The beauty market is satiated with anti aging products and the role of antioxidants in these concoctions cannot be dismissed. Touted as capable of protecting against free radicals and rejuvenating the look and feel of younger skin, antioxidants in anti aging products are compared as an alternative to cosmetic surgery. However, are the claims of these anti aging skin care products valid, or are consumers being misled?
Free Radicals and Antioxidants
To answer this question, we must look at free radicals and antioxidants; what they are and what role they play in our bodies.
Free radicals are damaged cells in our bodies that are missing an electron. These damaged cells steal electrons from previously healthy cells, which in turn causes them to become free radicals as well; a process called oxidation. The chain of damaged cells continues, causing damage throughout the body unless slowed, or somehow stopped. Free radicals contribute to many health problems, including heart disease and cancer.
Antioxidants are vitamins, phytochemicals and other nutrients that prevent and slow the damage to our cells caused by free radicals. To increase your antioxidant intake and neutralize free radicals, simply eat a diet of fresh, healthy foods, rich in antioxidants.
Some of the best antioxidant sources include:
Berries – Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and cranberries
Fruits – Apples (with the peel on), cherries, pears, plums, kiwi, avocado, pineapple, pomegranate and many other fruits
Beans – Pinto, black, red and kidney
Vegetables – Spinach, cabbage, red potatoes (with peel), sweet potatoes, artichokes and broccoli
Grains – Oatmeal
Nuts – Walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios
Herbs – Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, oregano and turmeric
Beverages – Green tea, coffee, and red wine
Dessert – Dark chocolate
Research has proven that a diet rich in antioxidants keeps our bodies healthier in the fight against free radicals.
While eating a diet rich in antioxidants is a good place to start, to keep your skin looking younger, experts suggest supplementing with additional sources of antioxidants in a capsule. Taking Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium and Beta Carotene adds antioxidants to your daily intake, but use caution when taking these supplements, as large doses can be harmful to your body. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks associated with multi-vitamins, as they can react with medications.
Antioxidants for Younger Looking Skin
When choosing an anti-aging face cream, it is imperative to read the label and the listed ingredients. Vitamin C (in the form of L-ascorbic acid), selenium and Vitamin E are the only antioxidants that the skin will absorb, and any other antioxidants listed are not topically absorbed. Choose a product with at least a 10% concentration of L-ascorbic acid for best results.
Seaarch for Murad Vitamin C Infusion through Amazon.com. Customer reviews are excellent for this product.
One other product that has proven to be absorbed by skin in studies is Coenzyme Q10. This vitamin-like substance, produced in the cells, acts as an antioxidant. Some of today’s top commercially produced, anti-aging skin care products contain this ingredient, and while opinion varies, Q10 shows promise in research and studies.
Because any anti-aging skin care products insinuate results not backed up by science, it is important to research the ingredients contained in each product to separate the hype from fact. Ignore clever, gimmicky advertising techniques and look for independent, in-biased product studies to guide you in your search.
Prices for anti-aging skin care remedies range from the $15 price tag to the astounding $3,500 cost of a 3-week supply. Consider what you can afford and what you are willing to spend, as well as the high chance of little to no improvement in your skin.
Anti-aging products and the role of antioxidants do play a part in keeping your skin younger and healthier looking, and it is for you to decide what having younger skin is worth to you.
Remember to maintain perspective and have reasonable expectations in your search for younger skin. No antioxidant food or anti aging products such as creams and lotions, no matter the cost, will give a 60 year old the skin of a 20 year old, for example. For some, the decision to grow old gracefully and accepting their age, with all the benefits and downsides, is the right choice.
Others will be willing to invest time and money to find anti Aging products that give them the feeling and appearance of youth.