What’s our beef with free radicals anyway?
You’ve probably been told that staving off the signs of aging requires using antioxidants to fight free radicals in our skin. And you probably nodded agreeably even though you were thinking, “what the heck is this person talking about?” “What’s a free radical?” “What’s an antioxidant?” “And why do I need a $75 serum?” Well for all of us afraid to ask for fear of looking stupid, here you go….
What’s a free radical? Basically, free radicals are atoms that have lost an electron and have gone rogue. They live to become whole again. They need that electron back. So they go around and steal one from a happy, whole atom, hence turning that atom into a free radical, too. But alas, the stolen electron eventually gets rejected and the original thieving atom turns back into a free radical. And so the process continues exponentially.
What causes free radicals and why do I care? Smoking, drinking, sun damage, stress, pollution, and aging in general all cause electrons to die through oxidation. Clearly, a lot of these factors can’t be prevented. Once an atom loses an electron and no longer functions properly, it can lead to tissue damage that appears in the physical form of wrinkles and sunspots. Who wants that?
What’s an antioxidant? Antioxidants are electron-filled ingredients like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Retinol (Vitamin A), Peptides, and CoQ10 that are capable of counteracting the damage free radicals cause. They do this by donating compatible electrons to the defective atoms, allowing them to become whole and function like proper cells again. In addition to preventing future damage, antioxidants also help the body repair itself by encouraging cell and tissue growth. Sign me up, please!