So many beauty brands talk about free radicals as if they were the Big Bad Wolf. They tell you to avoid them, they advertise products that claim to protect against them. But are free radicals really that harmful? What are free radicals and why are they so bad for our skin?
No fear – your personal beauty expert is here to explain everything! I’ll tell you everything you really need to know about free radicals – no need to read and fact check a dozen different skin care blogs for the answer.
What are Free Radicals?
A free radical is simply a molecule that is unstable because it is missing an electron. The instability of free radicals wreak havoc on our skin and bodies and contribute to premature aging whenever we come into contact with them.
By nature, free radicals want to re-stabilize themselves. So to do this, free radicals will steal an electron from the nearest molecule, transforming that molecule into a free radical – ultimately causing a chain reaction. The chain reaction caused by free radicals can trigger many mechanisms in our bodies that not only cause our skin to age faster, but can also damage our organs and cause other serious health conditions.
Why Are Free Radicals So Bad?
Free radicals cause oxidative damage to our skin, which causes it to age more quickly. No one can escape the daily harmful effects caused by free radicals. Every day, we expose ourselves to things in our environment that create free radicals – like ultraviolet light, pollution, alcohol, cigarette smoke, contaminated water, and even stress.
Free radicals damage the skin by damaging:
- Fatty layers in the protective cellular membrane, which controls which nutrients pass in and out
- Cellular DNA, increasing the risk of wrinkles and sagging because cells are not able to repair themselves in time
- Collagen and Elastin fibers, loosening the skin’s structure and firmness
So as you can see, free radicals do a lot of damage to our skin on a cellular level. All of the damage our skin cells take eventually results in sagging skin, deeper wrinkles, and larger pores.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Skin From Free Radicals?
As your personal beauty expert, I’m here to let you in on the secrets that the beauty industry doesn’t want you to know. Many skin care brands will claim that you need to buy their magic serum or moisturizer to protect your skin from free radicals. While I’ll admit there are some good skin care products out there that do just that, the secret is that you actually don’t need them.
Having a healthy diet full of antioxidants can neutralize free radicals from damaging skin cells by supplying that missing oxygen molecule and stopping the chain reaction. Blueberries, pomegranate, and goji berries are great for fighting free radicals. Nutritional supplements that include the antioxidants Vitamins A, C & E and minerals like CoQ1, zinc and selenium are essential to fight against free radicals.
I suggest an antioxidant cocktail in your skin care routine for the best results. That means healing free radicals from the inside through an antioxidant-rich diet, while also using skin care high in antioxidants to protect your skin from the outside.
Live a Free Radical Free Life!
So now you can see – free radicals can really do your number on your skin! If nothing else, free radicals can cause your skin to age faster than you’d like. Nature has the simple answer: antioxidants! Eating antioxidant-rich foods and using antioxidant-rich skin care can help protect the skin from free radicals.
Got any more questions about antioxidants? I got all the answers in my awesome post about antioxidants! Give it a read, maybe you’ll learn something new today. If not, at least you’ll be up-to-date on the latest tricks for living a free radical free life!