What are free radicals?
Ah, oxygen! That cleansing, deep breath is necessary to live. Yet oxygen can also have negative effects. Cells in the body function best when their molecules are stable (which some may recall from chemistry means having a full set of electrons). When oxygen enters the picture, though, those molecules often lose an electron and form what is commonly referred to as a free radical. Generally, free radicals attack the nearest stable molecule and take its electron, thus stabilizing itself. When the attacked molecule loses an electron, it now becomes a free radical, beginning a chain reaction. This process is called oxidation. Though oxidation is naturally occurring and common (for example, the brown discoloration of an apple left on a countertop is due to oxidation), it can cause damage to cells. Within the skin, free radicals stimulate enzymes, which break down collagen and elastin, two main components for firm and wrinkle-free skin.
Why do we need antioxidants?
Antioxidants neutralize the effects of free radicals by donating one of their own electrons, and thus ended the ‘electron-stealing’ oxidation reaction. Products containing antioxidant ingredients can help slow oxidation and protect that precious collagen. Vitamins A, C, and E are common and powerful antioxidants found in the body. SkinMedica® offers many products that pack potent antioxidant power including: Vitamin C + E Complex, TNS Essential Serum®, Dermal Repair Cream and TNS Recovery Complex®. Used as part of your skincare regimen, these products can help protect against free radical damage.