The accumulation of a certain type of highly reactive molecules, called “Free Radicals” in the cells of the body creates cellular ‘Oxidation’ or ‘Oxidative Stress”, a primary cause of Aging, which shows up as a degenerative effect on the skin. Conversely, Botanical Skin Actives contain “Antioxidants” which neutralize or negate these effects and protect dermal cells from UV (Sun) damage, pollution and other environmental toxins. Plant-derived Antioxidants (contained naturally in fruits, vegetables, herbal extracts, seeds, nuts and spices) are included in organic skin care products and sunscreens to minimize or repair damage, and slow premature aging of the skin. Antioxidants for your skin also help prevent sunburn, brighten the skin, and stimulate collagen production.
1. CoEnzyme Q10
Did you know there is actually a skin care ingredient that can energize and refresh you skin overnight? It may seem like magic or too-good-to-be-true, but the superior Antioxidant properties of ‘CoEnzyme Q10’ (CoQ10 or Ubiquinone) via anti-aging skin serums can truly work wonders on your skin. CoQ10 is naturally present in our cells, but like many other markers of youth, depletes or lessens as we get older. CoQ10 plays a vital role in safeguarding the mitochondrial membranes (the cellular powerhouse of our system). Healthy, young-looking skin requires this nutrient on a regular basis for daily repair and protection against premature aging. CoQ10 also helps to plump & thicken the skin and results are quickly noticed in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
2. Vitamin C
Natural Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is derived from citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, broccoli and spinach. Topical Vitamin C enriched products re-energize tired, dull looking skin for a creating a beautiful healthy glow.. Vitamin C decreases redness due to prolonged UVB exposure by up to 60%, and thus is one of the best natural protections against skin cancer. Finally, Vitamin C supports collagen synthesis which accelerates wound healing, improves elasticity, maintains pH balance and boosts hydration!
3. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is widely utilized in the Anti-Aging Skin Care industry for it’s ability to turn back the clock. Due to its small molecular structure, it can penetrate easily through the skin barrier and accelerate cellular renewal and repair.
‘Editor’s Advice: While choosing a Vitamin A based skin care product, avoid ‘Retinoids’ and ‘Retinyl Palmate’. They are cheap synthetic derivatives that cause irritation, redness and peeling for many people, and can be toxic in the long run.’
Pro-Vitamin A Carotenoids and Beta Carotene obtained from botanical sources like carrots, apricots, spinach, sweet potato and papaya create accelerated cellular turnover, soften roughness and smooth wrinkles, fine lines and crow’s feet.
Polyphenols are actually a group of about 4,000 Antioxidants! Polyphenols can be found in tea, citrus fruits, pomegranate, olives, grapes, apples, red wine and even dark chocolate. Catechins, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG found in Green Tea), flavonoids, proanthocyanidines, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, tannins and more are all polyphenols.. Polyphenols have extremely high free-radical scavenging capabilities and anti-aging properties, particularly when combatting photoaging/sunspots or other UV related oxidative stress.
Did you know? The more a product is refined/processed, the more it loses polyphenol concentration and effectiveness. Therefore, it’s crucial that ingredients are kept as close to natural as possible for maximum benefits.
Flavonoids are one of the most widely studied classes of Polyphenols. Plants naturally produce flavonoids such as anthocyanins, flavonols (such as quercetin and isoquercetin), isoflavones etc. Flavonoids are obtained from sources such as Ginkgo biloba, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, plums and soy products. Flavonoids work wonders at improving overall skin quality and appearance. Flavonoids excel at Free Radical scavenging, including the mop-up of UV-B radiation induced DNA damage. Flavonoids also treat blemishes and soothe inflammation.
Resveratrol is a found in fruits like berries and grapes, tea, red wine and peanuts, and is actually a defensive compound that plants produce to protect themselves against infection, pollution, intense UV radiation and extreme climatic conditions.
Did you know? A study demonstrated that resveratrol is 95% efficient at preventing lipid oxidation (aging) as compared to only 37% in Vitamin C.
In humans, Resveratrol boosts mitochondrial activity, which ensure longer, healthier cell life. Its benefits include reducing dryness, smoothing skin texture, shielding against environmental damage and improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet.
7. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
ALA is a fat-soluble and a water-soluble antioxidant that has unparalleled powers of regeneration similar to Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Natural ALA is derived from spinach, broccoli, carrots, rice bran, potatoes and tomatoes.
As we age, there is progressive accumulation of glycated (stiffened) collagen (AGES) due to cross linking of sugar molecules. As this happens, our skin becomes inflexible and prone to brittleness and damage. Topical application of ALA reactivates the collagen which reverses this glycated damage. This reduces sagginess, smoothes fine lines and wrinkles, treats under eye puffiness/eye bags and produces a more even skin tone over time.
ALA is sensitive (pitta) skin-friendly ingredient and soothes dry and irritated skin beautifully. Interestingly, it also balances kapha dosha (oily skin) and decreases pore size.
Glutathione (GSH) is a short peptide sequence (cysteine-glycine-glutamate) naturally found in the human body. Sulfur-rich foods such as avocados, squash, tomatoes, spinach, flaxseed as well as ALA, Vitamin C, E, B6, B9, B12 & Biotin all raise GSH levels. GSH is a “helper molecule” that supports all other anti-oxygenic activities in the body. It also reduces peroxides (bleaching agents) and cell apoptosis (death). GSH cleans your skin from the inside out, removing free radicals and other impurities. Another skin benefit of GSH is its anti-melanin (dark spots) properties for more even pigmentation. GSH also improves the symptoms of psoriasis and rosacea.
Plant derived antioxidants are indispensable ingredients in contemporary natural skin care. Explore our green and organic skin care line and reap the benefits of these powerful antioxidants.