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The Power of Antioxidants

You might think that you know all there is to know about antioxidants - they are just vitamins, right? Well, sort of. While antioxidants have been a major part of many of our skin care regimes for decades now, there’s more to an antioxidant-rich product - or food - than just vitamin C. So, how much do you know about the power of antioxidants?

In easy-to-understand terms, an antioxidant is an ingredient that helps to fight the effects of free radicals in your body. Free radicals are damaging substances that build up over time in our cells. Imagine what happens to an apple as soon as you slice it - when the oxygen in the atmosphere gets to it, it starts to turn brown - oxidise - and goes off very quickly. Thankfully, the effects are a lot slower in your body, but the effects of constant exposure to UVA, air pollution, smoking, alcohol and other stressors causes the number of free radicals circulating in your body’s cells to outnumber the antioxidants, leading to oxidative stress. This creates a situation where the free radicals get to wreak havoc on your skin cells and accelerate the signs of ageing and skin damage.

Free radicals interact with your cell DNA, proteins or lipids, setting off a chain reaction which over time, results in the visible signs of aging - including fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, reduced firmness, and even skin cancer. While the most popular and well-known antioxidants are vitamin C and E - other powerful antioxidants like Silymarin and Ferulic acid are coming onto the scene. I’ll be watching very carefully and looking into using them in my skin clinic in Needham Market if the results are good.

New antioxidant skincare heroes?

Silymarin, or Milk Thistle, has been proven to have pharmacological properties as well as being a powerful antioxidant. It’s thought to have anti-inflammatory effects when used in skin care or taken as a supplement, and there are also some studies that show it may have anti-cancer, and cardioprotective benefits. In skin care, it’s been found to be incredibly useful for people dealing with issues like sebum overproduction, signs of aging, acne, and more. Silymarin has a protective effect that can be magnified when used along with hyaluronic acid, retinol, and sunscreen.

I wouldn’t advise that you try products or treatments with Silymarin if you have mature or dry skin; you will find that good quality vitamin C and E enriched serums are probably a better option for your skin as they are just as effective at preventing free-radical damage without drying your skin out - and also help to fade any age-related hyperpigmentation.

Ferulic acid, on the other hand, another new antioxidant skincare star, enhances the antioxidant benefits of the better-known antioxidants and is thought to be a great choice for more mature skin. Ferulic acid is thought to be good at helping slow down the signs of ageing, and because it can also work to stabilise other antioxidants like vitamin C, it makes your other skincare ingredients work harder! In some cases, it may aggravate very sensitive skin but ferulic acid is considered safe for most skin types.

Antioxidants at Crystal Rose Skin Clinic

While I’m researching the new antioxidants and waiting to see how they influence the skin care industry, I’ll be enthusiastically recommending the fantastic antioxidant products and treatments I already have at my clinic in Suffolk. If you prefer your antioxidant dose topical, the Alumier MD skincare range has some fantastic serums including EverActive C&E™ + Peptide which is a potent antioxidant anti-ageing serum with active vitamin C crystals. I also love the ZinZino range which contains supplements and skincare products, packed full of lovely antioxidants, prebiotics and Omega oils to give you a glow from the inside out…

For advice on products and treatments with antioxidants, or just a general chat about your skincare needs, get in touch and I’d be delighted to help.

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