Cranberries may be a perennial source of debate at Thanksgiving dinner - love 'em or hate 'em, fresh or canned - but in the dermatological community, the verdict is clear: Cranberries are a wonderful source of antioxidants, so don't hold back when they come around the table this year.
So, why are antioxidants so important, you might be thinking. Every day, our skin is under assault - from UV rays, pollution, or cigarette smoke, for example. That damage causes free radicals, which are oxygen molecules that have lost an electron.
As a result, those unpaired molecules try to steal electrons from other molecules, including vital skin components. The result is visible skin damage, in the form of lines, wrinkles, and redness. Luckily, antioxidants can supply those missing electrons, calm attacking molecules, and prevent damage.
In a nutshell, antioxidants are among the most important preventive ingredients in the skin care arsenal. They can effectively prevent (and minimize) redness and inflammation, and are essential for slowing the signs of skin aging.
Some of you may have read about other recommended antioxidants in this very blog, but rest assured that when it comes to neutralizing free radicals, you don't need to pick one favorite ingredient. Cranberries, green tea, coenzyme Q10, vitamins C and E - they're all powerful antioxidants, and using several of them is even better option.
Moreover, a mixture of oral and topical antioxidants is the best way to equip your skin with the defenses it needs. So while you're adding more cranberry to your diet, look for it in a small but growing number of topical products too. Some of my favorites include: