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Anti Aging And Antioxidants
Today, more than before people enjoy the luxury of travel and leisure time for outdoor sports which increases the exposure to solar radiation and pollutants. Due to harsh environment contact, our skin can suffer from damages such as: erythema, sunburns, early aging, even skin cancer. It has been shown that early aging and wrinkles are accelerated by solar light exposure of the skin. As a consequence skin loses its elasticity, decreases collagen production and collagen cross linking.
The real cause for these damages is free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules which contain an unpair electrons in their structure. They are very active compounds, which easily induce lipid peroxidation, collagen deterioration, DNA alteration and damage of the cell membrane.
For your skin protection you may use creams with SPF greater than 15 which usually contain zinc oxide or titanium oxide. These minerals are meant to divert the UV solar rays from your skin. They don�t have capability of neutralizing free radicals. The only compounds capable to neutralize free radicals are the antioxidants.
Antioxidants are heterogeneous compounds which stabilize the free radicals. Among antioxidants we can find vitamins, minerals, essential aminoacids and other compounds.
The major antioxidants are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta carotene, Glutathione (cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine), Coenzyme Q10, Selenium, Zinc, Flavonoids, and Proanthocianidins (Pycnogenol and Grape seed extract like compounds)
The most important aspects of the antioxidants for the skin are the induction of collagen and elastin production and their protection from chemical damage.
Each antioxidant participates differently in the metabolic reactions. For example Vitamin C protects cells against free radicals in aqueous environment while Vitamin E protects membranes from lipid peroxidation.
Coenzyme Q10 allows cells to better utilize oxygen, reducing free radicals production. This antioxidant is in particular efficient in preventing photoaging.
Lipoic acids can be used in case of premature aging and wrinkling among heavy smokers and sun lovers.
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and function as a component of different antioxidant enzymes. In addition, Selenium has been shown to protect and repair DNA, reducing DNA binding to carcinogen and inhibit neoplasmic transformation. For example selenomethionine is highly effective not only in preventing but also in reversing photoaging.
Vegetable isoflavones called also phytoestrogens improve epithelial cell proliferation and collagen synthesis showing a protective effect on collagen and elastic fibers against enzymatic degeneration.
Some antioxidants help each other to function properly. For example the powerful antioxidants Proantocynicidins prolong the effect of Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) another important antioxidant works in synergism with vitamin E.
When you choose a cream for your daily protection make sure that it contains at least 2 different antioxidants which may action differently at the metabolic level.
In conclusion: For a better environment protection you should use creams with a wide palette of antioxidants. The larger amount of antioxidants the better protection is expected.
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