ABC’s of: Antioxidants

{Image from Marie Claire}

As an esthetician I am often asked about aging and the effects it has on our skin. Women are surprised when I tell them that aging doesn’t have to be an inevitable decline in their appearance. There are legitimate and preventive measures one can take to protect and improve their skin. If you are young and think this doesn’t apply to you and you want to stop reading, this concerns everyone, all ages and all skin types. You are never too young to start properly caring for your skin and preventing skin aging. Our skin faces free radicals and oxidative stress everyday-both are biochemical triggers that manifest skin aging in the form of wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, and loss of skin tone and elasticity. Free radicals, or reactive oxygen species (ROS) are unsafe oxygen molecules that are created from pollution and UV rays. Free radicals or ROS, attack and react with stable skin cell molecules, which then cause the cross-linking of elastin and collagen. Voila, a wrinkle is born. This damage also lessens the skin’s ability to repair itself. Thankfully we have some weapons in our anti-aging arsenal against sun and pollution, chief among them, antioxidants.

Vice vice baby. If you are a known skin sinner, and smoke or skip sunscreen, topical antioxidants are a must for you. Antioxidants are imperative in preventing skin-cell damage and are your first line of defense. Therefore, you want to have your defense barrier on day and night to fight off free radicals.

First things first. Antioxidants work best on clean, bare skin. You want the ingredients to fully penetrate, so put your antioxidants on first and then your sunscreen and moisturizer. If you are ever in doubt on the order of application of products when it comes to your skin care, refer back to my How To: Apply Skincare Products post.

Sayonara sensitivity. Antioxidants really are a star in the skin care world. Not only do they battle free radicals and keep you looking younger longer, they have been shown to offset irritation. If your skin is known for being sensitive, and you have reacted to other anti-aging products, such as retinols or alpha hydroxy acids, antioxidants can help you cope.

Simply the best. Some potent antioxidants include: green tea, grapeseed extract, vitamin E, soy, pomegranate, CoEnzyme Q10, and vitamin C. The most powerful antioxidants, however, are Coffeeberry, idebenone, and phloretin CF (phloretin with vitamin C and ferulic acid). For Coffeeberry, try PRIORI Coffeeberry Day Complex, or Revale Skin Day Cream SPF 15. For idebenone, try Prevage Anti-Aging Treatment. For phloretin CF, opt for SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF. Whichever antioxidant you select, use it every morning for all-day protection.

Whole foods. While some supplements have value in making your skin healthier (gamma-tocopherol Vitamin E is one notable example) your best bet is to eat your antioxidants. Whole Superfoods such as cruciferous (plant with four-petaled flowers or long seedpods) vegetables like broccoli, and blueberries will help you combat aging. For more information on Superfoods read this.

Do you currently use any antioxidant skin care products? Will you start?

If you have any anti-aging questions, please leave me a comment or send me an e-mail, I’m happy to help!

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5 Responses to ABC’s of: Antioxidants

  1. Danielle says:

    I am horribly terrified of aging and will do anything you tell me. A friend of mine gave me a sample of skinceuticals CF. I didn’t know what it was or what to do it or what to expect of it. I am now excited to try it! Thanks, Bre!

  2. Breanna says:

    @Danielle You are going to LOVE it! What a nice and generous friend you have too btw. Use it as a serum under your moisturizer and sunscreen and before your makeup. Let me know how you make out! xo

  3. Elaine says:

    I’m not sure…but I think so??

  4. Breanna says:

    @Elaine haha your response is hilarious. You’re not sure if you’re using antioxidant products I take it?

  5. [...] Don’t pick! Some of you may have the urge to peel and pick at your peeling skin. Please refrain from doing so as this could cause damage to your new, delicate skin. Save your body scrubs until after your skin has healed. Moisturize like you’ve never moisturized before. Use only natural hydrating products. I love body oils-the more hydrated the flesh the better and the less likely you will be tempted to peel. Avoid fragranced lotions as these could cause further irritation. Sunburned skin is sensitized skin, baby it. You can apply some hydrocortisone cream to help lessen redness and irritation. After your skin has healed, reach for products that contain antioxidants to protect your new fragile skin. Layering antioxidant products underneath your daily sunscreen bolsters your protection from the sun’s damaging rays. For more on antioxidants read this. [...]

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