Antioxidants are the magical potions that skin experts vouch for to get youthful and glowing skin. Dermatologists and Dieticians agree that antioxidants are the super ingredients that can help delay skin aging and prevent further damage to your skin.
Several studies have shown that this ‘fountain of youth’ works as a scavenger by removing free radicals that can damage the skin. Research continually proves that antioxidants have anti-aging properties and has successfully reduced fine lines and dark spots. It also supports collagen and elastin production, keeping skin smooth and bouncy.
Most people get antioxidants through their diet and supplements; Others rely on topical application of this powerful ingredient. Inclusion of antioxidants in your skincare routine helps skin to fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. But it is important that you should not reach out for all the antioxidants at once.
Dermatologists have time-and-again stated that topical application of antioxidants offer multiple benefits. Here is a lowdown on some antioxidants and the benefits they provide.
Vitamin C is one of the few antioxidants that have been found to be beneficial to all types of skin. Skin experts have clinically proven that this active ingredient, when applied topically, can improve skin tone and texture. Regular use of this powerful antioxidant has helped many with visible signs of aging by fading hyperpigmentation, skin brightening and in stimulating collagen production. In addition, Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties that helps in counteracting rosacea.
Interestingly, recent research has found that the body’s natural reserve of vitamin C gets depleted when the skin is exposed to external invaders like the sun’s UV rays or to excessive air pollutions. So, replenishing your body’s vitamin C level – through diet, supplements or topically – has endless benefits for skin protection and restoration. However, finding a stable vitamin C serum for topical application is very important as this potent antioxidant can easily turn ineffective. Some people also take vitamin C supplements to boost skin’s collagen production.
Vegetables and citrus fruits are natural sources of Vitamin C.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that plays an important role in your immune health and in the body’s metabolism. It also helps to accelerate the skin’s healing process. This antioxidant penetrates deep into the skin, making it a potent skin protection and renewal ingredient.
Vitamin E is effective in protecting your skin from photodamage and is a known agent in promoting cell restoration. So, it’s an important ingredient in many skin-care products. Studies have found that topical application of this compound reduces inflammation and keeps skin looking young.
Taking vitamin E supplements will help in boosting your skin’s health. But consult your physician before taking vitamin E supplements, as they can interfere in the functioning of certain medicines like blood thinners.
Food sources of Vitamin E are vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.
Astaxanthin is the most potent antioxidant (more powerful than vitamin C or vitamin E). This antioxidant belongs to the carotenoid family that gives a bright hue to certain food like the orange colour to carrots and salmon, or the red colour to tomatoes. Beta-carotene is the most powerful antioxidant in the carotenoid family; and astaxanthin is five times more powerful than beta-carotene.
Studies have shown that topical application of astaxanthin has been beneficial in protecting skin from sun exposure, making it a potent ingredient for healthy aging. People also take astaxanthin supplements for protecting the collagen layer and preventing damage from sun’s UV rays. The supplements have been found to be effective in reducing fine lines & age spots, as well as in providing skin hydration, giving skin the dewy look.
Dietary sources of astaxanthin are salmon, trout, shrimp, krill and algae.
Vitamin B3 or Niacinamide
Vitamin B3, also known as niacinamide has several skin benefits that makes it a popular topical antioxidant. Besides, niacin products are gentle and well-suited to all skin types. Research has shown that topical application of niacin benefitted users by smoothening fine lines and wrinkles, improving elasticity and fading hyperpigmentation. Niacin also plays skin barrier functions due to its ability to stimulate ceramide synthesis. This antioxidant prevents sallow skin, or yellow undertones in your skin.
Most people get their daily dose of vitamin B3 through their diet, in foods such as meat, poultry, fish, nuts and legumes.
However, some people may be deficient on vitamin B3 and need higher dose, which can be taken care of through niacin supplements on recommendation of a doctor or a health practitioner.
Reservatrol is a powerful antioxidant with anti-aging benefits like reducing skin inflammation and maintaining collagen levels in our body. It’s a natural source of polyphenol that gives the deep colour to grapes, berries, tea and red wine.
This antioxidant protects the cell’s DNA by scavenging free radicals caused by sun’s UV rays, pollution, and our body’s fat metabolism, leading to aging, cancer and even brain degeneration.
Research has shown that applying topical reservatrol can improve skin health by restoring collagen levels and decreasing skin inflammation. Most clinical trials found that people who used topical reservatrol had better skin health than those who didn’t.
Dietary reservatrol supplements are extracted from red wine, grape seeds and Japanese knotweed, and found in pill or powder form.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a naturally occurring antioxidant in our body. CoQ10 also known as ubiquinone, is present in all cells and used for removing free radicals, protection of mitochondria, and for prevention of oxidative stress in DNA.
CoQ10 is also present in our skin. But the body’s natural reserve of this substance declines steadily with age, and due to unprotected UV exposure. So CoQ10 needs to be replenished through dietary food, supplements or topically.
Various studies have shown that topical application of CoQ10 has significant benefits for aging skin.
Food sources of Coenzyme Q10 are beef, pork, chicken, fatty fish like tuna, soybean, corn, and olive. Coenzyme Q10 supplements can also be availed to replenish your body’s natural reserve.
Vitamin A or retinol
Vitamin A or retinol is a potent antioxidant that promotes skin renewal and tissue health. This fat-soluble vitamin ensures good vision, healthy immune system, strong bones, growth & development, and supports reproductive health.
Vitamin A products are much-in-demand for topical application, due to its anti-aging skin benefits. Studies have shown that application of retinol products may speed up skin renewal, improve skin tone, reduce sunspots and smoothen fine lines.
Vitamin A supplement are also available, but it’s advisable to consult your physician on the dosage to prevent deposits in your tissues.
Food sources of vitamin A include both animal sources and plant sources. Some examples of animal sources of vitamin A are eggs, meat, liver, cream and butter; And plant sources of vitamin A are the various fruits and vegetables that includes mangos, papaya, cantaloupe, carrots, squashes, sweet potatoes and broccoli.
Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that help your body to fight free radicals, preventing them from harming healthy cells. In other words, they help to prevent health conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. They also reduce inflammation and keep your skin healthy & glowing.
These plant-based compounds are found in abundance in plant foods such as green tea, red wine, pomegranates, herbs, spices and some vegetables.
Research has shown that polyphenols can prevent photodamage, making it a favoured ingredient for skin products.
Dietary polyphenol supplements are also taken by many people due to its nutritional benefits. But it’s best to consult your doctor before taking this antioxidant.