Antioxidants have experienced something of a surge in trendiness over the last two decades. They’ve been the primary sales-pitch for products from green tea to pomegranates to dark chocolate—and with good reason! Powerful antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid have been a prime weapon in our war against free radicals. Free radicals—often found in air pollutants like UV rays, smog and cigarette smoke—attack healthy cellular molecules in your body, causing a breakdown of certain cells that make up important proteins, like collagen. The damage caused by these harmful molecules is a major component in accelerated aging.
The severity of free radical damage increases as we get older and our collagen cells deplete after years of attack. As these collagen molecules break down, our skin starts to lose elasticity, causing fine lines and wrinkles to develop.
Antioxidants: A Hero Story
Essentially, antioxidants are fighters against free radicals. Antioxidants give free radicals the molecules they crave, neutralizing their detrimental effects. Once free radicals are stopped, the healing process can begin. As the antioxidants neutralize these destructive molecules, skin cells become repaired, helping to restore collagen production.
But the antioxidants’ job doesn’t end there. Vitamin C (also called L-Absorbic Acid) has shown to be particularly helpful against the damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays. Though vitamin C doesn't act as a sunscreen or shield skin from the sun, it does dramatically help reverse the adverse effects that UV rays have on the skin. This can help considerably with brightening your complexion, and correct common issues like hyperpigmentation.
Ferulic acid—another big player in the world of skin care antioxidants—works in tandem with vitamin C to repair damage to the epidermis, optimizing the results and showing significant signs of tighter, more elastic skin. When used together, ferulic acid both lengthens the life of the vitamin C and strengthens its potency.
While both vitamin C and ferulic acid have proven to be immensely powerful agents against aging skin, the addition of vitamin E helps both reverse damage caused by environmental pollutants, as well as repair scarring and sun spots. And though vitamin E’s results have proven to be effective, on its own, the vitamin’s effects tend to diminish when in contact with UV rays. Fortunately, experts discovered that vitamin C and ferulic acid both enhanced the effect of vitamin E, and helped stabilize its effects when in the sun.
Basically, vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid work as a team fighting for you skin.