Hope you are enjoying this fabulous new year. As always, I try to take this time at the beginning of the year to meditate on all of the ways to better focus on my personal self-care. We only get this one body and this one life, so taking care of ourselves has to be a priority!
This week, I’d love for you to focus on learning a little more about free radicals, and why it’s important for you to pay attention to them as a part of your overall self-care plan. You’ve heard of free radicals .. you can just undo them with a glass of red wine and a cup of coffee, right? Wrong! These nasty little elements can attack your cells, creating drastic negative effects on the texture and appearance of your skin. Read on and we’ll give you a basic brush up on what free radicals really are and how to fight them!
What are Free Radicals Anyway?
Free radicals are a natural byproduct of the chemical process in our body. They are created when we consume certain foods or are exposed to tobacco smoke, pesticides, sun or other pollutants. In a sense, free radicals are the waste products of our system trying to process things that aren’t good for our body.
In a more technical sense, free radicals are the result of atoms splitting when the body is under oxidative stress. When the electron splits, the unpaired atoms become “free”, and end up searching for new cells to pair up with in your body. It is during this process that your cells, proteins and even your DNA become damaged or destroyed.
What Do They Do To the Skin?
Skin takes a hard hit from free radicals, and can manifest in the form of wrinkles, dark spots, uneven skin tone and a breakdown of essential proteins. Free radicals help to increase all of the signs of premature skin aging, making them an unseen enemy in your self-care routine that you can’t ignore.
How Can We Fight Free Radicals?
When it comes to combating the breakdown process that free radicals work hard to achieve, it’s all up to you. You can prevent some free radical damage from the inside by consuming clean water, pesticide-free foods, and staying away from fried foods and tobacco smoke. Evaluate the medications you take and get educated about everything you consume because it’s true … we are what we eat.
Some external environmental factors are difficult to avoid, but topical applications are highly effective on the skin when it comes to combating free radicals. Sunscreen is always a must for preventing overexposure to the sun, and antioxidant skincare serums can help you to control the rest. When applied to the skin, topical antioxidant serums can aid in slowing down the way that free radicals break down the collagen fibers and proteins in your skin. Look for skincare products that feature antioxidant-generating properties to help boost your skin back to its bright, supple state.
Free radicals are a fact of life, but there’s no reason to be afraid! Get smart about what you consume, skincare products you use, and maybe change up your lifestyle and routine, and you’ll be sure to avoid premature signs of aging too.
Until next time!