One of the most important ways to maintain healthy skin is to reverse the damage done by free radicals. Antioxidants are among the best treatments available for winning that battle.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage your DNA at the cellular level. Although some are created by your body naturally, you also get them from sun exposure, pollution, radiation and cigarette smoke. Free radicals cause premature skin aging, as well as inflammation. They decrease collagen and elastin and lead to unwanted changes to skin’s texture and pigmentation.
Antioxidants are naturally occurring substances that correct the damage done by free radicals. While your body does make some antioxidants naturally, others must be obtained from foods, supplements or topical application.
Let’s take a closer look at how antioxidants promote skin health, and some of the best ones to include in your skin care regimen.
How Antioxidants Promote Healthy Skin
By applying antioxidants, you can enjoy a more even complexion, minimize fine lines and keep skin looking more youthful. Here are some of the main benefits of antioxidants:
- Slow the aging process: Antioxidants correct damage done by the sun and pollution, helping to slow the signs of aging. They preserve collagen and maintain skin’s elasticity. Regular use of antioxidants can diminish the appearance of wrinkles and dark spots.
- Protection against sun damage: Antioxidants reduce your skin’s sensitivity to sun exposure and may reduce inflammation from sun damage.
- Treat inflammation: You can use antioxidants to heal breakouts and soothe irritation caused by acne, rashes or sensitivity.
- Brighter skin tone: Antioxidants repair damage caused by UV rays and help to prevent dark spots. They also eliminate dullness to reveal a brighter appearance.
Antioxidants to Include in Your Skin Care Plan
There are many different antioxidants that are excellent for skin health. When choosing skin care products, look for the following active ingredients:
- Vitamin A: Also known as retinoids, this class of antioxidants promotes collagen production and reduces damage from free radicals. Prescription-grade tretinoin increases cell turnover, reduces visible aging and treats breakouts. Over-the-counter retinol also improves skin health when used correctly and consistently.
- Vitamin C: This potent antioxidant brightens and tightens your skin while also boosting collagen. It is even more effective when combined with vitamin E. It is important to note that not all Vitamin C is created equal and most over-the-counter Vitamin C serums cannot be absorbed into the skin, but rather, sit on top of the skin. You will want to choose a medical-grade Vitamin C product backed by science, as these molecules have been altered to allow absorption. And because vitamin C is an unstable nutrient, choose a dark container and store it in a cool, dry place.
- Vitamin E: This beneficial nutrient promotes healing and soothes irritated skin. It also provides moisture for a softer, more supple appearance.
- Vitamin B3: Also called niacinamide, this anti-inflammatory nutrient is good for treating acne and rosacea. It boosts the efficacy of other antioxidants and helps skin retain moisture. Use it to smooth fine lines, brighten your complexion and fade dark spots.
- Resveratrol: Anti-microbial resveratrol is found naturally in grapes, red wine and some berries. It improves your complexion, offers UV protection and promotes collagen and elastin.
- Coenzyme Q10: Although naturally manufactured by the body, coenzyme Q10 levels diminish with age and can be replaced topically. This antioxidant improves texture and elasticity for a more youthful appearance.
- Green tea extract: This plant-based substance contains polyphenols to boost skin immunity, fight inflammation and repair photodamage.
For best results, choose products that have a higher percent of active antioxidant ingredients.
Good skin care is an investment that pays off now and well into your future. You will want to do your research and find products with proven results. Cayce Medical Spa offers free consultations to help you find the best products and at-home skin care regimen for you.
If you’re trying to determine which skin care products would be most effective for your skin, please contact Cayce Dermatology to schedule an appointment. Our experienced, CIDESCO-trained estheticians look forward to recommending an individualized treatment plan to help you achieve the healthy, beautiful complexion you’re looking for!