You may be asking yourself what are free radicals and antioxidants? These are two words you have
probably come across but never really knew what they were. Well, these are two terms that skincare
experts are very familiar with.
What is a free radical?
A free radical is an atom that has an unpaired electron located in its external shell allowing it to be
erratic and usually quite responsive. An atom is balanced when its external shell is complete and turns
volatile when its external shell is not complete. Since atoms innately aim to attain a state of
permanency, an atom will attempt to fill or empty its external shell by acquiring or losing electrons.
Alternatively, atoms can complete their external shells by distributing electrons with other atoms. By
distributing electrons, the atoms are attached together to produce a balanced molecule. Free radicals
take shape when one of the bonds between atoms is disrupted and an uneven amount of electrons
persist. This suggests there is an unpaired electron, which makes the molecule volatile. It will then
attempt to take an electron from an adjacent molecule to alleviate itself. Once a free radical form and
it is successful in obtaining another electron from an adjacent molecule, its target turns into a free
radical because it is now short an electron. This volatile molecule will then attempt to take an electron
as well. The end outcome is referred to as a free radical cascade.
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit oxidative responses by providing an electron to a free radical
without growing to be weakened. Antioxidants can securely intermingle with free radicals and stop the
cascade prior to vital molecules being broken. Antioxidants are at times referred to as “free radical
scavengers”. For example, Ascorbic acid (vitamin C ) can lose an electron to a free radical and stay
balanced bypassing its volatile electron across the antioxidant molecule. Both enzymatic and
nonenzymatic antioxidants occur in the intracellular and extracellular environments to purify ROS.
There are many enzymes throughout the body that hunt for free radicals such as superoxide dismutase
(SOD), catalyst and glutathione peroxidase. Several of the nonenzymatic antioxidants, such as
glutathione and ubiquinol are generated throughout regular metabolism in the body. Additional
antioxidants have to be distributed by diet, including vitamin E (α-tocopherol), vitamin C (ascorbic acid),
and B-carotene. Antioxidants in a nutshell are the skin’s innate process of shielding itself from free
radicals. But, the efficiency of the body’s endogenous antioxidant system declines with age. So, this
means taking supplements becomes vital. Sunscreen is so important for protecting the skin from UV-
induced free radicals, but it is essential to keep in mind that sunscreen only protects up to 55% of free
Facts about antioxidants/free radicals
– Although free radicals are formed by several significant bodily functions, such as breathing (we
need to breathe!), antioxidants are derived from the foods we eat. Bright coloured fruits and
veggies are the most effective source of antioxidants. Every colour comprises a distinct
antioxidant superhero. Vitamins A, C, & E, as well as selenium also comprise of vital antioxidant
– A sunburn is mainly free radical damage, so you can assist to protect your skin by filling up tons of antioxidants.
– Antioxidants protect tissues in the body and can protect against heart disease and stroke.
– Research has shown that individuals who consume more fruits and veggies have a lower
risk of cancer of getting cancer. It’s a nutritious way to decrease your chance of getting
– High blood sugar produces free radicals, so those with diabetes or pre-diabetes could profit
from extra antioxidants.
– Studies have found that people who eat the most vitamin C & E decrease their risk of dementia
by up to 50%
Come Visit Us!
AlumierMD’s skincare and sunscreen products are filled with antioxidants to protect the skin from free
radical harm. Here at Modern Esthetics & Laser Clinic, you can purchase AlumierMD products directly
from us. We would be happy to answer any other questions you may have regarding free radicals and
antioxidants. Many of us are aware that we can gain antioxidants in the foods we eat such as