Fine lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness and skin discoloration are the most visible signs of aging. Whether we like it or not, there is no turning back. That’s the reality of life. Aside from natural process, environmental factors may cause your skin to age faster. UV light or sun exposure, pollution, stress, smoking, unhealthy eating habits and unbalanced lifestyle are some of the reasons. As we travel the aging process, most of us reside in using different products with the hope of slowing the process of unwanted changes. When it comes to anti-aging ingredients, antioxidants are very popular.
Antioxidants are substances that prevent and repair damage caused by harmful ‘free radicals’ which are highly reactive chemicals that have the potential to harm our body’s cells. The damage to cells caused by free radicals, especially the damage to DNA, may play a role in the development of cancers and other health concerns (Orlando Skin Solutions,2022).
Antioxidants are man-made or natural substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 2013). Antioxidants do not only help combat the elements responsible for the visible signs of aging but can also calm skin, help reveal a more youthful appearance, and revitalize dull-looking skin due to airborne pollutants and blue light exposure (Baron,2022).
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (2013), antioxidants can be found naturally in vegetables and fruits. Examples of these are vitamins C and E, and carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
• Vitamin C is considered an antioxidant due to its reducing properties which allow it to essentially eliminate the threat of free radicals namely reactive oxygen species (Reaver, 2021). Vitamin C can also help fend off the signs of aging because of its vital role in the body’s natural collagen synthesis. It helps to heal damaged skin and, in some cases, reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Its cancer-fighting (antioxidant) properties, and its role in collagen production help keep your skin healthy. This is why vitamin C is one of the key ingredients found in many anti-aging skin care products (Bowman, 2020). Some of the best sources are citrus, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwi, broccoli and strawberries (Reaver, 2021).
• Vitamin E is a group of powerful antioxidants that protect your cells from oxidative stress. Adequate vitamin E levels are essential for the body to function normally. Vitamin E is a common nutrient found in most foods like sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnut, avocados and mango (Arnarson,2017).
• Carotenoids are pigments which play a major role in the protection of plants against photooxidative processes. They are efficient antioxidants scavenging singlet molecular oxygen and peroxyl radicals. In the human organism, carotenoids are part of the antioxidant defense system (Stahl, 2003). These pigments produce the bright yellow, red, and orange colors in plants, vegetables, and fruits (Anthony,2018).
Antioxidants are always present in nature. It’s up for us to find out the natural foods containing them.
Anthony, Kiara (18, September 2018) Carotenoids: Everything You Need to Know. Retrieved July 5, 2022 from https://www.healthline.com/health/carotenoids
Arnarson, Atli (2017, May 24) 2o Foods That Are High in Vitamin E. Retrieved June 29, 2022 from
Baron, Bryan (2022). Five Super Anti-aging Antioxidants Your Skin Needs. Retrieved June 29, 2022 from https://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/skincare-advice/anti-aging-wrinkles/five-super-anti-aging-antioxidants-your-skin-needs.html
Bowman, Joe (2020, July 30) The 4 Best Vitamins for Your Skin. Retrieved July 5, 2022 from https://www.healthline.com/health/4-best-vitamins-for-skin
Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center (2022) α-Carotene, β-Carotene, β-Cryptoxanthin, Lycopene, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin Retrieved July 5, 2022 from https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/carotenoids#introduction
Metzger, Chloe (2018, July 18). What Do Antioxidants Really Do for Your Skin?. Retrieved June 29, 2022 from https://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/a22370309/antioxidants-skin-benefits/
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) (2013, November) Antioxidants: In-Depth. Retrieved June 29, 2022 from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/antioxidants-in depth#: ~:text=Antioxidants%20are%20man%2Dmade%20or, be%20beneficial%20in%20preventing%20diseases.
Orlando Skin Solutions, (2022) Anti-Aging: Why do I need Antioxidants?. Retrieved July 7, 2022 from https://orlandoskinsolutions.com/what-are-antioxidants/
Reaver, Ashley ( 2021, December 20) Antioxidants: The Power of Vitamins C & E. . Retrieved June 29, 2022 from https://blog.insidetracker.com/antioxidants-power-vitamins-c-and-e
Stahl, Wilhelm (2003, December). Molecular Aspects of Medicine. Volume 24, Issue 6, Pages 345-351. Retrieved July 5, 2022 from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S009829970300030X#!