Free Radicals are unstable atoms. These unstable atoms are produced by our bodies naturally while also being present in the environment. Due to the unstable nature of free radicals, they work to stabilize themselves by bonding to atoms or other molecules causing oxidative stress which can cause cell and DNA damage. So, how do free radicals affect the skin? Free radicals are responsible for breaking down the collagen in the epidermis resulting in unwanted skin blemishes like wrinkled skin, saggy skin, fine lines, and dark spots.
Even though free radicals are present in our bodies; our skin can be introduced to free radicals from outside sources. Such as environmental pollution and toxins, pesticides, tobacco smoke, and excessive sun exposure. Even though it is relatively impossible to avoid free radicals there are healthy routines such as avoiding excessive sun, alcohol, tobacco smoke and limiting exposure to environmental pollution, while practicing healthy habits to promote proper nutrition and skin health.
Antioxidants found in food and skincare products neutralize the free radicals by sacrificing their electrons to bond with the unstable free radicals. Thus breaking down the bonds in the cellular chain and stabilizing the unstable free radicals. When antioxidants are applied topically they stabilize the free radicals present on the skin. While not all antioxidants will boost collagen production in the skin. Topical antioxidants will assist the collagen in the epidermis to promote hydrated, smooth, strengthened skin surfaces. Even though it is virtually impossible to avoid free radicals, there are multiple ways that we can protect ourselves both inside and out from these unstable atoms that we come in contact with within our daily lives.