Antioxidants are substances that are capable of counteracting the damaging effects of oxygen on our system and skin! This is an oxidization process that causes the damage! Antioxidants are nutrients such as vitamins and minerals as well as enzymes which are proteins in your body that assist in chemical reaction! I'll try not to get too technical in my discussion of the subject! Antioxidants are said to play a role in the prevention of serious disease such as cancer, stroke, heart disease, Alzheimer's, arthritis and cataracts!
Oxidative stress occurs when the production of harmful molecules called free radicals makes it difficult for the antioxidants to offer protection. Simply free radicals have one or more impaired electrons and are unstable! They search your body for help in replacing or adding electrons causing cell, protein and DNA damage! This same process is what turns a pealed apple brown or iron to rust.
It's impossible for us to completely avoid the damage from these free radicals as they are a result of factors inside and outside our body! Inside factors are caused by strained breathing, metabolism and inflammation! External factors are caused by sunlight, pollution, strenuous exercise, X-rays, smoking and alcohol! Our antioxidant systems can not handle all the stress as we age so permanent damage occurs and the damage accumulates.
Basically, antioxidants neutralize these free radicals and by doing so they become oxidized! They need to be renovated. Once the process starts with the free radicals affecting the molecules in our system, they need to stop or slowed down by say beta-carotene's, vitamins C and E. Antioxidants reduce the deterioration caused by these free radicals. Therefore, it's important to bring antioxidants into our system! There is little doubt that antioxidants or food and products containing them are good for our health. You do not want to over consume though as numerous studies have shown that this over consumption can lead to different kinds of damage.
Food remains the best place to obtain the necessary antioxidants for your system! The whole principle of at least 5 portions a day of fruit and vegetables remains important. Vitamin E is found in nuts, peanuts, olives, vegetable oils, liver, avocado and leafy green vegetables among others. Vitamin C is found in citrus products, tomatoes, peppers, etc. Beta-carotene is found in such foods as cantaloupe, mangoes, sweet potatoes, squash and others. Selenium is found in such food items as seafood, pork, beef, brown rice and whole wheat bread. There are other sources and types as well and I'd look these up on the Internet!
Working out and exercise is an important way of fighting the effects as well as proper eating habits! Your skin is a major beneficiary of eating foods with antioxidants and there are certain products that include antioxidants that can be very beneficial in long term skin care! It tends to be absorbed when applied through some types of cream and can repair some skin damage!
The key to skin care is protecting the outer skin layer! Use creams that help retain moisture !!
Hopefully this article has helped you understand antioxidants, what they are and their role !! If a product claims that they have antioxidant properties, now you have some sense as to what they're referring to! Read lots about any product that you apply to your skin or take orally! Do not always believe what you read or hear!