Antioxidants, Free Radicals and Your Skin
There's a new buzz word in the health and wellness arena. Free Radicals. Have you heard of these? Free radicals are constantly working to break down your skin's protective barriers. They are toxic and can wreak havoc on your skin and your body if they are not kept in check. We are going to break down what free radicals are, how you can help your body get rid of them, and products that can help reverse the damage they can cause.
To understand what free radicals are, we need to dive in scientifically. Human beings, the air we breathe, and just about everything around us is made of molecules. Atoms make up those molecules, and atoms are made up of electron pairs. To put it simply, free radicals are basically an atom missing an electron.
Because of the missing electron, these atoms are considered unstable and in an effort to make up the correct number of electrons they react quickly with other substances.
Within our bodies, there is a delicate balance of stable and unstable cells that we need to maintain to be healthy. If there is an excess of free radicals making homes within our cells, there are many conditions and diseases that can occur.
There's something called oxidative stress or the "free radical theory of aging" which is basically when these unstable atoms, the free radicals, try and take electrons from the atoms within your skin or other atoms that make up your body. When they are successful in doing so, damage is caused to our skin within the skin's DNA which in turn can speed up the aging process of our skin.
Damage done by free radicals on the skin's surface can come in a lot of different forms. Brown spots and broken blood vessels can be a sign of free radical damage. Weakened, loose, or saggy skin can also be attributed to the damage that free radicals cause. They can even break down the skin's collagen and create wrinkles and fine lines.
Free Radicals can also have an effect on the hair. There are proteins within our hair that keep it healthy, strong, and shiny. Those proteins can be damaged by oxidative stress. Free radical damage can result in rough and thinning hair and can even bring on earlier greying.
Free radicals sound pretty awful, right? In learning about them, we naturally want to avoid them. But where are they coming from?
Free radicals can come from a variety of things. Some of the main sources are caused by:
Free Radicals can be found almost everywhere and we are exposed to them daily. Your own body even produces free radicals. Some of them can be used for good. For example, they are a crucial part of the immune system. They move through the veins and if they find an invader, they attack. They also are a huge part of the chemistry of our metabolisms.
If you were wondering how to avoid free radicals at all costs, you can't. It's impossible. They are everywhere.
The good news is that there are resources to keeping your skin and body healthy. First, avoiding the triggers listed above is a great way to start. While you can't avoid them all, you can take steps in your life to try and reduce the causes of free radicals from your life. Some ideas would be to
The next step to dealing with free radicals is all about antioxidants and the different sources we can use to get them.
Every story needs the hero that can come in and take out the bad guy. That's where antioxidants come in. Antioxidants are important compounds that can help with free radicals. They can stop the damage or at the very least, delay it.
The way they work is by binding to free radicals, which prevents those pesky free radicals from binding to your healthy skin cells and damaging them. With enough antioxidants working for your good, it creates a chain effect, returning the count of free radicals back to a normal level that your body can handle naturally.
Antioxidants are vitamin powerhouses and contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. They are consumed from food and different liquids. They can also be applied topically in many products for hair, skin, and more.
We want to shoot for our antioxidant level in our bodies to be lower than the level of free radicals. We can manage this by what we eat, reducing stress, and exercising. These things can reverse the oxidation process that can be so harmful to our bodies.
Feeding your body the healthy nutrients it needs usually gives you plenty of antioxidants to help give your cells the protection they need. Many fruits and veggies contain antioxidants that will go hard to work for you fighting against free radicals. Here are some that are high in antioxidants:
When it comes to foods with antioxidants, a good rule of thumb is to look for fruits or vegetables that are rich in color. Most of the time, these are the produce options that will give your beauty the biggest boost.
Have you ever squeezed lemon juice on an avocado to keep it from browning? That's essentially the idea of using antioxidants on your skin. You can counteract the damage that the free radicals would cause.
Besides using nutrition and the consumption of healthy foods to combat free radical damage, there are many products on the market now that contain antioxidants and will help keep your skin looking young.
If you are looking for a good serum, LaLa Daisy has some really great options to come to the rescue.
You can also find antioxidants in your moisturizer that will help protect your skin. These can defend your skin's cells from the harsh environmental pollutants and other harmful substances. Here are some great moisturizer options:
Hair thinning, losing its silky properties, and early greying can all be traced back to free radical damage. Luckily, there are even hair products with antioxidants that can assist in making sure your hair is well protected.
Washing your face every night is a non-negotiable in the beauty world. The tiniest fragments of smoke, pollution, or dust can cling to your skin and it's extremely important to wash every night. This ensures that they won't work their way into your pores and allow free radicals to cause inflammation.
When you are choosing a face wash that's able to provide the protection your skin needs, look for Vitamins A, C, and E and rich in antioxidants, specifically resveratrol or niacinamide.
Free radicals may seem a little daunting, but luckily there are a lot of products you can use to help combat them. Find all these products at LaLa Daisy!