Here at Derma V10, we love sharing our knowledge about everything beauty related, every week we will be shedding some light onto beauty related topics, and this week we tackle a prominent issue head on, Free Radicals.
Firstly, we are going to take you back to high school with the science bit, to help explain.
Absolutely everything of substance in the world is made of atoms, including your skin and the air around us. These atoms are made up of protons, neutrons and electrons.
Electrons are the ones that are in the outer reaches of the atom, spinning around the protons and neutrons grouped in the middle.
Electrons typically come in pairs, and in atoms with an even number of electrons, that atom is classed as a healthy and stable atom. These are the ones we like!
Free Radicals, are atoms that have an uneven amount of electrons. Because they have an odd number of electrons, they are classed as unstable.
Let us explain why they are unstable. Atoms like to have an even number of electrons, so Free Radicals have one too many, or one too few electrons spinning around them, and they love to either steal or pass over an electron to/from another molecule to make themselves whole and stable (An even number of electrons).
This might not sound so bad, but when free radicals are taking electrons away from the molecules in the skin, it can cause damage to your skin’s DNA, which can speed along skin ageing. This is called the free radical theory of ageing.
Without sounding too over-dramatic, free radicals are everywhere, but mostly in things that aren’t good for you, things like smog, cigarette smoke, dust, pollution and also our friend the Sun. These are things most of us are faced with on a daily basis, mostly without us knowing.
Skin damage by free radicals can appear in a variety of forms, from changes in skin colour through brown spots and broken blood vessels, to weakened skin that looks saggy and loose, they can also break down natural collagen found in the skin and create wrinkles.
But have no fear, science has the answer to help protect you from these airborne little nasties. Antioxidants.
Antioxidants are compounds of atoms that have extra electrons to give, so the free radicals needing an electron can come along, get some electron lunch and fly away a happy and stuffed little atom, without taking anything away from your skin’s atoms and potentially causing damage.
Antioxidants are the good guys, and you will recognise some of them; vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E are all great antioxidants. All of these are happy to throw their electrons around to free radicals on your behalf, without causing any damage to you!
You can get a lot of these vitamins through your food; tomatoes, grapes and green tea are particularly high in antioxidants. But you can also give your skin some direct protection and use skin creams and lotions to help you fight skin damage.
So even if you are caught up in the hustle and bustle of life about town, always give yourself 5 minutes to look after your skin with your chosen skin cream, look out for SPF, Vitamins and Anti-Oxidants. That and eat a lot of grapes, and who the heck doesn’t like grapes!!
Lots of Love