Antioxidants are the best way to keep your skin looking bright and youthful, aside from sunscreen. However, there are so many different kinds of antioxidants, and so many different products, that it can be hard to keep things straight. Here’s what you need to know about antioxidants, and how you can include them in your routine!
What Are Antioxidants?
According to Futurederm, an oxygen molecule is stable, or unreactive, when it has an even number of electrons. However, when oxygen molecules combine with other molecules, the oxygen can end up with an odd number of electrons. The oxygen molecule is now unstable and highly reactive, and the odd-numbered species is known as a free radical. This free radical really is a crazy, radical species: it starts a vicious chain reaction that attacks cell structures, proteins, and DNA, doing damage that contributes to aging. The body defends against free radicals with antioxidants, which impede or slow the chain reaction. Antioxidants “break the chain,” stopping free radicals from ripping electrons off of other molecules.
Vitamins C & E are also known as network antioxidants. These two work as a team to stabilize free radicals. When vitamin C donates an electron to stabilize a toxic free radical, vitamin E can donate an electron and replenish vitamin C. They make the perfect pair!
Resveratrol: in a 2008 study, resveratrol prevented UVB-induced damage to human skin cells treated with it. It was discovered that resveratrol inhibits the inflammatory NFkB pathway to decrease the skin cells’ production of hydrogen peroxide. With reduced levels of inflammation, less damage accrued in the cells. As for resveratrol’s anti-aging benefits in skincare, a group led by Dr. David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School discovered that the compound stimulates protein, and helps increase the activity of mitochondria, which produces energy within cells, extending their life. You can find resveratrol in MDSUN’s Wrinkle Smoothener.