I wanted to do a follow-up on they face mapping article, with some basic skin care knowledge. Some products that may be useful. A do it yourself recipe for skin care, full of antioxidants and natural products. Also, a short course in biology about our aging skin.

As we get older our skin slowly losses its elasticity and thins out. I wonder if that is how they got the reference “Thin Skinned.” The skin ages naturally, as we age, but outside factors can cause it to accelerate. The sun’s UV rays, cigarette smoke, tanning beds and even the break-down of foods cause free radicals. I have looked at a several articles and they each explain free radicals in a different way. So, this information sounds the best, per a Live Science: “Oxygen in the body splits into single atoms with unpaired electrons. Electrons like to be in pairs, so these atoms, called free radicals, scavenge the body to seek out other electrons so they can become a pair. This causes damage to cells, proteins and DNA. According to Rice University, once free radicals are formed, a chain reaction can occur. The first free radical pulls an electron from a molecule, which destabilizes the molecule and turns it into a free radical. That molecule then takes an electron from another molecule, destabilizing it and tuning it into a free radical. This domino effect can eventually disrupt and damage the whole cell.” Now, isn’t that easy to understand?

Well, we have all these free radicals running around making us look bad. We start looking for something to hide what is happening to our bodies. The first place to start is with what you eat. It is safer and more effective to get antioxidants from real food, and not supplements. A variety of vitamins and minerals can sometimes reverse the effects of sun damage, wrinkles and discoloration may also be lessened. This is not a complete list of foods, but this will get you started on repairing damage.

FOOD:                               Serving Size:           Amount of antioxidant:

Small Red Bean               1/2 cup                        13727

Wild Blueberry               1 cup                           13427

Red Kidney Beans           1/2 cup                        13259

Pinto Bean                        1/2 cup                       11864

Blueberry                          1 cup                          9019

Cranberry                          1 cup                          8983

Artichoke Hearts              1 cup                          7904

Blackberry                         1 cup                           7701

Prune                                   1/2 cup                       7291

Raspberry                           1 cup                           6058

Strawberry                          1 cup                          5938

Red Delicious Apple           1                                 5900

Granny Smith Apple           1                                5381

Pecans                                    1 ounce                    5095

Sweet Cherry                         1 cup                        4873

Black Plum                             1                                4844

Russet Potato                         1                                4649

Black Bean                            1/2 cup                      4181

Plum                                        1                                 4118

Gala Apple                             1                                  3903

Frequent exercise, in people who are out of shape, can cause oxidative stress. Where as a regular exercise program was enough to build up defenses against initial exercise induced stress. Per testing from The American Journal of clinical Nutrition supplementing high intensity exercise with antioxidant supplements produced no beneficial effects.

There are nine antioxidants to look for when choosing both your nutrients and your skin care regime:

  • Vitamin E, found in foods such as vegetables, seeds and meats. It makes the skin look younger by boosting collagen production reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. Skin gets most of its benefits from Vitamin E though topical treatments in the form of alpha-tocopherol. Make sure you read the labels closely.
  • Lycopene, is a carotenoid found in red vegetables. It is what gives them their red color. In addition to being a great nutrition source, it also promotes collagen production reducing DNA damage that causes wrinkles. Lycopene is easily absorbed by the skin as a topical formula or you can take a supplement.
  • Green Tea, has a range of health benefits and much testing has been performed proving the benefits on the skin.The chemicals involved in this process are called catechins, which are also antioxidants. Catechins, can clear cell damage, repair wrinkles, and blemishes. Applying it to the skin can reduce sun damage, by reducing inflammation, and going after free radicals.
  • Coffee Berry, is an ingredient in anti-aging formulas. Coffee Berry prevents collagen damage, reduces wrinkles, and protects the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Resveratrol, another antioxidant, is commonly found in grapes, nuts, fruits, and red wine. Has been shown to protect against UVB damage.
  • Genistein, is an isoflavone. Isoflavone are a class of phytoestrogens — plant-derived compounds with estrogenic activity. Soybeans and soy products are the best source to get this compound from. Whether your diet is rich in this compound or your apply it topically, it will protect the skin against UV damage.
  • Niacinamide, is Vitamin B3. This antioxidant has ant-inflammatory properties. It also has depigmenting agents to improve the tone of the skin protecting it against dark spots. It also aids in reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Vitamin C, also called L-ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient of the human diet, that only comes from fruit and vegetables. Vitamin C is both an antioxidant and a collagen booster, it preserves a youthful appearance. Vitamin C can be added to the diet or applied topically by creams and lotions.

Other antioxidants that I have found in several articles include:

  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10),  is a vitamin-like enzyme found in mitochondria, the power plants of cells. CoQ10’s primary role is to help mitochondria harvest energy-producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from the foods we eat. More that 75 percent of the body’s energy is produced this way, so when CoQ10 levels are low, ATP production drops and energy levels dip. It is best not to take supplements, because the RDA has not set guidelines for this enzyme. This enzyme can be acquired through foods such as: red meats, oily fish, rapeseed, sesame and soybean oils, spinach, wheat germ, and whole grains.
  • Aloe Vera, with one only known plant source of vitamin B12. This plant it is an analgesic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antioxidant, a powerful immune modulator and anti-tumour agent. It contains over 20 amino acids, minerals like calcium, magnesium, and sodium, enzymes, polysaccharides, nitrogen and other components that make it a wonder plant for the skin.
  • Selenium, is a mineral. Your body acquires it from food and water. The amount of selenium in foods depend on where it is grown and raised. Good sources are crab, liver, fish poultry and wheat. It is in the soil where these products are grown and raised, the eastern coastal plains have the lowest amount of selenium in the U.S. Selenium has been used as medicine for many different diseases.

When choosing a skin care product most companies find that three things are important. Effectiveness, Stability, and Absorption. Choose a lotion, cream, or serum in dark brown, blue or opaque bottles, jars or in metal tubes. How it absorbs on your skin. The amounts of each ingredient are effective for you, but in no way irritates the skin.

Per Reviews.com the three best skin care products for 2017 are: