ASCP Skin Deep


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Page 29 of 70 27 expertadvice FEED YOUR FACE Antiage with Antioxidants Protect your skin cells with natural food sources by Alex Caspero Reducing wrinkles probably has more to do with what you put in your body than what you put on it. Premature skin aging, characterized by wrinkles and atypical pigmentation, is largely a result of excess free-radical activity in the body. The bad news is that you're constantly in contact with these negative elements, thanks to smoke, pollution, and ultraviolet rays, which all damage skin cell DNA. Free-radical production is also dependent on your lifestyle, with deep- fried, processed food and stress increasing the production of these toxic molecules. Thankfully, the way forward isn't all doom and gloom. It is possible to reduce the damage done by free-radical species by increasing your intake of antioxidants. Antioxidants are naturally occurring substances in whole foods that provide protection against these free-radical effects. You'll find them mostly in fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs—another reason to include more ingredients such as kale, berries, and turmeric to your diet. While there are too many specific antioxidants to count, these options are most potent against skin damage. Carotenoids: Studies have found that beta-carotene foods have both anti- inflammatory and skin- cancer protective effects. Best food sources: Butternut squash, carrots, and spinach. Polyphenols: This is the antioxidant that made wine a health food (or at least a better choice than the margarita). In addition to promoting skin health, polyphenols can decrease the risk of dementia and heart disease. Best food sources: Coffee, dark chocolate, red wine, and tea. Vitamin C: An essential component in the body's production of collagen and a potent antioxidant that can help rejuvenate aged and photo damaged skin. Best food sources: Bell peppers, citrus, red cabbage, and strawberries. Vitamin E: Also known as a skin superfood, vitamin E helps stop cell damage that can lead to wrinkles and skin cancer. Best food sources: Hazelnuts, peanut butter, and sunflower seeds.

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