One of the reasons we age prematurely is because of the stress our skin endures. When people think of stress, they usually think of the personal stress they undergo which also plays a role in the aging process. However, we’re talking about oxidative stress, which comes from an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants within the body. Free radicals are molecules that react easily with other molecules in our bodies. When there are more free radicals than antioxidants, they can produce many harmful effects.
When more free radicals exist than antioxidants, they can damage fatty tissue, DNA, and proteins, as well as cause several diseases. They can also do serious damage to your skin.
Learn how free radicals can affect your skin and what you can do to prevent its damage with antioxidants.
Free Radicals and Your Skin
First, it’s important to understand oxidation to better understand free radicals. Our bodies are made up of 60 percent water, but there's another component that defines the human anatomy: oxygen.
There are tons of oxygen atoms in our bodies. Billions, in fact. Oxidation occurs when these atoms break and become free radicals. This process happens frequently, nevertheless, it’s important to mitigate the formation of free radicals. Free radicals usually steal electrons from healthy atoms, but when they can’t steal electrons, they turn to our cells. This is when they begin to destroy healthy skin and cause wrinkles, dryness, dullness, and a host of other skin issues.
Protecting Your Skin Against Free Radicals
A good way to protect your skin against free radicals is by preventing external sources from creating them. This can come from your environment, such as exposure to air pollutants and industrial chemicals. Your lifestyle can also create these external sources, like cigarette smoking and a poor diet. However, the most effective way to protect your skin against free radicals is with antioxidants in your skincare products.
You probably already use a host of products containing antioxidants. In fact, they’re commonly found in skincare products for their multitude of benefits, like fighting the signs of aging. For example, Vitamin C and Vitamin E are two commonly used antioxidants that can protect your skin.
Antioxidants can do a lot more than slow down the signs of premature aging. They can also protect the skin against UV damage. Vitamin C used with SPF creates a powerful combination to fight sun damage, which can cause sunspots and skin discoloration.
They also prevent free radicals from causing inflammation. Skincare products containing vitamin E have been well-known to reduce inflammation and soothe irritated skin. Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, is also an anti-inflammatory ingredient frequently used in skincare products to brighten and smooth skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties make niacinamide a powerful remedy for acne and rosacea.
Use a Vitamin C Serum
A skincare product that will go a long way in defending the skin against free radical damage is a vitamin C serum. We love Vitamin C will because it helps build collagen in the skin, diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. However, if you want to protect your skin from harmful free radicals, Vitamin C serums also protect against UVB rays.We can’t escape free radicals, but we can mitigate the damage they do to our skin simply by changing our skincare routine. Buying products that are rich in antioxidants will fortify your skin to slow down possible damage. While you’re shaking up your skincare routine, you can also protect your body by changing your diet and introducing more foods that are high in antioxidants.