What are antioxidants? Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize and eliminate the free radicals that attack our skin cell DNA. Free radicals underlie every skin problem, from wrinkles, loss of firmness, and age spots to surface dryness, dehydration, redness and acne flare-ups, so it’s very important to fight them. Our cells naturally create antioxidants to do so, but they don’t create quite enough to eliminate all the free radicals (0.1% are left behind). Once we hit 30, our cells can no longer eliminate free radicals fast enough, and we start seeing the skin damage that results from the oxidative stress they cause. Regardless of age, skin condition or ethnicity, everyone needs protection from free radicals.
Can we just use one antioxidant? No! Why? First, because there are so many different kinds of free radicals. Our cells interact with oxygen-based free radicals (ROS, which come from the air we breathe, sunlight, stress, tobacco smoke and smog), but also nitrogen- (RNS) and carbon-based (RCS) free radicals. One antioxidant cannot control the many forms of ROS, RCS and RNS; therefore, a concert of antioxidants that complement each other are needed to ensure that as many free radical families as possible are neutralized. Another reason we need so many different kinds of antioxidants is because different antioxidants address different cellular targets. Direct antioxidants attack free radicals directly, while indirect antioxidants build upon the skin’s natural antioxidant defense and increase the skin’s resistance. Finally, new, interesting antioxidants consist primarily of plant extracts containing bioactive molecules that often extend beyond antioxidant benefits to include anti-inflammatory and even potential anti-cancer effects. Let’s look at a few antioxidants in particular, to see how they work.
Sunflower, safflower, jojoba oil, white and green teas and others protect barrier lipids from oxidation and minimize the effects of lipid peroxide, producing smooth, soft, supple skin.
A different set of antioxidants is required to fight glycation, a tough-to-treat condition that arises as a result of protein oxidation by RCS, and contributes to the loss of firmness and a yellow cast on the affected areas. Persian silk tree extract shows great promise in preventing and minimizing glycation via maintenance of the cell’s detoxifying systems. Garden cress sprouts activate phase II enzymes, the skin’s natural detoxification system, and enhance skin cells’ resistance to environmental pollutants. Pomegranate, blueberry, and other oils high in linoleic acid also slow down glycation.
Reine contains so many different antioxidant oils, that fight all kinds of free radicals at all stages: Blueberry Seed Oil, Cranberry Seed Oil, Kalahari Melon Seed Oil, Cherry Blossom Extract, Raspberry CO2 Oil, Pomegranate CO2 Oil, Borage CO2 Oil, Ginseng Extract, Vitamin E and Phytocide Elderberry. Add it to your skincare routine today to enjoy all of its antioxidant benefits!