Fighting free radicals: the latest antioxidants on the market

Certain cosmetic formulations, as well as human skin, are prone to lipid oxidation. This article discusses the mechanisms involved in oxidation and discovers cutting-edge antioxidant cosmetic ingredients on the market

The oils and fats used in cosmetic formulations are prone to oxidation through a series of reactions. The mechanisms of lipid oxidation are initiated by the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which propagate free radical chain reactions.

Initiating the reaction requires oxygen and a catalyst such as heat, light or metal ions, but once started it rapidly results in rancidity. Initiation can be delayed by protecting the oil from the atmosphere via storage in cool dark areas and by the addition of an antioxidant. Antioxidants retard oxidation primarily by either hydrogen donation or electron donation, and may be synthetic (like BHA and BHT) or natural, like flavonoids, polyphenols, retinol, ascorbic acid and tocopherols.

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BASF Personal Care (more information, website)
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