You’ve heard about them, you’ve seen them advertised, your aesthetician has most likely recommended them, but what exactly is an antioxidant? What do they do? And why do you need to use them.
Q: So what is an antioxidant?
A: Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules caused by free radicals. Some of the most potent antioxidants are: vitamin C, coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, grape seed extract, green tea and turmeric.
Q: What is a free radical:
A: Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd number of electrons. They can cause damage if they pair up with important cellular components such as DNA. This can cause cells to function poorly or die.
Q: What causes free radical damage?
A: Fried foods, alcohol, tobacco smoke, pesticides, air pollutants, stress, and more.
Q: How does this affect my skin?
A: Free radicals can cause wrinkles, skin cancers, and brown spots.
Q: Can I just take an antioxidant orally?
A: You can, but when taken orally the organs with the largest blood supply will absorb them first. This leaves the skin with the little that’s left over, if any.
Q: How does a topical antioxidant work?
A: Antioxidants hunt these free radicals down to prevent the breakdown of DNA.
Q: How do I incorporate it into my skin care regimen:A: I recommend a topical antioxidant serum be used daily as part of your morning skincare routine. It should be used after you cleanse your skin, or toner if you use one, and before you moisturize.
Q: Which antioxidant should I be using?
A: A good, stable antioxidant serum is hard to find. I only recommend the highest grade formulated by reputable medical skin care product lines. Two of my favorites are Skin Medica’s TNS Essential Serum and SkinBetter’s Alto Defense.