When we formulate a new skincare treasure, our approach is a lot like a chef’s approach to fine food. The trinity of ingredients within our proprietary Hadasei-3 complex — green tea, Japanese rice, Okinawa red algae — are hand-picked for their provenance, purity, and nutritive properties. We believe that your body requires the same core essentials to thrive both inside and out: pure, healthy ingredients that nourish and protect.
You’ve likely heard the term “antioxidants” used frequently concerning healthy food. Thanks in large part to the aforementioned trinity of delicious ingredients, the Japanese diet is exceptionally antioxidant-rich… and healthy, delicious food can also mean delicious skin! Antioxidants benefit your skin just as much as they benefit the rest of your body, which is why it’s important to incorporate antioxidant-rich skincare into your ritual.
Ahead, we’ve partnered with the scientists at The Tatcha Institute to answer your biggest questions about antioxidants, free radicals, and everything in between.
Question: What are antioxidants?
Answer: All bodies are meant to age, and our bodies’ aging mechanism is through something called free radicals. Antioxidants, which are typically found in food, neutralize free radicals.
Question: OK, so… what are free radicals and why do they need to be protected against?
Answer: While regular aging is both healthy and inevitable, there are things we do that accelerate aging — diet, regular sun exposure, and other lifestyle choices. Anything that causes us to to age prematurely is caused by free radicals. Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals, stopping accelerated aging in its tracks.
To illustrate it simply, picture the double helix of a DNA strand as a staircase, and free radicals as a fire that’s broken out on one of the staircase steps. Antioxidants are like a fire extinguisher, which you can use to extinguish the fire and any damage it might have caused if it continued to burn.
Question: What do antioxidants do for skin?
Answer: The skin is the largest organ in the body, and it works hard for you just like your heart or your lungs. Because skin serves as your body’s first defense against external pollutants, it needs all the help it can get from antioxidants to help neutralize free radical assault sparked by factors like UV exposure. By protecting against free radical attacks in the body, antioxidants help to preserve skin’s general health, strengthen the skin barrier, promote beneficial skin cell turnover, and retain hydration and elasticity.
Question: Why should I incorporate more antioxidant-rich formulas into my skincare ritual?
Answer: Using antioxidant-rich skincare — like our new The Dewy Skin Cream — is just like taking a vitamin to keep other parts of your body healthy. Antioxidant-rich skincare works from the outside in, complementing the way multivitamin pills work from the inside out.
Antioxidants are also used to help preserve the freshness of skincare, preventing free radical damage to keep skincare formulas fresh. By protecting ingredients that could be affected by sun exposure or outside elements, antioxidants help to boost the biological activity in your skincare treasures.
Question: Is there such a thing as too many antioxidants in my skincare? Will I ever reach a point where I’ll no longer benefit from them?
Answer: It would be extremely difficult to reach that point through a topical product — this is not a common problem! Your body can absorb tons of vitamins and nutrients through skincare without ever hitting its capacity, and the same goes for antioxidants.
Question: Do different types of antioxidants have different benefits? Are there any specific antioxidants that are great for certain concerns?
Answer: Absolutely! There are many types of free radicals that can accelerate aging, and different antioxidants which neutralize them. For instance: oxidative free radicals caused by UV exposure are some of the worst culprits when it comes to skin damage and premature aging. Green tea is rich in the polyphenol EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), an antioxidant that is effective in neutralizing these oxidative free radicals.
Plants are extremely rich in this form of antioxidant because they are continuously exposed to the sun, and need protection from its harsh rays to thrive. By crafting our treasures with antioxidant-rich ingredients, we harness the benefits of these sorts of natural defense mechanisms.
Question: What antioxidant benefits does Japanese purple rice have, and why is it used in The Dewy Skin Cream formulation?
Answer: Aside from fighting free radicals, the Japanese purple rice used in The Dewy Skin Cream is exceptionally nourishing and plumping. The antioxidant anthocyanin, which is found in purple rice, is native to plants that survive in harsh environments. Its strength, heartiness, durability, and longevity helps to fortify skin against signs of aging, just like it helps to fortify the Japanese purple rice crops against brutal winds and inclement weather. Anthocyanin also helps to strengthen the immune system.
Have even more questions about how to care for your skin? Many common queries about adopting a new product into your ritual are addressed in our general skincare efficacy guide. Tatcha’s team of experts would also be delighted to be of service in answering any lingering questions. Please do not hesitate to contact us any time.
Wishing you wellness and nourishment,
The Tatcha Family