antioxidants for youthful 30-something skin

I've been feeling slightly guilty since my lovely friend Miranda confessed that she had been using ReLuma after reading our reviewed and recommended post and had found it, frankly, blah. Now, my friend is a creamy complexioned 30-something that barely needs help from potions and lotions. But that's not really the point, like anyone with great skin she'd like to keep it that way rather than sit around waiting for the onset of wrinkles. Obviously, people respond to products differently. But, it struck me that there was more to it than that. Perhaps, I asked myself, products like ReLuma aren't the best approaches to anti-aging if you are 30-something and want to keep your skin looking young?

So I went off to do some research and have reached a couple of conclusions. First, ReLuma, which is a great product, is based on active ingredients that are all about repairing damaged skin. In ReLuma's case, the actives are human growth factors that were originally developed for burn victims. Similarly, products such as Medik8's Firewall, which features a variety of copper-based peptides, work well on damaged skin. Copper peptides also started life as pharmaceutical wound healers before drifting into antiwrinkle products. Copper peptides promote the degradation of abnormally large cross-linked collagen (found in scars and, to a lesser degree, in wrinkles). They also stimulate the production of ‘regular’ collagen found in normal skin.

In other words, these ingredients mostly need to find something to repair. And my friend is in the fortunate position of being almost flawless and certainly without more than the tiniest laughter lines.

Nonetheless, she needs something that will help prevent any future damage. And this took me to my second conclusion: 30-somethings need to focus on antioxidants to keep their skin young. Antioxidants fight the unstable molecules that attack cells, targeting those that cause inflammation. You can get antioxidants from eating blueberries, pomegranates, goji, grapes and a host of other fruits and veggies. However, the skin is the last organ to receive ingested nutrients and so a helping hand from topical applications is definitely needed even if you have an impeccable diet.

Unlike growth factors, copper, AHAs or retinol that all work to reverse existing damage, antioxidants do their work ahead of time. Continuous use should help prevent cell degradation, protect cellular membranes, defend fibroblasts, and minimize photosensitivity.

You should be looking out for the antioxidant polyphenols that exist in superfruits like pomegranate or high tech free radical scavengers such as the new active lipochroman-6. There are a few other types of antioxidants including phenolproponoids (which contain ferulic acid), flavenoids found in berries and citrus fruit, and tannins such as resveratrol in grapes. They all work on different components of the skin, so formulators recommend potions that provide a potent blend of various antioxidants.

If you do nothing else, invest in a great antioxidant mask and leave it on for 15 minutes or so a couple of times a week. I would definitely recommend Jan Marini's new facial mask with resveratrol. Plus an antioxidant-rich daily moisturizer and skin conditioner such as Ormedic's Balancing Biopeptide Creme with idbenone, grape and aloe.