How Antioxidants Work
Last year in October, during our online Esthetician Workshop, we tested out a new product that we created together as a community. We experimented with and refined this product, and now it’s ready to share with our spa partners around the country. This is the first new item we’ve added into our professional back bar lineup since Botnia launched in 2017.
Introducing Antioxidant Booster!
We’re so excited to be adding this new booster (aka glycerin extract) as a tool that our holistic estheticians can use in the treatment room to target sun-damaged skin during facial services!
Back to school: Oxidation 101
Picture a slice of freshly cut apple. After being exposed to air, it begins to turn color, oxidizing the apple core. Oxidation is the process of a loss of an electron in a molecule. When the body is under constant attack from oxidative stress, free radicals are created. Atoms don’t like to exist with an unpaired electron. What makes these free radicals a problem is that they scavenge their surrounding environment, stealing electrons from other molecules. The stolen molecule is now structurally damaged and becomes a free radical . . . and the cycle continues. You can see how free radicals can severely damage our cells!
Antioxidants, on the other hand, are molecules that have a surplus of electrons. They have the unique ability to lose electrons without forming a detrimental chain reaction like free radicals do. Imagine antioxidant molecules like an octopus with extra arms to give away to molecules missing an arm. Antioxidants include Vitamins A, C, and E, Vitamin B3 (you’ll see this labeled as Niacinamide as an ingredient), Hyaluronic Acid, and polyphenols. The plants used in our Antioxidant Booster are packed with antioxidants to boost the skin’s ability to find free radicals and add in a surplus of extra ions! Isn’t the science of skincare fun?
Let’s break down the botanicals and the chemical constituents that make this booster so powerful for sun-damaged and environmentally damaged skin. It’s also great to treat acne scars and inflammation of any kind.
Green tea leaf helps fight skin cancer by promoting DNA repair. It contains an antioxidant called EGCG, which fights DNA damage from UV rays to prevent skin cancer. That means it’s also a potent ingredient that combats signs of premature aging when ingested or applied topically. (Drink your tea!) The polyphenols in green tea give it anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce irritation, redness, and swelling. They also damage bacterial membranes that help fight against infection and treat bacterial growth that causes acne. It has plenty of B2 Vitamins that help maintain collagen levels for youthful skin structure and firmness. The caffeine and tannins in green tea also help to shrink blood vessels, making it a miracle for treating topical inflammation and dark circles. Done with that tea bag? Place warm steeped green tea bags over your eyes to help eliminate dark circles.
Gotu Kola (our newest favorite herb!) and roses are also infused into this extract for their antioxidant properties. We use roses specifically for their anthocyanins, which are an antioxidant that helps to absorb blue light, green light, and UV rays. Blue light in particular can penetrate the skin deeper than other colors in the light spectrum, contributing to photoaging. So keep those blue light glasses on at the computer and wear your hat when heading outside!
Helichrysum, often going by the name immortelle, is an herbaceous plant that’s known for its maple syrup-like scent. In addition to the amazing antioxidants and flavonoids, helichrysum contains a terpene called quercetin that shows a strong antioxidant activity by maintaining oxidative balance in the skin. It’s also effective at fighting bacteria like E. coli and can also help fight the itching sensation of psoriasis or any allergic reaction. Helichrysum is an amazing plant for soothing inflammation.
The next two herbs help aid your tissues in healing. Borage is a powerful ally for the skin due to its hydrating, skin-soothing, antioxidant qualities. Borage leaf holds minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, and magnesium. All help to keep your cells and body fluids functioning normally. Lastly, we have comfrey leaf, which we use for its protein, allantoin. This helps stimulate cell proliferation and promotes wound and bone healing. Comfrey is high in tannins which makes it anti-inflammatory and astringent and helps to aid in closing wounds and pores.
You can see why we’re so excited to include this powerful booster in our professional back bar! We’ll be adding this to your facial treatments to keep your sun-kissed skin protected from further damage. When used with our Wisdom Oil (which features the exact same antioxidant-rich botanicals) in your at-home skincare routine, you’ll have a powerful duo that will keep sunspots at bay and further prevent free radicals from oxidizing your skin.
I LOVE the ingredients and feel this addresses a major gap in our back bar. I use Antioxidant Booster during the massage portion for my clients with depleted skin and feel it gives them such a good glow.–Aubrey Williams, Daydream Holistic, Mountain View, CA
Looking to try our new Antioxidant Booster? Find a Botnia spa partner near you!
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