What Are Antioxidants & How Do They Help Your Skin?

Perhaps the most common buzzword in skin care today, antioxidants are proven allies in maintaining healthy skin. This is why all products in the ChitoCare Beauty skin care line contain antioxidants. But what are they exactly? Read on to find out why you need more of them in your life.

What are antioxidants?

The word antioxidant comes from the Greek word anti, meaning “against” or “opposite”, and the word oxide, which is a binary oxygen compound. Simply put, antioxidants are compounds that protect our cells from damage. More specifically, oxidation. Oxidation is the process in which a chemical substance binds with oxygen and changes as a result. One simple example of oxidation is when an apple starts to brown after it has been cut open and left out for a few hours. Another example is when oxygen combines with iron to create rust.

Dramatic as it sounds, our skin undergoes a similar process, involving compounds called free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage cells and tissues and cause oxidative stress. Both antioxidants and free radicals occur in our body naturally and play a role in keeping us healthy. However, when an imbalance between the two occurs, that’s when problems start. The reason for this is two-fold. The first is that our body only makes so many antioxidants on its own – we must get most of them from foods or supplements. The second is that free radicals can multiply within us when we expose ourselves to harmful stressors that exist in the world around us. Normally, antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals, but only to an extent – and this is where a healthy diet and skin care routine come into play.

How do antioxidants help my skin?

The skin is the first defensive barrier of our body. It is also our largest organ and greatly depends on antioxidants to function properly. Our skin protects the rest of our organs from extrinsic aggressors, it is where cell generation and wound healing occur, it prevents loss of moisture, and reduces the harmful effects of UV radiation. Making sure our skin is nourished with antioxidants is perhaps one of the most crucial practices in skin care. Let’s see why.

Defend against environmental stressors

You may not notice, but your skin is bombarded by environmental stressors on a daily basis. These include air pollution, toxins, harsh weather, blue light, tobacco smoke, and chemicals in pesticides and cleaning agents. All of these can lead to oxidative damage in the skin, which can result in skin diseases, cancer, loss of elasticity, wrinkles, irritation, hyperpigmentation or inflammation.

By far the most damaging of all environmental stressors is UV radiation. Exposure to solar radiation causes damage to DNA and proteins like collagen and elastin, reduces antioxidant levels in the skin, and causes premature aging. Making sure you nourish yourself and your skin with antioxidants such as Vitamin E and chitosan, that interferes with free radicals, will protect you from these harmful environmental stressors.

Help skin firmness

As we age, our skin loses its natural ability to produce collagen, elastin, silica and other vital substances that give our skin elasticity and firmness. Cell regeneration, moisture retention and skin hydration are crucial for maintaining supple, more resilient skin. Omega-centric antioxidants are extremely effective in revitalizing skin texture, resulting in smoother, more even-looking skin.

Calm inflammation

Certain antioxidants, like coconut and soybean oil, have soothing properties for the skin. They can work to reduce redness, itching, irritation, soreness and inflammation. They can also treat skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, rosacea and sensitivity. Lotions and moisturizers high in antioxidants will improve moisture levels and deliver a soothing, calming effect.

Slow premature aging

Whether we like it or not, wrinkles are a natural part of growing older. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C help slow down the natural aging process by encouraging collagen production, preserving skin plumpness and reducing signs of aging, such as sagging and dryness, and the appearance of brown spots and fine lines.

How do I fill up on antioxidants?

Skin health is both an intrinsic and extrinsic process. Filling up on antioxidants by way of a healthy diet will boost antioxidant action from the inside, while using antioxidants topically will protect your skin from the outside.

Plant-based foods and antioxidant supplements

Most plant-based foods are high in antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, pulses and whole grains. Wash those down with drinks high in antioxidants, such as green tea, pomegranate juice, beet juice, herbal tea and even coffee. Incorporating these into your daily diet will increase your overall health, while also feeding your skin with protective antioxidant compounds.

Supplements can also greatly increase your daily dose of antioxidants, as they are an easy way to ensure you get your amount without having to make radical changes to your diet or lifestyle. ChitoCare Beauty Hair, Skin & Nails is packed with nutrients like marine chitosan, vitamin C, zinc, selenium and geothermal silica, that provide powerful antioxidant  and protective action.

To fill up on antioxidants while also boosting your energy levels, try ChitoCare Beauty Liposan Fibers & Vitamin C, that provides powerful antioxidant protection.

Topical creams

To boost antioxidants in the skin from the outside, apply them topically in the form of creams, lotions and serums. There isn’t a single “best” antioxidant to look for, as they all have beneficial qualities. What is important is to use a variety of antioxidants, as they perform better together. ChitoCare Beauty products are packed with active ingredients with high antioxidant action, including our star ingredient, chitosan.