The Secrets of Antioxidants and You

Antioxidants and skinFree radicals, unstable molecules that can damage your skin, can damage your body. Antioxidants can help protect you from free radicals.

The human body has its own natural antioxidants to protect itself, but many different factors can affect its ability to do so. These may include genetics, age, sex, and lifestyle. Having an antioxidant plan in place can help you improve your looks and your health.

FREE RADICALS

These molecules are very reactive. Their purpose is to destroy tissues, protein bonds, and cells. UV radiation, alcohol, stress, and pollution can all contribute to the production of free radicals. Interestingly enough, rigorous exercise and a poor warm up or cool down can do the same. Free radicals keep reproducing until antioxidants stop them from doing so.

Free radicals also interrupt cells’ ability to reproduce. This, in turn, can inhibit muscle growth, development of the immune system, and potentially increase the risk of injury to the body. The skin’s DNA can also be damaged, which can age the skin. It can cause the complexion to be rough or dull, and increase the risk of skin cancer.

How antioxidants work is only now beginning to be understood. Studies have shown that antioxidants can avert the rapid reproduction of free radicals before damage takes place. Your body may not be able to handle this alone, unfortunately. Most people’s eating choices do not allow for nearly enough antioxidants in their diet.

RUBBING IT IN—CREAMS AND OTHER TREATMENTS

There are many types of topical antioxidant treatments that can penetrate the skin’s surface easily. Before these formulas were created, users had to resort to rubbing the serum from capsules onto their bodies. These serums were sticky, hard to absorb through the skin, and caused problems for those with sensitive skin . Manufacturers have noted that some popular vitamin based antioxidants, especially in the new, lighter forms, are most effective when combined with other ingredients. Examples include Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

These creams and serums are designed to disperse free radicals and help make the fibroblasts, which support your skin, stronger. The fibroblasts also help prevent your skin from becoming rough, aged looking, and saggy. The vitamins in the treatments may also help stimulate collagen production. Collagen breaks down as we age, and helps our skin remain healthy looking.

DIET IS IMPORTANT

Eating properly is a crucial part in creating antioxidants. Vitamins C and E are not the only substances that contain antioxidants; magnesium, copper, and zinc have antioxidants as well. There are a number of foods that contain vitamin C and E, and are full of antioxidants. Whole grains, apricots, fish oils are examples of Vitamin E, while citrus fruit, strawberries, and green peppers have Vitamin C.

THE EYES HAVE IT

Antioxidants are good for the eyes and may lessen the chance of macular degeneration, as well as cataracts.

FINDING THE RIGHT BLEND

Since each person’s situation is unique, there will be different factors that decide what the best antioxidant plan is for you. Genetics, age, race and health, among others, must be taken into account when determining this. There will be many options for your diets and creams, however, and the plan will change as you age. Discuss goals for your skin and your expectations with your skin doctor to help him or her plan the right treatment for you.