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Oxygen, a highly reactive (unstable) molecule is critical for the survival of living organisms. Oxygen is used to create energy. When oxygen becomes unstable, it becomes a very harmful molecule and can in some instances threaten the survival of living organisms.
During the process of using oxygen to create energy, otherwise known as the process of metabolism, there are some oxygen molecules that become unstable. The majority of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) also known as free radicals, comes from sunlight, which destabilises the oxygen in skin. When the sun’s rays penetrate into your skin, some of the oxygen in every living cell in the skin is converted to an unstable molecule.
Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in your skin causes cell mutation, cell death and cell injury. All three of these increase the speed at which skin ages. Cell mutations if uncorrected can potentially lead to cancer.

Why Antioxidants Are Good In Skincare.
Oxygen, a highly reactive (unstable) molecule is critical for the survival of living organisms. Oxygen is used to create energy. When oxygen becomes unstable, it becomes a very harmful molecule and can in some instances threaten the survival of living organisms.
During the process of using oxygen to create energy, otherwise known as the process of metabolism, there are some oxygen molecules that become unstable. The majority of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) also known as free radicals, comes from sunlight, which destabilises the oxygen in skin. When the sun’s rays penetrate into your skin, some of the oxygen in every living cell in the skin is converted to an unstable molecule.
Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in your skin causes cell mutation, cell death and cell injury. All three of these increase the speed at which skin ages. Cell mutations if uncorrected can potentially lead to cancer.
It is essential to have protective mechanisms against the harmful effects of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Very simply put the stable oxygen molecule needs to be converted back to a stable oxygen molecule. One of the most effective protective mechanisms are anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants have the ability to stabilise oxygen, preventing them from becoming harmful. They also have the ability to restore radicals that have already been formed, converting them back to stable state.

Free Radicals and Antioxidants
Free radicals play a dual role in our body that can be both beneficial and harmful. Our body purposely creates free radicals to neutralize viruses and bacteria. However, too much of it affects the DNA, lipids and proteins that can trigger diseases. These free radicals are unstable, highly reactive molecules that have one or more unpaired electrons. To gain stability, they attack stable molecules, triggering a chain reaction that damages healthy cells. Once an overload of free radicals is present in our system, it causes oxidative stress, or an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects.
Environmental factors like radiation from the sun, pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke and other toxic chemicals are also known to trigger the formation of free radicals. Fortunately, studies have shown that the inclusion of antioxidants in your skin care regimen can help your skin fight free radical damage and recover from oxidative stress.

The 5 Main Benefits of Antioxidants for Your Skin

1. Antioxidants help correct signs of age.
Oxidative stress breaks down collagen, hinders skin’s natural repair process and triggers inflammation—and you see these as fine lines, wrinkles, loose skin, acne breakouts and a blotchy skin tone. By scavenging free radicals, antioxidants can help prevent and correct these visible signs and give skin a more youthful glow.

2. Antioxidants help prevent sunburn.
“By definition, all antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties,” explains board-certified dermatologist Ashley Magovern, medical director at Dermstore. “They blunt your skin’s inflammatory response to the sun’s harmful rays, preventing sunburn and providing enhanced protection against sun damage and photoaging.”

3. Antioxidants help skin repair itself.
Inflamed skin impedes the skin’s rejuvenation process. By reducing inflammation, antioxidants allow skin to repair itself and correct visible damage. “Some antioxidants, like vitamin C, can also stimulate collagen production, which is vital for youthful skin,” adds Dr. Magovern.

4. Antioxidants help brighten skin tone.
Free radicals and frequent sun exposure can also trigger changes in our skin’s melanin production, causing dark spots and uneven skin tone. By reducing photodamage, antioxidants can help prevent abnormal skin pigmentations. Some antioxidants (again, like vitamin C) also work as a tyrosinase (an enzyme that stimulates melanin production) inhibitor.

5. Antioxidants may help prevent skin cancer.
Some antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C and E, have anti-carcinogenic properties and may help prevent skin cancer.

The Best Antioxidants for Your Skin
Antioxidants aren’t all cast in the same mold. While they’re all designed to protect the cells from UV light, pollution and other environmental elements that produce damaging free radicals, some are found to be more potent than others. Here are just some of the most popular antioxidants found in your skin care products:

1. VITAMIN C

A favorite among dermatologists, vitamin C is one of the most studied antioxidants available on the market. Other than being a free radical scavenger, vitamin C has other skin benefits, like boosting collagen production and fading dark spots. But beware, vitamin C is inherently unstable and can lose its potency when exposed to light or air. “It’s probably best to store it in a cool, dark drawer or cabinet,” advises Dr. Magovern. “Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, or THD, is a form of vitamin C that is inherently more stable, and it’s lipid soluble, which means that it can better penetrate into the deeper levels of the skin to stimulate collagen production. Some prefer this formulation, which tends to be a bit velvety and creamy rather than serum-like.” Other forms of vitamin C include L-ascorbic and ester-C.

2. RETINOL (VITAMIN A)

If there’s one anti-aging ingredient that’s been proven time and time again to help turn back the clock on aging skin, it’s retinol. A derivative of vitamin A, this ingredient is particularly effective due to its small molecular structure, giving it the ability to penetrate deep enough into the skin that it can effectively stimulate collagen production and accelerate cell renewal and repair, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles and improving skin tone in the process. Whether it’s the over-the-counter or prescription-strength kind (tretinoin), retinol is a powerful antioxidant for fighting environmental aggressors that cause premature skin aging.

3. VITAMIN E

Vitamin E is an important vitamin required for the proper function of many organs in the body, including the skin. Aside from being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin E is widely recognized for its ability to accelerate the skin’s healing process. No wonder it is often found in moisturizers, creams and lotions formulated to treat dry skin as well as products designed to reduce stretch marks.

4. NIACINAMIDE

A well-functioning epidermis is essential to protect us from free radicals. The more our epidermal lipid barrier is stabilized, the more it can fully absorb the vitamins and nutrients from our skin care products and achieve optimal results. However, as we age, our skin’s ability to heal and retain moisture weakens, leaving us prone to wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation and dullness.
Water-soluble and suitable for all skin types, this vitamin is often used to treat skin conditions like rosacea and acne and is not known to cause any adverse reactions. It can even be combined with your favorite skin care products and ingredients, like vitamins A and C, retinol and hydroxy acids to boost their performance.

5. HYALURONIC ACID

Hyaluronic acid provides moisturization to the skin and keeps it super-soft and plump. It’s an antioxidant, meaning it can fight free radicals in your skin [5]. Free radicals (atoms or molecules that have unpaired electrons) are formed when the body undergoes oxidative damage.

Hyaluronic acid also strengthens the barrier layer (the outer layers of our skin). A healthy skin barrier feels softer, smoother and fuller and looks younger. Hyaluronic acid also offers protection by releasing antioxidants to prevent damage by free radicals. It also soothes the skin.

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Written By: Shop HellenRose x Skin Functional