Antioxidants neutralize free radicals produced by various environmental results such as ultraviolet radiation, cigarette smoke, and air pollutants, thereby preventing cellular damage. Oxidative stress and antioxidants are known in diseases like obesity, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Antioxidants safeguard the skin by counteracting free radical production and reducing it eventually. It helps reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation.
Do you know what free radicals are? Free radicals are also known as ROS – Reactive Oxygen Species. When the atoms are taken away from molecules in the skin, it causes impairment to our skin’s DNA that speeds along with skin aging. Free radicals are directly associated with being the cause of breaking down the skin’s collagen – giving rise to dark spots, fine lines, sagging skin, and aging.
Aging is a process of a progressive decrease in the functioning and reserve capacity of all organs in the body, including the skin (intrinsic or chronological aging). This naturally occurring functional decline in the skin is often compounded and accelerated by chronic environmental insults such as ultraviolet radiation, pollutants, smoking, etc., (extrinsic aging).
SKIN AND FREE RADICALS
In healthy skin, practically all skin cells produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen (RNS) species. These free radicals are indispensable effectors in the homeostatic pathways leading to cell proliferation, differentiation, senescence, and death. An elaborate network of endogenous antioxidants maintains homeostasis by neutralizing these free radicals from causing damage to cells. When this fine balance between free radicals and endogenous antioxidants is lost, it results in oxidative stress. Chronic oxidative stress has been suggested as the cause or consequence of many acute and chronic human diseases, e.g., obesity, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, acute lung injury, retinal degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Oxidative stress also plays a role in various dermatological disorders like the aging of the skin, e.g., solar elastosis, deep wrinkles, coarse texture, telangiectasia and pigmentation, psoriasis, allergic contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, Vitiligo, acne vulgaris, pemphigus Vulgaris (PV), lichen planus, alopecia areata, and melanomas.
Various pathogenic mechanisms are responsible for these lesions, such as induction of transcription factors that includes Activator protein (AP-1) and Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), which are responsible for inflammatory changes, metalloproteinase (MMP) like collagenase, which causes decreased collagen production, increased collagen breakdown, and increased elastin accumulation resulting in features of aging and lastly mitogenic activated protein kinase (MAPK), which is one of the factors responsible for skin cancers.
INFORMATION ABOUT ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidants are those molecules that are capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a process where there is the loss of electrons or an increase in the oxidation state by a molecule, atom, or ion.
As the number of molecules with antioxidant properties increases with each passing day, it is difficult to keep abreast of all of them. Commonly used antioxidants in dermatology are classified as endogenous and exogenous
- Enzymatic – Glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, Superoxide dismutase, Catalase
- Water-soluble antioxidants – ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), glutathione, ubiquinone, uric acid, flavonoids, melanin.
- Fat-soluble antioxidants – alpha tocopherols (vitamin E), carotenoids, Coenzyme 010.
- Both fat-soluble and water-soluble – alpha-lipoic acid.
- Others – Melatonin, Selenium.
- Fat-soluble – Lycopene, Curcumin
- Water-soluble – Green tea, Coffee Ara bica , Silymarin, Polypodium leucotomus, Resveratrol, Grape seed extract, Pomegranate
- Others – Pycnogenol, Soy isoflavones
Though there is a lot of interest in the role of antioxidants available for the treatment of various dermatoses, it is important to know that most of the studies have demonstrated an in vitro role of these molecules as antioxidants.
DISTRIBUTION OF ANTIOXIDANTS IN SKIN
Skin is endowed with natural antioxidants as it is exposed to numerous environmental insults. Vitamin E, catalase, superoxide dismutases, glutathione peroxidases are abundantly present in the viable layer of the epidermis. The extracellular space of the skin epidermis and dermis contains large amounts of antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, uric acid, and glutathione. The outermost layer, the cornified envelope of normal human skin, contains antioxidants such as glutathione, vitamin C, uric acid, α-tocopherol, squalene, and coenzyme Q10, distributed in a gradient with the highest concentration on the deepest cornified envelope layers.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE
Free radicals can damage the DNA, lipid membrane, collagen structures and play a role in photoaging and skin cancer. Oral and topical antioxidants can provide benefits from free radical damage.
Hautvit forte tablet is endowed with grape seed extract, which is the richest source of an antioxidant OPC (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin).
Ever C20 has a powerful antioxidant Ethyl L-Ascorbic acid 20% that ensures 86% bioavailability and powerful anti-photo aging effect. Suppose you are facing wrinkles and fine lines. In that case, you can hand-pick our product – FIRMER – it is the anti-aging serum that incorporates properties diminishing the fine lines and wrinkles and leaving hydrated skin with shiny and wrinkle-free skin.