Antioxidants : Old wine in a New Bottle

Antioxidants in a skincare regimen are essential, as they play a vital role in preventing and repairing the cellular age related damage.  These days the market is exploded with subsequent products that creates  confusion; to how the products work or do they actually work?

Free Radicals (Negatives), Antioxidant(Positives) & Ageing Process

Free radicals are unpaired, unstable and negatively charged species that try to attack other stable compounds and capture the needed electron to gain stability. The ‘attacked’ compound becomes a free radical itself and thus results in chain of reaction, disrupting the living cell and causing oxidative stress. Free radicals can be generated in body by UV Rays, environmental pollutants, diet and smoking.

Specific to skincare, the damage accumulation “free radical theory of ageing” suggests that a lifetime build-up of these free radicals is the prime cause of Ageing, Inflammation and Pigmentation.

How do Antioxidants prevent Photoageing?

ANTIOXIDANTS;  if free radicals are disruptive invaders, then antioxidants are weapon of defense.  The topical application of antioxidants neutralize free radicals, and consequently lessen or prevent the signs of aging skin.

At present, topical antioxidants are marketed to prevent aging and UV-induced skin damage (Photoageing), as well as to treat wrinkles and erythema due to inflammation. They also help in reversing the photodamage to the skin.

Vitamin E

A fat soluble, Naturally occuring antioxidant found in is present in the skin and found in various foods, such as vegetables, seeds, and meat.

Vitamin E not only functions as antioxidants but also maintains the integrity of fat cells beneath the skin. Topical application of Vitamin E has been shown to exert photoprotective effects by reducing the number of sunburn cells, reducing ultraviolet B (UVB)-induced damage. and inhibiting photocarcinogenesis.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C (Vit. C) is one of the naturally occurring antioxidants, such as citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, strawberries, papaya and broccoli.

Topical Vitamin C acts as a photoprotectant to the skin, reduces the uneven complexion produced by both UVB and UVA  and effectively results in collagen synthesis,  depigmentation , anti-inflammatory and  hyperpigmentation.


Green Tea

Green tea is a very popular beverage as well as an antioxidant, that is extracted from the plant Camellia sinensis. There are 4 major polyphenols, of which Epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant and biologically active. The green tea polyphenols (GTP) possess not only antioxidant activity, but they also Tone, Hydrate and Detoxify the Skin.



Carrot seed oil is full of antioxidants including beta carotene, vitamins A and E.   Carrot seed oil nourishes dry skin, and can even reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  Carrot seed oil has a natural SPF of 40, so it can serve as a topical sunscreen.


Grape Seed    

 Grape seed extract contains several plant compounds, including oligomeric proanthocyanidins, that improve the overall appearance of the skin by bonding with skin collagen and increase the cell turnover.

Because of these diverse biologic effects Antioxidants have become a useful part everyday skin care regimen that protect and rejuvenate the skin naturally.

Reference to Citation

Antioxidants Used in Skin Care Formulations,I. Bogdan Allemann, MD; L. Baumann, MD Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami Beach, FL, USA

Ascorbic acid specifically increases type I and type III procollagen messenger RNA levels in human skin fibroblast. J Invest Dermatol 90(4):420-4 (1988 Apr)

Vitamin C in dermatology, Pumori Saokar Telang

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