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.
How do antioxidants protect skin?
To really understand the benefits of antioxidants, these are a few things that have to be broken down first - oxidation and free radicals.
Oxidation is a completely normal process that happens every day, where our bodies process the oxygen we breathe in to produce energy. Unfortunately, all sorts of factors can make disruptions to this process (from stress and smoking to UV rays and pollution) and when this happens, oxidative stress kicks in and free radicals can form. These pesky molecules damage the cells in your body and are the guilty culprits in being the key source of premature skin ageing and damage.
This is where antioxidants kick 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 benefits are:
Free radical damage and premature ageing go hand in hand. As free radicals attack cells and oxidative damage kicks in, they become damaged, can stop functioning and slow down the production of new cells. Antioxidants are key to fighting premature ageing by helping to protect current cells to keep them in tip-top shape, while also speeding up production of brand new, healthy cells. Antioxidants such as lycopene, found in our Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+, help to prevent oxidative damage and visible signs of ageing.
Pollution Protection & Skin Stressors
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 prevent, repair and heal free radical damage. You can find it in our CoQ10 Booster Oil.
Softening Fine Lines & Wrinkles
By improving skin health and rejuvenating its appearance, antioxidants may actually slow down the 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 glow.
As we age, collagen and elastin in the skin’s surface becomes depleted and skin firmness begins to decline. Antioxidants can help slow down this process and improve the look and feel of skin firmness. Look for products rich in fatty acids and omegas 3, 6 and 9, as these are the go-tos for revitalising the skin’s surface. Hello, Certified Organic Rosehip Oil!
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.
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.
Ever wondered what antioxidants actually are and why they’re such a must-have in your skincare? Read on for the low-down.