Antioxidants: The Key for Healthy Skin
Victoria Lewis, a doctor of dermatology says that “antioxidants are often considered the fountain of youth by skin-care professionals and experts.”
This is due to its ability to eliminate oxidative stress and free radicals, which are “the number one skin-aging culprits.”
Oxidative stress is caused by UV radiation from the sun, stress in the body, and highly processed foods containing sugar and fat.
These are some of the most antioxidant-rich foods: apples, pears, onions, strawberries, blueberries, celery, peppers, and teas such as palo azul
Oxidative foods: foods that are heavily processed and have high fructose content, trans fats and refined carbs
Oxidative stress causes damage to skin cells and this damage leads to wrinkles. For this reason, many pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies supplement their skin care products with tea extracts!
Dr. Victoria Lewis also mentions that “Not only do they (antioxidants) scavenge free radicals—the number one skin-aging culprits—to promote a brighter, more even complexion, they’re also the superstars at nixing fine lines and keeping skin looking fresh.”
Another doctor of dermatology, Dr. Mack, writes that “antioxidants protect your skin from this (oxidative stress) and help reduce pigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles.” He goes on to mention that in his opinion, “an antioxidant serum is a must for your skin-care routine.”
Another study describes the importance of exogenous antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, since these and many others cannot be synthesized by the human body and must be absorbed through our diet.
“Since the effectiveness of the endogenous antioxidant system is diminished during aging, the exogenous supplementation of antioxidants might be a protective strategy against age-associated skin oxidative damage.”
What is oxidative stress?
Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body.
¿What are free radicals?
Free radicals are atoms with a single valence electron that cause damage to the body associated with diabetes, cancer, aging, atherosclerosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and many other diseases.
This happens because electrons like to be in pairs... and for this reason, free radicals look for "free" electrons in the body. This causes damage to cells, proteins, DNA and these damaged molecules can mutate, grow tumors, and damage the DNA code. Eventually, this cellular damage causes new cells to grow with defects and it will lead to aging and degenerative diseases.
Finally, the researchers from one study concluded the following:
“It can be concluded that oxidative stress is a problem of skin cells and endogenous as well as exogenous antioxidants could play an important role in decreasing it.”
This is why you should eat vegetables, fruits and drink teas such as palo azul every day. Here are the key findings from all the studies we reviewed about antioxidants and skin health.
Key findings from medical studies
• “Antioxidants protect the skin by reducing and counteracting free radical production.”
• “Intracellular and extracellular oxidative stress initiated by reactive oxygen species (ROS) advance skin aging, which is characterized by wrinkles and atypical pigmentation. Because UV enhances ROS generation in cells, skin aging is usually discussed in relation to UV exposure.“
• “The use of antioxidants is an effective approach to prevent symptoms related to photo-induced aging of the skin.”
* Palo Azul is commonly referred to by its scientific name: Eysenhardtia polystachya / E. polystachya / E.P - Cyclolepis genistoides / C. genistoides - kidney wood - palo dulce