antioxidants: multifunctional ingredients – part two

Although the human body has its own native antioxidant defense sytem, daily use of topical antioxidants dramatically increases your skin’s protection against the visible signs of facial aging.  Following are some of the most effective antioxidants to add to your skin care regimen.

L-ascorbic acid is the only true form of vitamin C, and it is the only ingredient to provide all of vitamin C’s topical benefits, including plumping and firming. Topically applied L-ascorbic acid serves as a primary, secondary and co-antioxidant that fights free radicals in the skin.

Glutathione is part of the body’s natural antioxidant systems.  Many of the most commonly used antioxidants work by regenerating glutathione.  It is a primary antioxidant that neutralizes current and prevents future oxidation.  Glutathione also works as a co-antioxidant that supports L-ascorbic acid and vitamin E.

Green tea is the source of several potent polyphenol antioxidants. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) thought to be responsible for green tea’s primary antioxidant, calming, soothing and skin cancer prevention benefits.   EGCG has been shown to prevent the formation of several highly damaging free radicals.

Genistein is an isoflavone derived from soybeans that increases the activity of the skin’s own antioxidants.  Studies suggest that genistein prevents free radical production.  Genistein also interferes with DNA damage and mutation due to UV exposure. Studies show genistein provides short- and long-term UV damage prevention, including redness, skin cancer and visible skin aging.

Resveratrol is found in berries, grapes and red wine.  It is a potent polyphenolic antioxidant that has been shown to suppress the production of a variety of  free radicals. Studies have also shown the resveratrol has a preventative effect on tumor formation within the skin.

Silymarin is a powerful flavanoid antioxidant found in milk thistle whose most active component is the silybin.  Research shows that silybin inhibits lipid peroxidation, free radical production and increases the amount of the skin’s natural antixoidant glutathione.

Caffeine is considered a primary and secondary antioxidant that is capable of scavenging a variety of damaging free radicals. Studies comparing caffeinated and decaffeinated beverages showed a marked increase in the antioxidant activity of those containing caffeine. Research also suggests that topical application of caffeine can reduce the potential of developing skin cancer by forcing damaged,  UV-exposed skin cells into apoptosis [cell death].

Ergothioneine is newer to the skin care market, but research demonstrates strong primary antioxidant, free radical scavenging capabilities. Skin cancer prevention has also been suggested with topical ergothioneine use.

All of these antioxidants can be found in a range of PCA SKIN daily care products and professional treatments.

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