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Protecting the skin from free radical damage

The skin is one of the most important organs in the body and this serves as a vital barrier between our bodies and the external environment. However, various factors such as pollution, UV radiation, and lifestyle choices, can lead to the production of harmful free radicals that damage the skin. So what are free radicals? And what are the effective options for protecting the skin from free radical damage?

What are free radicals?

Free radicals are unstable molecules that are generated through natural metabolic processes in the body. They can also be produced in response to external factors such as pollution, tobacco smoke, and UV radiation. Free radicals have an unpaired electron, which makes them highly reactive and prone to causing damage to cellular structures, including the skin. This damage, known as oxidative stress, can lead to premature aging, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and even skin cancer.

What are the sources of free radicals?

The environment typically poses various challenges to maintaining healthy skin, due to the presence of specific sources of free radicals. These sources include:

Air pollution, including particulate matter, vehicle exhaust emissions, and industrial pollutants

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, both from the sun and indoor tanning beds

Lifestyle factors like poor diet, stress, and smoking contribute to the generation of free radicals, exacerbating skin damage.

What are the options for protecting the skin from free radical damage?

There are a number of different options you can consider to protect your skin from damage by free radicals. These include:

Sun Protection: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 to shield your skin from harmful UV radiation. You should also consider wearing hats and sunglasses when outdoors.

Pollution Defense: Cleanse your skin thoroughly to remove pollutants. Consider using skincare products containing antioxidants and anti-pollution ingredients to neutralize free radicals.

Hydration: Keep your skin hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water daily. You should also moisturize your skin to maintain its natural barrier function.

Skincare Routine: Establish a skincare routine with products that contain antioxidants, such as vitamin C serums or retinol-based creams. These can help protect and repair skin damaged by free radicals.

Can chemical peels repair damage caused by free radicals?

Chemical peels can help to repair some of the skin damage caused by free radicals. 

Chemical peels involve the application of a chemical solution to the skin, which causes controlled exfoliation and removal of the damaged outer layers. This process stimulates the skin’s natural healing response and triggers collagen production, leading to smoother, more youthful-looking skin. While chemical peels primarily work by removing the outer layers of the skin, they can also help repair some free radical damage by stimulating cellular turnover and promoting the growth of healthier skin cells.

To repair free radical damage specifically, chemical peels that contain antioxidant ingredients can be beneficial. These antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress on the skin. Examples of antioxidant ingredients commonly used in chemical peels include vitamin C, kojic acid, and retinol. These ingredients can help brighten the skin, improve skin tone, and enhance overall skin health.

For more information or advice about protecting your skin from free radicals, and repairing the damage, why not get in touch with Preston’s leading aesthetic team today, here at The Skin and Wellbeing Clinic?

The Skin and Wellbeing Clinic is proud to provide professional aesthetics treatments for clients in Preston, Blackpool, Leyland, Chorley, Kirkham, Blackburn and the North West of England. Our key treatments and services include Anti Wrinkle Injections, Dermal Fillers, Laser Hair Removal, Acne Treatments, Injectable Polynucleotides, and much more.