“Antioxidants” have been a beauty buzzword for a while now. But what are they, really?
Technically-speaking, antioxidants are chemicals that helps stop cell damage. How’s that? As a normal part of cell metabolism, molecules known as free radicals are produced. Now, free radicals have actually been found to aid the body in fighting off certain diseases, but accumulated in large amounts, free radicals can be damaging to your cells’ DNA. This is where antioxidants come in: When antioxidants are present, they protect your cells from the damage that free radicals can cause.
When it comes to our skin, we’re fighting free radicals both from the inside and on the outside—air pollution and cigarette smoke are some of the more notorious culprits. We get antioxidants from the foods we eat—beta-carotene, lycopene, and vitamins A, C, and E, are all dietary antioxidants—or , as many beauty products have tapped into, from topical sources.
If you’d rather not drop a bunch of your hard-earned cash at Sephora, try treating yourself and your skin with some of these easy, antioxidant-rich treatments.
DIY FACE MASK //
Let’s start with a common DIY skincare treatment: the face mask. You’ll need…
1 carrot, cooked and mashed
2 Tbsp. honey (best if raw)
½ cup heavy cream
Mix them all together and leave on your face and neck for about 15 minutes before rinsing off. Voilà! Smoother, tighter skin.
AT-HOME EXFOLIATION //
Now that you’ve had a mask, why not cleanse and exfoliate with some almonds? It may sound crazy, but using ground almonds on your face will yield softer, cleaner skin. You’ll need…
1 handful almonds, add more if needed
3 Tbsp. lemon juice to start, add more to create a paste consistency
Grind the almonds in a food processor to create a powder. Combine them with the lemon juice for a simple cleanse and exfoliation, or add them to the mask mentioned above. If you do add it to the mask, gently rub in circles when rinsing off to really slough away dead, dull cells and reveal softer skin.