Plants protect themselves from sun induced oxidative damage and are a source of antioxidants. Polyphenols, vitamin C, and vitamin E have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. There are 8000 known polyphenols found most commonly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, tea, chocolate, and wine. Not all polyphenols are created equal. The ability of polyphenols to exert antioxidant capabilities depends on their chemical ring structure. Commonly used polyphenols that have scientific studies to back up their effectiveness as anti-agers include soy, green tea, oats, curcumin, and silymarin.
Genistein is a component of soy that protects against oxidative stress from pollution and smoke and inhibits the breakdown of elastic and collagen. The result? New collagen growth, improved appearance of fine lines, and improved skin radiance. Genistein may also reduce skin damage by binding to estrogen receptors.
Greet tea comes from the plant Camellia sinensis. Catechins, substances found in green tea, act as antioxidants to reverse cell damage. Paradoxically, catechins create reactive oxygen species that damage cells. Protection occurs in healthy cells and the damage occurs in cancerous cells.
Oats contain avenanthramides and vitamin E. These antioxidantas reverse cell damage from pollution and smoke which are known to be primary contributors to the aging process. Along with flavonoids in oats, they also calm red, swollen skin with their anti-inflammatory properties.
Curcumin is a component of the spice turmeric. Polyphenols create the deep yellow color of turmeric and typically comprise 3-5% of turmeric. Polyphenols protect cells from damage, thus aging, through their antioxidant properties. They also have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and wound healing properties. Rapid degradation and its bright yellow color limit the effectiveness of topical applications.
Silymarin comes from the fruit and seed of the milk thistle plant. Silymarin contains flavonoids with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also cleanses the bloodstream, which is essential to maintain clear skin free of blemishes.