As we age, our skin will gradually lose its elasticity and thin out. This is normal and part of the skin’s natural ageing process. However, there are factors that can cause your skin to start ageing at an accelerated rate – not something you want to experience earlier than you should! A big part of ‘premature skin ageing’ is a result of free radical activity in the body.
What are free radicals?
Free radicals are molecules that are produced by environmental exposures like tobacco smoke and radiation (including radiation from the sun and other sources of UV rays such as tanning beds). Free radicals are also produced when your body breaks down food. As a result, your skin may start to show signs of premature ageing.
How do we combat premature ageing?
With antioxidants! Antioxidants are naturally occurring substances that may provide protection against the effects of damaging free radicals on the cells in your body, including your skin. Antioxidant ingredients are incorporated in several skincare products already, and are being actively studied in clinical trials for medicinal uses.
Here are 9 antioxidants to look for when choosing a skincare product:
Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, is a carotenoid found in red fruits and vegetables. In addition to being a healthy choice for your diet, it’s a great choice for improving skin texture because it promotes collagen production and reduces the DNA damage that leads to wrinkles. To get the most benefit from this powerful antioxidant, you can either take a daily supplement or look for skin care products that contain it in topical formulas. Lycopene is easily absorbed by the skin.
2. Green Tea
Green Tea has become a superfood in its own right — it can help prevent everything from heart disease and cancer to skin aging and weight gain. The secret ingredients are chemicals called catechins, which are antioxidants that can clear cell damage on the skin and repair wrinkles, blemishes and other skin impurities. When applied to the skin, green tea can reduce sun damage by reducing inflammation and tackling free radicals.
Green Tea extract can be found in our Emu Spirit Night Crème and Hand & Body Crème.
3. Coffee Berry
A common ingredient in anti-aging formulas, coffee berry prevents collagen damage, reduces wrinkles and protects the skin against damage. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which can lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, leading to more youthful looking skin.
The antioxidant resveratrol is commonly found in grapes, nuts, fruits, and red wine, among others. Separate studies have shown that when topically applied, resveratrol protects against UVB-mediated cutaneous damage and inhibits UVB-mediated oxidative stress.
5. Grape Seed
Grape seed is extracted is rich in proanthocyanidins, which are potent antioxidants with strong free radical scavenging activities. Grape seed extract has been shown to be an even stronger scavenger of free radicals than vitamins C and E.
6. Vitamin C
Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is an essential nutrient that can only come from the healthy fruits and vegetables that contain it.
It works in two ways: as an antioxidant, as well as a booster of collagen formation — both of which are important to preserving and maintaining skin’s youthful appearance. However, boosting your intake of vitamin C-rich foods does not appear to impact your skin to any measurable degree, so companies are studying whether it can be absorbed through the skin directly via topical creams and lotions. Vitamin C is being studied for its impact on preventing and reversing aging skin.
The best natural sources of Vitamin C are rosehip and citrus fruit such as pink grapefruit, sweet orange and mandarin – all ingredients found in our Emu Spirit Day Crème and Night Crème.
Genistein is derived from soybeans with the capacity to inhibit UV-induced oxidative DNA damage. Studies found that either topically applied or orally supplemented, genistein was shown to effectively protect human skin against UVB-induced skin photo damage.
Niacinamide (vitamin B3) is a powerful antioxidant that has shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory and depigmenting properties. It has also shown to improve the texture and tone of the skin, as well as reduce fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.
9. Vitamin E
Vitamin E (tocopherol) is an antioxidant that is already present in the skin and found in various foods, such as vegetables, seeds and meat. It helps the skin look younger by boosting collagen production and in turn, reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots.
Vitamin E is available in two forms: alpha-tocopherol (alcohol-based) and alpha-tocopherol acetate. Alpha-tocopherol acetate does not penetrate the skin as easily, so make sure you’re reading the labels closely to get maximum benefit of vitamin E.
Our Emu Spirit Skincare Range contains natural Vitamin E, which has been added to help combat those harmful UV rays and other sources of radiation.
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