Friday, October 31, 2014

Antioxidants For Sun Damaged Skin

We have addressed the topic of best anti-aging ingredients in the past – but with continued research, scientific advances, and a steady flow of new products, we find it necessary to update this topic from time to time.
In this segment we discuss antioxidants for the effective treatment of wrinkles and sun damaged skin. Antioxidants are natural substances found in a wide variety of plants. Whether the source is from the root, the fruit, or the stem of the plant the result is the same. Antioxidants penetrate the skin, turning harmful free radicals into harmless compounds, thereby stopping them from destroying DNA, elastin, and collagen. Some antioxidants perform other duties too – for instance they can help stimulate collagen, boost cell repair, and fade dark spots and blotches.

Tips for Choosing an Antioxidant Treatment

Antioxidants 1
Select a product with the ingredient that most addresses your skincare needs.  Then, if available, select a serum  since these usually have the strongest dose of the active ingredients and will penetrate the skin more effectively than a cream.

Look for a blended product – one that is formulated from multiple antioxidants – these are more effective when used together (the more the merrier) and will attack free radicals on multiple levels, each in their own way, making it a much more effective treatment than a single antioxidant treatment.

Best Antioxidant Ingredients to Look For

The antioxidants listed below are most effective at protecting the skin, restoring damaged skin, and slowing down the aging process:

Açaí Berry Oil

The Açaí berry is packed with antioxidants. The oil is extracted by cold pressing and is suitable for all skin types, especially for sun damaged and aging skin. It removes toxic build-up, restores moisture in the skin, and improves the skin’s complexion. That’s because it’s rich in essential fatty acids such as Omega 3, Omega 6, and Omega 9, plus vitamins B1, B2, B3, E, and C, minerals, polyphenols, anthocyanins, and phytosterols. Look for this effective active ingredient in serums, masks, creams, cleansers, exfoliating scrubs, even body butters.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Alpha-lipoic Acid is found in every cell of the body. As a commercial active ingredient, it can help erase fine lines and wrinkles, diminish enlarged pores, and give skin a healthy glow.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid is sometimes called the “universal antioxidant” because it regenerates or recycles other antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 and glutathione when they lose their ability to act as antioxidants in the body. It also has the power to protect both the inside and the outside of cells against oxidative damage. Alpha-lipoic acid has the power to fight inflammation that can damage collagen and elastin. Look for products that contain 1% to 4% alpha lipoic acid – when used regularly, it will improve rough, sun-damage skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

CoEnzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10)

The body naturally makes CoQ-10 to neutralize free radicals in our cells. As we age, we make less CoQ-10 naturally, making it necessary to replace it with an oral supplement, or use a topical skincare product with the powerful antioxidant to help supplement the skin’s diminishing ability to prevent damage from free radicals.  CoQ10 will help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, especially around the eyes. Look for toners, gels, and creams to be used alone or with a moisturizer.

Coffee Berry 

Antioxidant
Coffee berry extract is a powerful antioxidant that is one of the most potent natural antioxidants due to its high levels of polyphenols and phenolic acids. It has the ability to prevent fine lines, wrinkles and cellular damage from UV exposure. Products with this powerful extract help neutralize free radicals, act as an effective anti-inflammatory and smooth the skin, making it one of the best antioxidant ingredients to look for.

Green Tea Extract

According to The Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology, the polyphenols found in green tea, possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.  Topically applied green tea extract has the ability to reduce sun damage by minimizing inflammation and attacking free radicals.
Most researchers agree that tea (black, green, or white) has potent anti-inflammatory properties and that it is a potent antioxidant whether consumed orally or applied topically. Current research also indicates that EGCG, an extract of tea, can prevent collagen breakdown and reduce UV damage to skin, which is a very good reason to use skin-care products that contain one or more forms of tea. Look for products with green tea. That’s because the highest levels of catechins are found in green tea - it contains more than five times more antioxidant-rich catechins than black tea.

Resveratrol

Resveratrol is a natural antioxidant found in plants. This powerful antioxidant delivers  protective benefits to the skin. Topically, resveratrol improves collagen production, reduces cell damage and protects against sun damage. It is a stable, potent antioxidant worth finding in a skin-care product. Look for resveratrol in a wide variety of anti-aging, skin-rejuvenating products like SkinCeuticals Resveratrol B E designed to neutralizes age-accelerating internal free radicals, promote skin’s natural repair to diminish the visible signs of damage, and support the skin’s functionality to prevent future damage.

Retinol

Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A. It’s a tried and true treatment in the anti-aging skincare industry. Retinol boosts collagen and elastin by encouraging cellular repair at the deepest level of the skin, restoring dull, lifeless skin to a more youthful appearance. Retinol also pumps up circulation by increasing blood-vessel formation, so skin looks healthier.
Many dermatologists prescribe a stronger form of Retinol, called Tretinoin, to slow skin aging, improve irregular pigmentation, and clear up acne.  Over-the-counter products containing retinols may be weaker, but are still effective in improving skin appearance. Choose one that is packaged in an an aluminum tube or an opaque plastic pump bottle so light and air don’t degrade it and avoid ingredients.

Vitamin C

Before and After Antioxidants
Vitamin C is a tried and true ingredient in anti-aging skincare with a long history of success. Vitamin C can:

  • Protect skin cells and skin’s support structure from sun damage
  • Improve the look of sun-damaged skin
  • Strengthen skin’s barrier
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Promote collagen production
  • Improve the results of peels and microdermabrasion treatments
  • Lessen hyperpigmentation
There are different types of Vitamin C, each with their own name and function. You may see it listed as ascorbic acid, L-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, retinyl ascorbate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate.
Regardless, Vitamin C is an effective rejuvenating ingredient  - look for products with 0.3% and 10% Vitamin C, depending on the variety. Very effective products may contain more that one type of vitamin C like New Age Skincare’s Hydro-C Gel – an effective product for restoring skin condition and reversing signs of sun damage and premature aging.
We have more articles on other anti-aging, antioxidant ingredients. See our list of articles below and learn about more powerful and effective antioxidants.

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