Antioxidants and Skin Health: Three Steps to Consider
Most folks know that eating foods and taking supplements with antioxidants are good for them. Those critical nutrients found in vitamins like A, C and E are good for you, both inside and out.
Consuming antioxidants and skin health go hand in hand, so to speak, and in just a few easy steps you can keep your skin looking younger for longer.
1. Layer It On
We are exposed to sunlight from our earliest days of life. Wearing sunscreen religiously every day is the best way to protect your skin from the ravages of the sun. However, most of us tend to skip it now and then. And you may recall experiencing some sunburn back when you were just a kid.
Those dark spots, dry patches and wrinkles are the result of cell damaging free radicals, which are molecules that have lost an electron. Feeling bereft, these free radical molecules steal from healthy cells, which starts a chain reaction that eventually damages the cell leaving the evidence of their crime on your face in the form of wrinkles and sunspots.
If you neglected sun protection when you were younger, there is something you can do about it now. Eat foods and take supplements rich in antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E. They contain nutrients that generously give free radicals the electron they so desperately want, thus halting their cell damaging thievery and restoring healthy skin cells.
2. Don’t Fan the Flames
The body’s natural response to cell damage is to ignite a fire—such as inflammation—to try to destroy whatever is causing the trouble. Most people suffer from chronic inflammation caused by sun exposure, smoking, and consuming too many sugary foods and drinks, along with the daily activities of life.
Over time, the inflammation takes a heavy toll on the body, especially the skin, leaving it dry, red and sometimes with a pimple or two to add insult to injury.
Consuming antioxidants is like throwing a bucket of water on the fire. They quench the burn and help damaged cells repair themselves.
3. Eat Drink and Be Healthy
Here is a list of the top antioxidants that should be included in your healthy skin diet:
Known as a carotenoid, it is what gives certain food a red hue. Lycopene helps improve the texture of your skin by supporting collagen production (a protein that makes up the support bands beneath the dermis) while it reverses free radical damage that causes wrinkles. You can find it in cooked tomatoes, watermelons, grapefruit and sweet red peppers.
This essential nutrient is showing to be a powerful weapon in the war on aging. It works as an antioxidant and collagen booster to help reverse the signs of aging by smoothing out wrinkles and encouraging healthy skin cell turnover to shed those dark spots for clearer, younger looking skin. You can find it in citrus fruits like oranges, kiwis and strawberries.
This antioxidant plays an important role in bone growth, reproduction and keeping the immune system healthy. It also helps undo the damage from sun exposure by neutralizing free radicals. You can find it in sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and spinach.
Because too much vitamin A can be toxic, it’s best to get it from your diet rather than supplements.
Since sun damage is the top producer of free radicals that damage skin cells, vitamin E is a critical antioxidant for skin health. When combined with vitamin C, it is very effective at protecting skin from UV damage by halting inflammation and limiting DNA damage. It is also known as a-tocopherol so check for it on the ingredients list when choosing an antioxidant-rich supplement. You can find it in abundance in foods like vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, asparagus and spinach.
Vitamin B3 is also known as niacin and has shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It is especially helpful in getting rid of sunspots due to its depigmenting properties. Find it in pork, chicken and fish like tuna, farmed salmon and halibut or swordfish.
Antioxidants and skin health are intertwined so if you want to keep your complexion radiant, eat foods rich in antioxidants and pop supplements with these essential nutrients.