If you’re into nutrition science, you’re probably already aware of some of the benefits of including antioxidants in your diet. From fighting cancer and heart disease to improving vision and lowering the risk of diabetes, these compounds seem to be nothing short of magical. And yet, once you’ve eaten your blueberries and sipped your fresh-squeezed orange juice, isn’t your job done? Those antioxidants are banishing unruly free radicals and restoring order to your body’s cells.
You will also find commercial skincare products that tout antioxidants as healing ingredients. There are benefits to adding antioxidants to your skincare routine even if your diet includes plenty of them. After all, your skin is the largest organ in your body, and its absorptive properties are what make it such a powerful ally in maintaining your good health.
Here are some of the amazing reasons you should be using antioxidants for healthy skin!
The power of antioxidants lies in their ability to fight free radicals.
What are free radicals?
Free radicals are chemical compounds that steal electrons from your body’s tissues, upsetting the delicate balance of homeostasis your body works so hard to maintain. A few missing electrons here and there won’t cause you too much trouble, but if you’re exposed to enough of these chemicals over time, the damage may start adding up. High levels of free radicals have been linked to problems ranging from cancer to premature skin aging.
The bad news is that you live in the modern world, where you’re exposed to numerous sources of free radicals every single day. Breathe in the exhaust from a nearby truck or walk through a cloud of secondhand cigarette smoke, and your lungs will suffer the consequences. Eat a healthy lunch, and your body will still generate some free radicals as a byproduct of digestion. Hit the gym after work, and your cells will lose some electrons as a result of the strain—even though exercise is a healthy habit to maintain.
Similarly, your skin is exposed to just as many—if not more—free radicals than the rest of your body. Your skin is your defense against the outside world, and it gets assaulted with an onslaught of air pollution, sunburn, strange chemicals, and other harmful, electron-stealing and DNA-damaging influences every day.
The good news is that you can replenish those missing electrons and repair the DNA damage with antioxidants. Antioxidants act like charitable benefactors, circulating around your body and donating their own electrons to the cells that need them. On top of that, they can also help to repair existing cell damage and restore altered DNA to its original state, helping to lower the likelihood that long-term damage will occur.
The even better news is that these little free radical fighters work well wherever you apply them. You can consume plenty of antioxidant-rich foods to improve your chances of living a long and healthy life, and slather the antioxidants on your skin to fight surface-level damage at the same time!
In other words, incorporating antioxidants into your skincare routine will result in less chronic oxidative stress-related damage over time. This means your skin will stay healthier, more resilient, and younger-looking if you offer it plenty of antioxidant protection.
By using a wide variety of antioxidants on your skin, you’ll help:
With antioxidants, you may be able to ease, prevent, and perhaps even reverse many of the skin issues we typically think of as inevitable.
You might have noticed that we recommend choosing products with a “wide variety” of antioxidants. This is because each antioxidant fights damage in its own unique ways, and some antioxidants are more suited to specific tasks than others.
Along with these heavy-hitters listed above, you can also find products containing selenium, zinc, copper, and the carotenoids beta carotene, lycopene, and lutein.
Bear in mind that many lab-created products don’t necessarily translate to benefits in the real world. Sometimes, all the processing and reformulating degrades the usefulness of even the most powerful antioxidants before they ever make it onto your skin. If you’ve tried antioxidant products before and you haven’t noticed much of a difference, this could be why.
That’s why we always encourage you to choose natural skincare products whenever possible! When you go natural, you’ll be using products that preserve the original integrity of these powerful compounds, so you can reap the benefits just as nature intended.
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