Are you noticing that your skin is changing? Do you have sagging skin, dullness, fine lines, or dark spots? Or maybe you're "lucky" enough to have all of the above?
Can we blame aging? Well yes, a lot of what you’re seeing is skin damage due to oxidative stress or free radical damage. Those are basically different ways to say the same thing.
And yes, as the years go by, we are exposed to more of the things that cause free radical damage, so we have more it.
But it’s also something we have a bit of influence over.
What is free radical skin damage?
Free radicals are simply molecules that are missing one of their electrons. Molecules absolutely hate being incomplete, so they work hard to grab any electron they can.
The damage because they try to replace that missing electron by stealing it from one of the skin’s molecules.
Yep. Free radicals want to steal part of your skin.
The process has been compared to forcing unmatched pieces of a puzzle together. The result is damage to your skin’s health and looks, literally robbing you of your youth. Or at least your youthful skin.
Many of the signs of aging -- 90% or more-- are actually the end result of free radical damage to the skin.
That is why at SunWindSnow, we are all about healthy, beautiful skin as opposed to anti-aging (which technically is impossible unless you stop living).
What Causes Free Radical Damage?
UV rays from the sun are the biggest culprit for free radical damage, but pollution, blue light, cigarette smoke, some chemicals and normal bodily processes (to a small degree) also contribute to skin damage from free radicals.
What You Can Do To Fight Free Radical Damage
Sun protection is your first line of defense. Antioxidants are your second.
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by providing the extra electron for the free radical to grab onto which allows the skin to stay healthy and radiant.
What Antioxidants Can Do for You
Antioxidants are sacrificing their own electron so that your skin's molecules can stay intact. Here's what else they can do.
- Prevent and correct some of the damage done by free radicals (sagging from collagen breakdown, fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, breakouts)
- Enhance protection against sun damage by limiting inflammation and free radical production (but you still need sunscreen!!!)
- Help skin repair itself by cutting down on inflammation
- Brighten skin tone. Vitamin C is especially good for this
- Help to prevent skin cancer by neutralizing those damaging free radicals. Vitamins A, C, and E are all antioxidants and have anti-carcinogenic properties.
Best Antioxidants for your Skin
The good news is that we have some great ingredients from the plant world that act as antioxidants on our skin. In no particular order, they are:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A (retinol)
- Vitamin E
- Plant polyphenols (green tea and berries are the best known)
- Vitamin B3
- Most adaptogenic herbs are antioxidants (and anti-inflammatory)
When it comes to using antioxidants in your skincare, the evidence is clear. Your body needs nutrients from a variety of sources, and so does your skin. Antioxidants are an essential part of the skin’s diet and the more you layer on, the better it will be for your skin. Especially if you spend time outdoors or are exposed to environmental stressors (who isn’t?).
At SunWindSnow, all of our formulations are fully-loaded with antioxidants. RainShower cleanser, DewDrops, RainDrops, GloDrops, SunUp, and SunDown are chock full, along with other protecting, nourishing, and restorative natural and organic ingredients.