The skin, our biggest organ, must be handled with special care to maintain balance throughout our adultlife to fight signs of aging. It is easy to spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars searching for ways to mimic the smooth and even texture of our childhood skin. You can smother your face with lotions and creams in an effort to recover your youth, but unless you are using products with the most beneficial ingredients, you are throwing your money toward a pointless cause.
In youth our skin prolifically produces antioxidants that naturally protect the skin from environmental damage. When this natural antioxidant production begins to decrease in our late twenties, our skin is battered by free radicals, making the tone and color of our skin uneven. Free radicals take an incredible toll on our skin. While many believe wrinkles and creases cause the aged appearance of the skin, in fact, it is the unevenness of the skin caused by lack of protection from free radicals that ages our appearance. To combat aging and allow for a brighter, even-toned complexion, we must protect our skin from free radicals and topically apply antioxidants.
Antioxidants are the secret weapon to reducing, neutralizing, and preventing the damage done to the skin by free radicals. Further, antioxidants aid in collagen production and elasticity maintenance, and combat further breakdown to ensure overall healthier, younger-looking skin. What, exactly, are antioxidants? Antioxidants are vitamins that fight free radicals. Three of the most essential vitamins for healthy skin are vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. In its purest form, vitamin A, also known as retinol, is the most effective free-radical-fighting antioxidant. Retinol is key to cell renewal and elastin production. Vitamin C, one of the most popular antioxidants, is a key vitamin needed for collagen production. Through the production of collagen, vitamin C makes the skin firm, strong, and bright. Vitamin E helps improve circulation and repair the skin. Vitamin E aids in the healing process of anything from a sunburn to deep cuts and can ultimately help prevent scarring.
These three antioxidants merely scratch the surface of the numerous antioxidants that help the skin. Adding antioxidants to your life is as easy as using products that contain antioxidants. Check the ingredient list on the lotions, serums, creams, or gels in your medicine cabinet. If you find a product that has multiple—an antioxidant cocktail, if you will—all the better for your skin! The important thing is to maintain a regular routine of using products with antioxidants for healthy, balanced, and youthful-looking skin.
- Eat a healthy well balanced diet. Adding antioxidants into your life through a healthy lifestyle of eating well (think: fruits and veggies) and avoiding excessive sunlight is extremely effective, but adding them topically will increase their effectiveness twofold.
- Choose quality products. Look for products with an array of antioxidants in their ingredients. Look for the big three—vitamins A, C, and E—as well as green tea, Coenzyme Q10, grape extract, and resveratrol.
- Create a routine. Regularly use antioxidant-filled products in the morning, prior to SPF, to protect from sun and dangerous free radicals.