Free radicals, in the simplest terms, are molecules that do the worst things to your skin. Free radicals are responsible for ageing and tissue damage. These molecules are classed as unstable; they don’t really have a purpose, they steal electrons from other – healthy – molecules and damage their health, turning them into free radicals too – understandably, this creates a snowball effect and can wreak havoc through the body.
However, although free radicals aren’t good news for our bodies, we couldn’t live without them either. Free radicals are a key element in some biological processes; in particular they play a key role in the working process of white blood cells. White blood cells are known as phagocytes and they engulf the ‘bad’ bacteria in the body.
Eating antioxidants is the best way to prevent damage from free radicals. Antioxidants are found in fresh foods such as fruit and vegetables – they are found in particularly high numbers in foods containing vitamin A, E and beta-carotene. The antioxidants stand in the way of the snowballing free radicals; they act as a barrier and prevent them from causing all sorts of damage.
Things such as ageing, which is brought on by free radicals, are inevitable but free radicals can also create much bigger problems for our bodies such as clogging arteries and destroying strands of DNA. Free radicals are created through environmental pollution, smoking and some kinds of cleaning products.
There are many ways to fight the number of free radicals in your body – as well as eating many antioxidants – one of the best ways is to use skin products that contain antioxidant complexes that are intended to specifically target free radicals. One of the best brands for this is the Dermalogica skin care range; in the next article we will be looking into the best Dermalogica products to combat free radicals.