Antioxidants are substances that prevent oxidation damage to cells. The highest concentration of antioxidants in the body is contained in the epidermal layer (first layer; dermis is second layer) of the skin, forming a protective barrier for the living dermal layer and the internal body. With age and environmental damage, the concentration of antioxidants in the skin declines considerably. Without the protective capacity of this layer, damage to the skin increases. Antioxidants applied topically can help restore an effective barrier and help reduce further damage. By maintaining an ideal level of antioxidants at the skin level, we can control free radical and oxidation damage. Some of the most well known antioxidants are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, Pycnogenol and Beta-Carotene.
Free radicals cause damage to cells, forcing the aging process into an accelerated pace. Free-radical damage occurs when atoms or groups of atoms have an odd (unpaired) number of electrons. Smoking, air pollution, and the sunlight stimulate free-radical damage to the skin. Simply by exposing skin to the sun, the level of vitamin C in the skin drops by 30%, and subsequently, free radicals are formed. Antioxidants couple with free radicals gto neutralize the unpaired electrons. Vitamin C is recognized for its strong antioxidant and photo-protective properties, although vitamin C is never recommended as a substitute for sunscreen. Why not just take oral vitamins to protect the skin? Oral vitamins, whether from food or supplements, are not adequate to perform the necessary antioxidant tasks to improve the skin because the levels of vitamins required do not make it to the dermis. Only 1% of orally ingested antioxidants will arrive at the skin. The combination of topical antioxidants and sunscreen is a powerful and effective way to hinder free-radical activity.
Pycnogenol is a powerful scavenger of free-radicals as well as an antioxidant. It restores the strenght of capillaries and improves circulation, making it easier in treating the capillary fragility of aging skin. Pycnogenol enhances the effectiveness of both vitamin C and vitamin E. Ask Unique Verve about results-oriented products, including powerful serums with Pycnogenol.
Topical vitamin C comes in two varieties, L-ascorbic (water soluble) and esters (water and fat soluble). Vitamin C is needed to produce collagen, the skin protein. If part of the topically applied vitamin C is consumed in antioxidant functions to reduce oxidative stress, eliminate free-radicals, and repair oxidative damage, then less vitamin C is available for collagen production. By adding Pycnogenol to formulations containing antioxidant vitamins, the Pycnogenol quickly performs the antioxidant functions, leaving more of the vitamin available to perform its therapeutic functions. By pairing these two antioxidants, the vitamin C performs more collagen generating functions, causing collagen production to be faster and more extensive, at the other hand Pycnogenol performs antioxidant functions. Ask Unique Verve about results-oriented products, including Super-C Serum with Pycnogenol.
Vitamin A acts by normalizing growth and differentiation in the keratinocytes (predominant cells in the epidermis). Vitamin A is truly the gold standard of skin-care products – it’s a must have product to help reverse the aging process. Vitamin A is absorbed through the skin, helping it to remain soft and plump, and improves the skin’s water barrier properties. Ask Unique Verve about results-oriented products including vitamin A.
Vitamin E, also called d-alpha tocopherol, has been shown to have two importanct benefits for the skin: protecting cellular membranes and inactivating free radicals. Ask Unique Verve about result-oriented products including vitamin E.
AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) are also very important skincare ingredients. The samples of AHAs are: glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, malic acid, acetic acid. AHAs may change the condition of the lipid barrier of the skin allowing a faster penetration of the product, like vitamin C or vitamin A, and other antioxidants or moisturizers. Glycolic acid are often preferred because of the small molecular size and easy penetration into the skin – it opens the skin by exfoliation of the top most layer. Glycolic acids smooth the way for vitamins, it penetrates deep into the skin, and prepares the way for vitamins. Certain vitamins, used in conjunction with glycolic acid, offer double protection agains free-radicals, and assist their antioxidant, bleaching, and firming effects. Ask Unique Verve about results-oriented products, including glycolic acid.
Unique Verve facials deliver visible results. All facials are results-oriented and include intensive serums. Unique Verve is located in Boston, on Tremont Street.
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