Our quest for a healthy and beautiful complexion is not without its enemies. By now we are well aware of the damage that poor nutrition and sun damage has on our skin. We arm ourselves with sun protection and do our best to eat right. But is that all there is to slow down the aging process? As with any battle it is vital to “know thy enemy.” At the top of the anti-aging most wanted offenders is free radicals that lead to inflammation.
Experts agree that inflammation is one of the leading causes of aging. This dangerous enemy attacks both internally and externally by generating free radicals. Externally, free radicals can be triggered by sun damage, pollution, and even second-hand smoke. Internally, it can be powered by poor nutrition and stress.
Inflammation itself is a good thing! It is our bodies natural defense process to heal. Think of the last time you got a cut. Inflammation helps it heal. When the wound goes away, inflammation should as well. But sometimes it isn’t that easy. There are stresses caused by free radicals, which are continuously attacking our skin.
What Exactly is a Free Radical?
To understand how to protect our skin from inflammation, it important to know the part free radicals play in this battle.
“Free radicals are one of the main mechanisms of the aging process. The gist of this theory is that free radicals attack essential components of cells. These cells become damaged (known as oxidative damage). When the damage cannot be repaired, the cells become dysfunctional or they die. An excessive amount of free radicals creates oxidative stress on the body, overwhelming the body’s antioxidant defense system. The result is tissue damage. Free radicals damage, weaken, or destroy connective tissue, such as collagen and elastin in skin.”
When collagen is broken down, your skin’s structure does too. The results are loss of elasticity and wrinkles.
So How Do We Defend our Skin From Free Radicals?
We know that a healthy diet of antioxidant fortifying nutrition, good sleep, and less stress can do its share to minimize the free radical damage that causes inflammation internally. But externally, there is more we can do than just sun protection to save our precious complexions. Topical antioxidants should play a pivotal role in your daily skincare routine.
Live Science further explains, “The body is under constant attack from oxidative stress. Antioxidants keep free radicals in check. Antioxidants are molecules in cells that prevent free radicals from taking electrons and causing damage.”
Dr. Lauri Wright, a registered dietitian and an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of South Florida shares “Antioxidants are natural substances whose job is to clean up free radicals. Just like fiber cleans up waste products in the intestines, antioxidants clean up the free radical waste in the cells”.
Give your skin a fighting chance, add antioxidants to your daily skincare routine. Your skin will be eternally grateful!
Disclaimer: The material on this blog is for informational purposes only. This is general information and is not a substitute for your own doctor’s or esthetician’s care or advice.