We all know aging creates challenges for our skin.
Add in exposure to UV radiation from the sun or environmental pollutants and skin damage can arise. Aging can happen less gracefully and more quickly than you would like.
Pre-mature aging from these harmful exposures appear as fine lines, wrinkles, dryness or even dark spots. The damage from excessive sun exposure can even result in skin cancer. Fortunately, there is a solution.
Botanical antioxidants have been shown to reduce photoaging and inflammation of the skin as well as the incidence of skin cancer. Antioxidants are powerfully healing and help keep us youthful looking. When skin damage and pre-mature aging occurs, skin care regimens should be high in these valuable natural plant compounds.
How Botanical Antioxidants Work
Plants need to protect themselves as a response to constant exposure to harsh conditions, in particular, intense solar radiation. This creates a condition of oxidative stress. In response, plants have evolved to contain polyphenols that act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect at the cellular level.
In humans, the antioxidants we produce in our own bodies function the same way. Antioxidants protect cell injury caused by free radicals occurring in response to excessive sun exposure, pollution, smoking, alcohol consumption and strenuous exercise. But our own antioxidants can only do so much. When we need to strengthen that protection, we look to the botanical antioxidants for support and healing.
Antioxidants not only help repair damaged skin but can also help prevent damage from occurring in the first place. Many botanicals high in antioxidants also encourage new cell growth making them ideal for skin healing formulations.
Here are some of our favorite skin-loving botanical antioxidants.
Pomegranate is best known as a tasty fruit. While eating the fruit is a superb way to get antioxidants nutritionally, external application of the seed oil is highly beneficial to aging and damaged skin. This luxurious oil is superior for protection from free radicals with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It deeply nourishes the outer epidermal layer of the skin.
Maqui berry from southern Chile is also a delicious edible. It is thought to be one of the most powerful antioxidants. The abundance of free radical scavengers is likely due to the plants harsh growing environment, requiring an increased amount of protective compounds. Topically, maqui berry is particularly valuable. It is high in restorative anthocyanins and helps to reduce inflammatory responses.
Green tea is widely consumed as a beverage across the planet. A number of studies have connected the use of green tea and protection from cancer. Several polyphenols act as potent antioxidants to scavenge free radicals. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the most abundant polyphenol has been considered to be the primary antioxidant compound. Green tea in skin care is known for its exceptional help for inflammatory conditions as well as cell damage prevention and repair.
Grape Seed Oil
The seeds of grapes contain resveratrol, a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Grape seed oil is a source of vitamin E, an exceptional age-defying ingredient that helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by boosting collagen. Grape seed oil also contains linolieic acid which is an essential fatty acid beneficial for skin healing.
For recipes high in antioxidants, check out these courses on homemade skincare.