The power of antioxidants has been touted for years. The term “antioxidant” is used pervasively in and around anything to do with the health and nutrition industries. Antioxidant supplements alone represent a $500 million industry. As such, it has become easy to take them for granted when they are mentioned as part of a product. This is especially true when it comes to skincare — it is so easy to overlook the humble antioxidant for the sexier bad boys of the beauty world: retinoids, peptides, and even growth factors. But as more research emerges, we are seeing that antioxidants should not be just an afterthought in our daily routines — if anything they deserve to be the foundation of our regimens.
Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit the oxidation of molecules driven by the impact of UV rays, pollution, smoking, and even stress. This oxidation leads to the production of free radicals, which damage DNA as well as lipids and proteins essential to the healthy ongoing functioning of skin. Over time, such damage results in accelerated skin aging, such as wrinkles, sagging, uneven skin tone, and even skin cancer. Antioxidants, playing the role of foot soldier, act by gobbling up these free radicals. Think of antioxidants as the front line in our battle against aging, and a daily must-have as the presence of skin-damaging UVA rays and environmental aggressors maintain a constant presence throughout the year.