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Antioxidants and Free Radicals (Aging Skin)
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Antioxidants and Free Radicals

Dr. Richard Thomas

Free radicals are natural bi-products of human metabolism, and are necessary for a number of functions in the body. They can, however, cause cancer, heart damage, weaken the immune system, and is heavily involved in the process of tissue aging. Smoking, alcohol consumption, and exposure to certain metals or radiation can increase the amount of free radicals in the body. Most people who like to keep up to date with health issues, have heard of antioxidants. Antioxidants act as a counter to the negative effects of free radicals, by changing them into harmless compounds, and repairing damage at the cellular level. Here we’d like to introduce you to antioxidants in various forms. Antioxidants can be taken orally or applied to the skin.

Ingested or otherwise orally taken antioxidants and their effects:

  • Bright coloured fruits and vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, red peppers, and spinach are all antioxidants.
  • Vitamin C, E, and selenium also contain anti-oxidants.
  • Antioxidants found in vitamin E can have the effect of reducing UVB damage on the skin. Seeds, nuts, cumin, soy, and certain oils are examples.
  • Vitamin C or ascorbic acid, is well known for its health benefits, enhancing the immune system, and helping wounds heal faster.
  • Coenzyme Q10 or ubiquinone is found in fish and shell fish, and may have an effect in reducing destruction of collagen after exposure to UV light.
  • DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) may have anti-aging effects, and help thicken skin.

Examples of topical uses:

  • Soy-isoflavones can increase collagen production, and reduce redness and damage from UV rays.
  • Lipoic acids have an inflammatory effect, and are often used as a part of topical medication to reduce redness after UVB exposure.
  • Vitamin C or ascorbic acids reduce sun damage, wrinkles and may lighten skin color in its topical form.
  • Green tea applied topically reduces redness from UV damage, and also may have some anti-inflammatory effects.

Related:

aging skin,   anti-aging,   antioxidants,