The appearance of aging skin differs drastically from person to person. This is the case because aging is a very complicated process. The aging of our skin is dictated by multiple factors including genetics, excessive stress, environmental triggers and natural hormonal fluctuations. Fortunately, we can control some of these factors, especially the environmental triggers like sun exposure, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. On the other hand, some factors are a part of the natural and inevitable aging progression.
This article will explore why topical antioxidants are such a powerful tool to help control our aging appearance and ensure the lasting health of our skin.
What causes our skin to age?
It is believed that the root cause of our aging appearance is a molecular mechanism called “reactive oxygen species” or “free radicals” which damages cells and lead to inflammation and cellular death. The theory that free radicals cause aging was first proposed in 1956 and is now the best accepted theory to explain why we age.
During the aging process, free radicals are formed naturally through normal human cellular activity. They are also produced by sun exposure, cigarette smoke, and alcohol consumption. A study has shown that 50% of skin sun damage is estimated to be the result of sun-exposure related free radicals.
The body has two main forms of defense against free radicals.
- Antioxidative enzymes
- Antioxidative molecules (Vitamin E, Vitamin C, etc.)
These defences can be disabled by sun exposure and other toxins and as we age, our body’s ability to protect itself decreases. This, combined with an increase in the production of free radicals results in the aging of our skin.
The topical application of antioxidants
It is believed that the topical application of antioxidants can help bolster the body’s natural defense against free radicals, preventing our skin from aging.
Skincare companies around the world have been working on this for years, however, there are a few reasons to be skeptical of some of the claims being made.
- Antioxidants are very unstable. Simply adding them to a formula will not ensure effectiveness and unless appropriately stabilized. If not stabilized correctly, most anti-oxidants will be rendered inactive before they are able to have their desired effect.
- Not all antioxidants are created equal. Countless molecules possess antioxidant properties, many of which will not have any benefits for our skin.
The role of antioxidants in Riversol formulations
When Dr. Rivers set out to formulate Riversol he had an exhausting supply of anti-oxidant ingredients to choose from. He made his selection based on which anti-oxidants would be the most powerful, multifaceted, and tolerant on sensitive skin. Below we outline the antioxidants that he chose for Riversol and their benefits to sensitive skin.
An organic extract from the pacific red cedar tree, Beta-T is a unique ingredient and exists in every Riversol product. The difficulty in stabilizing this molecule is the reason why it took Dr. Rivers and a team of chemists three years to make our formulas.
- Potent anti-oxidant
- Anti-pigmentation (dark spot correcting)
- Decreases appearance of redness
For more information on Beta-T: Click here.
"Beta-T is known to be a potent anti-oxidant that has the ability to reduce sun damage and improve the skin’s clarity and texture. I have spent many years as a dermatologist working with patients that have severe sun damage and skin cancer. The more research I did, the more impressed I was with this unique ingredient. Initial samples were handed out to colleagues, friends and family. The results far exceeded my expectations." - Dr. Jason K. Rivers
Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic acid):
Ascorbic acid is an antioxidant that slows the rate of free-radical damage and plays a vital role in skin repair and regeneration. Normally, Vitamin C in a topical solution rapidly degrades when exposed to oxygen. However, Riversol uses L-Ascorbic acid which is Vitamin C in phosphate form, providing stability and sustained effectiveness of its antioxidant properties.
- Reduces the appearance of brown spots and other types of sun damage
- Helps boost healthy collagen production
- Reduces inflammation and irritation, both of which trigger a cascade of subsequent damage
- Fades post-breakout red marks by improving skin’s natural healing response -
- Increases the effectiveness of your sunscreens and boosts your skins defense against UV exposure
Vitamin E (Bio-functional form Disodium Lauriminodipropionate Tocopheryl Phosphates, and Tocopherol Acetate and Phosphate)
Vitamin E is an antioxidant, fat-soluble vitamin that maintains the skin-cell integrity and prevents cell damage. Research tells us that Vitamin E can only suppress a limited number of free radicals before it runs out of electrons to donate, therefore, it is often combined with Vitamin C to allow for sustained and long lasting antioxidant protection.
- Moisturizes skin from within and enhances skin smoothness
- Soothes and aids in tissue repair (wound healing)
- Decreases skin’s sensitivity to harsh environments
- Clinically reduces the appearance of UV-induced redness
- Reduces UV-induced damage (helps enhance the performance of UV blockers in skin care products)
- Helps protect against ozone
- Clinically reduces the appearance and redness of acne lesions
Chrysin is an organic compound that is derived from certain plants, most notably the passion flowers. It is thought that Chrysin stimulates a particular enzyme which detoxifies metabolites and environmental chemicals. Together with N-Hydroxysuccinimide, a molecule that activates the elimination of blood pigments, these ingredients combine to reduce dark circles under the eyes.
- Stimulates the enzyme (UGT1A1), which detoxifies metabolites and environmental chemicals and leads to the degradation of bilirubin – one of the causes of dark circles under the eyes.
Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone:
Derived from plants such as citruses and evening primrose, it acts as an anti-oxidant – reducing the effects of sun damage. It may reduce capillary (blood vessel) fragility and thereby improve dark circles and puffiness around the eyes.
- Anti-inflammatory – reduces skin redness, improves tone -strengthens blood vessel walls, reducing blood under the skin, reducing dark eye circles
Propylene Glycol Alginate:
Derived from sea plants (scientific name algae), and has a gelatin-like consistency. Many seaweeds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In cosmetics, algae are used as thickening agents, emollients, and antioxidants.
Aging is inevitable. Fortunately we have antioxidants to help easy the process and keep us looking our best. Along with using good quality skin care, the best way to retain a youthful glow is to avoid environmental triggers including sun exposure, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.