Antioxidants – we’re all heard about them countless times, know that they can be found in food and skincare AND that they’re absolutely amazing for us as they help fight free radical damage. But ever wondered what antioxidants and free radicals actually are and how they relate? Read on for the low-down.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are powerful substances that help prevent ageing cell damage caused by free radicals to keep cells functioning and in tip-top condition. They are naturally produced by our bodies, but can also come from food, vitamins and skincare. So, how do they protect skin? To really understand the benefits of antioxidants, these are a few things that have to be broken down first - free radicals and oxidation.

Free radicals and oxidation

Free radicals are highly reactive atoms that contain an unpaired electron. Because they like to be in pairs, they scavenge the body to seek out other electrons, drawing these from other cell membranes, proteins and DNA - this is a major culprit of premature skin ageing, hyperpigmentation, plus collagen and elastin damage.

Free radicals are created through two factors, the first being oxidation (a totally normal process in which our bodies process the oxygen we breathe to produce energy) and the second being factors such as diet, pollution, UV rays and even stress.

Oxidative stress

When there are enough antioxidants present in the body, free radicals can be neutralised before they cause damage. If an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants occurs, however, oxidative stress kicks in and damage occurs.
This is where antioxidants come in – these skin superheroes save the day by getting rid of free radicals and sacrificing themselves by becoming oxidised instead of your cells to keep damage at bay!

No matter what we do, we can’t escape free radical damage completely. But as the skin is your body’s largest organ, nourishing it with skin-loving antioxidants is a pretty important step to keeping it at bay! Some antioxidants are more beneficial for certain concerns than others, but the great news is that they can be layered for the ultimate benefits. Some of the key antioxidant benefits are:

Help to protect from premature ageing

Free radical damage and premature ageing go hand in hand. As oxidative stress kicks in, cells become damaged - cue fine lines, uneven skin tone, plus elastin and collagen damage. Antioxidants are key to fighting premature ageing by helping to protect current cells from damage. Our unique Rosapene™ blend is one antioxidant-rich complex for helping to protect skin - you'll can spot it across our Rosehip Range, and in our Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+ (which is Rosapene™!)

External stressors protection

It’s a scary thought, but our skin is under constant attack from invisible daily stressors, from environmental pollution, traffic exhaust fumes to UV rays. Skincare packed with antioxidants can help protect the skin against this attack and help keep ageing damage at bay. Look for products with vitamins A, C, E and co-enzyme Q10; otherwise known as CoQ10, this powerful antioxidant can protect from and replenish free radical damage. You can find it in our Age-Proof CoQ10 Booster Oil.

Softening appearance of fine lines & wrinkles

By improving skin health and rejuvenating its appearance, antioxidants may actually help slow down the visible effects of ageing. Found across our Age-Proof range, our antioxidant-packed innovation Glycablend™ is clinically proven to fight glycation (a natural process which causes collagen and elastin fibres to harden and lose elasticity as we age), minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and bring back a healthy-looking glow.

Glowing boost

Certain antioxidants have the amazing ability to improve the appearance of uneven skin tone, bring back a glow to dull skin and deliver radiantly healthy skin with a youthful glow. Vitamin C is key here, as this powerhouse antioxidant helps fight free radical damage while stimulating normal collagen production.

Calming skin

Antioxidants rich in anti-inflammatory properties can help calm red and inflamed skin. Green tea and chamomile – found across our Very Gentle range - are some of the key antioxidants to look out for, as these are famed for their ability to soothe inflamed or sensitive skin.

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