People may associated winter with red cheeks and dry skin, but we want to remind you that it is possible to stay dewy, hydrated, and glowing throughout winter. The way to do this is by nourishing your body and keeping it protected from free radicals. What do free radicals have to do with glowy skin, and why do people always talk about free radicals and antioxidants?
Free radicals are any molecule that has an unpaired electron. With this molecule being unbalanced (unpaired), it goes around looking for other molecules to steal electrons from, thus causing oxidation or damaging various parts of that molecule.
An antioxidant is any substance that detoxifies a free radical or prevents the formation. It can also help convert free radicals into safer substances. Antioxidants help our skin by keeping our barrier protected and stronger against free radicals. Making sure that our body is not having damage to its cells and DNA helps us to maintain healthier bodies, communication between cells, increases the longevity of our life span of cells, and in turn increasing our life overall!
You can see how well your body is functioning by looking at your skin. Your skin is a massive source of water for the rest of your body, so if you are dehydrated your organs will begin sucking water out of the skin. Your body is designed to protect vital organs first, and this is why it will remove as much water as possible from the skin if your organs demand it. By keeping your organs and skin hydrated, and stocked up with antioxidants, you will allow your skin to replenish its moisture. Moisture in the skin is what keeps your looking glowy, and is something to check in on several times a day. Make sure to drink lots of water every day, especially in winter, in order to address this.
We often associated plump, dewy skin with youth, and if we think about this in relation to our cells, we can see why. Cells are working at peak performance during our youth, and begin to decline in efficiency as we age past 25 years old. You can read more about the processes in our skin as we age here. To retain this youthful glow, you will need to additionally replenish any nutrients your body is missing. Think about how we begin to take more vitamins as we age, or if we are in a place with little sun (hello, vitamin D3 and Portland skies), so the same idea can be applied to providing our skin with vitamins and antioxidants.
Antioxidants can help to reverse damage done by free radicals. They are helpful with health conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, skin aging, eye diseases, and our brain health. All of life is dependent on cell communication and actions. If our cells are not healthy, then our body is not healthy. Having a consistent take in of antioxidants we are giving our body the protection it needs to work properly and effectively.
In a simplified way, free radicals create unpaired atoms, and antioxidants link them back up.
You can introduce antioxidants into your skincare in a variety of ways. One way is through diet, and is why you often see pomegranates and blueberries promoted as natural antioxidants. A second way is via skincare, although it is important to note there is a distinct difference between topical and cosmeceutical antioxidant skincare. Our favorite antioxidant serum we recommend to almost everyone (aside from those struggling with acne, which we would recommend Silymarin, or those post-menopausal, which we recommend Yonka's vitamin c, or those focused on pigmentation spots, which Phloretin CF is ideal for) is SkinCeutical's C E Ferulic.
Topical antioxidants are only working on the top layer of the skin, whereas cosmeceutical antioxidants are able to penetrate deeper into the skin - and thus provide long term protection. Topical antioxidants focus on surface level changes, whereas if you are looking to restore, repair, and protect your skin from free radical damage, then you will want a professional vitamin c product. Part of the reason for this is that over-the-counter skincare is legally not able to have a high percentage of actives, and thus will not provide the same results professional skincare does. You can read more about that in our blog post here.
C E Ferulic is the heavy hitter, with 15% vitamin C, 1% vitamin E and 0.5% ferulic acid. It is richer than Phloretin due to the presence of vitamin E, and is a great hydrating ingredient for dry skin and the winter climate.
With its active formula, C E Ferulic is a perfect pick for anyone looking to revamp their complexion and reduce the effects of air pollution. The serum contains antioxidants that combat free radicals from UV rays, infrared radiation and ozone, to help fight the signs of premature aging. What's more, C E Ferulic is suitable for dry, normal and sensitive skin, providing all users with a radiant, youthful glow.
Going into this dry dark time like winter, we need to make sure we are getting all the nutrients from supplements that can help with our cellular function. In doing so our bodies will have more energy and protection during this tougher time for the bodies. Supplements such as zinc and vitamin d can also help our immune system stay strong during the colder months.
This article was written by Aesthetician, Jillian Conover.