Oxidation is the action of consuming oxygen molecules for fuel. It’s the chemical process behind fire, rust, and even the living cells of your body. Your cells have their own metabolism. They breathe and react when affected by outside forces. Where your skin is concerned, these forces include exposure to the sun and other elements, skin cancers, and the passage of time.
As oxidation progresses in your skin, reactive by-products called free radicals form, as well as arriving by way of environmental pollutants. When you’re young, your body neutralizes free radicals, but as you get older, your skin needs help to remain ahead of the deleterious effects of these aggressive cell breakers. You can counteract the surplus of free radicals with antioxidants to slow the effects of oxidation on your appearance.
Board-certified dermatologist Jennifer Baron, MD has the expertise to analyze your skin and suggest the best skin care regimen to counter the effects of free radicals and other signs of aging. As a skin care expert, Dr. Baron formulates her own jbSKIN line of products as well as choosing the best professional grade cleansers and sunscreens to augment your needs.
What are antioxidants?
Nature’s antioxidants are vitamins and minerals that are already part of your diet, including vitamins A, C, and E. These substances neutralize the actions of free radicals, which bind with collagen in your skin, breaking down its structure and reducing elasticity. In essence, antioxidants douse free radicals the way a bucket of water drowns a campfire.
Your body makes antioxidants from the nutrients in your diet, working from the inside to slow the free radical attack, but perhaps the best way to help your skin is the topical use of products that puts antioxidants right where they’re needed. Depending on the specific antioxidant mixture, you can often select the benefits your skin most needs.
Commonly used antioxidants
Many skin care products feature antioxidants in their formulations, but there’s no standard or requirement. You’ll need to recognize the common antioxidant compounds to ensure you’re choosing a product that can produce the results you’re after. Common antioxidants include:
- Botanical extracts or phytoextracts
- Coenzyme Q10
- Ferulic acid
Along with vitamins C and E, over-the-counter products with one or more of these ingredients should offer some level of antioxidant protection.
Benefits of topical antioxidants
A benefit of many skin care products is that they offer more than one benefit, such as adding antioxidant protection to a moisturizer. Three benefits that antioxidants provide include:
- Protection from extrinsic aging: while turning back your genetic clock is impossible, antioxidants counter the effects of aging caused by factors such as sun exposure, smoking, and chemical irritants.
- UV damage: an excellent complement to sunscreens, antioxidants can help reduce damage from ultraviolet light that’s not blocked.
- Combating inflammation: since inflammation often begins with the effects of free radicals, antioxidant formulas can soothe your skin.
Matching the right product to your skin conditions is as easy as a visit to Jennifer Baron, MD. Contact Dr. Baron’s office by phone or online to schedule your personal skin care consultation today.