Free radicals are probably the greatest contributor to early skin aging and all the problems that come with it. But what are they? In order to protect yourself, you need to understand what free radicals are, where they come from, and what they do to your skin. Only then can you develop the best defense.
What Are Free Radicals?
It’s easy to dismiss the little things, especially the little things you can only see under a microscope. Free radicals are highly reactive, uncharged particles. You can imagine them as tiny bullets destroying your skin cells. They go deep, and they can do permanent damage. Everyone suffers some exposure to free radicals, but a number of factors increase your risk. Air pollution and sunshine both deliver staggering doses of free radicals, so those who spend a lot of time outside, live in regions with particularly bright light, or work in the city need to take extra precautions.
What Do They Do to Your Skin?
Free radicals create pretty much every skin issue you try to prevent with your skincare routine. This ranges from dry skin to loss of elasticity. The more you expose yourself to free radicals, the faster and more dramatic the damage is likely to appear. Ultimately, free radicals speed the aging of your skin by destroying your cells’ ability to produce collagen and other essential elements. This means you’ll see discoloration, uneven tone, wrinkles, sagging, and dehydration much sooner than you should. Ultimately, free radicals can destroy even the healthiest, prettiest skin. They can ruin your looks regardless of age, and prevention is the ultimate combative measure.
What Can You Do to Combat Them?
The first thing you need to add to your skincare routine in order to combat free radicals is SPF protection. You need this all over, every day. Find a good body sunscreen and a good facial SPF product that provides good protection. Put it on before adding any make-up. Even if you don’t like sunscreen because of the oil content, there are products designed for people with acne problems. Ultimately, as frustrating and painful as acne is, damage from free radicals is worse. If your skin is protected, it can heal acne marks with enough time. It can never recover from the damage free radicals do.
You may know to eat antioxidants, but do you get them in your skincare products? Antioxidants fight free radicals. They are the most effective way to combat damage and help your skin survive attack from smog, sun, and other threats. Make sure your skin is nourished from within and without. Look for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, retinol, reservatrol, and other rejuvenating ingredients. What you eat has a huge effect in your skin, too, of course, but – again – remember to nourish from both sides.
Knowledge is power, and now you’re ready to combat free radicals. Grab that sunscreen, and look for some antioxidants to support your battle. You can do a lot to prevent damage from free radicals.