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There are tons of skincare products on the market, and there always seems to be some new ingredient touted for working wonders. Antioxidants are known for their ability to enhance not just your health, but also your complexion. Why do we hear about antioxidants for your skin?

antioxidants and free radicals

Antioxidants fight free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause a chain reaction of cell damage in your body. They can damage your DNA, and are related to diseases like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. They also cause aging in your body and skin. Antioxidants are able to neutralize free radicals and stop the cell damage.

what can antioxidants do for your skin?

Antioxidants help to encourage healing and increase the production of collagen (a key protein that keeps your skin supple and young-looking). They also improve skin elasticity, and reduce acne and sun damage.

You’ve likely heard of many of them, because they’re also good for your health! You can get antioxidants by eating them (more on that below). Or, you can also get them topically, through skincare products like creams or serums that contain antioxidants.

antioxidant ingredients on your skin

Product labels will often highlight the key antioxidant ingredients. For example, Vitamin A (retinol is a common form) helps to reduce the look of wrinkles and boosts collagen production. Another antioxidant, Vitamin C, protects your skin from sun damage and brightens your skin.

Green tea extracts are anti-inflammatory and can help soothe skin. Lycopene helps with sun damage and collagen production. Other examples include Vitamin B3 (niacinamide), Vitamin E, grape seed extract, and resveratrol.

antioxidants in your diet

In addition, you probably already get antioxidants in your diet from sources like fruits, vegetables, green tea, or dark chocolate. Lycopene is abundant in tomatoes, Vitamin C in citrus fruits. Fruits and vegetables of all colors are an especially good way to get antioxidants, and they provide a double benefit because they’re helping your body and your skin, so eat plenty of them!

Sources: Mayo Clinic


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