I’m pretty sure you’ve heard the term “Anti-Oxidants” before.
It is in fact being used to indicate a group of subsbtances that are meant to protect our body – meaning OUR SKIN also – from harmfull, external influences. You could say: defend it against all kinds of agressors. Think of pollution, smog cigarette(smoke), radiation from sun, but also from computer screens and mobile phones. In this context, the term “free radicals”is also being used. Free radical formation is the result of our body being agressed.
Anti-Oxidants are meant to defend our body (and skin) against free radicals. Like soldiers defending a fortress. (nice comparison, don’t you think so?).
In modern times, our body is continuously exposed to factors, it has to defend itself against. When we speak of “healthy nutrition”, we mean : keeping our body healthy, by eating the right food. Eating the right food means keeping your body strong, which leads to a better level of protection. You agree with me?
The word “Anti-Oxidants” should make you think of certain vitamins, like vitamin A, C, E and B3. Green Tea, Coffee, Chocolate and (red) Wine also have substances, that help protect our cells against the enemy.
When your body does not have a sufficient quantity of Anti-Oxidants, skin cell damage will inevitably occur. This goes for YOUR SKIN ALSO!
A well protected skin, however, stays YOUNGER FOR LONGER !
The good news is, that your skin cells can absorb Anti-Oxidants, and therefore can be protected by cosmetic products too.Using a cream with vitamins or green tea extract does make sense!
The right dosage and proportion of the different substances is very important. Some vitamins need to be present in very small quantities and other can only function when combined. Vitamin E, for example, will support vitamin C. A good quality product will generally have one or more Anti-Oxidants. You can find products with vitamins or plant-based Anti-Oxidants in all price ranges.
In order, to help ypu picking your products, here’s a short list of ingredients to look out for. Their names on the Ingredients list will be like this:
- Vitamin A; Retinol, Retinaldehyde, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin A Acetate, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate*
- Vitamin C; Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
- Vitamin E; Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Tocotrienol
- Vitamin B3; Nicotamine, Niacinamide
Many plant-extracts contain Anti-Oxidants too. Many have vitamins in their natural form. Examples :
- Green Tea: Camellia Chinensis
- Coffee: Coffea Arabica
- Black Tea (fermented): Kombuschka
- Grapefruit: Citrus Grandis
- Grape: Vitis Vinifera
- Rosemary: Rosmarinus
These are just a few examples. The list is endless. Every year, some “new” plant extracts are introduced tot he cosmetics market.
*Hydroxypinolactone Retinoate is a rather new, promising form of Vitamin A. I will discuss it in my article “Retinol and Retinoids”.