Why antioxidants are so important
There are hundreds (and probably thousands) of compounds that act as antioxidants, and they all work to neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals before they cause harm to our cells. Free radicals occur naturally in the body as a byproduct of countless cellular processes (including converting food into energy!), and they are also generated by environmental factors such as UV rays, chemicals and pollution.
The skin is particularly prone to free-radical damage since it is exposed to environmental aggressors both indoors and out. The visible effects include premature signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration and loss of elasticity, but these changes are actually caused by the damage free radicals cause within the skin. Free radicals compromise the skin’s supportive scaffolding of collagen and elastin, and have been shown to trigger the production of excess pigment.
Antioxidant-rich skincare products provide an effective shield against environmental free radicals by neutralizing these damaging molecules before they cause harm. The most common (and most researched) antioxidants found in skincare include vitamin C, niacinamide (vitamin B3), vitamin E, retinol (vitamin A) and green tea polyphenols—but there are many others that help provide protective benefits for your skin as well. Dr. Boakye formulated the Pro-Aging Drops Skin Wellness Serum with highly potent antioxidants to help your skin recover from the day’s onslaught of free radicals overnight. (Just be sure to use it every other evening at first to help your skin acclimate to the retinol before starting to use it every night.)
It’s equally as important to feed your body antioxidants to help protect all cells from free radicals. Free-radical overload causes oxidative stress (or inflammation) that has been linked to many serious health conditions including cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and more.
Fueling your body with an antioxidant-rich diet can help prevent free radicals from causing harm. In addition to loading up your plate with leafy greens, berries, citrus, tomatoes, salmon, nuts and healthy fats like olive oil, it’s also important to avoid refined carbohydrates (like white bread and sweets), fried foods and processed meats.
Consider this your inside-out approach to fighting free radicals!