Skin damage from sun and environmental pollutants is practically inevitable, especially as we age. But antioxidant skin care is a terrific way to help improve overall skin health and reverse the effects of sun and pollution exposure.
One of the main culprits of skin damage is oxidative stress. This generates Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)—reactive molecules that have been implicated in all sorts of cell damage, and even in many types of cancer. Skin cells are no exception.
Membrane tissues are particularly susceptible to damage from oxidative stress. Fortunately, antioxidants work directly in this area to protect and regenerate skin. Tocopherols (vitamin E) protect lipid membrane space, while L-Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) protects aqueous membrane space. An added benefit of vitamin C is that it actually helps the body generate its own tocopherols. Together, the two groups of antioxidants inhibit the ROS cycle, reducing the effects of the sun and other environmental pollutants.
Antioxidants also help the body create collagen, a building and support protein found in the connective tissue of the skin. Collagen is an essential part of skin health, and new collagen formation leads to improved skin firmness and elasticity.