Can oxygen ever be a bad thing? When we think of oxygen we tend to focus on the importance to humans. We need oxygen to breathe and keep our bodily functions working smoothly. However, there’s also something called oxidation, which causes copper coins to run green and red apples to turn brown. This chemical process can also affect the process of human aging and skin health. For example, it’s important to know about the relationship between oxidation and aging and how we can fight it. It turns out that oxidation can affect our skin in a similar way it can turn a ripe apple into a rotten apple.
The good news is we can take steps to fight oxidation and the signs of aging. This involves fighting off molecules known as “free radicals” that are involved in the oxidation process. These molecules try to attack healthy skin cells, which can harm skin health. Some possible results include rough, loose, or dull skin. The key is to use ingredients like antioxidants to keep your skin as healthy as possible. This can reduce the effects of oxidation and signs of aging. That can result in skin that’s more youthful/vibrant with an appearance that’s younger than your chronological (birthday) age.
What Exactly Is Oxidation and Free Radicals?
When we think of oxygen it’s usually a good thing. Fun Fact: A resting human inhales/exhales 7-8 liters of air per minute. There’s no question that oxygen is critical for humans’ day-to-day lives. Besides nutrients, it’s one of the most important substances the human body/brain needs.
However, sometimes oxygen can cause negative effects. For example, it causes sliced fruit to go rotten and metal parts to rust. These are all the effects of oxidation and “free radical” molecules. This process can even affect your skin health and speed up the aging process.
You’ve probably heard of the phrase “fight free radicals.” How can we do that, but just importantly—why should we want to? These are oxygen molecules that can damage the skin through the oxidation process. In fact, oxygen can do various kinds of damage to skin cells, collagen production, and DNA molecules.
Where are free radicals from? The majority are outside the human body although the human body produces some in-house. Most free radicals are from outside sources like air pollution and UV rays.
Over time these baddie molecules start to cause signs of skin aging. For example, it can result in skin that’s rough and loose. It’s important to battle free radicals to help slow down the aging process. This can help to keep your skin looking and feeling young/vibrant, which are always good things.
The best weapon against free radicals is something called “antioxidants.” This might sound like a fancy term but we actually use them daily. For example, you can eat antioxidants through carrots (Vitamin A), apples (Vitamin C), Greek yogurt (Vitamin D), and fatty fish (Vitamin E).
Several skincare/anti-aging products include antioxidants like Vitamins A/C/E. This is one way to add antioxidants to your body besides consuming food that contains them. There are several anti-aging creams, lotions, and serums that are infused with powerful antioxidants.
The Relationship of Oxidation and Aging
You can find several skincare products with powerful antioxidants to fight the effects of oxidation. The goal is to protect your skin in various ways. One of the main goals of these products is to add moisture to your skin. As we age it becomes tougher for people’s skin to absorb moisture. You can hydrate your body by taking steps like drinking more water and adding moisturizers to your skin.
Here are some of the most common antioxidants found anti-aging products:
VITAMIN A (Retinol)
This is one of the most-researched antioxidants on the market. Some good food sources include carrots, spinach, and cod liver oil. Retinol is the ingredient to look for in skincare products. It’s can get deep into the skin’s layers and provide various benefits. They include evening skin tone, boosting collagen, and fading fine lines. These are all key benefits.
This is easily one of the most common and best options for anti-aging skincare products. This vitamin can provide several skin benefits. They include fading dark spots and increasing collagen production. Besides eating apples and oranges, you can boost your Vitamin C intake through anti-aging products.
You can call this one CoQ10 for short. The body produces this antioxidant and helps fight wrinkles and other skin issues. Studies show that applying CoQ10 to the skin can help to keep skin cells healthy and reduce damage from free radicals.
in recent years fish oil has been trending and there’s a good reason. This is a key skin-friendly vitamin /antioxidant. It’s critical for the human body’s organs including the largest organ (skin).
Vitamin E is known to provide various skin-related benefits. It can speed up the healing process. It can also help to make wrinkles/stretch marks less visible, and hydrate skin to prevent dryness. These are all key benefits you can get from Vitamin E antioxidants.
Top Antioxidant Foods
If you’re looking for a high-antioxidant food to add to your diet then go nuts for nuts. They’re high in healthy fats and are loaded with omega-3s. Besides containing antioxidants, they also can lower cholesterol due to two plant-based chemicals.
2. Dark Chocolate
If you’re looking for a good excuse to eat more chocolate then here it is: antioxidants. They’re loaded with the stuff and even have more than blueberries. Studies show that the antioxidants in dark chocolate and cocoa powder can provide many benefits. They include less inflammation as well as lower risk of heart disease.
It doesn’t matter whether they’re red, blue, or purple. The dark ones are especially high in antioxidants. They might help to fight off heart disease and cancer. They also might help to boost the immune system.
Many households have a jar of artichokes in their fridge and use them in salads. Well, it turns out they’re a superfood. Artichokes are high in minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. They can also provide anti-inflammatory/antioxidant benefits. Some studies show antioxidants might also help lower the risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and some cancers.
If you’re on the Keto Diet then one caveat is blueberries have more carbs versus strawberries and raspberries. However, they’re also high-antioxidant. You get a good amount in one serving of fresh blueberries. Some studies even show that blueberries have the highest amount of antioxidants versus all popular fruits/veggies. So maybe the 14g of carbs are worth it.
Pecan pie isn’t just a popular baked good but also includes a super-healthy tree nut. They’re native to South America/Mexico and are high in vitamins/minerals, and antioxidants. In fact, in one serving you get lots of antioxidants. The super nut also helps boost the blood’s oxidant levels so it’s a 1-2 punch for oxidation and aging.