Antioxidants are mentioned often in regards to skin care and food but do you know what they are and what skin benefits antioxidants have?
A healthy diet, regular exercise and adequate sun protection all help the skin stay healthier but there is evidence that skincare products rich in antioxidants also help the skin by preventing damage from oxidative stress. Antioxidants are substances that fight this type of damage from oxidative stress and are known to neutralise free radicals in the body. To understand them, let’s look at free radicals first.
Free radicals are created as by-products of normal cellular metabolism and also through ‘oxidative stress’ in our surroundings — for example through pollution, UV exposure from sunlight, and pesticides through food. A free radical is an unstable molecule that can harm cells or DNA. A free radical is unstable because it is missing an electron, and to balance itself it takes an electron from healthy cells, causing those cell to become unstable; and the cycle repeats creating a chain reaction in the body. The result is damage to healthy tissue.
The implications for skin: a prolonged state of oxidative stress speeds the process of skin ageing and it contributes to the loss of collagen and elastic fibres, causing wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. The barrier function of skin is affected leading to decreased moisture which brings about inflammatory skin conditions like acne, eczema or rosacea.
And this is where antioxidants come in!
Benefits for the skin
When we apply products with antioxidants to the skin, the antioxidant donates an electron to stabilise the free radical, and thereby helps prevent damage to the skin. Skincare products with antioxidants are an effective way to keep skin healthy. The daily use of topical products rich in antioxidants has been shown to have a long list of benefits: decrease cutaneous inflammation like acne or rashes, help against hyperpigmentation and sun damage, stimulate collagen production including supporting the body's natural ability to maintain collagen and elastin, minimise pore size, slow skin ageing, and help skin repair itself. Also, using antioxidant skincare products has potential to help prevent skin cancer due to anti-carcinogenic properties (more research is being carried out on this but there are promising signs), and last but not least — it brightens skin tone.
Key antioxidants in skin care and their benefits for the face
This group of antioxidants includes flavonoids, polyphenols, carotene, astaxanthin. These antioxidants in skin care prevent sun exposure damage by protecting the skin’s collagen layer and so support UV protection, reducing skin ageing. Carotenoids can be essential in reducing skin pigmentation as they reduce the size of melanin levels regardless of whether it is caused by UV radiation, hormones, or even acne-induced breakouts.
These powerhouses also stimulate epidermal regeneration which has a renewing and softening skin effect. Evening primrose oil contains carotenoids in the form of beta-carotene, as well as the super beneficial Gamma linolenic acid and tocopherols, and has been widely researched in skin care. It penetrates the deep layers of the skin and has a moisture-retaining effect preventing drying of the skin, increasing the skin’s ability to absorb oxygen and withstand disease. It helps eczema and acne prone skin. Evening primrose oil is one of the key cold-pressed, certified organic ingredient oils in the Miss Organics face oils.
Soothing Beauty Tonic Organic Face Oil — ideal for eczema, psoriasis, and for calming sensitive skin. High in Vitamins A, C, E and rich in carotenoids thanks to evening primrose, rosehip, and apricot kernel oils.
Also known as retinol, Vitamin A is a familiar and cult ingredient in skin care. Vitamin A increases the rate of skin cells replenishment and healing, shedding dead cells on the top of the skin while thickening the lower skin layers. It supports collagen formation and cell turnover helping skin to stay healthy and improving acne conditions. You will find it in very high concentrations in rosehip oil and all of the Miss Organics face oils contain certified organic, Vitamin A-rich rosehip oil.
Healing Perfect Balance Organic Face Oil — helps to fight acne and hyperpigmentation. Rich in Vitamins A, D and E, poly unsaturated fatty acids, squalene, magnesium, zinc, copper, and selenium thanks to rosehip, jojoba, and pumpkin seed oils. A light face oil which helps prevent damage from free radicals and keeps clogged pores at bay.
One of the most potent antioxidants and suitable (also necessary) for all skin types, Vitamin C helps keep skin healthy by preventing hyperpigmentation and fighting dark spots. It brightens skin by boosting collagen production and helps tame rosacea thanks to its anti inflammatory properties. This magic ingredient is naturally occurring in high grade rosehip oil and you can find it in all of the Miss Organics facial oils.
Nourishing Youth Elixir Organic Face Oil — deeply soothes, moisturises dry skin, helps to heal scars, sunburn, and dry patches. Rosehip, evening primrose, and macadamia nut oils contain Vitamins A, E, C, flavonoids, squalene and essential fatty acids which moisturise and feed the skin without clogging the pores and act as powerful anti-ageing warriors.
Similar to Vitamin C, Vitamin E is important for functioning of many organs in the body — skin included; and it’s one of the best antioxidant oils for the skin because it exists in easy to absorb oil form. Best known for its power in helping speed the skin’s healing process, Vitamin E is also very moisturising. It can absorb the energy from ultraviolet light providing the skin with photo-protection and studies have shown it helps prevent sun damage, however it doesn’t replace using sunscreen of course. I use a high grade, 100% natural vitamin E for all products in the range — the Miss Organics organic face oils, body oils, and lip balms all contain Vitamin E to help prevent the damage caused by everyday pollution and UV rays.
Citrus Euphoria Organic Lip Balm — Vitamin E rich organic superfood plant oils restore, protect, soothe and soften the lips. Cocoa butter and plant waxes form a protective layer and ensure a lasting velvety feel. Smooth and deeply conditioning lip balm with a refreshing smell of lime, sweet orange, and red mandarin.
Top tip: keep your skincare products away from heat and sunlight because even though topical antioxidants on skin are great, they are photo sensitive and you need to prevent their antioxidant benefits from degrading.
The Miss Organics skincare products have been formulated to include a rich profile of the best antioxidants for skin. These are present in high concentrations in Soil Association certified organic, cold-pressed, minimally processed, 100% plant-based vegan ingredients. The natural origin of the vitamins is linked to better absorption ensuring you reap maximum benefits from the products you apply on your skin, feeding it from the outside in. Explore my full organic and 100% natural, antioxidant rich skincare range here.
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Anna, a.k.a. Miss Organics