Free Radicals 101: What are Free Radicals in Skin?

Free radicals are one of those tricky phrases that sounds way better than it is. Things being free? Yes, please. How about...

Free radicals are one of those tricky phrases that sounds way better than it is. Things being free? Yes, please. How about things being radical? Sure! The ‘80s seemed like a good time.

But in reality, free radicals’ skin effects are no fun, especially when you’re trying to keep your skin plump, firm and damage-free. Here’s everything you need to know to fight these sneaky pests.

What Are Free Radicals In Skin: The Definition 

Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage skin cells. These molecules are missing an electron, so they’re on the hunt. Like a thirsty babe trying to steal your bae, free radicals are looking to steal an electron from stable molecules in order to balance themselves out. (Desperate much?!) 

That electron theft is how free radicals’ skin siege starts. If they steal an electron from the atoms in your skin, it damages your DNA, which can speed skin aging and cause all kinds of issues.

What Are Free Radicals In Skin: The Causes

Free radicals’ skin-damaging effects make a lot more sense when you learn where free radicals come from, which includes:

- Pollution
Toxins
Smog
Dust 
Cigarette smoke
The sun

Aside from that last one, those are things we would all like to permanently cancel, and here’s why:
 

What Are Free Radicals In Skin: The Effects

Free radicals’ skin effects pop up several nasty ways: 

- Discoloration
Brown spots 
Broken blood vessels
Unevenness 
Wrinkles (caused by a collagen breakdown)
Loose and saggy skin (caused by damaged elastic fibers)

     

    In short? No thanks! 

    What Are Free Radicals In Skin: The Solution

    There are 2 easy ways to stop free radicals’ skin-ravaging ways.

    1. Up your antioxidants

    The fastest way is antioxidants. These supes generous compounds are willing to donate an electron so free radicals don’t steal one from your skin. Talk about a team player!

    Antioxidants include vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. 

    • Vitamin A speeds healing, prevents breakouts and supports the skin's immune system.
    • Vitamin C helps your skin build a supportive structure to stay firm and healthy.
    • Vitamin E soothes and firms skin, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, protects against UV damage and has anti-inflammatory properties.

    You can eat or drink your antioxidants — think tomatoes, grapes or green tea — or you can just slather them right onto your skin using Selfie Shield Dry Oil SPF 38 Primer. Not only is it packed with vitamins C and E to neutralize free radicals, but it’s also armed with SPF 38 which offers multi-spectrum protection from UVA, UVB and HEV. 


    2. Get down with hyaluronic acid


    In the court of skin hydration,
    hyaluronic acid is the undisputed queen. One gram can hold more than 25 whole cups of water! Of course, your skin doesn’t need quite that much, but hyaluronic acid is so smart that it will quench your skin’s thirst and stop right when it’s done. Even better: hyaluronic acid has antioxidant properties that can also help fight off free radicals’ skin attacks. 

    How do you add HA to your routine? Easy: Make sure you’re using a product daily that contains it. 

    At Beautyblender, we 💜 hyaluronic acid hard, so we made it a key ingredient in both our BOUNCE Airbrush Liquid Whip Concealer and our BOUNCE Liquid Whip Foundation. As long as you’ve got those in your makeup drawer (along with your Selfie Shield), you’re all set in the battle v. free radicals!

     

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