Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Antioxidants (But Were Afraid To Ask)
Here at Robin McGraw Revelation, we’re all about the antioxidants.
They are the master key to keeping skin energized and fabulous at every age.
And we truly walk our talk: all of our products support your skin’s need for antioxidant protection.
If you’ve wondered exactly what this commonly used (yet clunky) word really means for your skin, here’s the breakdown.
What are antioxidants, and what do they do?
Please put on your imaginary white lab coat and prepare yourself for a science-geek moment.
Antioxidants are chemicals that combat the process called oxidation. They may be natural or man-made. Many are phytonutrients, meaning vitamins that are produced by plants.
Oxidation, also called oxidative stress, is when an atom, molecule or an ion loses one or more electrons in a chemical reaction.
Oxidation is also what turns that luscious guacamole brown and mushy when it’s exposed to air, and what made the Tin Man rust up in “The Wizard of Oz”!
Oxidative stress happens in your body when free radicals attack your cells.
It’s going on right now—natural digestion, physical exertion and just being alive trigger it!
Add sun-damage to the equation, and you get the picture: 24/7 protection is needed, especially when venturing into the great outdoors, which is why our 50 Fierce Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Moisturizer & Sunscreen contains CoQ10, green tea leaf extract, and vitamin C to shield cells from UVA and UVB rays.
Okay, then what are free radicals?
Think of it as loneliness, on an atomic level.
Oxidative stress causes oxygen to split into single atoms with unpaired electrons.
But electrons prefer to be in pairs, so these wayward atoms then become what are called free radicals.
Newly single, highly reactive and unstable, free radicals go on the prowl, lookin’ for love, seeking out other electrons so they can be part of a couple again.
This process may lead to broken cell membranes, and may even change DNA code – and messing with this cellular instructional code causes new cells to grow incorrectly.
Lots of things can set them off in your body, ranging from physical exercise (good) to donuts (bad, but so, so good).
Sunshine, blue screen light from your computer, extreme heat, alcoholic bevvies, ciggy smoke (second-hand counts) and other pollutants all trigger a spike in your ROS, or reactive oxygen species, another name for your body’s oxidation response.
A quick disco nap (15-20 minutes) under our Brightening & Spot Lightening Mask containing ice plant stem cells, gotu kola and grape leaf extracts is a great way to fight free radicals while in your chill-zone.
Why do I need antioxidants?
Antioxidants have many benefits, starting with the fact that they are anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is linked with many conditions, from rosacea and acne to diabetes and dementia.
The aging process is the gradual accumulation of free radical damage.
Damage may cause skin to “forget” to generate collagen, for example.
Skin under oxidative stress may also “forget” to generate fresh new cells,
Another sign of damage: your skin may start launching wild volleys of random pigmentation – and all of these contribute to the classic signs of aging.
Antioxidants to the rescue!
Our Face It, You Look Amazing! Revitalizing Serum made with ginseng root, purslane, and gotu kola extracts boosts collagen and smooths skin with a super-boost of cell renewal.
What are the benefits of antioxidants?
For the skin, antioxidants protect and repair damaged collagen, so everything stays put longer, looking and feeling firm and bouncy.
Antioxidants brighten up the skin, fade hyperpigmentation, and keep new dark spots from forming.
And they boost cell-turnover, to keep that fresh, new glow coming to the skin surface every day.
Beyond face value, antioxidants are essential to keeping your whole body healthy.
Eating foods that are high in antioxidants benefits major internal organs and systems.
For example, flavonoids, a large, diverse family of micronutrient founds in plants, protect and repair cells in major organs and tissues, helping to regulate brain function, blood sugar and blood pressure.
Other antioxidants, like vitamin C, work inside the skin as a natural chemical exfoliant, helping the surface layer shed dead cells quickly for a fresh glow.
See for yourself – pick up our To the Point Dark Spot Corrector that evens out your complexion with ginseng, ginkgo biloba, and mulberry extracts — a potent botanical bouquet used for centuries in Asia to keep skin clear and radiant.
Our Vita Boost Vitamin C Infusion Serum with 20% vitamin C, along with provitamins B5 and E, helps balance and brighten skin tone as a potent night-treatment.
How do I get them?
Antioxidants take many forms — including vitamins, minerals, and natural plant chemicals.
You can eat them as foods and supplements, and you can choose skincare products formulated specifically to deliver antioxidant benefits topically.
We suggest that you do it all!
Veggies and fruit in general are super antioxidants, which is why they deserve at least half of your plate-space at every meal.
Especially good for you: brightly colored produce in the deep purple, red, and blue spectrum.
Using bright, deep colors as your guide, feast on these!
- Concord and red grapes
- pomegranate seeds (called arils)
- purple plums and prunes (raw or dried)
- pink grapefruit
- blood oranges
- goji berries
- black beans
- dark red kidney beans
- dark greens (collards, kale, and spinach)
- eggplant (complete with gorgeous, inky peel)
- heirloom tomatoes (tend to be more colorful)
- purple cabbage
- purple cauliflower
We really love juicy, dark berries on our cereal and in our skin care, which is why we put blueberries, a superfood, in our Peace Out! I’m Done...Micelle Multi Complex Cleansing Toner.
And OMG! Is This Really Me? Instant Face Shaper busts out the acai fruit extract, a brilliantly pigmented berry that may be the most amazing ingredient yet to come out of the rain-forest.
Lots of other foods are high in antioxidants, too, so feel free to graze beyond kale!
Add to your antioxidant shopping list: nuts, coffee, tea, red wine and darkest chocolate, all treats that are fierce free radical fighters.
Polish to Perfection Micro Polishing & Exfoliating Scrub defends skin from free radicals with Japanese green tea extract as it gently buffs away dead surface cells.
And our Hydra Qwench Moisturizing Night Cream with naturally antioxidant squalene feeds moisture to your cells, leaving your complexion smooth and silky-soft.
Nutrition experts recommend eating antioxidant-powered foods throughout the day, at every meal.
It’s a fact that oxidative stress is our constant companion.
And free radicals, though they get a lot of shade, are actually a necessary part of our metabolism until they get unhinged and go a-wilding.
But protecting yourself head to toe with antioxidants isn’t hard.
Just grab a handful of purple grapes, treat your face to some RMR love, and enjoy fighting the good fight for healthy skin!