Everyone involved in skincare has been talking about the benefits of anti- oxidants for decades. A new 'wonder antioxidant' seems to enter the skincare world almost daily and for many it all sounds so confusing. No one says which antioxidants work best or do they all work equally well? We are left wondering if the latest 'fad' is actually something we should try and yet again we put our faith in marketing messages and hope for the best.
Avoidance of the damaging effects of the sunshine is the single most important thing you can do to protect your skin from premature ageing. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants and topically applying antioxidant rich products is the second most important thing.
Antioxidants are substances that help protect the skin's surface from oxidative stress.
We each have our own natural and elaborate anti-oxidant defence system, but when the extent of oxidative stress exceeds skin's anti-oxidant capacity this leads to oxidative damage.
Oxidative damage is one of the causes of premature skin aging, pigment spot formation and irritation etc. Sunlight and environmental aggressors, including pollution, toxins, smoking, etc. are the main reasons for oxidative stress.
If you want to avoid excessive oxidative stress you have to avoid sunlight and pollution and that's almost impossible if you live in a sunny country like many of the countries of the Middle East, particularly in the Arabian Peninsula.
Science hasn't answered that question yet! Some anti oxidants just have more scientific research behind them and are therefore used more. And the more they are used the more they are researched.
But one thing science does know is that whether we ingest (eat) them or apply in a cream or do both, anti-oxidants have far more positive effects when they are used in combination rather than when used separately.
Each anti-oxidant has a particular, and limited range, of compounds that it can neutralize. That's why using a combination is far better than using single anti- oxidants. It's not a matter of using one, thinking it is better than another, it is more about the combination and the target areas of each so that maximum effect is achieved.
Truthfully and realistically, not before 4 months.
It is only if you applied products containing anti-oxidants to one side of the face and a cream without any anti-oxidants to the other side for some months that you could then compare.
The side of the face denied antioxidants for a few months would likely show the telltale signs of oxidative stress more than the protected side. Maybe this is the reason many people don't rate antioxidants very highly on their ingredient priority list; they can't see the benefit in a short time, therefore it's hard to believe it is actually working.
Trying to evaluate if your product has a good anti oxidant combination is like watching your children grow! Because you see them everyday you don't really notice them growing but relatives who haven't seen them for months are often heard saying' wow, you have really grown'!
The same thing with your skin. You might not see major differences on a daily basis but others might be a little envious that you are not ageing as fast as they are!
Polyphenols are tiny little chemicals that are naturally found in plants (botanicals). They contain excellent antioxidants which protects the plant from climatic conditions and the damaging rays of the sun. When you see green tea or date extract listed on an ingredient list it means that your product contains the antioxidant power of that plant.
There are hundreds of plants that contain valuable polyphenols so of course there is an equal number of great antioxidants in a great many plants. Cosmetic companies are very quick to jump on the latest and weirdest sounding ones in the hope of seeming unique. Just be aware that 'new' often means that scientific evidence regarding efficacy is sometimes lacking.
At BLOOM we've harnessed the antioxidant power of these native Middle Eastern plants and incorporated them into our products because our skin is exposed to exactly the same intensity of sunshine, heat and natural dust!
We've added the big guns too (vitamin C, vitamin E and green tea, etc) because of the additional anti-ageing benefits they offer in addition to being powerful antioxidants.
So if you live in an arid, sunny and often dusty country or in an area that has high levels of combustion – know that we've got your anti-oxidant needs perfectly in order. And that's surely one less thing to have to figure out.