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Antioxidants, what are they and why do I need them? 

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This is a question that we get a lot here at SkinScience. People come to us to have a better understanding of skin health and a better skincare routine; antioxidants are often something that is missing. This is a very important key to healthy skin and aging gracefully. 

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Of course you have always heard ‘eat your berries, they’re full of antioxidants!’ This is true, as we need them internally, however, topically is equally important for our skin. We would need to eat an incredibly large amount of berries to have the same effect as a topically applied product, to protect our skin. 

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So here it is – antioxidants protect against free radical damage. Free radical damage is when our cells are attacked and can be put under oxidative stress, which plays a role in premature aging of the skin, hyperpigmentation, triggering inflammatory conditions like eczema and acne, as well as skin cancers. As we age there are less antioxidants available, combine that with the constant attack of free radicals and the balance is lost. If a healthy cell is attacked, it will spend half or more of its energy trying to fight off the attacker, instead of functioning properly. This is something we face every day. Our environment is full of pollution and is attacking our skin from the moment we wake up. In short, antioxidants are free radical warriors! 

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For example; have you ever noticed once you slice open an apple it starts to turn brown? This is because of oxidative stress. Now, if you apply lemon juice to the open flesh of the apple, this will stop it from browning. This is because lemon is full of antioxidants. Side note, you would never want to apply lemon juice to the skin; it can actually have a harmful reaction with sun exposure and cause an unsightly and uncomfortable rash! 

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Now that you have a visual for the power of antioxidant protection, let’s apply it to the skin. Here at SkinScience we have a many favorite options for skin-safe antioxidants. 

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VITAMIN C

has been a longtime industry favorite for skin professionals. Along with its antioxidant properties it also brightens and stimulates collagen. L-ASCORBIC ACID has been a leading form of vitamin C for many years. Our favorite products containing L-ascorbic acid are SkinCeuticals CE FERULIC (for normal to dry skin) and SkinCeuticals PHLORETIN CF (for normal to combination, non acne prone skin). They have two options depending on your skin type. That said, not everyone can tolerate L-ascorbic acid well. Not to worry, another fantastic and industry leading form of vitamin C is TETRAHEXYLDECYL ASCORBATE found in our very own Aliquote Skin ADVANCED YOUTH COMPLEX (for all skin types, even sensitive ones). 

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Some other well-known antioxidants include; 

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GREEN TEA

The active antioxidant in green tea is Polyphenols, not only does it fight free radical damage but is also an anti-inflammatory (helps reduce redness and inflammation) and works against a decrease in collagen breakdown. Our favorite product containing green tea is Aliquote Skin SENSICALM LOTION

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VITAMIN B3 or NIACINAMIDE

has been proven that topical application has many potential skin benefits, including improved skin hydration, reduced fine lines and wrinkles, decreased brown spots, improved skin redness/blotchiness, and better skin elasticity. Our favorite product containing niacinamide is DermaQuest NIACINAMIDE YOUTH SERUM

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RESVERATROL

is naturally found in berries and red wine (no, we can’t only drink our antioxidants). Resveratrol possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Scientific studies suggest that topically applied resveratrol protects against UVB-induced photodamage, pigmentation, and collagen degradation. One of our favorite products containing resveratrol is DermaQuest STEM CELL 3D EYE LIFT and SkinCeuticals Resveratrol BE

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Needless to say, no matter what your skin type we have a form of antioxidant protection to suit your needs. 

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PRO TIPS 

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1) You’ll get a better protection by wearing your antioxidant during the day. Think rush hour traffic and all the pollution that you’re sitting in. (we certainly hope you don’t have that same level of pollution where you sleep!) 

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2) Most vitamin C or antioxidant serums work best applied to cleansed skin. Cleanse, tone and then apply your antioxidant — you can layer other serums, creams and SPFs on top. Always layer thinnest to thickest. 

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3) Make sure to finish by applying a mineral sunscreen for added protection (we prefer mineral SPF vs chemical SPF but that is for another post!) 

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Want to know more? Book in for a consult today!

403-287-1477

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