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When it comes to skincare, there are certain buzzwords that are thrown around all the time, like paraben-free, sulfate-free, clean,and organic.One of those buzzwords? Polyphenols.
Now, chances are that you know polyphenols - a type of antioxidants - are a good thing, and they can help with anti-aging and an overall youthful glow. But you may not know much more than that - and you should understand what you’re putting on your face.
Polyphenols are a group of compounds naturally found in various plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, tea, dark chocolate, and wine. They’re famously high in green tea, but they can also be found in highest concentrations in:
Like with anything, though, remember that the concentration of polyphenols in certain plants or products doesn’t justhave to do with the plant itself. It also has to do with the origin, the ripeness, and how the plant was transported, stored, and prepared.
So remember, if you want high quantities of polyphenols, look for local, farm-to-table products (or as close as you can find).
Now, this still doesn’t answer questions like what are polyphenols? And why should I care?
Let's discuss the what first. There are more than 8000 known polyphenols, which is a lotto keep track of. To simplify things, they can generally be classified into four main groups:
Now, the why - though increased longevity, less inflammation, and decreased inflammation of disease already sounds pretty compelling already.
As we mentioned, these various forms of polyphenols can act as powerful antioxidants,meaning that they can protect the skin and the body against free radical damage and the five most common environmental toxins (pesticide, smoking, mycotoxin, polychlorinated biphenyls, and arsenic). This reduces the risk of wrinkles, skin damage, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more - win!
Finally, regularly consuming polyphenols is thought to:
And we haven’t even gotten into the skincare side of things.
When it comes particularly to skincare, it’s first important to note that polyphenols fit into the larger category of skin antioxidants. These also include:
So what skin concerns can polyphenols help with, and what benefits do they provide?
So here’s the thing: polyphenols exist in plants - at least in part - to help protect them from the strong UV damage of the sun. They provide the same kind of protection for your face.
Specifically, since polyphenols are known to scavenge free radicals, they can:
This makes products with polyphenols great choices for those with sensitive skin, rosacea, or eczema.
Green tea (often listed as Camellia sinesis) is one of our go-to polyphenol ingredients! You can find it in:
Not sure how to fit polyphenols into your beauty routine? We recommend that you use at least one product daily - whether it’s a serum, cleanser, or moisturizer - that adds this antioxidant element to your skin. That way, you won’t have to deal with nasty damage from the sun, smoke, and other pollutants - yay!