Skin Deep

Why antioxidants are so important for beautiful, healthy skin

Antioxidants have become a buzzword for improving your overall health and wellness, but did you know that these powerful little molecules are also important if you want beautiful, healthy-looking skin? If you’re not quite sure what an antioxidant is or why your skin needs them, take a look at this quick guide and give your skin a boost from the inside out.

Antioxidants protect you from free radicals — an oxygen molecule that can cause damage to your DNA, cell membranes, mitochondria and other important cellular structures that keep our skin healthy.

This is where antioxidants come in. They can calm free radicals down before they do much damage. Otherwise, free radicals can cause a whole host of problems for your body and skin, including accelerating the aging process and potentially leading to skin cancer.

There are two primary ways to make sure your skin has the antioxidants it needs to ward off free radical damage and stay healthy and beautiful. The first is to use a topical antioxidant and the second is to include antioxidants in your diet. These two steps should be done daily, but twice a day is even better.

Many studies show that vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant and also a key player in collagen production, is one of the antioxidant ingredients for most skin types. A high-quality vitamin C serum is going to be on the expensive side, but that is because it needs to be formulated, stored, and packaged just right to preserve and prolong its effectiveness. If you have sensitive skin, vitamin C might sting because of its low pH. Consult a board-certified dermatologist before adding a vitamin C serum to your daily regimen if your skin tends to be rosacea-prone or inflamed.

Another way to give your skin antioxidants is by adding plenty of antioxidant-rich foods to your diet. Vitamin C is in many citrus fruits, but there are many other good antioxidants that you can easily consume. Strawberries, blueberries, pomegranates, cherries, almonds, walnuts, dark chocolate, green tea, and red wine are all great examples of foods and drinks with high concentrations of antioxidants. Keep in mind, too, that the plant pigments that give fruits and vegetables their bright, bold colors are also types of antioxidants, so the more colors you eat, the more antioxidants your body will get.

Your skin can never have too many antioxidants, so find a good vitamin C serum that is appropriate for your skin type and add lots of different antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. These are two excellent ways to combat signs of aging like lines, wrinkles, and age spots and to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy and radiant, no matter your age.

For a video about free radicals and antioxidants, take a look at my YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/user/BaumannCosmetic or follow Baumann Cosmetic on Facebook.

Dr. Leslie Baumann is a board-certified dermatologist, New York Times bestselling author, and researcher who performed the research trials that led to the FDA approval of Botox, Dysport, Restylane Silk, Juvederm Voluma, Revanesse, and many other cosmetic procedures. To learn more, visit derm.net or LeslieBaumannMD.com.

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