You’ve probably heard about antioxidants, but how much do you really know about what they are and how they work? Research indicates that antioxidants play a critical role in improving the appearance of your skin and your overall health. Antioxidants can be obtained primarily through foods, specifically fruits and vegetables.
Let’s talk more about antioxidants, the benefits they can have for your overall health and how they can improve the signs of aging in the skin.
What are antioxidants?
Before we talk about antioxidants, we should talk about free radicals. Free radicals are the waste products produced by the cells of your body after processing food and other environmental inputs. Free radicals are unstable and can cause oxidation in the body if they are not processed and removed efficiently. The process of oxidation can lead to multiple health issues. When it comes to your skin, the impact of free radicals can be seen in the form of fine lines and wrinkles, age spots and sagging skin.
There are a number of factors that can increase the production of free radicals in your body. Inflammation, for example, causes oxidative stress that can damage body tissues and negatively impact the function of your cells. There are also external factors that can cause oxidative stress in your cells, such as:
- UV exposure
- Cigarette smoke
- Chemical exposure
- Processed and refined foods
- Intense exercise
In addition to contributing to signs of aging, oxidative stress is linked to multiple serious health conditions, including:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Heart disease
- Vision loss
What are the benefits of antioxidants for your skin?
Antioxidants are substances that counteract the negative impact of free radicals in the body. By ensuring adequate intake of antioxidants, you can almost neutralize the effects of free radicals and contribute to your overall health. You can think of antioxidants as substances that target free radicals in the body and prevent them from causing oxidative stress, cell damage and impaired function.
Increasing your intake of antioxidants can improve your overall health and contribute to healthy skin. Antioxidants fortify your cells and improve the tone and texture of your skin. They also reduce the signs of inflammation and encourage cell turnover.
Anti inflammatory: Increased circulation can improve the tone of the skin and discourage the development of acne.
Reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles: Although antioxidants will not remove wrinkles, antioxidants found in skin care products can boost hydration and give the skin a more smooth and supple appearance.
Promote cell turnover: Increased skin cell turnover will contribute to the fading of dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
What foods are good sources of antioxidants?
There are many sources of antioxidants that can be found in foods and skin care products. Many of these substances you’ve probably heard about or even use, but were unaware of their antioxidant properties. Some common antioxidants include:
- Vitamins A, C and E
- Beta carotene
These substances are found in high quantities in the plants that we eat. Certain fruits and vegetables are very high in antioxidants, making them great options for your overall health. If you are interested in increasing your antioxidant intake, consider incorporating more of these antioxidant-rich foods into your diet.
- Nuts and seeds
- Leafy greens
- Whole grains
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea
This list is certainly not exhaustive. If you are unsure, a good rule of thumb is to incorporate a variety of colorful foods, both cooked and raw, into your diet every day. By choosing natural and unprocessed foods, you can do your part to ensure your body is getting the vitamins and minerals it needs, including antioxidants.
Antioxidants should be an important part of your daily diet and skin care routine. They work to fight the negative effects of free radicals and protect your cells from damage. By incorporating fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your diet and using skin care products with ingredients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and green tea, you can boost your antioxidant levels and improve your overall health and the appearance of your skin.
If you live in the Atlanta area and have questions about a skin concern such as acne, hyperpigmentation, melasma, eczema, keloids, DPN, vitiligo or any other concerns, contact Dr. Straughn at Buckhead Dermatology today.