Hydroxytyrosol, your ally against oxidative stress

Hidden in the olive tree, hydroxytyrosol is one of the most powerful, natural antioxidants known today. But, in practical terms, what does “oxidation” mean? And why is fighting it so important for our health?

When buying food supplements or skincare treatments, you have for sure come across antioxidant ingredients that are presented as being fundamental for the correct regeneration of our cells and therefore our skin. But what do antioxidants do exactly? And why is fighting oxidative stress so important?

Oxidation is a natural process that takes place in our cells as the result of multiple factors, such as lifestyle, environment, pollution and causes originating inside the cells. 

To understand how the chemical process of oxidation takes place, just think of how rust forms on iron. As time goes by, when iron is exposed to the oxygen in the air and water, a layer of oxide forms on it. This is rust and as it continually flakes off, the iron is slowly eroded. The oxidation process in our bodies is similar, as it involves the production of so-called free radicals, which are highly aggressive particles that attack and damage our cells. In a worst-case scenario, this means our cells may even be subject to a cancerous mutation.

Our bodies have always had a natural capacity to combat this oxidative process. 

But in recent centuries, the story of the human race has begun to run faster than the evolution of the species. This means that, while large-scale industrialisation, the consequent rise in pollution, and changes in our lifestyle and diet have increased oxidation processes, the human body has not had the time it needs to adapt and defend itself. 

What does this mean? It means that to combat the oxidative stress in our cells we have to resort to outside help.

Polyphenols, an ally for our health

Many studies conducted on oxidative stress have identified plant polyphenols as an effective response for combating the process of cellular degeneration. This pool of molecules is present in large quantities in a wide range of plants and in many of the foods that make up the Mediterranean diet, which, not surprisingly, is the subject of much research as it is considered to be one of the most complete and balanced dietary regimes in the world

One of the most powerful polyphenols known today is hidden in the olive tree and its fruit and leaves. Its name is hydroxytyrosol.

What is hydroxytyrosol?

Widely studied in medicine on account of its high antioxidant properties and numerous potential applications, hydroxytyrosol is a polyphenol that is already used in the development of food supplements, but is almost entirely absent from skincare treatments. This is the challenge we have taken on with Aeqium: to transform the antioxidant power of hydroxytyrosol into a skincare treatment. And we have succeeded in both extracting this polyphenol, and perfecting the complex operation of stabilising it, so its efficacy is maintained intact in our formulations.

The beneficial properties of hydroxytyrosol

Hydroxytyrosol is a molecule with a very high antioxidant power. From research conducted over the years a number of interesting results have emerged:

  • its antioxidant power is about ten times stronger than green tea 
  • it is twice as powerful as the Q-10 coenzyme, an antioxidant molecule that is naturally present in our cells;
  • it has a greater antioxidant action than vitamin C and E

It is even more antioxidant than resveratrol, a vine extract polyphenol widely used in cosmetics and nutraceutics.

It is certainly no coincidence that the European Food Safety Authority has approved the use of hydroxytyrosol/olive polyphenols as an element that helps protect the lipids in the blood against the harmful effects of oxidative stress.

Its use as a coadjuvant in oncology therapies has also been studied and tests are currently being conducted on how it can help combat neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases, like psoriasis. 

In short, hydroxytyrosol is a plant ingredient with enormous potential that is almost completely absent in the sphere of cosmetics. Up until now.

Aeqium’s uniqueness in the panorama of contemporary skincare

The fil rouge that runs through all our products is hydroxytyrosol. It is the common denominator that unites both our nutraceuticals and skincare products. It is not a simple ingredient to extract or obtain in a stable format. With Aeqium we have succeeded.

The importance of combating oxidation is not therefore just a cosmetic requirement, it is first and foremost, a necessity for our health and better quality of life in general. 

So, eating foods that are rich in polyphenols and regularly using suitable food supplements, like hydroxytyrosol-based integrators can provide real support for our general wellbeing.

The beauty and elasticity of your skin will be the visible effects of an effective antioxidant action, conducted internally and externally, thanks to your decision to choose a skincare treatment that is rich in antioxidant ingredients. Now that we know how important they are.

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