Whether it's stress, lack of sleep, too much sun, or the effects of smoking or pollution, when free radicals multiply, our bodies and skin suffer. The result? Spots, wrinkles, fine lines and saggy skin. That's where antioxidants come in. Known for their ability to combat free radicals, antioxidants are found in foods. Well, we love to eat, so that's a win-win. However, the quality of the antioxidants varies according to how fresh they are and how they are stored, so try to eat as much fresh produce as possible. For antioxidant-rich meals, include avocados, berries, red peppers, artichokes, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. Season your dishes with turmeric, crushed garlic and linseed, and wash them down with green tea, cranberry juice and coffee. What you're looking for is foods rich in vitamins C and E, polyphenols (found in chocolate, yippee!), lycopene (abundant in tomatoes) and pro-vitamin A.
Skincare lotions invariably contain antioxidants, whether it's a classic moisturiser or an anti-ageing formula. Opt for treatments packed with resveratrol, vitamin C and vitamin E. The best time to start applying is during your 20s, before your skin has suffered the ravages of stress, short nights, pollution, and the rest. Apply in the morning, to protect against damage, and re-apply in the evening to help your skin repair itself overnight, at a time when cell renewal is accelerated (and to prepare it for the rigours of the following day). Within a week, your skin will be brighter and smoother.
Tip: if you're back from a holiday in the sun, take an antioxidant food supplements for a few weeks. This will help combat any damage caused by UV rays, repairing your skin and also prolonging your tan.
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