What are Free Radicals?
Think Romeo and Juliet and how his bad attitude was affecting all of those around him before he met Juliet. The same can be said about free radicals. Free radicals are unpaired electrons within our body and essentially looking for their ‘Juliet’. During their search, they wreak havoc on other cells and our DNA ultimately affecting our skin health and appearance in the process.
How do Free Radicals form?
Free radicals are formed naturally within the body but also form due to external factors such as environmental pollutants and excessive UV exposure.
When talking about free radicals it’s crucial to talk about oxidative stress, which occurs when there is an imbalance between the generation of free radicals and antioxidants, with the former outweighing the latter. Severe oxidative stress can cause cell damage and death, and studies have suggested that it plays a part in the development of many skin conditions.
Why are Free Radicals bad for our skin?
Free radicals cause oxidative stress which lead to the damage of our cells DNA. This means that the repair of our DNA is often not completed which can lead to signs of ageing on our skin such as fine lines and wrinkles.
Free radicals can also weaken the skin’s elasticity making it appear saggy and can cause changes in skin colour through pigmentation spots. Essentially, free radicals cause damage to our skin at a cellular level and can rapidly increase the appearance of ageing.
How can we stop Free Radicals?
So you’re probably freaking out about free radicals now, and the damage they can cause to our skin, however there is a way to effectively eradicate them. I’ve got one word for you...Antioxidants!
Antioxidants are the key to stopping free radicals as they essentially ‘donate’ an electron. They act as matchmaker to help the free radicals find their ‘Juliet’ and in turn stabilising them so that they no longer cause damage. Our body naturally produces antioxidants, however we need to help it out by providing it additional doses. This can be through the intake of vitamins and by also choosing skincare products with plant actives that are rich in antioxidants.