Connect with us


5 Secrets to Totally Transform Your Skin

When you’re out in the sun, smog, cold weather — even just a Saturday night with the girls — your body is exposed to and can create harmful compounds called free radicals. These bad boys latch onto healthy atoms in your skin, damaging them, which sets the scene for skin issues (dullness, breakouts, and wrinkles).

Enter antioxidants: the first line of defense in neutralizing free radicals. Here are the habits putting your skin at risk, plus the antioxidants that’ll prevent and reverse the damage.

If You Live In a Big City …

What’s more annoying than rush-hour traffic? The nitric oxide fumes all those cars produce. Along with fellow free-radical ozone, nitric oxide damages skin’s DNA, causing roughness and sensitivity.

Antioxidant RX: Green or White Tea

When applied to skin, teas neutralize free radicals before they’re able to penetrate and do damage. “They have been shown to be some of the strongest antioxidants available,” says NYC dermatologist Macrene Alexiades.

If You Skimp on Daily SPF …

When UV rays penetrate skin, free radicals destroy collagen and elastin, while melanocytes increase pigment production, says Dr. Alexiades. The result: fine lines, wrinkles, and brown spots. Sunscreen is key, but unless it’s applied perfectly, it can function more like a screen door than a steel wall, says NYC dermatologist Fredric Brandt.

Antioxidant RX: Vitamin C

“It ups skin’s natural SPF, fades spots, and stimulates collagen,” says Steve Missler, principal research scientist for Artistry skin care. One note: Vitamin C is unstable unless it’s coupled with vitamin E.

If You Party A Lot …

“As your liver metabolizes alcohol, it causes inflammation, in turn creating free radicals that lead to dryness and broken blood vessels,” says Dr. Brandt. Staying out late also decreases the amount of time your body has to repair itself during sleep, says Dr. Alexiades.

Antioxidant RX: Sulforaphane

Found in broccoli, it boosts your body’s natural antioxidant defenses and has anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties, says Missler. (The veg is a great hangover remedy too!)

If You Love Outdoor Sports …

When skin cells are exposed to extreme cold this time of year (like on the slopes or during an outdoor run), a natural reaction occurs in your body, which creates free radicals that can attack skin’s moisture barrier, says Anthony Gonzalez, senior skin-care manager at Avon R&D. Think major cracks, not normal winter flakes.

Antioxidant RX: Vitamin E

Not only does it neutralize free radicals, but it also helps preserve cell membranes and heals the barrier, the first line of defense in preventing moisture from escaping, says Missler.

Last tip: Your body is exposed to the most free radicals during the day, so load on antioxidants in the a.m.