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Antioxidants in Natural Skin Care

By: Szilvia Hickman
Posted: October 31, 2012, from the November 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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In addition to helping fortify cells against free radicals, vitamins A and C also encourage cell and tissue growth, helping the body to repair itself. This is very helpful to the skin, which is constantly shedding and re-growing cells. For this reason, any antioxidants that protect cells and encourage cell growth could be helpful in an anti-aging regimen, because they may help fight fine lines and wrinkles

When antioxidants are used on the skin, even if they don’t penetrate beyond the upper layers, they can help to stop or slow the process of oxidation caused by free radicals and keep the cell membranes more stable.4 The problem with some antioxidants is that they themselves are not stable, so, as soon as they are exposed to oxygen or light, they break down. The trick is to use antioxidants that are stable, effective and nonirritating in adequate concentrations to exert an effect. Reputable skin care lines do contain stable antioxidants. Personal care products are typically preserved by natural or synthetic preservatives that provide a well-tested and well-determined shelf life to the products. This shelf life is the base of the warranties that manufacturers and distributors provide on their products. It is advised to discontinue the use of products after their shelf life expires, because the stability of antioxidants may be compromised. Also, read ingredient lists carefully and select products that have a treatment manual with detailed information on all ingredients. Examples of antioxidants used often in skin care products are grape seed oil, and vitamins A, C, and E.

The market for anti-aging products for appearance enhancement in the United States is expected to reach more than $5 billion by 2015, according to a report by the Global Industry Analysts, Inc. And while a burgeoning baby boomer population has largely fueled the growth, other factors contributing to the anti-aging surge are an expanded interest among those ages 25–30. The United States and Europe are leading the anti-aging market with a 62.8% share, and future growth is only expected to continue within the cosmeceutical category at an estimated annual rate of 10%.

With so much growth potential and so much consumer interest to lead healthier lives, there has never been a better time than now to incorporate a natural treatment offering that relies on the powerful benefits that only antioxidants can deliver. Antioxidant facials, massages and body wraps are just a few ways to add this component to your spa menu.

At home

After providing a client with a customized skin analysis, be sure to offer a list of products used during the treatment, with a description of each one’s benefits and active ingredients, and work with clients to ensure their purchases from your retail area will support their in-spa care. Today’s consumers are more and more ingredient savvy and want to know exactly what is in their skin care products; so, be sure you know the products you are recommending. In between services, educate your clients on a customized treatment plan that will help to maintain the services they received at your facility. Daily replenishment of topical antioxidants provides the skin with an arsenal to deflect the assault and minimize the damage created by free radicals.

Much Needed Information on Formulating for Antioxidant Claims

Antioxidants in the Skin by Roger McMullen is the first book to offer a comprehensive account of antioxidants in personal care and addresses the cellular level of human skin.

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