Antioxidants and skin care

I know what antioxidants can help you and why they are important for skin health. I discovered how to take care of yourself in a natural way.

An antioxidant is a molecule capable of retarding or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction of electron transfer, from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals, which start with chain reactions that damage cells.
We must mention what is produced by radicals: environmental factors, ultraviolet light, cigarette smoke, gamma radiation and chemical chain reactions.

To understand how antioxidants work and help the skin, it is important to know that one of the biggest problems that photo-aging causes is sun exposure in an urban environment. This uncontrollable daily assault for us damages the skin deeply, especially if we expose ourselves to them without sun protection.

In the short and long term, this impact leads to different signs of aging such as: flaccid skin, wrinkles, uneven skin tone or opaque, dryness, sensitivity, redness, and a multitude of difficult problems to treat. But if nothing is done about it, the natural defenses of the skin will continue to be attacked. Antioxidants help the skin to better defend itself from the relentless daily attack. In addition, they stabilize and fight against all environmental damage, so that they do not cause havoc on the skin.

Diet is the main source of antioxidants, which are found mainly in: olive, garlic, brown rice, coffee, cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, ginger, parsley, onion, citrus, semolina, tomatoes, vine seed oil, tea, rosemary, among many other substances

Among different antioxidant agents we can mention:

Carotenoids and Vitamin A

Carotenoids are among the most common natural pigments and have been characterized so far, more than 600 different compounds. Carotenoids are responsible for many of the red, yellow and orange colors of the leaves, fruits and flowers of vegetables, as well as the color of some insects, birds, fish and crustaceans. They can only be synthesized by plants, fungi, bacteria and algae, however, many animals incorporate them through the diet. Two important dietary carotenoids are lycopene and β-carotene.
β Carotene: has an intense antioxidant action (in vegetables and yellow and orange fruits and dark green vegetables).
α Carotene: has a weaker provitamin activity (in the carrot).
β Ciproxanthin: has provitamin activity (citrus fruits).
Lutein: powerful antioxidant, has no provitaminic activity (leaves of green vegetables).
Lycopene: has antioxidant activity but not provitamin (tomato).
Recently, other non-nutrient antioxidants have been discovered in some foods, such as: Isoflavones in beans, Bioflavonoids in citrus fruits, Quercetin in onions, Polyphenols in olives.

Beta Carotenes

It is a very effective natural antioxidant, regardless of its vitamin activity. It is a precursor of vitamin A. Excessive consumption of B-carotene can produce a yellowing of the skin, which disappears if consumption is reduced or suppressed.
Main sources of B-carotene: plants of intense yellow color. Fruits: orange, tangerines, peach, mango. Vegetables such as: carrot, pumpkin, asparagus and animal sources such as egg, dairy, liver, kidney and cod liver oil.
Antioxidant functions: eliminates free radicals. Break the oxidation chain.

How to take care of ourselves?

  • A varied and balanced nutrition is effective for the prevention of various environmental effects.
  • Free radicals are not guilty of all human diseases.
  • The AO is not the universal panacea.
  • Orally oral OAs can now be used as complementary therapy; They are widely used in dietary supplements, with the aim of maintaining health and preventing diseases.
  • Topical OAs can be coadjuvants of photoprotection and cutaneous aging treatment.

Finally, we must point out that this body, which is as extensive as the skin, needs the harmony and balance of our food, an adequate intake of water, education and protection against ultraviolet radiation, the relationship with a healthy environment, physical activities, all in a conjunction between body, mind and soul.

Sources: Revista argentina de dermatología, rad-online.org.ar; international-cosmetic.com