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Bienfaits crème visage antioxydante.

Antioxidants for Skin: What Benefits Do They Have?

Stress, UV rays, pollution… The skin must face many external aggressions. It is therefore important to protect it in order to limit the damage. Antioxidants cream or other skin care products are among the essentials to counteract the formation of free radicals, which promote premature aging of the skin. Let's discover their benefits. 

Definition of the Term “Antioxidant”.

What is an antioxidant, and what do antioxidants do for the skin?

An antioxidant is an agent that has the property of preventing or slowing down the oxidation process of a substrate, and thus the production of free radicals. In the body, there is a permanent balance between oxidizing defenses and pro-oxidizing species: in other words, antioxidants permanently eliminate free radicals. Although it has been proven that the presence of small quantities of free radicals is necessary for the proper functioning of the metabolism (defense mechanism against microbes, elimination of old or defective cells, etc.), they can become harmful if they are produced in excess.

An imbalance is then created (excessive production of free radicals or lack/deficiency of antioxidants) and the reactive oxygen species (ROS) begin to cause damage to the vital components of the cells (DNA, proteins, lipids, etc.), resulting in an alteration in the natural capacity of the skin to regenerate and in cellular communication, premature aging of the skin or even, in the long term, being the cause of skin cancers. Indeed, free radicals activate a myriad of signaling pathways that lead, among other things, to a reduction in collagen production and the synthesis and activation of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) responsible for the degradation of connective tissue, which then promote skin aging.

Although free radicals are a natural by-product of the processes that take place in the body, these incomplete molecules are not generated solely by the body. Many external elements (pollution, stress, lack of sleep, sedentary lifestyle, UV rays, smoking, alcohol consumption, electromagnetic waves, allergens, etc.) are known to trigger or increase their production, resulting in the appearance of signs of aging (age spots, sagging skin, fine lines, etc.), a loss of radiance and an increase in skin sensitivity (photosensitization, redness, irritation…).

What Are the Benefits of Antioxidants for Skin?

To produce energy, the body's cells will oxidize, generating free radicals in parallel. Free radicals are atoms that carry one or more unpaired electrons on their outer layer. The presence of these single electrons makes the molecule unstable and hyper-reactive towards other substances.

This chemical entity will try at all costs to react with the neighboring molecules in order to recover an electron and form a stable pair, destructuring them on the way. As a consequence, the attacked molecule becomes unstable in its turn, creating a new free radical. When the number of free radicals exceeds what the skin can naturally remove, it results in damage to proteins, unsaturated lipids in cell membranes and DNA. Among the damaged cells are keratinocytes, melanocytes and fibroblasts that produce collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid or melanin.

On the other hand, it has been proven that antioxidants for skin are able to stabilize these molecules and counteract their formation, thus stopping this chain reaction and protecting the molecules from oxidation. How do they work? These chemical species possess extra electrons and have the ability to donate electrons. At the same time, they prevent the triggering of glycation and lipid peroxidation reactions, and the creation of DNA damage. Antioxidant skin care products help to combat the oxidation phenomenon that promotes premature aging of the skin.

Typology’s Antioxidant Skin Care Products.

It is for these reasons that more and more cosmetics manufacturers are introducing antioxidant active ingredients into their face creams to make the skin more resistant to these aggressions. Among the known natural anti-radical agents, we can find vitamin C and its derivatives (INCI name: “Ascorbic Acid”, “Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate” or “Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate”), polyphenols with notably flavonoids (such as anthocyanins, quercetin, resveratrol…) and carotenoids (such as beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin…), vitamin E (INCI name: “Tocopherol”), ferulic acid, retinoids (INCI name: “Retinol”, “Retinyl Acetate”, “Retinyl Palmitate”, “Retinyl Propionate”, etc….), coenzyme Q10 (INCI name: “Ubiquinone”), etc… They are used to protect and correct skin damage. These creams will therefore allow limiting the damage by ensuring a protective screen role, if the applications are regular and if they are used in a preventive way. 

At Typology, we have developed an antioxidants cream enriched with vitamin C (very unstable as a rule, we use its synthetic version “Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate”) and lemon extract (INCI name: “Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Water”) for daily use. The compounds which it contains will help to fight the phenomenon of oxidation. Indeed, the 5% of vitamin C helps to counter the harmful effects that can cause ROS and helps the skin to cope with external aggressions.

Moreover, the vitamin C stimulates the production of keratinocytes whose role is to reinforce the elasticity of the skin. On its side, the extract of lemon invigorates while unifying the complexion. Our cream also contains vegetable glycerin known for its humectant properties. It helps to maintain hydration by limiting the evaporation of water while softening the skin. However, containing essential oil of yellow mandarin (INCI name: “Citrus Nobilis Peel Oil”) for its energizing and regenerating virtues, it is not suitable for pregnant or nursing women. For even more protection, include a sunscreen with at least SPF30 in your morning skin care routine.

Additional information: Several of our other products contain antioxidants for skin care: you can find them in our radiance toner, radiance face serum and tinted serum, which contain a vitamin C derivative for optimal protection against free radicals. Our antioxidant face serum is also packed with antioxidants, specifically ferulic acid. Our eye serum and eye cream also contain coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Studies have shown that CoQ10 accelerates the production of basement membrane components such as laminin and type IV and VII collagens in keratinocytes and fibroblasts, respectively.

Sources :

  • ITOH M. & al. Coenzyme Q10 protects against oxidative stress-induced cell death and enhances the synthesis of basement membrane components in dermal and epidermal cells. Skin Research and Technology (2009).

  • MASAKI H. Role of antioxidants in the skin: anti-aging effects. Journal of Dermatological Science (2010).

  • MAIPRASERT M. & al. Anti-aging and brightening effects of a topical treatment containing vitamin C, vitamin E, and raspberry leaf cell culture extract: A split-face, randomized controlled trial. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (2020).

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