We often hear about antioxidants in skincare products, but why?
Before talking antioxidants, first we need to talk about damage. Oxidative damage, that is. It’s a bit like rust in a machine, but in your cells. Oxidative damage occurs when the body’s cells become stressed, for example by heat or UV light.
A particular stress to the skin happens when it is exposed to sunlight, and particularly its high-energy ultraviolet spectrum light. With sun exposure, many chemical changes take place within the skin’s cells, proteins and DNA. Photo-oxidation is a kind of oxidative damage caused when sunlight induces the production of free radicals. Most people have heard of free radicals—and they’ve probably seen and felt their effects, too. It is these reactive, damaging chemicals that lead to sunburn, suntan and wrinkles.
Antioxidants eat up or “scavenge” free radicals, often chemically changing and being inactivated in the process, but as they are consumed they remove the free radical and prevent oxidative damage.
As your skin is on the outside of you, some part of your skin will experience oxidative damage every time you go outside.
Photo-oxidation in skin cells will:
To make this worse, some areas of skin are only rarely protected by clothing—like the face, neck and hands—and it is these areas that benefit most from the application of sunscreens and antioxidants.
Since antioxidants are “scavengers” of free radicals, when they are applied to the skin they can prevent and treat oxidative damage. The safest antioxidants are those found in our own cells and in foods, such as:
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Vitamin E (α-tocopherol)
Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone)
Silibinin (from milk thistle seed extract)
You can include one or all of the above antioxidants (as well as sunscreens, the skin cancer-fighting vitamin B3, and many other options) in a BCP Custom Skincare product, such as a moisturiser. Get your BCP Custom Moisturiser today!
If you would like help selecting the correct vitamins and oils for your skin to put into your skincare you can book a FREE UV skin analysis In-store or online via zoom with our skin consultant Melanie. or contact us to discuss your skin type and skin concerns.
Border Compounding Pharmacy products are unique, because they are formulated by pharmacists.
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