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Green Tea and Other Free Radical-Fighters

Learn about the free radical-fighting benefits of green tea for skin, and other damage-neutralizing skin care ingredients!

 Written by: 100% PURE®
Tea Cross Main

Free radicals are those faceless phantoms that we all try to avoid - but do we actually know HOW to avoid them? Using sunscreen and topical skin care solutions might be your most reliable allies for fighting free radical damage. But which ingredients should you look for in your skin care?

First: What Are Free Radicals?

Free radicals are rogue electrons that can accumulate in your skin tissue over time. Your body produces them naturally, in response to environmental stressors such as UV radiation, smoking, and pollution. While free radicals are a natural byproduct of cellular functions when cells are exposed to environmental stressors, they can wreak havoc in your body when they accumulate in excess. They contribute to skin damage, can speed up the symptoms of aging, and even cause cellular death.

Luckily, there are natural skin care ingredients that can help to protect your skin from free radicals. In this post we’ll explore some of those ingredients, and tell you how they can benefit your skin when used topically!

How to Fight Free Radicals

Free radicals can cause cellular damage throughout your body, so you’ll want to take a multi-pronged approach to fighting them. Here are some key ways to fight free radicals from within:

  • Consume antioxidant-rich foods and drinks (such as red-pigmented berries, citrus fruit, leafy greens, and green tea)

  • Limit your consumption of refined carbohydrates, fried foods, and sugary foods

  • Get enough exercise each day

  • Take steps to manage stress

  • Wear both a face SPF lotion and body sunscreen DAILY!

EGCG The Benefits of Green Tea for Skin, and Other Ingredients That Fight Free Radicals

In addition to making healthy lifestyle choices, you can also make your skin care routine put in work against free radicals. Start by selecting products with antioxidant-rich ingredients. We all know about the benefits of green tea for skin, but that’s not the only superstar ingredient for fighting free radical damage. Here’s a list of skin care ingredients that can help to counteract the effects of free radicals in your skin tissue:

Green-Tea

1. Green Tea and Green Tea Oil

Both green tea and green tea oil contain polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties. Research has shown that these polyphenols can help to track down and isolate free radicals, and limit their potential to harm your tissue. Green tea also contains other healthy antioxidants, including vitamin C. While green tea is found in many skin care products, you can also use it directly on your skin as a DIY toner.

2. EGCG

EGCG is a catechin that’s naturally found in green tea. Studies have shown that it EGCG can reduce cellular damage due to free radicals, and can also help to promote healthy cellular life-cycles. It’s thought to help suppress the formation of cancerous tumors, and to improve your skin’s ability to repair itself after it’s damaged. To read more about EGCG, check out our post on ECGC--The Best Way to Protect Your Skin.

Rooibos

3. Rooibos

Rooibos is another tea that has been scientifically shown to have powerful anti-oxidative properties. The antioxidants in the South African rooibos leaves exhibit free radical scavenging activity: in other words, they help to prevent free radicals from being formed, and to remove them from your tissue.

Acai

4. Acai

Acai berries may have the highest antioxidant content of any food. The naturally occurring antioxidants in acai, which also include vitamin C, help to scavenge free radicals and promote healthy cellular functions.

Goji

5. Goji

Goji berries are also high in antioxidants, including vitamins A and C. While these antioxidants help to eliminate free radicals (and prevent them from being formed in the first place), the anti-inflammatory properties of goji also help to improve the overall appearance of your skin.

Aloe

6. Aloe

Aloe vera gel contains polyphenols (much like EGCG), which exhibit antioxidant properties. It’s been shown to scavenge free radicals, which - along with its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties - make it a great, multitasking ingredient in skin care, with the potential to heal damage as well as to prevent it.

Yerba-Mate

7. Yerba Mate

Yerba mate contains polyphenols, xanthines, and caffeoyl derivatives, all of which are antioxidants that can eliminate free radicals, and prevent them from forming. It also contains saponins, which have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to stave off existing damage.

Rosehip

8. Rosehip Oil

Rosehip oil is rich in antioxidants to fend off free radicals, but its anti-aging benefits don’t stop there. It also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids, which can help to maintain the health of your skin’s cell membranes.

Olive

9. Olive Squalane

Olive squalane can help to prevent free radical formation. Squalane oil is naturally produced by our bodies, and helps to keep our skin moisturized and healthy. However, our bodies tend to produce less of it as we grow older, so including it in your skin care regime can help to keep your skin youthful and vibrant.

10. Avocado Oil

One of the ways in which free radicals can harm our tissue is by damaging the mitochondria of our cells, causing them to die. Avocado oil protects mitochondria to prevent cellular deaths, and also helps to prevent excessive production of free radicals.

11. Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid helps to protect the skin tissue against damage from free radicals, and may also exhibit free radical scavenging activity. It also helps to stimulate your body’s healing process, helping it to recover from damage--and helps your skin to retain moisture.

Free Radical-Fighting Products

One of our favorite skin care products for fighting free radical damage is our Green Tea EGCG Concentrate Serum, which combines the benefits of green tea with and EGCG. Along with fighting the formation of free radicals and restricting their damage to your skin, this lightweight serum features caffeine to brighten and soothe your skin. We also love our Green Tea EGCG Concentrate Cream, which leverages the powers of antioxidants to prevent skin damage while moisturizing your skin.

PM Ingredients That Fight Free Radicals

There are also some common PM skin care ingredients that can help to fight (and reverse signs of) free radical damage while you sleep. If you’re interested in experiencing the benefits of antioxidant ingredients in your nighttime skin care routine, we recommend seeking out these ingredients:

1. Retinol

Retinol is a natural antioxidant that plays a critical role in maintaining skin health. It helps to protect your skin cells against damage, and supports healthy cellular life-cycles.

2. CoQ10

CoQ10 is a natural enzyme that exhibits antioxidant properties to fend off free radicals. It also helps to maintain overall cell health, keeping your skin youthful and healthy.

3. Niacinamide

Niacinamide is a B-vitamin that’s essential to skin health. When used in skincare, it displays antioxidant properties, staving off free radicals and preventing skin damage, along with helping your skin to heal itself.

Who knew that green tea and its crew could be so mighty? Start small and implement at least one of these ingredients into your natural skin care routine, to encourage and support meaningful change in your skin’s long-term health.

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