Archive for the ‘Antioxidants’ Category
The free-radical theory of aging (FRTA) states that organisms age because cells accumulate free radical damage over time. You may believe that you are getting enough antioxidants via diet, you may be wrong. As I learn more about the benefits of resveratrol, I am convinced that a nightly application of an effective topical resveratrol product needs to be a part of everyones skin care regimen.
What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a botanical antioxidant with diverse biologic effects important to anti-aging. Resveratrol is a natural polyphenolic antioxidant found in over 70 plants, including berries peanuts and grapes. It protects plants from stress, UV light and certain fungal infections. You may have also heard that red wine is a good source of resvertrol, this is because it is in the skin of the grapes and as the grapes ferment the concentration of resveratrol increases.
Resveratrol is impressive because it has a dual antioxidant capacity, not only is it an exogenous antioxidant it also works to up regulate endogenous antioxidants. This means that not only does resveratrol scavenge free radicals from the environment, it also works to increase the production of the bodies own “endogenous” antioxidants
Benefits of Resveratrol
- Dual antioxidant capacity
– Preserve collagen
– Reduce skin inflammation
– Helps with skin discoloration (tyrosinase inhibitor)
– Inhibits non-melanoma skin cancer formation, when applied topically
– Positive effect on extrinsic and intrinsic skin aging
– Works synergistically with antioxidants such as vitamin E
– Increased epidermal and dermal skin density ( with topical Resveratrol BE )
– Increased Elasticity ( with topical Resveratrol BE )
Intrinsic and Extrinsic: What you need to know about free radicals
A free radical is any unstable atom or molecule that is missing an electron. They stabilize by steeling an electron from another molecule, which then becomes becomes another free radical, creating a chain reaction. Free radicals can be intrinsic (natural) or extrinsic (environmental). Extrinsic free radicals (from your environment) can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed into the body. UV rays, air pollution, tobacco smoke, herbicides, and pesticides are all forms of free radicals. Intrinsic free radicals (natural) occur constantly when our body produces free radicals as by-products of a basic metabolic process called oxidation. Immune cells will also release free radicals in order to fight invading viruses and bacteria.
Exogenous and Endogenous: What you need to know about antioxidants
Exogenous antioxidants are obtained from an outside source such as diet or topical applications, compared to Endogenous antioxidants which are made by the body. The body makes five types of endogenous antioxidants: superoxide dismatuse (SOD), alpha lipoic acid (ALA), coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), catalase and glutathione peroxidase. The body is incapable of producing enough endogenous antioxidants to combat free radicals on their own, so it is essential to get additional (exogenous) antioxidants through diet. We can increase exogenous antioxidants by eating a healthy diet, but this does not exactly increase endogenous antioxidants. Unfortunately, as we age the body produces less endogenous antioxidants. Evidence suggests that a decrease in endogenous antioxidants plays a role in both extrinsic (environmental) and intrinsic (natural) aging, leading to premature aging. So…this is where resvertrol comes in to play. Resveratrol helps to up regulate endogenous antioxidants, including superoxide dismatuse (SOD), catalase and glutathione.
Skin aging is effected by the depletion of naturally occurring (endogenous) antioxidants. Another driving factor in skin aging is ROS (reactive oxygen species), which can result from environmental insults such as sun exposure as well as the disturbances in mitochondrial function. Increased ROS can directly damage cell membranes, proteins, DNA as well as turning on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that accelerate aging. This means a break down of collagen, less collagen production and increased inflammation. Studies show that resveratrol down regulates this process, helping to preserve collagen and reduce skin inflammation.
Learn More “Topical Antioxidants”
Topical Resveratrol: Benefits and Challenges
Orally ingested resveratrol is rapidly metabolized, leaving only a small fraction to reach tissues. Resveratrol ingested via diet or supplements is not the most effective way to deliver it to the skin, topical applications are more promising. Topical resveratrol is applied directly to the targeted area allowing skin tissue to attain a therapeutic concentration.
The first challenge with topical resveratrol is that it is photosensitive, so it must be protected by a broad-spectrum sunblock or used exclusively at night. The second challenge is that it has a low water solubility, making it hard to get high concentrations of pure resveratrol in a topical solution. This explains why most topical products have less than 1% of pure resveratrol. Finally, the transport of resveratrol to the skin is limited by the type of vehicle used. It is essential that the resveratrol be able to escape from its vehicle and be able to penetrate the initial barrier.
