If you’re a skin care fan, you’ve probably heard the term “free radicals.” Lots of products are formulated to “fight free radicals” — but what are free radicals and why do we need to protect ourselves against them? Let’s look at this enemy of good skin and how we can arm ourselves against it.
What are free radicals?
Free radicals are tiny reactive oxygen molecules that can cause damage to our skin. According to Dr. Diane Madfes, Garnier Consulting Dermatologist, free radicals can damage our skin cells, DNA, and collagen production. We produce some internally as cells turnover, but the rest come from external threats like UV rays and pollution. Over time, the effect in our skin shows up as wrinkles, sagging, and roughness.
How can we protect ourselves against free radicals?
Antioxidants are crucial in the fight against free radicals. One way to prevent surface skin damage from free radicals is through antioxidants because they can help neutralize the molecules and prevent them from potentially causing signs of aging in your body. Our bodies produce a limited amount of antioxidants, so it is important to try and apply antioxidants on a regular basis. Incorporate antioxidants into your diet and skincare routine for youthful-looking, glowy skin.
Where do we find antioxidants?
Antioxidants sound like a complex scientific term, but you actually encounter them on a daily basis. First let’s talk chemistry. Antioxidants are molecules that can prevent the oxidation of free radicals. In your everyday life you encounter oxidation, for example when you cut an avocado and it turns brown, it has oxidized.
Antioxidants in Skincare
Many skin care products contain antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E. Incorporating these products into your daily skin routine will help your skin fight free radicals.
Antioxidants in Food
Antioxidants are also found in many different types of foods. Your body can benefit from consuming these nutrient-rich foods several times a week. Vitamin A can be found in vegetables and fruits such as carrots, pumpkin and mango. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits or vegetables such as kale and tomatoes. Vitamin E can be found in nuts, seeds and oils. Selenium is found in proteins like red meat, chicken, pork and eggs. If you want to have an antioxidant-rich diet, try to incorporate these foods into your meals with a particular emphasis on fruits and vegetables. This skin-brightening diet will help your skin achieve its natural radiance. While you can’t do much about free radicals coming into contact with your skin, antioxidants can act as a protective shield by helping to neutralize them and damage our skin and bodies.