In the beauty industry, there are plenty of buzz words and skincare related terms casually thrown around. Many of us might feel confused by the numerous compounds that get portrayed as cornerstones of a well-rounded skincare regimen - but what do they actually do?
Today we'll take a closer look at antioxidants and why they belong in your wellness routine.
Antioxidants, oxidation & free radicals
Antioxidants are often mentioned in connection with free radicals and oxidation, so let's start by breaking that down.
Oxidation is a chemical reaction that happens during normal cell metabolism. It produces free radicals, an unstable type of byproduct molecule that can cause damage to healthy cells and our DNA. The body also produces free radicals from exposure to unfavorable environmental factors such as tobacco smoke, pollution, and ultraviolet rays.
Free radicals are considered unstable because, chemically, they are missing an electron. To remedy that, they will steal the electrons they're missing from wherever they can find them, causing damage to the entity that got its electron taken.
When that giver entity happens to be healthy skin cells, the damage can show up for example as inflammation, lack of elasticity/collagen breakdown, UV damage, and premature signs of aging. Free radical damage has also been found to increase the risk of cancer and various diseases as free radicals can impact numerous processes in the body.
What antioxidants do
Antioxidants are extremely helpful in neutralizing free radicals, as antioxidants conveniently have spare electrons that they can give to the free radical. Antioxidants therefore work like a natural "off" switch for the free radicals, eliminating their need to steal electrons from other places.
Antioxidants is simply the umbrella name for any compound that has this neutralizing effect on free radicals. Vitamin A, C and E are common examples.
We benefit from a steady replenishment of antioxidants in our system, both in the body from our diet and applied topically directly to our skin cells through the skin. The body does produce some antioxidants naturally, but the stressors of modern life, environmental damage from pollution, tobacco smoke, etc. oftentimes are more than what the body was built to handle. A healthy intake of antioxidants through our food and wellness routine is often essential.
Antioxidants + Plants
Many of our most powerful antioxidants come from plant-based sources that are full of phytochemicals ("plant chemicals"). Phytochemicals are antioxidants in and of themselves, but they are also excellent team players - as they can help other antioxidants work longer and more effectively. You might have heard the names of certain subgroups of phytochemicals, for example:
- Carotenoids, which can be found in the form of lycopene in tomatoes or lutein in kale
- Polyphenols with the subgroup Flavonoids, for example found in colorful berries, in green tea and Nilotica in the form of catechins, or in cocoa in the form of flavanols.
Let's look at this multiplicative effect of phytochemicals through the example of Vitamin C, which is a common antioxidant. When Vitamin C has disarmed a free radical by giving up its spare electron, the phytochemical found in citrus fruits, herperetin, has been shown to restore Vitamin C to its active antioxidant state. The vitamin can then get back out and fight more free radicals.
The positive effect of antioxidants is therefore extra targeted & powerful when paired with botanical, phytochemical-rich ingredients.
Antioxidants in skincare
That is also one reason why including plant-based skincare products into your wellness routine is a great idea. The power of antioxidants + plants can make your skincare products more effective, amplifying the antioxidative effect while reducing the number of products needed.
For a straight-forward, powerful routine, apply the LXMI 33 Face Oil to a cleansed face. The 33 phytochemical-rich, botanical extracts in the formula deliver a targeted blend of for example Vitamin A, C, D, E & F, paired with lycopene, flavanoids & more. Seal in the goodness with the Pure Nilotica Melt, containing not only potent vitamin compounds and the same catechin antioxidants as in green tea, but also barrier repairing essential omegas to lock in moisture.
Reach for this Deep Repair Duo, to get both in a convenient, glow-inducing bundle.
Through an overall healthy lifestyle both on the inside and outside, we can continuously disarm the free radicals as the oxidation process naturally occurs, maintain our cells' integrity, and keep skin healthy & radiant.