How do antioxidants really work?
During the last decade, every company that can, has told us their product contains antioxidants as a way to get us to buy.
It must be helpful or else so many companies would not talk about it.
But what does it really do?
In this post, you will learn what antioxidants are.
You will also learn why they are worth the hype and how antioxidant-containing products improve your skin health.
Antioxidants: How they REALLY work
Your skin is the largest organ of your body.
It is also the one organ of our body that regularly comes into direct contact with the sun, water, wind and microbes like bacteria and fungi.
Because of this, your skin is also likely to get damaged from these elements.
Take the sun for instance.
The sun emits ultraviolet rays (UV) that can cause severe damage to the skin.
In fact, scientists now that when the skin is over-exposed to UV rays, it not only causes DNA damage in skin cells; it also leads to the breakdown of collagen.
Collagen is the factor in skin that allows it to be smooth and elastic.
When it breaks down, the skin loses this elasticity. This leads to an increase in wrinkles, dry skin, rough skin and hyper-pigmentation, to name just a few.
The reason this damage occurs is because over-exposure to UV rays causes skin to produce chemicals called reactive oxygen species (ROS or “oxidants”). Secondly, researchers have shown that over-exposure to UV rays reduces the amount of natural antioxidants in your skin.
These chemicals cause the UV-related skin damage that we talked about above.
Therefore, when you buy a skincare product that contains antioxidants, you are introducing agents that will fight this damage.
How do antioxidants fight the damage?
This is a large area of study and many discoveries still have to be made.
We already mentioned about that UV rays reduce the number of natural antioxidants in the skin. These natural antioxidants destroy the reactive oxygen species and help to repair the damaged DNA in skin cells.
When you use a skincare product with antioxidants, you increase the antioxidants present in the skin so that the DNA that is damaged by UV rays can be repaired quickly and efficiently.
The added benefit here is that antioxidants will reduce the appearance of wrinkles, dry skin and all the other issues that come with over-exposure to UV rays.
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