Antioxidants 101 -- protection at the cellular level
One of the questions I am asked most about is antioxidants -- more specifically, how they work in skin care products. Whenever my friends ask me about antioxidants, I say that I consider them to be great skin defenders. (Seed Body Care products are rich in antioxidants.)
Think of the term "antioxidant" as a shield against harmful flying objects. In reality, these "flying objects" are free radicals.Free radicals are molecules that cause tissue damage and aging. These could be things such as cigarette smoke, radiation, UV rays, pesticides, various drugs, smog, and other forms of environmental pollution.
Picture these harmful microscopic contaminants swirling around you. Antioxidants will help shield you from harm, essentially. Think of them as superheroes! They are special molecules that can help stop those free radicals -- they are able to neutralize their effects.
CHOOSE ANTIOXIDANT-RICH FOODS
According to a study published by The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and blackberries are ideal sources of antioxidants. These are commonly referred to as superfoods. New research suggests that there are actually many other food sources of antioxidants, from kale to chia seeds.
Other food sources that contain antioxidants:
- Green tea
- Black tea
- Red wine
- Dark chocolate
For your health, antioxidants are believed to help inhibit cell damage and are said to help prevent skin damage from the sun's UV rays, lower the risk of heart disease, help prevent Alzheimer's and more
Antioxidants are also wonderful when used in skincare products. Earlier in this post, I mentioned those nasty little free radicals. These not only impact your health, but they also impact your skin. UV damage, smoke and other pollutants can wreak havoc on your skin, accelerating the aging process and damaging cells. This damage causes collagen and elastin to break down, making you look older.
When you apply skincare treatments with antioxidants, you are shielding your skin from harm.
Foods containing an abundance of antioxidants:
- Beta carotene
- Grape seed extract
- Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid)
- Vitamin E (tocopherol)
- Coenzyme Q-10
- Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)
- Green Tea
Check your labels! Many products are abundant in potent antioxidants to help protect your skin.
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Are petrolatum-based balms the key to soft lips?
What is the first thing most people reach for when their lips are feeling dry? If you answered the traditional balm for chapped lips sold at the drugstore, you're right. Unfortunately, a crude oil-derived balm is not the best choice.
It's a common misconception that these balms help deliver moisture to the lips.
Here's what Dr. Mauro C. Rumita, who specializes in esthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery says on the subject: "Contrary to what most people believe, [some] don't hydrate the lips. Instead, they seal moisture out, so lips can't absorb it."
Do you need a physical barrier like a balm can provide? Yes, in certain situations. If you are outdoors a lot and exposed to the elements, it would be best to consider a natural balm to give your lips a layer of protection from Mother Nature. While a balm does not deliver moisture into the lips, it does protect.
Our plant based Seed Soft Balm protects without the most common ingredient found in lip balm: petrolatum. Not familiar with petrolatum? Here is a link to more information from the Skin Deep Database. It includes petrolatum's common synonyms, including "mineral grease." I don't know about you, but I don't want that on my lips.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, occasional anxiety is normal. Don't we all feel anxious around the holidays, for example? Children often feel anxious at the beginning of the new school year or the night before a big test. It's normal. I think any one of us can relate to that feeling.
But, then there are times when anxiety is more than a fleeting feeling. We're friends here. I've been sharing with you here on the Seed blog for several years. I've talked about everything from acne break outs to thoughts on skin aging. I think sometimes that it is therapeutic to write things down. If anything, I hope that sharing can help others.