europa skin care : natural, organic & science-based skin care

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Antioxidants

Oxidation by free radicals is the main causes of damages to collagen under the skin.  Antioxidants neutralize free radicals before they attack cell membranes. They are found in a majority of anti-aging products because they have shown efficacy in preventing photo-aging and protecting DNA damage. Their use is predominant among all other cosmeceuticals. According to Freedonia Group, U.S. cosmeceutical product sales will increase 7.2% a year to $8.2 billion in 2012

Mechanism of Action
We all know that antioxidants are free radical scavengers. Understanding the entire antioxidant cascade would be helpful in understanding their skin benefits. Just watch an apple turn brown after you have sliced it; the free radical theory of aging is based on a similar mechanism of oxidation. In oxidation, there is the donation of electrons by complete transfer from one molecule (donor) to another (receptor). The donor molecule is oxidized while the receptor is reduced.

Antioxidants are any substance that interferes with oxidation either by blocking or by reversing the action. Free radicals, or ROS, are believed to be responsible for wrinkles, sagging, dryness, age spots, inflammation and skin cancer. Because they contain an unpaired electron, they are highly unstable and react with other molecules. It is not easy to detect the presence of free radicals in the cell. Its half-life is very short and can be picked out only with sophisticated instruments rather than a routine test. There are four types of free radicals namely: superoxide (02), trichloromethyl (CCL3), nitric oxide (N0), and mercapto (RS) radicals.


Blocking the Reaction
Free radical scavengers are any substance that terminates or blocks the free radical chain reaction. The use of topically applied antioxidants seems promising. Newer studies suggest that combinations of different antioxidants seem to have synergistic effects and hence better efficacy when compared to a single antioxidant use, as has been shown for the combination of vitamins E and C. Antioxidants prevent and repair free radical damage from sun and pollution. Topically applied, they keep wrinkles, brown spots and other signs of aging at bay. Furthermore, antioxidants reduce damage caused by ultraviolet radiation, reduce or eliminate erythema and reduce cell damage. They play a role in a wide variety of actions including reducing irritation, controlling sensitivity, stimulating collagen synthesis and enhancing the immune system.

It is important to note, however, that there is no assurance that the percentage of antioxidant in a cream is high enough to make any difference in the skin. In reality, antioxidants may be present only in token amounts in the formula merely to retard product degradation. Also, both vitamins C and E are very large molecules, therefore it is difficult to get them through the epidermis using a common cream or lotion unless the pH and delivery system is optimized.

Consumers are aware that antioxidants are beneficial and this awareness has grown considerably during the past few years. New research on antioxidants should bring to light more promising ingredients that may provide new or better benefits.

Today, cosmetic chemists have so many antioxidant raw materials to choose from for delivering specific end benefits to broad range of consumers that there is enormous opportunity for antioxidant raw material suppliers to serve the cosmetic industry and dermatological researchers.

Thus, antioxidants are the mainstream of nowadays antiaging technology which helps in antiaging by removal of the free radicals. They are called free radical scavenger! Well known strong antioxidant includes Vitamin C, Pine Bark and Green Tea extracts. They can effectively remove the free radicals caused by UV lights, food and environmental polluants and infections.