If you have used any skin care before, or read anything relating to health and fitness, you might stumble upon these words a lot. Here we'll explore what they actually mean, and how you can use this knowledge to make wiser skin care and health decisions!
Before we can dive into why antioxidants are important to maintain youthful skin and health, we need first, to understand what a free radical is.
Atoms are surrounded by electrons that orbits them. They require a certain number of electrons to be "stable". When one or more of these electrons are "bumped" out of an atom's orbit, this causes the atom to be missing an electron. The atom will always seek to be more stable, thus, it will try it's best to "snatch" an electron from an outside source. In this state, the atom is officially a Free Radical.
When a free radical "snatches" an electron from atoms that forms our cells, it will damage it and cause it to lose some of it's function. The damage caused by free radicals is thought to be a primary source of aging.
Free radicals are created naturally in our body simply from normal bodily functions. However, the following factors can all increase the occurrence of free radicals in the body.
- excessive UV and/or sun exposure
- excessive stress
- poor diet and alcohol
Antioxidants are any molecules that can neutralise a free radical. They have extra electrons that they can "donate" to free radicals, making a free radical slightly less radical and turning it back to a regular atom.
There are potentially hundreds or thousands of antioxidants. Any substance that can neutralize free radicals are can be considered an antioxidant. Our body needs a wide range of antioxidants, since different antioxidants work on different parts of the body, and many play important roles in maintaining a healthy body.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of antioxidants that our bodies cannot synthezied and that we can only get from external sources:
Sources of Antioxidants
The best dietary sources of antioxidants are spices, fruits,and vegetables (brinjals/eggplants, carrots, spinach, the more colour the better!).
Photo via: Toma Evsuvdo
For skincare, the best sources of natural antioxidants are minimally processed plant oils and hydrosols that retain most of their nutrients. Most of our plant oils retain their natural scent and colour, a strong indication of quality when it comes to plant oils. Plant oils with high concentration of antioxidants will help slow down the effects of aging and maintain full and plump skin!
Our Sea Buckthorn Pure Oil has rich antioxidant properties which help in anti-aging by reducing wrinkles and fine lines.