The Science Behind Antioxidants and Free Radicals and Your Skin

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    Everyone wants to look younger than they are. More and more people are turning to anti-aging products to reverse the effects time has had on their skin. In 2011 the industry was worth somewhere around $80 billion. By 2015, the anti-aging industry had grown to be about $114 billion. Many people want to improve the look of the skin around their eyes, the best things to accomplish this are antioxidants, retinol and peptides in eye creams. Small proteins that can help thicken the skin and stimulate the production of collagen. The antioxidants, retinol, and peptides can improve and prevent sagging skin. Everyone is always looking for the best skin care line to bring back the vitality their skin once had. One thing people can start doing right now to help their skin look better and younger.

    They may not be the fountain of youth but antioxidants are great for a number of systems in the body. Your skin is just one part of you that benefits from getting more of them in your diet. The good news is that smooth skin is one of the benefits people get from these compounds.

    What are antioxidants and how do they work?

    Basically, antioxidants are vitamins, minerals and enzymes that can help prevent and repair some kinds of damage that is done to the tissues in the body by free radicals. Enzymes are proteins that work in different parts of the body. To understand what is happening with antioxidants and the free radicals they fight, it is important to understand a little chemistry.

    The human body is made up of cells with different kinds of molecules. Broken down further, the molecules contain atoms of different elements. The most important thing you need to know about these elements is what is happening in their outermost shell. You may have taken chemistry at some point where you learned that the nucleus of an atom has the protons and neutrons. The outer part of the atom is where the electrons live. They bounce all around but exist in layers really. The outermost shell is where the valence electrons live. They are where the bonding occurs between atoms to form compounds like water. When atoms gain or lose electrons, the come from this layer. The valence shell wants to have eight electrons. When it has less, it bonds with another atom and shares theirs. Oxygen has six electrons in that layer, which is why it can bond with two hydrogen atoms to form water. Because oxygen is the most electronegative element, the bond it has with hydrogen is extremely strong and is part of why life on the planet is possible.

    When a bond is broken and an atom is left with one unpaired electron in that valence shell, it is called a free radical. It wants another electron to fill that outer shell so it attacks a full atom, steals one, creates a new free radial and so goes the cascade. These are very damaging to cells and ultimately tissues in the body. They can cause cancer, heart disease and they wreck havoc on your skin. Antioxidants can be stable without a full outer valence shell. They graciously donate an electron to the free radical and the chain reaction is halted. Further damage to the body is halted. You can get them into your diet in lutein, beta carotene, lycopene or the vitamins C, A and E. These are found naturally in many foods. These compounds work from your inside. They protect you that way.

    There are also products that include these compounds to help your skin from the outside. Some of the best skin care lines have vitamin A or C. Many skin care products that you may get from private label skin care manufacturers have antioxidants in them. Natural skin products and organic skin care products are more likely to use antioxidants in them.

    If you want to look younger, and most people do, the best place to start looking for the best skin care line is with your dermatologist. They can point you in the direction of the best skin care line for you and your skin.

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