Renowned for their topical antioxidant serums, it is no surprise that Skin Ceuticals would overcome the obstacles of topical resveratrol. Skin Ceuticals has created “Resveratrol BE” with a maximized concentration of 1% pure stabilized resveratrol in a synergistic formulation with 0.5% baicalin and vitamin E for enhanced efficacy. Skin Ceuticals advanced research labs have formulated the resveratrol in a delivery system of hydrotopes which allow the resveratrol to penetrate the skin.
How To Use Topical Resveratrol
Remember resveratrol works synergistically with other antioxidants and it is degraded by UV rays. I recommended that in the morning you apply a topical antioxidant such as CE Ferulic along with broad spectrum sunblock. Apply topical Resveratrol BE at night before any moisturizer or creams. If you use tretinoin (Retin-A), apply the tretinoin first then the resveratrol.
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Reference “Resveratrol: A Unique Antioxidant Offering a Multi-Mechanistic Approach for Treating Aging Skin”
Journal Of Drugs In Dermatology, December 2013. Volume 12. Issue 12
The use of topical antioxidants can help prevent wrinkles, reduce hyperpigmentation (sun spots), and improve skin tone. Topical antioxidants are available in many serums and moisturizer, formulations are available with a variety of antioxidants and strengths.
How Do Topical Antioxidants Work?
A free radical is any atom or molecule that is missing an electron from it’s outer shell, so it attacks an other molecule and steels an electron. The molecule that has been attacked by a free radicle, is now missing an electron and has become another free radical. This creates a chain reaction. Antioxidants stop the chain reaction, by giving an electron to the free radical.
Click to learn more about free radicals and antioxidants
Topical antioxidant stop the chain of reaction caused by free radicals. Free radicals are damaging to the skin and can accelerate extrinsic aging. Although some topical antioxidants are purely antioxidants, some have additional actions.
Topical antioxidants also help protect the skin from UV damage. Human studies have demonstrated protective effects of antioxidants when applied topically before ultraviolet radiation exposure. Antioxidants don’t work the same way that sunblocks do, so you still need a daily SPF. Sunblocks absorb or reflect out UV radiation and antioxidants neutralize the UV rays. Photoprotective topical antioxidants work by the inhibiting the UV-induced biochemical changes that lead to photoageing and DNA mutations.
Vitamin C is currently the most recognized topical antioxidant, however it works synergistically with other antioxidants such as vitamin E. There isn’t any one antioxidant that is effective on all free radicals, you need a variety of antioxidants. Each has a unique set of chemical behaviors and biological properties. Antioxidants work together as part of a network, and no single antioxidant can do the work a group. Some antioxidants may excel at fighting certain types of free radicals, or only work in certain parts of a cell. However, when it comes to topical antioxidants, there are some that are more stable and are better absorbed by the skin.
Types Of Topical Antioxidants
Vitamin C (L-ascorbic)
There are many derivatives vitamin C, however they don’t penetrate well. Look for products that contain L-ascorbic acid. Topical Vitamin C is the most popular topical antioxidant, and for good reason. In fact the benefits are so great, I will need to write an entire post devoted to topical vitamin C.
– Potent antioxidant
– Vitamin C is nessacerry to produce collagen
– Protects skin from both UVA and UVB, by neutralizing the UV rays.
– Can reduce sun – induced pigmentation, due to tyrosinase inhibitor function
– Anti- inflammatory qualities
Retinol ( Derived from Vitamin A )
– promotes healing
– promotes collagen synthesis, and inhibits cellular degeneration
– also increases epidermal thickness, and an emollient
Vitamin B3 ( Niacinamide)
– essential for cellular metabolism
– increases microcirculation
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)
When choosing a topical vitamin E product, look for a-tocopherol. Vitamin E derivatives such as (tocopherol acetate) are common in cosmetic ingredients, and although they are good as a moisturizing ingredient, they are not antioxidants.
– Protects cell membranes and lipid structures from free radical attack.
– Vitamin E is regenerated when it is in the presence of Vitamin C.
– Vitamin E doubled the UV protection in the skin when added to vitamin C.
– Inhibits the immunosuppression and tumorigenesis induced by ultraviolet radiation.
– Vitamin C can not scavenge lipo-philic radicals directly within the lipid phase, however vitamin C works synergistically with a- tocopherol to reduce lipid peroxide radicals.
