Cells Gone Wild: Free Radical FAQs
Let’s talk about free radicals. Not the ones with flowers in their hair. The ones playing pinball with your cells. You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers. Here we go.
Q: What are free radicals?
A: Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that rove around your body in search of electrons they can steal from healthy cells to get their own molecular house in order. These rogue molecules leave a trail of damage in their wake as the cells they steal from go in search of replacement electrons. This process sets off a chain reaction of damage known as a free radical cascade that accelerates the signs of aging.
Q: What causes free radicals?
A: Free radicals are triggered by oxidative stress from things like UV exposure, environmental pollutants, chemicals, smoking, and poor diet.
Q: How do free radicals affect my skin?
A: When an electron is stripped from a healthy cell, there’s a chemical reaction known as oxidation. These chemical reactions damage skin internally and externally by breaking down collagen and mutating DNA. The effect is cumulative and increases with more exposure, and over time, making it more difficult for the skin to repair. Wrinkles, sagging, age spots, and potential carcinomas are the result.
Q: What’s the fix?
A: Limit UV exposure. Wear sunscreen even when you’re just going to the store. Don’t smoke! Protect yourself from pollution and chemicals exposure as much as possible. Eat a healthy diet rich in antioxidants. Use antioxidant skin care.
Q: What are antioxidants?
A: Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit oxidation of cells and neutralilze free radicals. They are vital in supporting healthy cell function and preventing premature aging. They improve cell function, promote collagen production, enhance elasticity, and reduce and repair UV damage. Your body naturally produces antioxidants, however, you can give your body a protective boost through a diet and skin care.
Q: What are some antioxidant rich foods?
A: Shop for food like you shop for fashion. Think color. A good rule of thumb is the brighter the color, the greater the antioxidant level. Wild salmon (not that pale farm-raised variety), dark leafy greens, purple onions, eggplant, beets, bright red, yellow and orange peppers, blueberries, strawberries, persimmons. You get the idea. The foods high in antioxidants also tend to be high in other nutrients, so the benefits are multi-fold.
Q: What should I look for in skin care?
A: There are a wide variety of antioxidant skin care ingredients. More and more appear every day as skin care manufacturers mine the natural world for the next skin care superstar. Vitamins A, C and E, grape seed oil, green tea extract, niacinamide, mandelic acid, caffeine, zinc, and copper, continue to top the list. All have major antioxidant advantages, plus a host of additional bonuses like cell regeneration, brightening, collagen boosting, and more. Here are some of our favorite antioxidant friends with benefits.
This antioxidant powerhouse gently purifies, protects, calms, and nourishes skin. It can be used for face, body, hair, and as a shaving gel. For acne prone skin, green tea offers anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, mild astringent qualities.
An anti-oxidant-rich, ultra-refining cocktail of protective and nourishing ingredients including niacinamide, mandelic acid, rosehip oil, green tea extract, and kiwi fruit extract. Use it daily to remove debris and oil, minimize the appearance of pores, protect from environmental stressors, and prep for additional products.
Kickstart repair and renewal with this award-winning peptide and vitamin A serum. The antioxidant formula dramatically accelerates cell turnover, reduces UV damage, and stimulates collagen and elastin production. Your daily defense for smoother, brighter, more youthful looking skin.
Two antioxidant superheroes combine forces for synergistic repair and renewal. This daily vitamin C & E therapy protects from environmental damage, neutralizes free radicals, brightens, and aids in the synthesis of collagen.
The delicate skin of the eye area is particular susceptible to free radical damage making this antioxidant-rich eye-opener a must. Enriched with caffeine, vitamin A, kojic acid and grape seed oil, oat extract, aloe, and peptides, Wink wows. Lift. Firm. Brighten. Boom. This is the last eye cream you will ever need.
No list of antioxidant, free-radical fighting skin care is complete without sunscreen. This lightweight foundational moisturizer provides broad-spectrum protection from free-radical triggering UV radiation. Non-comedogenic formula won’t clog pores or make your face look greasy.