Antioxidant Skin Care
Science time! What does it mean when a product is labeled "antioxidant?"
Let's go over a few chemistry definitions that will help explain in everyday words what that means.
There are three main components to understand - Free Radicals, Oxidation, and Antioxidants.
A Free Radical is a compound with an odd number of electrons. In general, a compound is more stable when it has an even number of electrons. Free radicals are dangerous because they are prone to gaining an electron from another compound (causing oxidation). Free radicals are found in our atmosphere due to air pollution and UV radiation. Free radicals are also found in certain foods, alcohol, and tobacco smoke.
Oxidation is a chemical reaction where a compound loses an electron. Free radicals can cause oxidation of healthy cells, which is damaging. When you're talking about skin, oxidation can cause cancer and premature aging.
Antioxidants are compounds that have extra electrons that are prone to give up their extra electrons to free radicals. This is also an oxidation reaction. This causes the free radical to go from an odd number of electrons, to an even number of electrons, which makes it more stable. Antioxidants protect your cells by neutralizing free radicals.
Common antioxidants found in skin care include Vitamin C, Vitamin A (Retinol), and Vitamin E. I personally use Sanitas Skincare Vitamin C Moisturizer morning (with SPF) and night. I recommend it for most skin types.
I hope this helped explain why a lot of skin care products are labeled "antioxidant!"