– a plant antioxidant
– Increases L-ascorbic acid ( vitamin C) stability.
– synergistic with other antioxidants, specifically vitamin C and E.
A potent antioxidant derived from apples and root bark of fruit trees with a broad range of activity.
– Anti- inflammatory
– Accelerates cell renewal
– Pigment inhibitor
– Enhances product penetration
– has wound healing and anti-inflammatory ability’s
– UVB protection
Bioflavonoids are a group of substances that are potent antioxidants, many have anti-inflammatory ability and help protect from UV damage.
Centella Asiatica (Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Madecassic Acid)
– promotes collagen synthesis, and inhibits cellular degeneration
– increases microcirculation
Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract ( Green Tea Extract)
– protects cell from oxidative stress
– increases microcirculation in the cell
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
-Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that is found in food and is made by the body. It is found in every cell, where it helps turn glucose into energy.
– ALA is both fat- and water-soluble.
Idebenone is a synthetic analog of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 is a vitamin-like natural compound found naturally in the body, that plays a pivotal role in the cellular energy production and as an antioxidant. Idebenone is closely related to CoQ10, however it is more water-soluble. Idebenone has been known as a pharmaceutical agent since the 1980’s, before it became popular as a skin care ingredient.
There are claims that idebenone is the most powerful topical antioxidant available, based on it’s EPF® rating. I have not been able to confirm that an “EPF” rating is an actual recognized rating, or verify the strength of antioxidants that were used in the EPF study. There are also studies that show that idebenone, offers less photoprotective value compared to topical vitamin C. I would like to find an independent study that compares L-ascorbic acid 20% to Idebenone 1%, until then it is hard to say which is truly the stronger antioxidant. Personally, I alternate between an Idebenone product and a topical vitamin C serum.
Topical Antioxidant Products
Skin Ceuticals Phloretin CF®
Phloretin (2%), vitamin C ( 10% L- ascorbic acid ) and ferulic acid (.5%)
Skin Ceuticals C E Ferulic®
Vitamin C (15% L-ascorbic acid), Vitamin E (1% alpha tocopherol), and ferulic acid (.5%)
Ferulic acid doubles the synergistic benefits of the vitamins C+E.
Obagi Professional-C Serums
Available in four concentrations of L-ascorbic acid .
20% Highest concentration of L-ascorbic acid
15% All skin types
10% Dry, sensitive or reactive skin
5% Protection for the sensitive eye area
Is Clinical Pro Heal Advanced Serum+
New time-released L ascorbic acid (in a 15 percent concentration) plus Copper Tripeptide Growth Factor maximize performance
Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E ( Alpha Tocopherol), Retinol, Soluble Bioflavonoids
Olea Europea (olive leaf extract)- Synergistic with vitamins C and E, also antibiotic, anti-acneic, anti-inflammatory.
Mushroom Extract (a source of Kojic acid) – natural lightening to even pigment, antibacterial
Arbutin – corrects abnormal pigmentation by inhibiting tyrosinase enzyme.
IS Clinical Super Serum Advance+
New time-released L ascorbic acid (in a 15 percent concentration) plus Copper Tripeptide Growth Factor maximize performance.
Zinc Sulfate, Centella Asiatica
Pentapeptide Amino Acids – protein building blocks, increases cellular metabolism and integrity.
Mushroom Extract (a source of Kojic acid) – natural lightening to even pigment, antibacterial
Understanding Free Radicles
What is a free radical?
A free radical is any atom or molecule that is missing an electron from it’s outer shell, making it unstable. Free radicals float around until they stabilize. They stabilize by attacking an other molecule and steeling an electron. There are a wide variety of molecules from which they can steal an electron. The molecule that has been attacked by a free radicle, is now missing an electron and has become another free radical. This creates a chain reaction.
Free radicals are a necessary part of life.
Oxidation reactions are necessary part of life, unfortunately they can also be damaging. Our body produces free radicals almost constantly. Free radicals are by-products of a basic metabolic process called oxidation. Immune cells will also release free radicals in order to fight invading viruses and bacteria in, making them an important part of the body’s defenses.
Environmental sources of free radicals
The second source of free radicals is the environment. Free radicals from your environment can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed into the body. Air pollution, tobacco smoke, herbicides, and pesticides all form free radicals. UV rays, from sun exposure are also a cause of free radicals.
Whats the damage?
