You may have heard of the term “free radicals” before but do you know what they are and how they affect your skin?
Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause damage to cells. This damage can lead to a host of problems, including wrinkles, fine lines, dull skin, and an overall loss of radiance. They are caused by stress, UV rays, and other environmental factors such as air pollution, cigar smoke, car exhaust etc.
Free radicals cause damage to the skin by breaking down collagen and elastin, leading to wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin. They also destroy healthy skin cells and cause inflammation, which can lead to acne breakouts.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to fight free radicals and protect your skin.
What Causes Free Radicals?
Free radicals, like pollution, are omnipresent, although the damage they inflict might be subtle at first.
When looking at why these unstable molecules are created, there a few different causes to consider. These include excessive exposure to UV light, pollution, and even smoking.
Furthermore, free radicals can be caused by something called oxidative stress in our cells. This is when there is an imbalance between reactive oxygen and a cell’s ability to naturally detoxify itself with the end result often being cell damage or death.
Unfortunately, as we get older, our bodies become less resilient towards these effects so the more disastrous consequences that come along with free radicals start to accumulate more rapidly as time passes by thereby leading to various signs of ageing and diseases within the body.
Some internally generated sources of free radicals are:
- Xanthine oxidase
- Arachidonate pathways
- Ischemia/reperfusion injury
Some externally generated sources of free radicals are:
- Cigarette smoke
- Environmental pollutants
- Certain drugs, pesticides
- Industrial solvents
More and more research is proving that free radicals can lead to accelerated skin aging too, so it’s important to be vigilant about taking care of your body in order to avoid their impacts.
Sunscreen, deep hydration and antioxidant rich skincare products can help protect your skin from developing wrinkles or other signs of premature aging due to oxidative damage caused by medical conditions such as diabetes or neurodegenerative disorders.
Ways to Fight Free Radicals
If you’re looking to keep free radicals at bay, incorporating antioxidant-rich skincare into your routine is a great way to go.
Not only are antioxidants amazing for neutralizing the weakened molecules that result from oxidation — AKA those pesky free radicals . They are also said to help prevent cell damage, making them a win-win in skincare!
Look for formulas featuring superstar ingredients like:
Vitamin C – clinically proven to fight against free radicals,
Vitamin E – decreases the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots,
Green tea – lowers the appearance of wrinkles, reduces oiliness, and controls the appearance of breakouts,
CoQ10 – super-antioxidant proven to combat signs of aging in particular,
Hydroxytyrosol – the most potent natural antioxidant.
These have all been renowned for their potent antioxidant power.
When included in your skincare regimen regularly and with consistency, not only may you get added protection against environmental aggressors, prime sources of oxidation and free radical formation, but the condition of your skin may also potentially improve over time with regular use.
Sun care is an essential step when heading outdoors. It’s key to healthy skin and protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.
Sunscreen can help you prevent premature aging and should always be a part of your outdoor arsenal. When selecting a sunscreen, a good rule is to go for products that have an SPF of at least 30.
And don’t forget to reapply every two hours while enjoying the sun! Do your part in protecting your skin from accidental overexposure. It might seem like a hassle but it’ll make all the difference in the long term when it comes to keeping your skin safe and healthy.
In addition to using skincare products and sunscreen, you can also help fight free radicals by eating a healthy diet and managing stress levels.
Foods that are rich in antioxidants include berries, leafy greens, dark chocolate, nuts, and seeds.
Although our body has multiple systems that help scavenge for free radicals, the most important micronutrient (vitamin) antioxidants are vitamin E (-tocopherol), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), and B-carotene.
Because the body cannot produce certain micronutrients, they must be obtained through diet.
In other words, besides using skin care and sunscreen, think about what you’re eating too. Adding superfoods such as berries, leafy greens, dark chocolate, nuts, and seeds to your diet can be a great asset in defending your skin’s health!
After considering your nutrition choices – don’t forget that wellness as with all aspects of life is key in preserving a youthful look.
Find ways to relax with practices like yoga, meditation or deep breathing exercises, which can help reduce stress levels and make positive impressions on the condition of our complexion as well as give an uplift to overall health.
Take time out of every day to explore this act of inner restoration and watch how it effects external aspects you hold dear—like your epidermis (skin).
Free radicals are a result of excessive exposure to UV light, radiation from pollution, and even smoking.
Free radicals cause damage to the skin in multiple ways, such as breaking down collagen and elastin that leads to wrinkling, fine lines, and skin sagging. They can even destroy healthy skin cells which may lead to inflammatory issues such as acne breakouts.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize the impact free radicals have on your skin. Introducing antioxidant-rich skincare products into your routine does wonders for fighting free radical damage on the surface.
Wear sunscreen diligently when out in the sun to prevent maximum visibility of potential free radical damage it may bring about.
Nourish your body with antioxidant fruits and vegetables as a dietary fortification against free radicals damage throughout the day and strive to manage stress levels in all forms of persistence, including reducing risk from environmental stressors.