Antioxidants and Skin Health

  • Updated May 3, 2023
  • by Honey Seida
Antioxidants and Skin Health

Millions of processes take place in the human body every day, for which the body needs oxygen. This is called oxidation, during which molecules lose electrons and produce active compounds called oxides or free radicals, which sometimes cause damage to cells and their destruction.

One of the most important causes of skin aging is cell destruction by free radicals. Antioxidants play a key role in battling this problem. This is why we will be focusing on antioxidants and skin health in this post.

Antioxidants and Skin Health

Free radicals, which are highly active, attack the cellular structure of the body and destroy them. The main source of producing free radicals is cellular fuel, which is consumed every moment in all the cells of the body (in general, the higher the production of free radicals, the shorter a person's life span).

By combining with harmful oxides (free radicals), antioxidants protect body cells against damage caused by the activity ty of oxides. Antioxidants can also repair damage that has already been caused in cells by free radicals.

Some degenerative diseases such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer's, diseases of the immune system and some eye diseases are related to free radicals.

Antioxidants are substances that destroy the effect of free radicals and prevent their action in the body.  What causes the skin to produce more antioxidants is sunlight and some skin creams.

An important feature of antioxidants and skin health is their solubility in water and fat, because the cellular tissue of the body is such that the membranes are made of fat And the space outside and inside the cell is water. Therefore, water-soluble antioxidants protect the outside and inside of the cell, and fat-soluble types keep the membrane fresh and young. So, both types are needed to create a proper protective barrier against free radicals.

Skin Health

Types of Antioxidants Based on Solubility

  1. Water soluble antioxidants: vitamin C, cysteine, methionine, selenium, glutathione
  2. Fat-soluble antioxidants: vitamin E, vitamin A, carotenes, lycopene, coenzyme Q10
  3. Antioxidants soluble in water and fat: lipoic acid, metallothionein, some polyphenols, and some flavonoids.

Examples of Antioxidants and Skin Health

Vitamin E

Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin, protects cell membranes, lipoproteins, and fatty structures in the body. Most of the cell membrane is composed of unsaturated fats that are overly sensitive to free radicals, and taking vitamin E either orally or topically has a good protective effect on the cell membrane. You can use vitamin E to fight wrinkles. Use on blemishes, spots, and other signs of aging.

Vitamin E can heal the damage caused by sun radiation and release free radicals (one of the factors that cause aging and diseases) in the environment.

You can use vitamin E to treat skin hyperpigmentation. Due to its antioxidant properties, vitamin E can eliminate the damage caused by the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

Vitamin E can increase the production of collagen (which helps to increase the elasticity of the skin) and it prevents signs of aging such as wrinkles. Cracks may appear on your skin due to sudden weight gain or loss or pregnancy, and you can use vitamin E to remove these ugly and unpleasant cracks.


There are several types of plant pigments that cause various colors in vegetables. In addition to the antioxidant effect of some flavonoids, they also have anti-allergic, anti-cancer, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory effects. More than four thousand types of them have been identified and classified, but research has been done on a few of them.

In the field of antioxidants and skin health and their beneficial effects on the skin, two types of them are known to be amazingly effective, which are: proanthocyanins (in grapes) and polyphenols (in green tea).

Coenzyme Q10, Lipoic Acid, Cysteine, and Methionine

They are basically antioxidants, but they have other crucial functions in the body and are naturally present in the body. Increasing the consumption of vegetables and fruit, whole grains, and low-fat milk and dairy products, which provide antioxidants, is beneficial for the health of most people.

As long as two principles of balance and variety are observed in the diet, the need for antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals of healthy people is met and there is no need to use supplements.

But groups at risk, such as children, pregnant women, lactating women, etc., need to receive some nutrients through supplements. Carotenoids, flavonoids, isothiocyanates, phenols, sulfides, and thiols are the most well-known antioxidants that are found in the following foods:

  • Fruit: citrus fruit, berries such as strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, cherries, red grapes, apples, and peaches.
  • Vegetables: carrot, tomato, cabbage, spinach, corn, cauliflower, broccoli, radish, onion, garlic, leek, shallot.
  • Eggs
  • Tea, coffee, chocolate, and cinnamon
  • peanut

The Role of Antioxidants in Maintaining Health

  • Neutralizing free radicals
  • Protection of cells against the destructive effects of free radicals
  • Maintaining vision health
  • Maintaining prostate health
  • Improving brain function
  • Maintaining heart health
  • Maintaining the health of the urinary tract
  • Eliminating the toxic properties of undesirable compounds
  • Maintaining and strengthening the function of the immune system

As you can see antioxidants and skin health go hand in hand.

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