The word "antioxidant" is more than just a good justification for your weekly glass (or two) of red wine. As its name suggests, an antioxidant helps to diminish oxidation within the body. In terms of skincare, the oxidation process turns sebum into a blackhead and causes your skin to show signs of premature aging.
Even those who don't see many blackheads or aging on their face can benefit from antioxidants. An antioxidant-rich skincare regimen helps to keep your skin clear and free from damage or premature aging as it fights free radicals. It's also wonderful for those with a bit of a sunburn or men who have recently shaved their face because it calms inflammation and redness and soothes the harsh effects of the sun. Your skin needs antioxidants so that it can stay smooth, supple and hydrated.
Before we can get into the reasons why antioxidants are so good, we need to understand what they're up against: free radicals. Often misunderstood, free radicals actually serve a very important purpose in the body, which is why your system creates them intentionally. They help to neutralize harmful bacteria and viruses that your body can't fight off. The problem is that when there are too many free radicals, you'll start to see signs of aging on your skin. When the body makes too many defensive free radicals, they cling on to stable molecules in an attempt to protect your DNA, proteins and important lipids. This eventually leads to oxidative distress, a fancy way of saying that your body is out of balance and can't equalize the overload of free radicals.
This reaction can be triggered by almost anything in your day-to-day life: too much sun, air pollution, secondhand smoke, you name it. You'll know that your skin is fighting an excess of free radicals if it looks dull, blotchy, inflamed, dehydrated and yes, dotted with blackheads.
What We Can Do
It's become very trendy to discuss vitamins and their effect on your skin because they are often said to "defeat" free radicals, promising to leave you with a flawless, ageless complexion. While the concept sounds appealing, it's absolutely crucial that you thoroughly vet the vitamins you apply topically because not all antioxidants are created equal. In fact, if sourced incorrectly, they can have the opposite effect of what you're looking for.
Let's start with Vitamin C, an active ingredient and water-soluble antioxidant in our Antioxidant Spray. Vitamin C is great for skin because it helps to fight sun damage, diminishes fine lines and wrinkles and keeps inflammation down. Vitamin C is also widely known for its ability to keep your skin looking fresh and bright, but this is mostly a cosmetic benefit.
The problem with most products containing Vitamin C is that it has to be artificially stabilized once it's been removed from its original source. The artificial stabilization process ends up increasing free radicals, the problem it was meant to solve in the first place. This is a very common problem within the skincare business, but goes almost completely ignored because commercial companies don't give you the full story and you're left with false hope for a product that will only make your problem worse.
Vitamin E, a naturally-occurring component of sebum, is an excellent fat-soluble antioxidant found in sunflower, avocado and argan oils. When applied topically, vitamin E helps your skin to heal and self soothe. Its anti-inflammatory abilities calm inflammation from breakouts, callousness and swelling.
Vitamin A is touted by many as the key to healing sun damage on your skin. However, there are two types of vitamin A, only one of which is actually good for your skin. Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A that helps to dive deeply into cells and signal the need for collagen production. Avocado, rose hip and safflower oils are all rich in this naturally-occurring antioxidant.
On the other hand, Retinyl Palmitate, another derivative of Vitamin A, can be extremely harmful to your internal systems when used topically. It is said to slow the signs of aging and keep blackheads at bay, but the downside is less optimal. Unfortunately, when exposed to sunlight, it can be photocarginogenic, meaning that it may speed up the growth of tumorous cells or cause liver damage.
As long as you source your vitamin A correctly, you can be sure you're doing your face a favor.
How To Use Antioxidants
Keep in mind that applying antioxidants and vitamins to your skin topically isn't the same as taking a supplement for your internal ecosystem. Your skin only needs a tiny fraction of the vitamins that are so often overloaded into creams and serums. Rather than using a product that has isolated and exploited the vitamins, use an organic, pure oil that boasts the same antioxidant power naturally.
- Aids in healthy aging: If you know Luminance, you know we're not big on the idea of "anti-aging" skincare. Aging is natural, it's normal and it's awesome! Embrace it. If you want to ease the signs of aging skin and make your face look its absolute best at every age, antioxidants are a great way to do it. The right ingredients will encourage collagen production, aid in the natural repair process and soothe the skin no matter what stressors you encounter.
- Reduces inflammation: Whether you're dealing with a sunburn or a breakout, inflammation and irritation are uncomfortable. Antioxidants assist in healing, so they'll keep your skin nice and calm.
- Brightens complexion: Sometimes your skin just looks a little lackluster. Antioxidants (especially those from vitamin C) give your skin the boost it needs by reducing the effects of photo damage from overexposure to sun.