Free Radicals and the Ageing Process
October 04, 2017
When it comes to maintaining our skin’s youthful appearance as we age, there are a lot of obstacles we need to overcome, one of which is free radicals.
But, what exactly are free radicals and how can we counteract their skin-damaging effects?
What are Free Radicals?
Free radicals are molecules that can be found just about everywhere. They’re in the air, our bodies, and in the materials around us. External factors like pollution and sunlight and lifestyle habits like smoking and a poor diet can all trigger the production of new free radicals, all of which have negative effects on the world around us, as well as our skin.
Free radicals are largely responsible for the deterioration of plastics, the fading of paint, and when it comes to the skin, visible ageing.
To get a little more scientific, free radicals are molecules that have an unpaired electron, making them unstable. Because of this, the free radical molecules are constantly searching for electrons from other cells to try and rebalance themselves. To do this, they will attach themselves to the nearest healthy cell and steal that cell’s electron, turning the healthy cell into another free radical in the process. This means that one free radical has now become two, and your once healthy cell now has damaged tissue, triggering what can only be described as a domino effect.
As more cells in your body are transformed into free radicals and more tissue damage occurs, you’ll start noticing more of the effects of ageing on your skin. Your skin can start to lose its elasticity, develop more fine lines and wrinkles and even become dry and rough.
So, what can we do to counteract these damaging effects?
The Anti-Ageing Benefits of Antioxidants
Protecting your skin against the sun and pollution, and maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet can help reduce the amount of free radicals wreaking havoc on your skin, however, a healthy lifestyle alone isn’t enough, which is where antioxidants come in!
When it comes to the skin’s ageing process, antioxidants are like the calm meditator cells. This is because they are stable cells that have the ability to donate a calming electron to a free radical, while still maintaining their own balance and composure.
Your body does naturally produce antioxidants, but good nutrition and skincare products that contain ingredients that are high in antioxidants are also essential.
Research has shown that, over time and with continued use, anti-ageing serums with high levels of antioxidants in them can improve cell function, increase collagen production and improve elasticity, creating younger, healthier skin cells and reducing the appearance of sun damage. The more potent the antioxidants you use, the better the results will be.
However, it is worth noting that antioxidants and healthy foods that are high in essential nutrients like Vitamin C won’t make the skin of a 60-year-old look like the skin of a healthy 20-year-old.
To learn more about the skincare and anti ageing benefits of antioxidants, or which products and treatments will work best for you, contact our professional team of therapists at Serene Day Spa on (08) 9245 8188.