the free radicals set out to steal our cell's electrons. Free radicals are created from pollutants such as wind, rain, smoke and UV radiation. They break down the skin's elastin fibres, damage collagen and cause changes in skin colour leaving brown spots and pigmentation. The best way to stop them is by using antioxidants on the skin to provide these unstable atoms with a stabilising electron, so they leave your skin's own electrons alone.There are two different types of antioxidants. The kind you eat and the kind you apply. Some of the most popular antioxidants in skincare are vitamin C and green tea, but research shows us that a combination is better than just one.
Here are my top picks
Best Vitamin C “SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic"
Why? Because its not one, not two, but three powerful antioxidants together. High levels of vitamin C combine with vitamin E and ferulic acid to become a fighting force against environmental damage and sun exposure.
Top Tip: Use on a morning underneath your sunblock.
Best Vitamin A “ Retriderm 0.5% or Retriderm Max 1%"
The multi-functional award-winning A! I've said it before and I'll keep saying it, all skins need vitamin A. This vital ingredient should be part of all skincare routines from acne to ageing as it helps normalise skin functions, prohibiting the natural breakdown of collagen fibres.Top tip: Stronger isn't always better! Vitamin A should be used on a ladder scale. Start on a low dose and work your way up to prevent a retinoid reaction. Also avoid bulk buying as it can have a short shelf life.
Best Green Tea - Dermaviduals Green TeaGreen tea is commonly used in detoxes and diet plans to flush out deadly toxins and cleanse the body but what about in skincare too? When used as a topical treatment it can actually neutralise free radicals from causing significant damage.
Best Kept Secret “ SkinCeuticals Resveratrol BE
We've covered the bathroom shelf now its time to stock up the cupboardsThe old saying 'you are what you what you eat' rings truer than you might imagine. If you eat a poor diet, you are more susceptible to illness. Eat clean and your body will thank you for it. Many foods are bursting with antioxidants and supply us with a rich source of nutrients, the most common being fruit and vegetables. If your diet is lacking in the good stuff it is possible to use food supplements to keep it topped up. These should never be a substitute and only act as an add on.
Are you fighting the war against free radicals?
Don't worry, you also have a natural supply of antioxidants that help protect your skin but as we age we loose the ability to produce them and need to keep them topped up.
It's never too late to start. For helping choosing the right antioxidant for your regime, call our experts on 0113 282 7744.
Written for you by: Emily, Face the Future