Antioxidants for Good Skin: Take Them or Apply Them?
It seems we are continually faced with new evidence that points to the power of antioxidants. These compounds are somewhat mysterious. We know we need them; that they will make hair and skin and nails and the body look good and feel good. But how? And are antioxidants better in certain forms, or does applying an antioxidant serum or moisturizer to the skin do enough to help us slow the signs of aging? Let’s take a look!
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are compounds that fight free radicals. This is the general term, but we think there is room for expansion. Free radicals are waste products that bulk-up our cells and create the potential for cellular damage. We don’t want this cellular waste, and we can get rid of it with antioxidants. Many antioxidants are found in foods. Vitamin C is an example, found in oranges and other citrus fruits. Lycopene is another, found in tomatoes.
Do they work?
Research indicates that antioxidants do help the body in numerous ways. Scientists are able to break down, to some degree, which antioxidants are good for which potential diseases. For instance, lycopene has been found to be a good risk-reducer for prostate cancer. In one study, published several years ago in the Journal of Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, participants who consumed supplements of selenium, either/or, lycopene, lutein, and other antioxidants measured higher on skin density via ultrasound than those who consumed a placebo. After 12 weeks, the skin was also smoother.
In another study, antioxidant use – a combination of consumption and topical application – was said to increase elasticity, hydration, and cellular health.
How you incorporate antioxidants into your life doesn’t have to come down to an either/or situation. According to these two studies alone, we can see value in eating antioxidant-rich foods such as spinach, kale, and fresh fruits, as well as applying antioxidant serums and other products directly to the skin.
If your skin needs a boost, everything matters. We can help you improve dermatologic health and appearance with a personal treatment plan devised around your needs. Schedule a visit with Sugar Land dermatologist Dr. Syed O. Ali at (832) 770-6388.