What’s all the fuss with Antioxidants?

We chatted to Lucy Kuper from Biologi about antioxidants. Image supplied.

Whether it’s in our food or our skincare, it seems the buzz about Antioxidants isn’t going away. You may have heard they’re good for you, perhaps you’ve even based your skincare or diet on them, but do you know what the fuss is all about? They’re being hailed as having some sort of mystical power but do they deserve all the hype? Or are they just another skincare fad? We investigate by chatting to Biologi‘s Dermal Specialist Lucy Kuper, here’s what she had to say. 

What exactly are antioxidants?
Antioxidants is the umbrella term for naturally occurring Phyto actives like vitamin C, polyphenols and phenolic acids which can be found in most plants because they contain these compounds. Antioxidants are as close as we can get to the fountain of youth in skincare products, helping to delay skin ageing, provide the skin with hydration, increase moisture retention and protect skin from further damage.

When we’re talking about Antioxidants in skincare, we have to remember that our skin is our largest organ and Antioxidants are the thing that protects our skin. Antioxidants are particularly great all year round because they can help fight environmental exposure which causes excess free radicals. What’s happens when you’re not protecting your skin and amp-ing up its access to Antioxidants, skin can appear lacklustre, be prone to breakouts and show signs of ageing.

How do Antioxidants work?
Let’s start with what is damaging the skin first – free radicals. Free radicals are chemical compounds or molecules that are everywhere. They are in the air, pollution, cigarette smoke and in our bodies. You’ve likely heard the term free radicals before, but many people aren’t sure what that means. They are the thing that is attacking the cells that make up your skin, but thankfully, Antioxidants can help with that.

When it comes to the free radicals in our bodies, they are unstable molecules produced when our bodies are under stress. Free radicals cause skin damage which appears in the form of breakouts, dark spots, hyper-pigmentation and the worst part – they can accelerate the ageing process (hello more fine lines and wrinkles). Antioxidants provide a defence system to free radicals by neutralising them and donating one of their own electrons, which then helps to prevent cell and tissue damage. Without getting too scientific, just know that Antioxidants are what you want in your food, body and your skincare!

What type of Antioxidants should we be looking for?
Possibly the most popular choice of Antioxidants is Vitamin C, thanks to its ability to fight free radicals, boost collagen production and fade dark spots. However, the thing to be mindful of is that Vitamin C is inherently unstable and can lose its potency when exposed to light or air. Up until now with the creation of Biologi, there wasn’t a way to produce natural Vitamin C so what brands offer is the synthetic version which is Ascorbic Acid. However, thanks to Biologi’s revolutionary extraction technique, the Bk Eye Serum and Bf Body Serum can deliver pure, natural and stable Vitamin C. We think natural is always best, so just be careful when choosing synthetic versions of Vitamin C and also be mindful that brands may still label their product as natural Vitamin C but if you read ‘Ascorbic Acid’ on the product label that will tell you that it is a synthetic version.

Another popular Antioxidant choice is Vitamin A, found in Retinol, which has fast gained popularity due to its ability to accelerate cell renewal, smooth fine lines and wrinkles and improve overall skin tone. However being a particularly potent product, there are some dangers with using Retinol, particularly with its overuse. Because Retinol encourages new cell production quickly, these new skin cells don’t function as well and therefore can lack the necessary adhesion and lipid production to protect the skin properly. So that can cause your skin to lose its ability to protect itself from environmental factors, making it more susceptible to things like sun damage.

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