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Article: Polyphenols, protective shield for the skin

soins et cosmétiques L Odaites

Polyphenols, protective shield for the skin

The sun- such an important element in improving our spirits- plays a vital role for all living beings.  Like us, plants cannot live without light and also suffer from the antioxidizing effects of its rays.

But unlike us, plants can't move around to find shade or spread sunscreen on themselves.  So to adapt, they have developed some strategies to repair and protect themselves against the damaging effects of the sun.  We must wonder, then, what miracle nutrients they use to possess such a strong defense?  The answer is ready at hand:  the presence of anti-radical substances within their structure, known as polyphenols, enable them to fight efficiently against the destructive effects of UV rays. 

The process of natural selection has revealed, in fact, that the plants who claim the desert as their natural habitat (think prickly pear, date palm, desert date, aloe vera, etc...) are the exact same plants who retain a good amount of polyphenols and which thus allow them to protect and repair themselves from the hazards of oxidation stress.

What are polyphenols?

They are very powerful molecules which allow the plant to defend themselves against environmental aggressors (sun rays, temperature spikes, pollution) or attacks from pathogens.  There is a very wide diversity of polyphenols according to type of species.  The most active and well known of these includes tannins, flavonoids, phenolic acid, and anthocyans. 

Anti-aging properties of polyphenols

They are capable of deactivating free radicals, toxic oxidized material, which accelerate the aging process of cells and damage DNA.  They also function as anti-germ and fungus agents.

To give an example, their capabilities are two times stronger than those of vitamin C, which we are all familiar with.

Where can we find polyphenols?

In most fruits, vegetables, roots, leaves, and grains from sunny regions, and which vary in color (red, blue, purple), since it also participates in the coloring process.

They are usually more highly concentrated in the skin of fruit or in the leaves of vegetables.  Most likely, you have heard of the presence of polyphenols in red wine (which is what gives it its red color), dark chocolate, green tea leaves, dates, kale fruit, red fruit, citrus fruits, apples, grapes, and pomegranates.

It is true that these foods are often ripe in calories... but don't be fooled- in fact, in order to give your skin the necessary amount, all you need to do is add a cream or a mask of your choice that is rich in polyphenols as a complement to your daily routine.  Know that these "seeds" are found in large concentrations in dates, a revolutionary active start ingredient in our Creme Sensationnelle and our mask, Sève Divine des Dattes.  Now it's just up to you to treat your skin to these powerful antioxidants. 

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