You hear a lot about oxidative stress free radicals from beauty editors, blogs, in social media, and skin experts. Do you really know what they are and the damage they can do to skin?

When you cut an apple in half, browning from oxidation is caused by free radicals destruction of the cells. This occurs when free radicals damage the cell’s proteins, cell membranes and DNA casing so the cell on longer functions properly and becomes unhealthy.

The skin is a major target of oxidative stress due to reactive oxygen species that originate in the environment from pollution, ozone, cigarette smoke, sun rays and extreme seasonal weather. The skin itself crates oxidative stress with the oxygen species being generated by the skin during normal cell metabolism function, usually with little harm. Oxidative stress of free radicals also may attach the cell’s DNA and potentially lead to major health issues including the possibility of cancer.

The body does its best to compensate for this by activating “inflammatory pathway” that attempt to protect the cells from damage. This typically leads to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress degrading the skin cell’s health, collagen and elastin, and triggering premature sagging, wrinkles, lines, dehydration, dimming of the skin, hyperpigmentation, accelerated skin aging and possibly compromising healthy skin.

Antioxidants soothe the damaging effects of oxidative stress, reducing chronic inflammation and reverse many of the events that contribute to epidermal toxicity, cell damage and accelerated skin aging.

Science has shown that it is important to have multiple anti-oxidants in anti-aging products to support and boost the products anti-oxidant effectiveness. When one anti-oxidant is depleted there are multiple others to take its place. It is widely held that free radicals do not attack the skin in one direction or from one environmental source, but multiple directions, natural and man-made. Using only one anti-oxidant in a product fails to supply the necessary oxidative stress protection that is necessary to prevent extended skin damage. For more stories like this, subscribe to HSM Magazine and Soar High!

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