Your skin is under attack. Unseen free radicals in your environment are constantly surrounding you, aiming to damage as much as they can.
What are free radicals?
Free radicals are damaging molecules, made from atoms missing an electron. In search of an electron, they react with your DNA and cellular membranes, like your skin. The at-risk cells will lose their integrity or even die during this encounter.
Where can free radicals be found?
They’re all around us. Free radical cells can be caused by sun exposure, they are present in cigarette smoke and they pour into the air when fuels burn and during the photochemical processes that cause pollution.
How do free radicals damage skin?
When these damaging molecules dive into your skin, they are on a search and destroy mission. The result? Rough texture, hyperpigmentation, damaged collagen and reduced production, and wrinkles. According to the National Cancer Institute, the damage free radicals cause may play a role in the development of cancer.
Can free radical damage be prevented?
Yes! “Research shows that antioxidants can reverse dark marks, accelerate healing, and keep your complexion acne-free,” Leslie Baumann, M.D., a dermatologist in Miami. Thanks to antioxidants, the effects of free radical damage can be prevented and even reversed. Antioxidants are free radical scavengers. These chemicals work to fight off and neutralize free radicals. Our bodies produce some antioxidants, however we need additional help from external sources. Antioxidants can be found in both dietary supplements and topical treatments. Supplying our bodies with an antioxidant boost can support our systems in fighting and neutralizing free radical damage.
How-to boost antioxidant intake:
Vitamin rich foods and skincare products are packed with antioxidants. Vitamins A, C and E are the best, and even more powerful when used together. Vitamin C, specifically, protects and increases collagen and helps wound healing. Vitamin E has been consistently proven to be able to stop the inflammation from sun exposure and UVB damage. Studies have even shown that when applied to the skin, combined, vitamins A, C and E can reverse sun damage.
Green Tea is a great source of an antioxidant group called catechins, which studies have proved greatly help boost the immune system. Green tea extract has been found to significantly protect against skin cancers caused by UVB rays.
There is no way to avoid free radicals, but you can prevent and even reverse their damaging effects. For the best defense against sun damage, pigmentation and aging, make antioxidant rich foods and skincare part of your daily routine.
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