natural sources of antioxidants

Antioxidants in Skincare

At NEVE, one of our main considerations when formulating natural skincare is that our products are proage. When we talk of proage we mean that the ingredients we use and the final overall efficacy on your skin must take into consideration supporting your skin as it ages.

We are all ageing, every day, from the moment we are born so being ‘anti-age’ is not something we aspire to with our products. Ageing is as natural as birth and death, and like those topics, can feel emotive, challenging, and often, just something we don’t want to acknowledge or think about.

We cannot turn back to the clock, we cannot fight ageing, but we can support our skin and bodies as best we can through this process to slow and soften the effects and keep them as healthy as possible. When taking a proage approach there are a number of factors that we take into consideration as we begin to develop new products. These factors include tissue regeneration, the role of vitamins and nutrients, collagen support, barrier repair and the microbiome, and finally, antioxidants. Today, we are going to take a deeper dive into antioxidants and why they play such an important role in your skincare.

'Antioxidant' is a words we hear a lot in skincare but what actually are antioxidants and why do they play such a crucial role in skincare? In simple terms, antioxidants fight the oxidative reactions that take place in our skin and bodies. Prolonged oxidative reactions can lead to premature ageing.

Premature ageing and antioxidant support

The oxidative reactions that take place on our skin are caused by free radicals. These free radicals damage the skin's cellular structure which in turn leads to oxidative stress and therefore premature ageing.

This premature ageing can take form in many ways and can impact collagen and elastin, leading to sagging skin, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. Of course, these reactions do eventually catch up with us all but by using antioxidants we can reduce their impact. Antioxidants neutralise free radicals and reduce their ability to cause this damage to your skin. Think of them as a line of defence battling against free radicals and protecting your skin from the cellular damage that they cause. Whilst the process of free radicals is a natural one within the body, there are a number of lifestyle factors that can accelerate free radical damage such as smoking, drinking alcohol, UV exposure and poor diet.

Free radicals and their role in the process

To understand antioxidants we must first get to know how free radicals function. Free radicals are molecules with an unpaired electron which results in an unstable state, which they aren't too happy about. To achieve stability they steal electrons from another molecule which initiates a chain reaction. This process is the oxidative reaction that we have previously mentioned, and turns the stolen molecule into a free radical which in turn, creates a chain of similar reactions.

Antioxidants are a diverse group of molecules that safeguard our skin cells from the oxidative stress caused by these free radicals. There is a vast array of antioxidants available to us but some of the most common that you may hear of include Vitamins A, C and E, beta carotenes and carotenoids generally, phenols, polyphenols and flavonoids. To make matters a little more complicated they also come in the form of primary, secondary and tertiary antioxidants that function in various different ways.

For example, some antioxidants fight free radicals by completely preventing their occurrence, while others scavenge and neutralise the free radical by oxidising themselves to break the chain, and then using other antioxidants to prevent themselves from becoming free radicals. Phew.  You can now see what a in-depth and complicated process this is, but is is one that can be reduced significantly by the skincare that we choose. 

Nature's abundance of antioxidants

Thankfully the natural world has many plants and plant extracts that are rich in antioxidants.  Vitamin E, is one of them, and can be found on your skincare ingredients listed as 'tocopherol'. There are many different types of tocopherol, both synthetic and natural, and unfortunately not all are created equal. The Vitamin E that we use at NEVE comes from natural sources and contains a powerful and synergistic blend of mixed tocopherols including alpha, beta, delta and gamma which together, offer the most effective results. This Vitamin E blend not only offers an antioxidant effect within the product itself, helping to keep it as fresh as possible, but also has a potent antioxidant effect on your skin. 

The Tri-Elixir alone contains a number of ingredients chosen for their rich antioxidant and beta carotene properties including grapeseed oil, calendula, rosehip, sea buckthorn, pumpkin seed oil, and carrot seed oil.  

In the journey towards skin vitality and health, embracing the power of antioxidants is a deeply important step. These natural guardians not only protect our skin from external aggressors but also nurture it and assist in its healthiest glow. You can rest assured that the power of antioxidants sits at the core of all of our products, present and future.

Referencing and further reading:

Plant Derived Antioxidants: Significance in the Ageing Process and Skin Health

Oxidative stress in the skin: Impact and related protection

Antioxidants in dermatology

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