The Best Antioxidants, According to Experts
7 minutes read
What Are Antioxidants? ‘Antioxidant’ is certainly a glorified term anyone living and leading a healthy lifestyle swears by. While it is widely known in the nutrition industry and has become a popular household name in the beauty and skincare community, only a few fully comprehend what it is.
In this article, we go in-depth about everything you need to know about antioxidants. We consulted with three leading experts about the top antioxidants to include in your daily diet and beauty regimen, plus, antioxidant-rich easy recipes to get you started.
What are free radicals?
Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells. They are “unpaired electrons” and opt to be in pairs. So what free radicals do is scavenge the body to seek out other electrons and become a pair.
When they find their match, they cause damage to our cells, proteins (such as collagen and elastin) and DNA. If the body cannot process and remove free radicals efficiently, it results into oxidative stress.
According to the free radical theory of ageing, first outlined in 1956, free radicals break cells down over time.
“Think of an apple that is left out once it is cut, once this starts to brown, oxidation and free radical damage has started taking place. This is the same with our cells. Damage to the cells and DNA occurs when free radicals start to get out of hand,” Gut Expert, Nishtha Patel, Clinical Nutritionist and Functional Medicine Practitioner, tells Beauty Daily.
Apart from the skin damage, Patel adds: “These compounds can cause harm if their levels become too high in the body. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer can arise because of elevated levels of free radical damage in the body.”
Jemma Joel, Registered Nutritionist and NHS Health Coach recommends: “Free radicals and oxidative stress are also associated with ageing. It has been theorised that because of the damage free radicals can have on our bodies, in particular our DNA, this can damage our instructional code, which can lead to new cells growing differently, thus leading to ageing. So it’s important to do what we can to help us age as healthily as we can.”
Factors that increase the production of free radicals in the body can be internal, such as inflammation, caused by poor lifestyle choices, including excessive alcohol intake or eating fried food, or external, for example how air pollution can affect the skin.
Joel adds: “The body is under ongoing attack from oxidative stress (this is an imbalance in antioxidants and free radicals) and when there are a high number of free radicals in comparison to antioxidants, it can have a massive impact on our wellbeing.”
However, it is important to note that not all free radical damage is bad.
“Sometimes, it is needed. For example, free radicals are needed by immune cells to fight infections. Therefore, our bodies are always trying to balance free radicals and antioxidants,” Patel explains.
Beauty Daily’s top antioxidant product to fight free radicals is the Multi-Active Jour Antioxidant Day Cream. This day cream is powered by the organic teasel extract which promotes the production of ATP – an energising molecule – which helps fight against free radicals.
This extract is proven to target the fibroblast, the key cell responsible for youthful skin. It protects and reenergises skin, and prevents the appearance of the first signs of ageing.
Read next: 8 Common Culprits Of Skin Damage
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants, on the other hand, are molecules that protect against oxidation. They can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals. Antioxidants are mostly found in plant foods. Also, due to beauty innovation and research and technology advancements, some skincare products are infused with antioxidant plant ingredients.
“Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in your body. Your body has its own antioxidant defence system in place to help control free radicals. However, antioxidants are also found in food,” says Patel.
Adding: “It is important to consume a wide range of antioxidants to help fight the free radicals and keep the body and skin healthy. You can find them in different coloured plant-based foods such as berries, mangos, spinach, kale, butternut squash etc. In addition to fruits and vegetables green tea, dark chocolate, herbs, and spices are all rich in antioxidants.”
What are antioxidants good for?
Antioxidant-rich food not only increases the feel-good chemicals in our brain and heightens the mood, it also prevents chronic illness and serious conditions from developing. In addition to warding off premature ageing, it keeps your skin looking phenomenal for long.
What vitamins are antioxidants?
“As three of the major antioxidants are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Flavonoids, I’d recommend stocking up on your sources of these. You’ll find them mostly in colourful fruits and vegetables, especially those with purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow hues. Eating the rainbow isn’t only good for your body, but for your skin too!”Joel recommends.
