The Skin's Oxidative Stress and Sea Buckthorn
Our skin suffers daily from oxidative stress (action of active oxygen radicals). UV rays, pollution, smoking and internal stress are principal factors in creating them. These free radicals are highly reactive and toxic and can start a chain reaction under the skin's surface, inducing skin damage.
Antioxidants are compounds, which neutralize the free radicals using different mechanisms.
The best-known natural antioxidants are vitamin C, vitamin E, beta- carotene and selenium. Scientific studies have shown that topical vitamin C, decrease the number of abnormal 'sun burn' cells and reduce UV damage to DNA. As vitamin C protect the aqueous environment of the skin, vitamin E protects membranes from lipid (fatty acids) peroxidation being the first to absorb the free radicals. Selenium activates two key enzymes, which have an important antioxidant role in the cells, protecting and repairing DNA. The carotenoids are well known by their role in prevention and cancer treatment.
The researches have shown that when these antioxidants are applied topically, their level in the epidermis and dermis is substantially increase thereby not only protecting the skin from acute and chronic photodamage, but also reversing the skin's manifestations of photoageing.
Vitamins E and C, beta-carotene as well as selenium, are the principal micronutrient antioxidants that have been studied for their efficacy on reduction of oxidative stress and for their potential roles in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and other disorders.
Sea Buckthorn oil is a very rich and good source of natural antioxidants. The benefit of Sea buckthorn for skin protection/healing is enormous. It is the only plant known so far which contains a large variety of antioxidants such as vitamin E and other vitamin E derivatives, vitamin C, beta-carotene and other carotenes such as lycopene, and selenium.
The medicinal value of Sea Buckthorn was depicted in Ancient Greek texts and classic Tibetan medicinal texts, including the "Four books of Pharmacopoeia" dated to the times of Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). Hippophae rhamnoides L., commonly known as Sea Buckthorn, is a wild shrub growing at high altitude (1200-4500 meters) in adverse climatic conditions. Sea Buckthorn is a traditional plant of many European and Asian countries. The popularity of Sea Buckthorn is increasing fast in US, due to a high demand for plants rich in constituents for food and cosmetic industry. The healing qualities of Sea Buckthorn are highly appreciated. The oil can be used for different skin ailment such as: eczema, burns, wounds, UV rays skin damage. Cosmetics and skin care products made of Sea Buckthorn are valued for their rejuvenating, restorative and anti-aging action. These qualities are mainly due to its antioxidant capability.
Conclusion: The skin's oxidative stress is a very complex issue and is involved in many biochemical pathways. You cannot be well protected by using only one antioxidant in your daily moisturizer. Only a complex of antioxidants are capable to cease the major stress oxidation processes under your skin's surface. By using cosmetic products with a wide range of natural antioxidants you can highly improve your skin health.
Claudia Budu has a Ph.D. in Cell Biology and a Master in Biochemistry. She is the founder of Active Herbal Cosmetics and Skin Therapeutics ([http://www.telbari.com]). She believes that by promoting skin care creations containing Sea Buckthorn she can improve substantially the therapeutic and protective value of the products.