Damage caused by free radicals include aging, destruction of DNA and clogging of arteries. It is also believed that free radicles may play a role in cancer, strokes, and heart disease. Oxidative stress may also damage or kill cells. Free radicals cause damage to your skin’s structural support and decrease its elasticity, resilience, and suppleness.
Free Radical Theory of aging
The free-radical theory of aging (FRTA) states that organisms age because cells accumulate free radical damage over time. There is evidence that reducing oxidative damage can extend life span. Dr. Denham Harmon, M.D., Ph.D., first proposed a theory of aging in the 1950’s, it is now considered a major theory of aging. Dr. Harmon’s theory also implies that antioxidants will slow the aging process.
What is an antioxidant.
Antioxidants stop the chain reactions of free radical, and inhibit other oxidation reactions. An antioxidant is a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules.
Antioxidants have an extra electron, so they can their extra electron to a free radical. When antioxidants donate an electron to a free radical, they neutralize that free radical.
Exogenous and Endogenous
Endogenous antioxidants are made by the body, compared to Exogenous antioxidants which are obtained from our diet. Unfortunately, as we age the body produces less endogenous antioxidants. It is believed that the decrease in endogenous antioxidants leads to premature aging. The body is incapable of producing enough endogenous antioxidants to combat free radicals on their own, so it is essential to get additional antioxidants through diet.
The body makes five types of endogenous antioxidants:
superoxide dismatuse (SOD), alpha lipoic acid (ALA), coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), catalase and glutathione peroxidase. Catalase and glutathione peroxidase are important, because the body can produce more of them when certain free radicals are present.
Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities of food.However, because the ORAC method is derived only in test tube experiments it cannot be applied to human biology. Currently there aren’t any food compounds other than, antioxidant vitamins (vitamins A, C and E ) that have been proven with antioxidant efficacy in vivo. Antioxidant from non-nutrient compounds in foods, such as polyphenols, which have high antioxidant capacity in vitro can provide an artificial index of antioxidant strength with the ORAC measurement. Many of these ORAC values remain unconfirmed and are not scientifically credible, and may mislead consumers. The FDA has published guidance disallowing food product labels to claim an antioxidant benefit, when no evidence currently exists. Numerous health food and beverage companies have promoted products claimed to be “high in ORAC”.
Is more, better?
Researchers are still learning about the effects of an excessively high intake of antioxidants, some studies are showing that excessive amounts may have negative effects, like inhibiting key enzymes in the body.
You need a variety of antioxidants.
Any molecule that protects your cells against oxidation is technically an antioxidant, but not all antioxidants operate the same way. Antioxidants are not interchangeable, each has a unique set of chemical behaviors and biological properties. Antioxidants work together as part of a network, and no single antioxidant can do the work a group. Some antioxidants may excel at fighting certain types of free radicals, or only work in certain parts of a cell. There are even some that are only effective under the right conditions. Antioxidant diversity is important.
Sources of Antioxidants
All plants produce antioxidants. Even meat, dairy products, and eggs contain some antioxidants, which mainly come from the nutrient-rich plants the animals fed on. Plants and animals maintain complex systems of multiple types of antioxidants, such as glutathione, vitamin C, and vitamin E as well as enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase and various peroxidases.
Antioxidant enzymes made by the body:
superoxide dismutase (SOD)
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and Glutathione
Vitamin A and Carotenoids
Carrots, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, kale, collards, cantaloupe, peaches and apricots (bright-colored fruits and vegetables)
Citrus fruits like oranges and lime etc, green peppers, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, strawberries and tomatoes
Nuts & seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oil and liver oil
Fish, shellfish, red meat, grains, eggs, chicken and garlic
Flavonoids / polyphenols
soy, red wine, purple or Concord grapes, pomegranate, cranberries, tea
Tomato, tomato products, pink grapefruit, watermelon
dark green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, kiwi, brussels sprout and spinach
flax seed, oatmeal, barley, rye
My conclusion is simple:
– Eat a healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
– Don’t depend on any single “super” antioxidants, a variety of antioxidants are needed.
– Just because you read that red wine, tea or chocolate is high in antioxidants, you don’t want to depend on them as your main source of antioxidants. Remember currently only antioxidants from food compounds with vitamins (vitamins A, C and E ) have been proven with antioxidant efficacy in vivo.
– Avoid environmental factors that produce free radicals.