Free radicals & Antioxidants
Most of us are familiar with or have heard how antioxidants are an essential skincare ingredient to help fight freeradical damage and prevent oxidative stress, but what exactly are freeradicals and what is oxidative stress?
Free radicals are molecules with an unpaired electron, which makes them unstable. I like to view these as crazy over active cells desperate to find an electron from another cell to calm them selves down and rebalance. How they do this is by attach themselves to the nearest healthy cell to steal an electron from to balance themselves. However this doesn’t have the desired effect, as it turns the unsuspecting balanced cell into another freeradical so you now have 2 crazy cells wanting to balance themselves from other healthy calm cell, and the process goes on, transferring cells from calm and balanced into unstable freeradicals a little bit like a domino effect causing damage to other cells around them, result in damaged tissues.
HOWEVER….. our body actually needs an amount of freeradicals as they play a vital part in fighting bacteria!
Where do free radicals come from?
Free radicals are everywhere, in the air, our bodies, and the materials around us. External factors, such as pollution, sunlight and smoking, also trigger the production of new free radicals.
They cause the deterioration of plastics, the fading of paint, the degradation of works of art, aging related illnesses, and can contribute to heart attacks, stroke and cancers.
Every time we breath our body is reacting with oxygen in the air, creating cell energy. As a result of this essential life process freeradicals are naturally produced, causing oxidative damage and stress.
What is oxidative stress? This is when we have more free radicals than antioxidants. Cells can become damaged and even die. How can we prevent oxidative stress? This is where antioxidants come in
To counteract oxidative stress, our body produces an army of antioxidants to defend itself.
I like to see antioxidants as the calm meditator cells. They are stable cells with the ability to donate a calming electron to the unstable crazy freeradicals, a little like a chill pill to rebalance and calm down the unstable freeradicals while also maintaining their own composure and balance.
Your body naturally produces antioxidants and its ability to do so relates to our genetic makeup. Nutrition and skincare ingredients high in antioxidants are vital in supporting cells in the calming of unstable freeradicals and preventing cell damage, premature ageing and restoring health and balance.
As with so many things in life the body requires balance, this also relates to free-radicals and antioxidants, it’s a constant changing equilibrium.