The Power of Antioxidants and your skin!

     Your skin is the barrier between your body and the outside world, and every day it is exposed to pollution, sunlight, cigarette smoke and other factors that impact its health and appearance. All of these, as well as many of the body’s normal physiological processes, can culminate in the production of free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules that have become unstable because they’ve lost an electron. Whilst their creation is a natural (and healthy) part of our bodily functioning, they accumulate in greater quantities as we get older. Unfortunately, the body’s ability to handle them declines at the same time. This accumulating imbalance is believed to contribute to many of the effects of ageing, including those observed in the skin, such as fine lines and wrinkles sunlight and ultraviolet radiation are some of the most potent generators of free radical damage in the skin. Observing their effects is as simple as comparing the difference in texture of the skin on your outer forearm (which is often exposed to the sun) with the skin on your torso, which (unless you’re prone to sunbaking) is less likely to be sun damaged.
Depending on your age and the climate where you live, you’ll notice that the skin on your outer arm is likely to be thicker and coarser, and perhaps even more freckled or pigmented, dehydrated or prematurely aged.
These changes to the skin texture occur in part because free radical damage interferes with the integrity of elastin and collagen, depleting their ability to remain supple and elastic. With their ongoing decline in integrity, the skin loses its firmness and becomes wrinkled, and ageing becomes apparent.
To minimise the ageing effects of free radical damage on your skin (and elsewhere in your body), protect yourself from sunburn and UV-radiation, and don’t smoke or use recreational drugs. Avoid alcohol binges too.
 Antioxidants are compounds that donate an electron of their own to restabilise free radicals, and are the body’s way of minimising free radical damage.
Antioxidants occur in many forms. The body produces some, but many are consumed in the diet. When using a natural skincare range such as Kora Organics, you’re even applying antioxidants to your skin from the outside!
 For glowing, healthy skin, your diet should contain abundant quantities of antioxidant-rich fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. Some foods are renowned for their exceptionally high content of antioxidant nutrients and of these, our favourite is the açaí berry from Brazil.
The antioxidants in acai berries are a variety called anthocyanins and proanthocyanins. They have a deep purple colour and are also found in red wine, blueberries and similarly coloured foods, and they are believed to be responsible for these foods’ anti-ageing health benefits.
  The levels of anthocyanins and proanthocyanins in açaí berries are much greater than those in wine and berries. For example while a glass of red wine may contain 24-35 mg of anthocyanins per 100 millilitres, the same quantity of acai contains 320 mg.  Scientists are still evaluating all the health benefits of acai berries, but with an antioxidant content as powerful as that, there’s little doubt they’re invaluable when it comes to helping your body mop up free radicals!
To reap the free radical-fighting benefits of açaí berries for your skin, add some RioLife Organic Freeze Dried Acai powder to your morning smoothie or juice, stir it into your yoghurt or sprinkle it over your breakfast cereal.
Jayne Tancred
Natural Health Writer
Naturopath, Herbalist.

 Kora Organics