How Free Radicals Damage The Skin

For those who haven’t heard about what free-radicals are yet – read it & weep….Free-radicals are definately the bad guys!.

These free-radicals are linked to the origins of cancer, illness, an aging. Scientists are now focusing their efforts on understanding how free-radicals work what effects they have on the body.

For those interested in how free-radicals affect the skin, let it be said that free-radicals are definitely harmful to the skin.

Free-radicals initiate the deterioration of the skin’s structural support and decrease the elasticity, resilience, and suppleness of skin.

They are often tagged as the culprit in the case of wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity and suppleness.

Damage due to free-radicals isn’t something that is easily explained, as it happens on an atomic level. When oxygen molecules are involved in chemical reactions, they usually lose one electron of their electrons.

In turn these molecules, which are now called free-radicals, will take electrons from nearby molecules. This will set off a chain reaction that is summarily called free-radical damage.

So pretty much anything that contains oxygen – carbon monoxide, hydrogen peroxide – can cause free-radical damage. Often the causes of adverse free-radical damage in the natural world are exhaust fumes, too much sunlight, and other sources that contain oxygen.

Other causes of free-radical damage to the skin


Radiation may cause the build up of free-radicals. X-rays, gamma rays and others may increase the presence of free-radicals in the body.

Cigarette Smoking

Smoking, aside from being a health hazard to the lungs, has been known to cause dry, unhealthy skin, and pale, unhealthy complexion & disrupt the natural beauty. Also, they have been studied to promote the presence of free-radicals in the body, further complicating the adverse affects tobacco brings.

Inorganic Particles

There are also other substances that cause free-radical damage. Among these substances are asbestos, quartz, silica.


Although ozone is not a free-radical, it is a very powerful oxidizing agent. Ozone which degrades under certain conditions, contain two unpaired electrons. This suggests that free-radicals can be formed when this decomposition happens.

But wait, don’t we all need oxygen to live? Yes, we do. Fortunately, we have antioxidants to help us survive!


Antioxidants help prevent free-radical damage by preventing these free-radical molecules from interacting with other molecules, therefore stunting the chain reaction of the process. The good news is that these antioxidants exist bountifully in the human body and the plant world.

Antioxidants include ingredients such as vitamins “A”, “C” & “E”; flavanoids; superoxide dismutase; beta carotene; selenium; glutathione; and zinc.

Now back to business. How does this affect one’s skin? Studies are pointing to the fact that wrinkles and other age related skin factors are directly related to free-radical damage that is not countered by antioxidants.

If one does not get enough antioxidants from their diet and other sources, their skin cells could break down and lose their ability to function well.

Most lotions and moisturizers nowadays bandy an antioxidant formulaspecifically targeted to those who are concerned about the free-radical damage.

Unfortunately, it is hard to prove if these compounds can actually show dramatic results since it isn’t practical to expect results overnight.

It is however, still a good idea to splurge on antioxidants as the benefits of these compounds are well-known. Some people even believe that with further scientific inquiry, free-radical investigation could lead to startling advances against the effects of aging.

To increase antioxidants in the body one may increase the intake of antioxidants in the diet, or may purchase topical applications of the vitamins A, C, E and the other antioxidant compounds to increase the defense against free-radical damage.

Some scientists think that should free-radical damage be halted or reversed, antioxidants are the answer.

Therefore, to increase the presence of antioxidants in the body, a modified diet presence of antioxidants in the diet, and, possibly, the topical application of antioxidants in skin-care products, plays a part in slowing down free-radical damage and promotes natural beauty!


Now, should we all jump into the anti-free-radical bandwagon?

Although science has yet to put the finishing touches on the studies regarding free-radicals, there is enough evidence to suggest that antioxidants can benefit the body.

Although it will not guarantee an overnight skin miracle, it will at least stymie the effects of free-radical damage, and possibly, reverse them.