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The Answer to Free Radicals? Antioxidants .

So how do we fight free radicals? The answer lies in antioxidants. Antioxidants donate one of their own electrons to stabilize the free radical thereby ending the cycle. Antioxidants are stable in both forms (whether they lose an electron or not) and makes them scavengers to help fight and prevent cell and tissue damage.

Cellular damage is the breaking down of cell structures. Think of it as a high rise building.
The newer the building, the less fixing up it needs. As the building gets older, environmental stresses, free radicals, diseases are the causes of breakdown of the foundation and can eventually lead to an aging building that constantly needs patchwork to maintain its structural integrity. If we were to insert good maintenance, and good building blocks and components, the chances of this building requiring little patch work is high. Same as our body and our skin, which is the largest organ of the human body. It requires lots of maintenance from inside and outside. Antioxidants on the skin gets absorbed and can transform the skin on a cellular level and patchwork what the free radicals and environmental stresses damages.

As mentioned before, because antioxidants is a stable form of a electron by itself, or in a chemical bond itself, it can donate an electron of their own to the free radical that is running rampage trying to steal other cells electrons to break their bond only to make theirs whole again. The more active antioxidants we can ingest and apply, the more it can help insert itself to fix the vicious stealing cycle that is of the free radical.

Antioxidants help to maintain balance in the skin to help everyone age gracefully. Antioxidants are molecules which can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction before vital molecules are damaged. Although there are several enzyme systems within the body that scavenge free radicals, the principle micronutrient (vitamin) antioxidants are vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Additionally, selenium, a trace metal that is required for proper function of one of the body's antioxidant enzyme systems, is sometimes included in this category. The body cannot manufacture these micronutrients so they must be supplied in the diet.

Antioxidants to include in your diet to ensure that your inside is getting all the nutrient it needs to fight the free radical beasts:

Vitamin E : d-alpha tocopherol. A fat soluble vitamin present in nuts, seeds, vegetable and fish oils, whole grains (esp. wheat germ), and apricots.

Vitamin C : Ascorbic acid is a water soluble vitamin present in citrus fruits and juices, green peppers, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, kale, cantaloupe, kiwi, and strawberries.

Some antioxidants to include in your skin routine and to be sure to look for is:

Vitamin C : Vitamin C is a chemical called ascorbic acid that is naturally occurring in skin. It is known to play a role in collagen production. In addition, when topically applied it is thought to help heal acne, increase the barrier function of skin to decrease moisture loss, and prevent age spots. Sounds too good to be true? Well there is a downside – it’s difficult to deliver Vitamin C to skin in a form that is stable, effective and non-irritating. For skin care products, always ask the company if at all possible, how it’s stabilizing the Vitamin C in their products. Once Vitamin C interacts with the air, it with then oxygenate, thereby rendering it useless because it will not have the same nutrition as you need. Therefore, you need to find a Vitamin C delivery that actually stabilizes the Vitamin C and not let it oxygenate enough to lose its nutritional value.

For an example of how Vitamin C can be stabilized, Viva developed our Bio Brightening C Serum that is with L-ascorbyl palmitate. This type of Vitamin C is a fat soluable vitamin C. What that means, is that it attaches itself to fat’s like omega 3 or 6 fatty acids. We recognized that, and therefore, developed a pure oil base Vitamin C Serum that includes argan oil, rosehip oil, evening primrose oil, vitamin E to help the Vitamin C latch itself onto the fatty acids of these oils. The reason why it’s rare is because these oils for all intents and purposes are a rough oil. What that means is that it will feel heavy on the skin and not as smooth like an water based product can be. Water based products can oxidize the Vitamin C so rapidly that by the time the end user uses the product, the Vitamin C nutrition has probably dissipated. How we fixed the problem of the roughness with the oil, is to homogenize the oils (spinning it really fast in low heat) so it melds the oils together and attaching the fatty acids together. How we stabilized the oxidization of the Vitamin C is with fractionated coconut oil. A certain amount of coconut oil can actually keep the pH of the Vitamin C low.

Other specific antioxidant ingredients to look for on labels are:

MSM (Dimethyl Sulfone) – an organic sulfur (similar compound to crystallized salt) that supports the structural integrity of the skin, as well as glutathione (coenzyme that helps prevent oxidization and reduces the reactions in cells) production. It helps improves skin health and complexion and is necessary for collagen production. Also helps to improve skin elasticity, increasing energy to combat free radicals and helps detoxifies the skin. MSM is made from sulfur and natural gas combined.

Alpha Lipoic Acid – an antioxidant that is able to infiltrate all parts of the cell because its both water and fat soluable, where it fights inflammation and boosts glutathione levels as well. Alpha Lipoic Acid can be found in broccoli and spinach as a vegan source.

Antioxidants helps maintain your body to be able to age gracefully and with less aches and pains both internally and externally. Supplementing your diet and your skin routine with high antioxidant content is the way to maintain healthy glowing skin. 

Until next time!

Victoria 



Article written by Victoria Wong

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