1. What are Antioxidants and how do they work?
Antioxidants are substances that protect your cells against free radicals by neutralising unstable molecules; that can be both naturally or artificially derived.
Our body can also produce natural antioxidants which are referred to as endogenous antioxidants. They can be enzymatic or non-enzymatic, working to help our body’s metabolism. Whereas artificial antioxidants are substances that have been created from chemical processes.
Factors that enhance the production of free radicals usually come from our external environments such as UV exposure and pollution. Antioxidants can help boost your overall health by neutralising free radicals and reducing damage by oxidation.
2. How do Antioxidants work in the body?
Atli Arnarson (2019) discusses how antioxidants work in the body in his blog for Healthline. He mentions how antioxidants found in our body and selected plant-based foods work to neutralise free radicals to prevent illnesses such as diabetes and cancer.
The problem derives when there are a higher number of free radicals in the body than there are antioxidants; thus creating a state of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can damage our DNA cells increasing our risks of getting cancer as well as cell damage. The way to solve this is to increase the number of antioxidants present in the body; a process that can be helped by sticking to a predominantly plant-based diet.
The inclusion of Vitamin C and E is also vital for our overall health, therefore fresh foods such as berries, fruit, and vegetables are also essential to add to our diets. What's more, if you can consume more fresh herbs and spices, then you are increasing your natural antioxidant intake.
3. Can Antioxidants benefit your skin?
Antioxidants contain natural vitamins and minerals that can repair as well as refresh the skin.
If your skincare products contain anti-inflammatory properties, they can help to reduce inflammation and improve visible signs of skin damage. Antioxidant skin care can also help when it comes to concealing the signs of ageing.
Oxidative stress breaks down collagen production, thinning the epidermis layer to make your skin look tired and sunken in appearance. Due to antioxidants being rich in collagen they can help skin look youthful, whilst retaining natural moisture and skin elasticity.
Hitoshi Masaki (2010) produced a study on the success of antioxidants forming an anti-ageing effect; his findings supported his belief that antioxidants such as carotenoids and ascorbic acid were effective treatments for improving aged skin. Ascorbic acid works to build a greater skin barrier and enhance epidermal differentiation by stimulating blood flow. This is particularly helpful for those with dark circles where there is poor blood circulation and hyperpigmentation. Carotenoids are organic pigments provided by plants, algae, and fungi. Their naturally occurring antioxidants are effective in preventing UV damage due to their highly protective mechanisms.
4. Which antioxidants are the most effective?
Given antioxidants are in and outside our body, many are effective for different reasons…
Young and Woodside (2001) discuss various types in their academic work. They suggest one of the most effective is Vitamin E as it is rich in fatty acids and is powerful in neutralising free radicals to protect your cells from oxidative damage. Furthermore, it ensures your immune system is functioning properly whilst improving cell signalling. It is also perfect for retaining skin moisture and keeping skin feeling smooth due to its healing properties.
Several ARLENE products contain Vitamin E including our ARLENE Soothing Face Wash, ARLENE Enhancing Face Serum and ARLENE Renewing Face Cream. The Vitamin E in all three of these products perform deep moisturisation and protection from external pollutants!
Fadime Pehlivan (2017) further support that Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant. It is commonly known as ascorbic acid and is powerful in promoting iron absorption, immune stimulation, and the synthesis of collagen. When it comes to skin, Vitamin C plays a vital role in boosting collagen and elastin, which means the skin is always looking plump and firm in appearance.
Tag us in your photos of your ARLENE product with antioxidants on Instagram: @ampradcosmetics. We would love to see your skincare routine!