By Joan Peperone APRN, FNP-C
Of all of Coco Chanel’s quotable remarks, this one resonates with me most for its candidness. There’s no question that aging (mostly photoaging) is caused by various external factors such as smoking, alcohol intake, poor nutrition, systemic diseases and chronic UV light exposure. However, clinical and histological research studies indicate that photoaging can be modified to some extent by using antioxidants in your daily skincare routine. These three antioxidants are anti-aging essentials:
Vitamin A (Retinoid)
Retinoid — the umbrella term for a class of compounds that encompasses retinol, retinoic acid, retinyl palmitate and a host of others — are all derivatives of vitamin A. Today, retinoids remain the gold standard of topical treatments for minimizing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and skin discolorations for their relatively modest antioxidant capacity and collagen-stimulating ability. Retinol can be purchased in various products from moisturizers, serums, gels to body treatments and much more. Apply at bedtime for best results.
Vitamin E, the most well-known of the fat-soluble antioxidants, is commonly used in sunscreen and after-sun products because of its ability to neutralize the damaging free radicals that cause red, swollen and dry skin areas after UV exposure. Along with its superior moisturizing effects, which quells dryness and rough areas, it provides four times more protection against damaging radicals. The best anti-aging products contain one percent of vitamin E.
Green tea, a superb topical beauty ingredient, remains the most easily accessable product in the world and is a well-established source of polyphenols, a potent antioxidant found in skincare products. The active compound epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG), found in green tea, can protect skin cells from toxic environmental elements, improve acne without drying and reactivate dying skin cells that result from poor lifestyle habits.
Once we reach a certain age, the effects of getting older are the result of lifestyle choices: how well we take care of our bodies, handle stress and other factors. But there’s no telling what endless surprises are in store as the anti-aging potential of antioxidants is only starting to unfold.
Green Tea Mask
• 1 tablespoon green tea leaves
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon coconut oil
Heat honey and coconut oil for easy mixing. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir with a spoon until the consistency is smooth and even.
Pull hair out of the way with a headband and ponytail. Using a clean foundation brush or sponge, cover face in the mixture. Avoid eyes, mouth and hair.
Leave 10-15 minutes or until dry. Rinse face with cold water then towel dry. Enjoy soft skin!