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Lycopene is one of the hottest antioxidants. Along with idebenone, lycopene is probably one of the most-requested antioxidants currently found in skin care products. Lycopene is known to aid in vision health as well as prostate health. So what does lycopene have to do with anti aging skin care?

Read on to discover more about lycopene and its role in wrinkle reduction.

What is lycopene?

Lycopene is a member of the class of plant pigments known as carotenes. Carotenes have long been known to function as antioxidants. But lycopene stands out -- it may be the very best scavenger of free radicals among the carotenes.

Lycopene is found in high concentrations in tomatoes. Interestingly enough, lycopene is bound to the indigestible cellulose of the tomato, so raw tomatoes are a poor source of lycopene. Eating cooked tomatoes, or even tomato paste or tomato sauce is the best source of lycopene.

What does lycopene do?

Like other antioxidants, lycopene stops free radicals from damaging the cells of your body. As mentioned before, lycopene is particularly good at this activity -- lycopene sops up free radicals better than any other carotene, including beta carotene (the molecule that makes carrots bright orange).

Lycopene is fat-soluble, which means it is easily absorbed and highly effective in conjunction with high-lipid parts of the body. The skin is a high-lipid tissue -- thus lycopene is a good choice for topical antioxidant.

Lycopene, when topically applied, confers a certain amount of UV resistance. This isn't really very much, only the equivalent of SPF 3 or so. So even if you use a lycopene cream you should still apply a sunblock before going outside.

Some scientists speculate that lycopene increases the ability of cells to regulate their junctions. This sounds abstruse, but basically means that lycopene may help improve the texture of the skin.

Is lycopene an effective anti wrinkle ingredient?

Lycopene may make its way into the standard ingredients of anti wrinkle products. But at the moment, lycopene doesn't seem to offer any real advantages over the standard antioxidants being used in anti wrinkle skin care products.

In addition, lycopene-containing products are, at the moment, both uncommon and rather expensive. We recommend choosing a top anti wrinkle product that contains tested, proven antioxidants and ingredients.

Anti wrinkle products that contain lycopene

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