Over the last 15 years I have come to the understanding that most people are unaware of what a free radical actually is. While working as a skin specialist in locations such as the Caribbean and America, I focused on educating clients on what a free radical was and what you need to do to protect your skin against them.
Free radicals are everywhere – they are in the air, our bodies and all materials around us including, cigarette smoke, pollution from cars, air conditioning, heating and harsh weather conditions etc.
But what ARE they? Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons. They try and attach to other electrons in the body and when they cause a lot of damage.
Our bodies have developed enzymes (catalase and dismutase super oxide) along with chemical molecules (Vitamin C & E) to help it neutralize these free radicals. However, when we have over exposure to free radicals – which is inevitable in our environment- we need to do a lot extra work help our bodies and skin out.
Free radicals damage the cell membranes, protein and nucleic acid in the cells. They destroy cell DNA by damaging the membrane. These damaged cells can no longer function properly. The damage to each cell steadily increases negatively affecting the replication of fibroblast, keratinocytes and melanocyte cells and therefore decreasing the number of healthy cells. This causes the tissue to lose its function, slowing cell regeneration, leading to a loss of collagen and elastin production, resulting in wrinkles.
This damage accelerates with age. As we age our oxygen absorption into cells decreases. Oxygen is essential for reproduction and cellular nourishment. By 70 years of age, it has diminished by around 30%. This is even worse for those who smoke, have high stress levels, are sedentary, have poor metabolisms and for those who have poor blood circulation.
Not only do free radicals accelerate aging but they also contribute to acne, black heads, sallow skin, inflammatory skin and poor wound healing.
How can I reduce free radical damage?
To assist oxygen entering our cells, Iron is required. Iron is also responsible for the formation of red blood corpuscles and certain enzymes. Iron requires Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Copper and Magnesium for it to function properly.
Antioxidants work as free radical scavengers and neutralize them before they damage the tissue. Some key antioxidants to fight against destructive free radicals are Vitamin A, C & E, green tea, beta carotene, COQ-10 and grape seed oil. L-Ascorbic Vitamin C and Magnesium Ascorbic Phosphate protect the DNA in the cell so are there for regarded as important ingredients.
Concentration, molecular structure and stability are all key factors in using a product that contains these topical antioxidants. Remember that only 1% of our antioxidants we consume internally will protect our skin so there is definitely the need to apply topically.
To find out more and for your free consultation book today.
Alira De Palma
Paramedically Trained Aesthetician & Trainer with over 15 year’s experience
Chevron Island Physio
Mobile IPL 2U
Barrette – Hill, F. (2004-2011). Advanced Skin Analysis. New Zealand: Virtual Beauty Corp.