We all know air pollution poses big health risks, and thanks to rising globalisation and industrialisation we’re probably not getting rid of it any time soon. But have you ever thought about how pollution actually impacts your skin? The truth is, your skin is often the first to suffer its consequences.
Yet, pollution is only part of the problem. There are many more hidden environmental factors that can damage your skin. These are known as free radicals; pollution is a type of free radical.
These hidden culprits can break down collagen in your skin (the thing that keeps it plump and youthful!), causing premature ageing, pigmentation, dryness and dullness. Let’s unpack the origins of free radicals so you can better understand how they affect your skin.
“Free radicals can cause pre-mature ageing, pigmentation, dryness and dullness.”
What Exactly Are Free Radicals?
We’re going to get a little scientific here, but bear with us! Everything in the world is made of molecules. Each molecule contains atoms. These atoms have tiny electrons that are only complete when they’re in a pair. An atom with unpaired electrons is called a free radical.
Free radicals will always seek to make themselves whole again. However, in their quest to find their missing electron, they sometimes end up stealing electrons from the next best thing––our skin cells. This is how they begin to break down our skin and cause damage.
Where Do Free Radicals Come From?
While free radicals are invisible to the human eye, they are actually everywhere. In fact, even our bodies naturally produce them to fight off viruses and bacteria. However, too many of them at once becomes problematic.
Here are some of the main causes of free radical production: air pollution, UV radiation, smoking, consumption of alcohol and unhealthy foods, and exposure to toxic chemicals and pesticides. Long story short, it’s impossible to get away from them. But you can do a lot to protect your skin, and minimise their negative impacts.
How to Protect Your Skin from Free Radicals
One of the most effective ways to protect your skin from free radicals is to load up on antioxidants. Antioxidants work by giving up one of their own electrons to neutralise free radicals and make them whole again, so they can’t damage your skin.
Start by investing in skincare products that are rich in antioxidant and vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and niacinamide. It’s especially important to go for a good moisturisers loaded with these ingredients, as it can help create a protective barrier over your skin. A good face serum is also important, as its active ingredients will work to nourish and repair free radical damage. (Hint, our personalised face serums and night creams are packed with antioxidants and are designed to tackle free radicals!)
Finally, never shun your sunscreen—not even on cloudy days or if you’re indoors (indoor pollution is also a thing!). A sunscreen with at least SPF30 will protect your skin from UV rays (a major free radical).
“One of the most effective ways to protect your skin from free radicals is to load up on antioxidants”
Superfoods Can Fight Off Free Radicals
All in all, it’s best to combine antioxidant-rich foods and antioxidant-rich skincare to fight free radicals and keep your skin glowing and healthy, always.
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Protect your skin from free-radicals with our antioxidant-rich ingredients – skincare personalised for your skin lifestyle & environment: