FEED YOUR SKIN: Antioxidants , 1 Comment
Even though our skin is tough enough to protect our bodies, it is also uniquely delicate. Vulnerable to outside elements, like sunlight, cigarette smoke, or smog, even the healthiest of skin can quickly become dry, red, or irritated when exposed. The culprit? Free radicals. But you can combat and repair them by loading your diet (and skin care products) with antioxidants.
WHAT THE HECK ARE FREE RADICALS ANYWAY?
Scientifically speaking, free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that have lost an electron as a result of their interaction with other molecules. Sometimes free radicals are formed by the body as a natural defense against viruses and bacteria, but, most commonly, free radicals are formed as a result of exposure to environmental factors like sunlight, smog, radiation, cigarette smoke, and pesticides.
Once a free radical is formed, it goes in search of its missing electron. It will “steal” the electron of a neighboring molecule, thus transforming it into a free radical. The effect will then create a chain reaction, and if the process is left to continue it can “attack” a living cell, causing wrinkles, dark spots, and, in severe cases, cancer.
ANTIOXIDANTS TO THE RESCUE
Our body’s natural line of defense is antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are designed to safely interact with free radicals and terminate their evil little process. Vitamins E (primary defender against oxidation) and C (particularly powerful against free radicals caused by pollution and cigarette smoke) neutralize free radicals by presenting themselves to the free radicals and donating one of their electrons, making it stable and happy. Contrary to how free radicals are formed, antioxidants remain stable, even with the loss of an electron.
While your body naturally produces antioxidants, its ability to do so is affected by age, diet and environmental factors, so it is up to you to ensure that you are fueling your diet with antioxidant-rich food, high in Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene.
Berries. Blueberries top the list as the food that packs the most antioxidant punch, but cranberries, blackberries, and strawberries are just as good for you.
Veggies. Sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, artichokes, and broccoli are all good sources of Vitamin E, but for maximum antioxidant intake, leave on the peels and keep cooking to a minimum. For all your Beta-Carotene needs, stock up on carrot (mmm….carrot juice!).
Drink Up. Green Tea is an abundant source of antioxidants. Other beverages like coffee, red wine, and pomegranate juice can also boost your antioxidant levels.
While eating a healthy and balanced diet is essential for skin health, we know that sometimes our skin just needs an additional boost of support. Last year, we created our Antioxidant Skin Boost, which according to us, is the best thing since sliced bread….er…blueberries. Packed full of Vitamins C, and loaded with the antioxidants Resveratrol (same antioxidant found in red wine) and Pomegranate extract, simply mix a small amount in with your night cream and apply to the face. (And for all of you anxiously waiting, we’ve almost finished perfecting our serum recipe, which will pair perfectly with the Boost). The good-for-you vitamins and minerals will absorb into your skin and you will soon see amazing results.
Note: While antioxidants are super for your skin and health, too much of a good thing can often times be, well,too much. Before packing your diet full of these powerful vitamins and minerals, check with your doctor, nutritionist, or other trusted health practitioner for an approved daily amount.