5 antioxidant-rich food to give your daily diet (& skincare) a big boost
Here we list the top five antioxidant-rich food to get you started with and nutritionist-approved Maria Marlowe recipes to spruce up your all-new rainbow diet and beauty regimen.
Antioxidant powerhouse turmeric is known for its exceptional anti-ageing properties and helps fight significant signs of skin ageing.
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Maria Marlowe suggests switching up your usual pasta sauce with this vibrant creamy Carrot Turmeric Pasta Sauce instead. It’s packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Turmeric is also the key ingredient in Clarins cult-favourite Double Serum. It’s such a hit that one bottle sells every eight seconds around the globe. Studies have shown that curcumin, a chemical compound found in turmeric, can decrease UV damage.
Antioxidant oranges are abundant in Vitamin C, which is a nutrient that stimulates the production of collagen in the skin.
Try this Chinese-takeout-inspired Crispy Orange Sesame Cauliflower that is sure to hit the spot. Lightly breaded with a gluten-free coating, then doused in a delicious sticky savory + sweet orange dressing, these will fly off the plate.
In skincare, Vitamin C oranges have exfoliating properties which give you a natural shine and youthful glow. Orange extract is the key ingredient in this multi-tasking and radiance-enhancing One-Step Facial Cleanser. It is formulated with an anti-pollution formula –with gentle Orange and Moringa Seed extract that removes every trace of impurities and skin-dulling dry cells while reviving the skin’s natural radiance.
Mangos are anti-free radicals and are an antioxidant. They are rich in beta-carotene and Vitamin C.
Energise your mornings with this Mango Matcha Smoothie Bowl. It also has Match tea which is extremely high in antioxidants.
In cosmetics, mango oil – rich in omega-9 fatty acids – protects the skin from dehydration, nourishes it and provides suppleness and comfort. Mango leaf extract – rich in anti-free radical and antioxidant polyphenol derivatives – protects the skin against UV aggressors.
4. Goji Berries
Goji berries have a sweet, acid-like taste and are rich in antioxidants. It is proven to alleviate oxidative stress and prevent free radicals from damaging DNA, lipids, and proteins.
For a refreshing morning smoothie or after work treat, try this Summer Skin Glow Smoothie: Pineapple + Goji Berry. Marlowe says: “Goji Berries are an excellent source of Vitamin A, a nutrient well-recognised for its role in maintaining unblemished skin.”
In skincare, goji berries help boost the skin’s energy. Goji Berry is one of the key ingredients in the Extra-Firming Energy Day Cream. This face cream is powered by the Glow Complex which restores the skin’s firmness and creates a revitalised, radiant complexion.
5. Indian Gooseberry or Amla
According to experts from NutritionFacts.org, Indian gooseberry is one of the most antioxidant-rich food on Earth, with a teaspoon of gooseberry powder providing 1,500 units of antioxidant power.
It comes in various forms: frozen, dried, sweetened and powdered. You can even add a teaspoon of powder to smoothies, and you probably wouldn’t even taste it. Just don’t go overboard with it as it tastes sour and overpowering. Here’s an antioxidant-rich breakfast smoothie recipe loaded with blueberries, white tea leaves and Indian Gooseberry (amla) powder.
In skincare, gooseberry sprig is used to soothe the skin and it is found in Eau Des Jardins. Not only does it smells summery and uplifting, but it also moisturises and ensures beautifully soft skin.
Final Word: NHS Health Coach Joel says: “There are so many antioxidant-based skincare items on the market these days that it can be difficult to know which ones consumers should pick.”
“My professional advice is to test, don’t guess. Before putting various products on your skin, speak to a specialist. This way you can limit the chances of adverse reactions and make it easier to find products that work well for your skin.”
Book an online Clarins consultation to receive recommendations on how to put together a personalised antioxidant-rich skincare routine.