What Is Free Radical Damage Doing To My Skin?
In your quest to find the perfect anti-ageing skincare routine, I'm sure there's a term you will have come across at some point “ 'free radicals'. Many products claim to “defend against free radicals without actually explaining what this means. Although just knowing that your skin is protected against something that you think it should be protected from can seem like enough, the best way to improve your skin is to understand it and the ageing process. In today's post, we have a free radical FAQ.
What are free radicals?To explain this, we're going to have to take this back to one of your school science lessons. If you were paying attention in class that day, you will remember that everything in the world is made up of molecules, which are made up of atoms, which are made of a pair of electrons. When an atom is missing one of these electrons, it becomes unstable and is known as a free radical. So, I bet I can guess what your next question will be
How does this damage my skin?When an atom is unstable, it will try to cling to a healthy atom to stabilize itself. Our skin is the natural barrier to our body, making it the first point of contact for any external aggressors. When these unstable atoms try to grab an electron from an atom in our skin, it damages our cell DNA.This DNA damage can speed up signs of ageing and can manifest in a number of different ways: it can cause skin discolourations such as dark spots and redness; weaken elastin, resulting in loose and saggy skin, and break down our natural collagen, creating lines and wrinkles.
Where do free radicals come from?Unfortunately for us, these free radicals are unavoidable in everyday life, as they can be created from pollution, dust, smoking, alcohol, certain unhealthy foods and, of course, the sun.
What products will protect against free radicals?
When it comes to fighting off the free radicals, antioxidants are your superhero. The most commonly known and used antioxidant is vitamin C, but vitamin A, vitamin E, Ferulic acid and Resveratrol are among other ingredients with antioxidant benefits. Simply, antioxidants are compounds that can donate an extra electron to prevent them from destablising the atoms in our skin cells and therefore preventing damage. As well as consuming things like grapes, green tea and tomatoes in abundance, you can add antioxidants into your topical skincare too. Products like SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic and Dermaviduals Vitamin C Concentrate are great ones to look out for.
For any more information on free radicals and antioxidants, speak to one of our skincare experts on 0113 282 7744.
Written for you by: Ellie, Face the Future