A couple weeks ago, we waxed poetic about the many benefits that rosemary brings to the table. If you missed out, click here and feel free to catch up on things.
Back? Good. Now that you’re here, we can go over even MORE advantages to using rosemary.
Rosemary – An Awesome Antioxidant
Rosemary is an antioxidant, rather than a preservative.
Technically, a preservative is a synthetic chemical that prevents decay and spoilage. An antioxidant is a naturally occurring element that helps to slow oxidation, which causes decay, spoilage and cellular breakdown.
Rosemary contains over a dozen antioxidant elements, including vitamin E, which makes it extremely useful in preserving organic products.
Synthetic preservatives will help a product last longer but can be dangerous to your health. Antioxidants slow the process of decay and spoilage without harming you or the environment; in fact, antioxidants are extremely beneficial to your health.
All About Oxidation – How It Affects Your Food, Body and Soap
Knowing about cellular breakdown is not just for chemists; oxidation affects us on a daily basis and has serious health implications.
WARNING: SCIENCE AHEAD.
To start with, atoms need an even number of electrons to maintain stability, which allows whatever material they compose (organic or mineral) to function properly.
During the oxidation process, light and oxygen come in contact with an atom, which causes it to lose an electron and become unstable. Unstable atoms with an odd number of electrons are called free radicals, the kind of elements that cause decomposition and decay.
The term “free radicals” is often used when talking about the health benefits of pomegranate juice or green tea. On a chemical level, free radicals are like atomic thieves. To become stable again with an even number of electrons, the free radical must steal an electron from another atom. This causes a chain reaction of unstable atoms stealing from each other.
In organic matter, these unstable atoms can cause an entire cell to die, leaving leftover unstable atoms whizzing around to wreak havoc on an ever increasing number of other atoms.
This process causes organic material to decompose and eventually spoil. The oxidation of oils (called lipid oxidation) in all-natural soap can cause it to disintegrate and lose its cleansing and rejuvenating effects – unless a natural ingredient like rosemary is added to stop the process.
Free radicals are especially harmful because they cause this chain reaction of electron thievery and cellular death in human systems as well – the results of which include cancer and premature aging.
Antioxidants like rosemary stop the chain reaction of oxidation by “donating” one of their own electrons to the free radicals, which keeps atoms stable and cells healthy.
For this reason antioxidants are attributed with the ability to increase product shelf life, prevent cancer, lengthen life spans and slow aging.
Next time you buy pomegranate juice at the grocery store or order rosemary products from Soap Hope, you’ll know why antioxidants receive so much attention.
Antioxidants and Skin Care
In order to keep every ingredient all-natural, soap makers use antioxidants like rosemary. All-natural soap products contain essential plant oils, olive or coconut oil, or goat’s milk, which means they contain lipids, leaving them vulnerable to oxidation.
For longer product shelf life in all-natural products, an antioxidant is a powerful alternative to synthetic preservatives. When used as preserving ingredient, antioxidants like rosemary are used in small extract amounts.
Applying products topically can affect your internal systems as well; what is good on the body is good in the body.
That’s why we’re such big fans of ingredients like rosemary in our products. Here are a few of our favorites!