Sounds like a bunch of freaky comic book villains who have escaped from prison - and the comparison is not wrong: free radicals are free, radical and evil. This post is about why they damage your skin and how you fight them.
What are free radicals and how do they arise?
Just as the term "free radicals" sounds, the idea is obvious that it must always be the same group of substances - such as the group of amino acids. But that is not correct.
The unpaired electron as a free radical
Free radicals are molecules, atoms or ions that have one thing in common: they carry an unpaired electron that is extremely "willing to pair". Chemists would say that free radicals are highly reactive oxygen compounds .
In this oxygen compound, the unpaired electron is free and radical: it will react with the next best compound to get its missing electron back. This can even lead to a chain reaction, because if the reaction partner lacks an electron, it can itself become a free radical. However, this is only one way in which free radicals can occur.
Free radicals arise from various influences
There are physical, chemical and bio-chemical causes that create free radicals.
The bio-chemical causes of free radicals primarily include metabolic processes in our body (endogenous factors). So we produce free radicals ourselves on a daily basis. However, excessive free radicals can arise when we are stressed, physically exhausted, or suffer from a lack of sleep.
With the exogenous causes, chemical or physical processes are to blame for the production of free radicals. They split up the molecules so that they lose an electron and thus become highly reactive. Exogenous factors include:
- Radiations such as UV radiation, X-rays or ionizing radiation such as electromagnetic radiation
- Environmental influences such as environmental toxins or cigarette smoke
Free radicals damage your skin
Our body copes well with small amounts of free radicals - but if they occur more often, they can be dangerous to us: on the one hand they damage the cell structure, on the other hand they can even attack our DNA and cause serious diseases such as cancer.
The damage to the cell structure becomes visible at the skin level. Free radicals cause:
- dry skin
- a flabby and leathery complexion
- age spots
The reason for the skin damage: the free radicals take their missing electron from our collagen - the building material for firm and healthy skin. The reaction damages the collagen structure and at the same time prevents it from producing new collagen.
This is how you protect yourself and your skin from free radicals
There are two basic things you should do for healthy skin and body:
1. Don't let free radicals touch you
Avoid situations in which free radicals can easily develop. This includes:
- Direct sunlight (UV radiation)
- excessive stress
- Cigarette consumption and cigarette smoke
- Environmental influences such as exhaust gases, fine dust, smog
The problem: Through your everyday life, you will inevitably come into contact with environmental influences or have a stressful day. So you will not be able to avoid free radicals 100 percent. That is why antioxidants play an important role in the fight against free radicals.
2. Fight free radicals with antioxidants
Antioxidants disarm free radicals: they neutralize the oxygen compound and thereby render it harmless. Radical scavengers include vitamins A, C and E as well as trace elements and flavanoids. Our body cannot manufacture these substances itself, but we ingest these substances through food - provided it is balanced!
A diet rich in antioxidants includes lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. By the way, a healthy, balanced diet is not only important in the fight against free radicals, but also for an overall healthy skin. Here in the magazine we have dealt intensively with the topic: Take a look at our do's and don'ts for a balanced diet .
In addition, you should supply your skin directly with antioxidants. Moisturizing face creams that contain vitamins C and E (vitamin A by the way not for the following reasons ) and trace elements are suitable for this. In this way you fight free radicals on the top skin level and ward off wrinkles and dryness.
Our tip: radical skin care against free radicals
Keep your skin healthy and wrinkle-free: We have formulated the Hydra Defense Cream so that free radicals cannot harm you. It contains vitamins C and E as well as valuable trace elements with which it makes free radicals harmless. In addition, it provides your skin with moisture through urea and hyaluronic acid. Try it out now: You can get the nourishing face cream for men here in the shop .
You should be the only free radical here. #staysober