In recent years, antioxidants have been regarded as a panacea, but are the effects on skin supported by evidence? Free radicals cause damage to DNA, lipid membranes, and protein structures within cells, leading to photocarcinogenesis and photo-aging. Free radicals or reactive oxygen species (ROS) also alter the structure of the skin by diminishing transforming growth factor-beta, which results in decreased collagen synthesis and increased elastin production. Antioxidants have the ability to neutralize free radicals created in the skin due to UVA radiation exposure, toxins, and metabolic processes; and consequently protect the skin from aging and cancer. The body produces its own natural antioxidants, including superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione (GSH) peroxidase. However, body stores are rapidly depleted when faced with excess UVA exposure and pollutants. In addition, concentrations of antioxidants in the skin decrease with aging. Elderly subjects have 70% less alpha-tocopherol, Lascorbic acid, and total GSH than their younger counterparts.
Topical antioxidants have been developed in an effort to maintain antioxidant concentrations in the skin. There are many sources of antioxidants, among the most common are vitamins C, E, A, selenium and tea polyphenols. These compounds can be combined for synergistic effects. Discovering the 21st Century Fountain of Youth: A Discussion of the Effectiveness of Popular Anti-Aging Therapies: Christopher J Salgado, Charlotte E LaSenna, Rebecca Cissel, Xiaoyi Li, Catherine E Gordon, Andrea R Marcadis and Wrood Kassira
Last date updated on June, 2014