Antioxidants and Free Radicals
Free radicals are the byproduct of normal cellular function. They cause proteins and molecules to not function properly. This is where antioxidants play an important role. They soak up free radicals and slow down the aging process. Vitamin C is very important to natural skin care because it’s a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals.
Many skin care products list vitamins as one of the ingredients. You may wonder if your body can actually absorb these nutrients through the skin or is this just another advertising ploy? Despite claims to the contrary, there are only three antioxidants that have been proven to be well absorbed by the skin.
Selenium, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C are the only nutrients that can be topically absorbed through the skin. It is important to note that only Vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid can be absorbed topically. Products containing the Vitamin C derivatives Ascorbic Acid, ascorbyl palmitate, or magnesium ascorbyl phosphate will not be absorbed topically. Look for products that contain at least 10% concentration of L-ascorbic acid.
In double-blind studies, participants had topical Vitamin C applied to half of the face and a placebo to the other side. The results showed a significant improvement of the Vitamin C-treated side. Once inside the skin, Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals which would otherwise be stimulated by UV light. Results showed increased collagen formation and visible improvement in wrinkled skin.
Since most nutrients cannot be absorbed through the skin, it’s obvious why diet plays such an important role in natural skin care. It’s been proven that cooking food destroys some of its nutritional value. The best antioxidants and anti aging skin treatments are on your plate. Your skin is a reflection of your diet. This recipe is chock-full of antioxidants—
Anti Aging Smoothie
- 1-2 apples, sliced
- 1-2 carrots, sliced
- grated orange peel
- apple juice
To make the smoothie, combine apples, carrots, and citrus peel in a blender.. Add enough apple juice to cover. Blend to a drinkable consistency.
Vitamin C is naturally found in skin tissue. On the whole, it is a great antioxidant that slows the aging process. When the skin’s supply of vitamin C is depleted—through sun exposure, smoking, or pollution—the skin’s ability to repair free radical damage is compromised. The end result for your face is sun damage, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
Something else you can do is to eat as many raw vegetables as possible. Raw vegetables are preferable to cooked vegetables because cooking vegetables removes some nutritional value. Cooked vegetables do not give the full benefit of the interaction of fiber, phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins as raw vegetables do. Don’t think of raw food as just salad. There are amazing recipes for delicious food that rival your favorites. Remember that the best way to fight aging and get antioxidants into your body is through your diet.