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Our Favorite Antioxidant: Alpha Lipoic Acid

Need some energy? Take a deep breath.

Each time you inhale, you’re nourishing your body with oxygen, allowing your cells to use that oxygen to produce energy. In this process, your body is also generating free radicals. Sounds great, right?

Not quite.

What are free radicals?

Don’t be fooled by the term free radicals—these pesky molecules aren’t as fun as they sound. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that cause oxidative stress on our body. Oxidative stress can seriously damage your cells and DNA, resulting in a number of things—aging, disease, and more. Free radicals can also be produced by sunlight, toxins like pesticide, and air pollution.

There’s nothing our body can do to stop free radicals from being produced. So how can we take steps to reduce the production of these dangerous oxidants and mitigate their harmful effects? Enter the antioxidant.

What are antioxidants?

Consider antioxidants to be your body’s allies in the fight against free-radical damage. Your body can produce some antioxidants on its own, but they are mostly found in nature—they’re in fruits, vegetables, and even coffee. Antioxidants have been proven to repair the damage that free radicals cause, and that’s why they’re so essential to your skin and your overall health.

What role do antioxidants play in the ageing process?

Let’s start by examining what happens as we age. If we think of our bodies as machines, we can simplify the effects of ageing into this: the breakdown of key processes and functions. Our metabolism slows over time, energy production declines, our organs break down, we have cognitive decline, we become less efficient, and we may even start to develop diseases that happen in the later stages of life, like diabetes or Alzheimer’s.

We know that free radicals play a significant role in this and that antioxidants can help slow down these effects. But one antioxidant in particular—Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)—is a powerful, potent compound with known significant anti-inflammatory properties. This key ingredient is essential to your body’s function.

What are the benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid?

Alpha Lipoic Acid has many major whole-body benefits, and while our bodies actually make ALA, like many antioxidants, we don’t produce enough of this essential building block. Studies show ALA can help slow down and even significantly reduce symptoms of diseases like diabetic neuropathy, vascular disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis, and more.

  1. Metabolic and Energy Benefits: Alpha Lipoic Acid helps with your body’s own metabolism and energy production. Remember that energy production is critical to how your body functions! Think of every cell as a power plant that generates energy to help you do work. A lack of energy translates to an inability to do work, which inevitably causes damage to your body. In fact, a lot of ageing is thought to happen by this process—aging is the breakdown of how our bodies efficiently generate power and use that power to do work.
  1. Antioxidant Benefits: Your body has a way of dealing with things that cause damage to it—think of how white blood cells exist to help fight bacteria and viruses, among other things. Antioxidants work in that same way. There’s a whole system of antioxidants at work in your body to help deal with these toxins in a way that also doesn’t damage important things in cells, like your DNA.

Alpha Lipoic Acid is so powerful because it’s involved with the regeneration of that system. In fact, not only is ALA 400x stronger than Vitamin C and Vitamin E combined, it’s actually known to help increase the potency of these vitamins. That’s why Alpha Lipoic Acid is our favourite antioxidant. Because it can increase the power of antioxidants in your body, it helps you become better equipped to mitigate the visible effects of aging—redness, inflammation, loss of firmness, large pores, wrinkles, and more.

Should I take oral supplements of Alpha Lipoic Acid or apply it topically?

You should do both! Alpha Lipoic Acid, in topical form, can penetrate surface layers of the skin that oral supplements can’t reach—and vice versa is true for oral benefits. Here’s why:

When you take an oral supplement, your body consumes it in stages. First, it’s absorbed into your gut; then, it passes through your liver; finally, it enters your bloodstream and diffuses through your tissues. Now, in terms of addressing systemic ageing, this is very useful. The more you’re able to circulate this key compound throughout your whole body and reap the benefits in terms of energy, metabolism, and more, the better.

But when it comes to reaching the outer layer of your skin, oral supplements are less effective. At each stage of absorption (from your gut to your skin), ALA becomes more and more diluted. By the time it reaches the base layers of your skin, only a fraction of the Alpha Lipoic Acid will be absorbed. Circulation also gets worse when you age, so a younger person taking an ALA supplement will absorb more of it than an older person will.

Now, when you apply ALA topically (Face Firming Serum, for example), you’re actually able to reach that dermal (top) layer of your skin. So, to fully get the whole-body benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid, both methods of application are important—an oral supplement will penetrate from the inside out; a topical application will penetrate from the outside in.

So, there you have it! Alpha Lipoic Acid is an essential compound to help keep your mind sharp and your body functioning. Add it to your diet and your skincare routine to help mitigate the breakdowns of ageing.

Ready to experience Alpha Lipoic Acid? Try our Face Firming Serum, which has a high concentration of this powerful ingredient.