Think antioxidants aren’t important to you? Think again.
The word ‘antioxidant’ is plastered on a multitude of items on grocery and beauty supply shelves — pomegranates, dark chocolate, green tea, anti aging serums, sheet masks, and more. But how do antioxidants actually work, and why are they good for your skin?
It starts with the molecules that make up our bodies. They remain stable and functional thanks to a number of gears and wheels, including pairs of electrons. But every once in a while, a free radical will float along. Free radicals are molecules with single, unpaired electrons that lurk in air pollution, cigarette smoke, ultraviolet rays, and more. The problem arises when these free radicals travel through our bodies and swipe away single electrons from stable pairs, causing previously functional molecules to break apart, change and ultimately die. These altered molecules consequently have unpaired electrons, which contort surrounding molecules, causing a hyper-destructive chain reaction. Eventually, so many cells die or are changed so drastically that the skin ages quickly, and cancer cells are prompted to multiply.
This is where antioxidants come in. Antioxidants snap up the extra electrons that throw molecules out of whack and neutralize them. Part of their job is to break down free radicals altogether, rendering them useless. This is why antioxidants limit your skin’s wrinkles and hinder bouts of cancer.
To maximize your antioxidant intake, doctors recommend eating a hefty amount of fruits, veggies, and legumes such as blueberries, apples with skin, fresh garlic, red beans, artichokes, and more. For added protection, always apply a moisturizer with an SPF (this one’s paraben-free and oil-free!) and invest in a night cream or serum packed with antioxidants to fight damage from pollution and the sun. It’s not easy to stay completely grime free in today’s world, but with the helpful knowledge of scientists and experts in the health and beauty industry, we can make conscious decisions resulting in positive outcomes. So keep soaking up that information – and not the free radicals!