Free radical damage isn’t as scary as it sounds! While it can be harmful, there are many ways to protect your skin. Learn how in this post.
Here’s How a Free Radical Can Damage Skin
If you’ve ever cut into an apple and watched it turn brown after awhile, you’ve witnessed oxidation, something that a free radical is responsible for. A similar thing happens in our skin, but over a period of decades instead of minutes.
Free radicals, often referred to as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), are highly unstable molecules that are missing an electron. In their search for stability (another electron), a free radical steals one from a stable molecule, causing that molecule to become unstable. This leads to a chain reaction, known as a free radical cascade, that creates more free radicals. Eventually, this process causes damage to our cell membranes, proteins and DNA. When it comes to our skin’s structure, components like collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid are damaged leading premature skin aging including visible signs like fine lines and wrinkles and dullness.
What Causes Free Radicals?
Free radicals are caused by everyday biochemical reactions that occur in our body, but thankfully we have control over lots of external factors that trigger and increase their production:
- UV Light. Moderate sun exposure is good for us – we need it produce vitamin D after all. But, overexposure triggers free radicals, which can lead to DNA damage along with photoaging and hyperpigmentation
- Like sun exposure, pollution can trigger free radicals, ultimately leading to skin damage
- Smoking isn’t just bad for our overall health. Cigarette smoke contains free radicals cause a range of problems including premature skin aging
- Excess alcohol, processed food and those high in saturated fats, are some of the worst offenders for triggering free radicals
This is the Best Way to Neutralize a Free Radical
Minimize free radical damage by eating well (up the fruits & veggies, nuts & oil fish – reduce alcohol), minimizing sun exposure, and stopping smoking.
And, add in antioxidants! Antioxidants work by donating one of their own electrons to a free radical without becoming unstable, helping to stop the cascade of damage. Vitamins A, C and E are the most well-known, but several others, including, ferulic acid, green tea, astaxanthin, lycopene, etc also benefit skin. When it comes to antioxidants, the more the merrier. We’ve formulated our Bespoke Vitamin C Serum, to include not only Vitamins C & E, but also ferulic acid, green tea extract along with others. The moisturizing serum base protects skin from damage and restores its youthful and radiant appearance. Have you tried a Vitamin C serum before?