If you read up on beauty and wellness, chances are you have come across the term free radical more than a handful of times; however, it might seem nearly impossible to ever find a good explanation of what they actually are and how they affect your skin.
We break down the latest scientific research on what "free radical" really means, how they work, and how you can beat them.
What Are Free Radicals?
Free radicals are particles that are known to damage healthy cells in our body. These bad guys are unstable molecules that are missing an electron and seek to steal an electron from stable molecules in order to stabilize themselves. Unfortunately, that means the molecules that are “robbed” of an electron then become unstable! This causes a chain reaction, known as a free radical cascade, that creates additional free radicals in our body.
Where Do Free Radicals Come From?
Also known as reactive oxygen species (ROS), free radicals are a natural byproduct of cellular metabolism, meaning they’re part of human biological processes.
Although free radicals are produced naturally in the body, they can be found almost everywhere around us. The sun’s UV rays, environmental aggressors, pollution, cigarette smoke, and toxins, are just some free radical triggers.
How Free Radicals Damage Your Skin
Our body naturally produces free radicals to combat external damages like viruses and bacteria. Yet, too much of it can affect our skin’s structural layer and defensive barrier (e.g. collagen and lipids). Free radicals can damage the skin by trying to grab an extra electron from the atoms in the skin. Once atoms are taken away from molecules in the skin, it causes direct damage to our skin's DNA which results in accelerated skin aging. Skin damage done by free radicals may appear in several forms- premature wrinkles, unwanted pigmentation, unevenness in skin tone, and lackluster skin. Over time, the effects of free radical damage often grow more and more noticeable.
Here’s the good news!
Antioxidants are your solution to fighting free radicals! Antioxidants are basically the good cops that act as our body’s preventative defense and help neutralize free radicals. The power of antioxidants’ effectiveness stems from their willingness to give up their own electrons without becoming unstable, therefore stopping free radical damage.
Super Antioxidants For Your Skin
VITAMIN C: Known as one of the most important nutrients for your skin, Vitamin C contains potent antioxidant activity that’s clinically proven to fight against free radicals. It also plays a crucial role in the process by which your skin creates its supportive structure to stay firm and healthy.
VITAMIN E: Vitamin E (tocopherol) is an antioxidant naturally present in our body, known for its ability to soothe and firm the skin. It helps boost firmness and reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots to reveal youthful-looking skin.
Topical application of Vitamin E provides benefits such as photoprotection against UV-induced damages and anti-inflammatory properties.
CoQ10: Coenzyme Q10 or Ubiquinone, is a super-antioxidant proven to combat signs of aging. Naturally present in our bodies, it starts to decrease in our 30s. Lower levels of CoQ10 are associated with skin aging, particularly deeper and more pronounced wrinkles.
Scientific studies show that topical application of CoQ10 results in a reduction in wrinkle depth and fine lines. Plus, it has the capacity to be absorbed into the skin and builds up over time as you continually apply it.
GREEN TEA: The use of green tea in skin care has been on the rise all thanks to its super-antioxidant power. Bursting with potent antioxidants, Green Tea helps minimize signs of aging, reduces oiliness, and control the appearance of breakouts and dark circles.
Shop Our Free Radical Fighters
Autumn On The World Serum: This intensive age-defying and illuminating serum features the most advanced form of 15% oil-soluble vitamin C so it penetrates deeply into skin, providing it with the support it needs to appear firm and youthful.
Ro+Y Deep Wrinkles Serum Concentrate: One of the most revitalizing oils, Rosehip synergistically pairs with Ylang-Ylang to enhance antioxidant activity, helping to prevent damage caused by free radicals and visibly slowing the signs of aging.