Antioxidants for Your Skin: Eat or Apply?

SkinMedica Skincare Layton, UT

Research has continually pointed out the value of antioxidants; this is not just a buzzword for health and wellness. Because we hear about antioxidants often, there may be a sense that we understand them. Here, we look at antioxidants as more than an umbrella term for any plant-based extract that helps us look and feel our best. Furthermore, we observe two unique antioxidants you may not know can help your skin.

What is an Antioxidant?

An antioxidant is a molecule with stopping power. Specifically, this molecule protects others from oxidation, or oxidative stress. Oxidation describes a chemical domino-effect in the cells through which unpaired atoms called free radicals cause damage. The oxidative stress induced by ongoing free radical activity can lead to premature aging and disease.

We can consume antioxidants and we can also use them topically. This is why so many medical grade skincare products contain therapeutic amounts of one or more antioxidant. While topical application may be convenient and beneficial when the appropriate concentration of antioxidant ingredients is present, there is also the matter of bioavailability, or the efficacy with which the body can use a particular antioxidant.

Bioavailability: Eat or Apply?


Turmeric belongs to the ginger family of plants. You may know this ingredient as an everyday food seasoning, and you may have also heard that it can do wonders for your skin. Ultimately, the curcumin in turmeric is quite a powerhouse. It can even out skin tone, go to war against acne, and reduce blemishes by soothing inflammation in the skin.

Verdict: Apply it!

When the objective is to improve the appearance of the skin, it is best to apply a quality product directly to the area of concern. This is because the bioavailability of curcumin decreases when ingested. The body metabolizes this efficient ingredient too quickly for it to work its magic on the epidermis.


Matcha is a bright green tea powder that has been popular in Asian culture for centuries. It is the powder aspect of matcha that makes it more powerful than an average cup of steeped green tea. When this product is ingested, it is primarily the tea leaf that is consumed. What makes matcha such an excellent antioxidant is epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, that it contains.

Verdict: Eat it!

This flavonoid is highly bioavailable and has anti-inflammatory effects on the skin and throughout the body. In addition to soothing skin inflammation, matcha is said to boost metabolism and energy levels thanks to its caffeine content.

The team at Utah Facial Plastics can help you navigate the sea of medical-grade skincare products, so your dermatologic aging is supported in the best possible way. Call (801) 776-2220 to schedule a visit to our Draper or Layton office.

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