PART 1 : ANTIOXIDANTS
We’re always looking for ways to slow down skin aging. Skin care is a multi-billion dollar recession-proof industry, mostly based promises to keep your skin younger for longer.
Most skin concerns such as under eye wrinkles, fine lines, pigmentation, dull complexion and sagging skin result from aging skin. In this 3-part series, we’ll look at the top skin anti-aging allies you should look for in your skin care products to help you retain youthful and radiant skin. In Part 1, we take a look at our first family of skin allies – the Antioxidants.
Have you ever left a slice of apple out, only to find it browned a short time later? That’s free radicals at work. If you squeeze a little lemon on to a freshly cut apple slice, you’ll find that it takes longer to turn brown. That’s antioxidants at work.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause cellular oxidation (which caused the apple to brown when exposed to oxygen), a major factor in skin aging. From the example above, you would know that in order to slow skin aging, we need antioxidants. Your body naturally makes its own antioxidants, but demand increases with age and our urban lifestyles.
You may have heard of classic antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. In addition to protecting your skin from free radical damage, vitamin C lights up your skin and gives it a natural, healthy radiance while vitamin E helps firm your skin and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Let’s take a look at some lesser known superstar antioxidants:
Naturally found in the leaves and seeds of most plants, ferulic acid is commonly extracted from rice bran oil or apple and orange seeds. It’s one of the most potent natural antioxidants, showing superior protective effects compared to vitamins C and E. It’s been found to be especially good at preventing sun damage with research showing it to be 17x more potent than idebenone (a synthetic antioxidant found in anti-wrinkle creams). What makes ferulic acid even more awesome is how it enhances the effect of other antioxidants. Ferulic acid and vitamins C and E form the ‘sacred combination’ of anti-aging skin care.
Another powerful and effective antioxidant and anti-aging ingredient, resveratrol works by ‘deactivating’ free radicals and preventing their formation. Studies show resveratrol to be 95% effective at preventing lipid peroxidation (cellular damage caused by free radicals) compared to 65% efficacy for vitamin C. You can also take resveratrol in supplement form to enhance antioxidant activity. Your health benefits from its protective effects too! Resveratrol, along with other potent free radical scavenging polyphenols, feature in Imagene Labs’ antioxidant serum concentrate which is used to customise facial serums for those who show a high risk for low skin antioxidant levels. Find out more about our OriSKIN DNA test and customised skin care here.
Tea (especially green tea) is rich in catechins, a powerful group of antioxidants. Green tea contains a high amount of EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), the most active of all the catechins that is roughly 25 – 100 times more potent than vitamins C and E. Green, white and black tea extracts are making their way into more anti-aging products due to their protective action against free radicals. And, of course, drinking these teas ups your anti-aging game with a cup of green tea containing more antioxidants than a serving of broccoli, spinach or strawberries.
Remember, your skin is only as good as your diet. You can get plenty of antioxidant from your diet for skin and health benefits. Foods that are rich in antioxidants are usually brightly coloured vegetables and fruits. Taking a good antioxidant supplement will also help support your anti-aging skin routine.
Watch out for Part 2 of our 3 part Anti-Aging Allies series.