When you slice a pear or an apple in half, that gentle blush of brown that spreads across the surface after a few minutes is called oxidation--a form of organic rust. And just like a sweet slice of fruit, our faces are oxidizing, albeit at a slower rate. The culprit behind this process is the highly reactive free radical, a molecular structure that interacts with skin cells and sets off a chain reaction that leads to the telltale signs of aging: wrinkled, sagging and stressed skin.
Antioxidants slow down or stop the free-radical-induced chemical reaction and may help skin cells regenerate. Their value is nothing new in the beauty biz. For the last 20 years, cosmetics makers have been adding antioxidants, along with vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, peptides and UV absorbers, to their products. The latest twist, though, has brought together oenophiles and cosmetics junkies. It turns out that the chemical contents of grapes, grape seeds and dark fruits, particularly the compound resveratrol, are effective antioxidants. Three French companies and one in California are now marketing wine and vine as the latest skin saver.
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