Vitamin C & Antioxidants
Antioxidants powerfully protect the skin by quenching free radical damage caused by UV rays and pollution. Lack of Antioxidants in the skin/body can rapidly increase aging. The more antioxidants in our cells the better we fight against the toxic environment our skin is exposed too. Free radicals increase in high polluted areas, with cigarettes and heavy alcohol consumption. In addition, when skin is exposed to high levels of UV light, photo-oxidative damage occurs by forming reactive species of oxygen (ROS) which damage cellular lipids, proteins (collagen) and DNA. Such damage leads to erythema (sunburn), premature aging of the skin, and certain cancers.
Antioxidants help delay or stop cell damage caused by free radicals (oxidants) that are produced naturally by the body. The body creates antioxidants to fend off viruses and removing toxins in our cells. As we age our bodies ability to create antioxidants begins to slow down.L-Glutathione and Super Oxide Dismutase are key antioxidants found in our cells.
Antioxidants occur naturally in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, wine and chocolate. The most commonly known are flavanols (from chocolate), resveratrol (from wine) and lycopene (from tomatoes). Other popular antioxidants include vitamins A (beta-carotene), C, E, and catechins.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects skin against photo-damage created by sunlight in both the UVB and UVA bands. Because of this ability, it provides important protection against the DNA mutations and cancer that may result from it. In addition, Vitamin C also improves skin elasticity, decreases wrinkles by stimulating collagen synthesis, reduces erythema, provides a brightening effect on pigmentation, promotes wound healing and suppresses cutaneous pigmentation.
Since the body’s natural collagen production decreases with age, applying topicals with vitamin C is essential to maintaining youthful-looking skin. And because sun exposure accelerates a decrease in collagen, studies have proven vitamin C helps to stimulate collagen synthesis, reducing and repairing damage caused by external elements, minimizing fine lines and scars and decreasing wrinkle depth.