Absolutely everything in this universe, from our bodies to the air around us, is made up of molecules. They, themselves, are made up of atoms and atoms are made up of electrons among other forces that hold a negative charge.
What happens is, when there is a missing electron to an atom that atom searches to fill that "gap" desperately. An example of how this affects skin cells would be polluted air on a skin cell entering the body and needing desperately to steal another atom's electron to regain "balance". That strong desperateness allows those atoms to "steal" an electron from our cells which in return makes them unstable, unhappy, and in return can cause cell damage down to its DNA.
Once our cells are affected by these free-radicals they cannot function as they should and signs of imbalance take place like inflammation, accelerated aging can occur. However there are good news: if we know what negatively affects cells (free radicals) and we know that antioxidants can step in to protect them in the face of free radicals, then we know that antioxidants can effectively arm our skin cells to a certain extent & help prevent skin issues caused by them.
Broken down simply, antioxidants can act as a "shield" to cells which will gladly give away that electron so our body's cells won't have to. Kind of....like a sacrifice without repercussions to our health.
In other words, free radicals can damage our skin by trying to grab an extra electron from an atom in our skin cells. When atoms are taken away from molecules in the skin, it can damage its cell's DNA causing accelerated and apparent signs of aging. This is actually called the "free radical theory of aging."
This little biology crash-course should raise the following question: Alright, so what does this mean for me, the way I will age, and how can I protect my skin? Here's a quick guide on how to better understand how free radicals work and how you can keep them from affecting your complexion.
Where are free radicals & how are they causing my skin to age?
Any toxicity from pollution, smog, cigarette smoke, to the sun and processed sugars we consume can cause free radical damage. It appears through an unfortunate variety of several different forms of skin damage. It can range from changes in skin color (hyperpigmentation/dark spots and broken blood vessels) to broken down collagen and weakened skin that looks loose and saggy as a result of damaged elastic fibers.
How can I stop free radicals from harming my skin?
We can't hence it enough: no matter what you've done to your skin in the past, how you may have abused it in the past, take measures now to protect and preserve it. Natural ingredients, in this case, those high in antioxidants can powerfully protect and potentially even repair your cells from our increasingly toxic habits and environment.
Antioxidants are compounds that can donate an electron to a free radical so that the free radical doesn’t have to take the electron from the skin’s atoms: they sacrifice themselves for your precious skin cells' electrons. The rule is, if you have higher antioxidants in your body than your exposure to free-radicals you are "safe" from oxidative damage and armed to prevent all its unwanted effects on your skin & health.
We formulated our Base de Jour to actually be a powerhouse of botanicaly-derived antioxidants (phytoantioxidants) in protecting our skin from just that. It acts as a moisturizer but contains a special, special ingredient called "Lycopene". Lycopene is derived from an infused tomato oil and actually has the ability to absorb UV rays and limit their free-radical damage on our skin. Other potent antioxidants it contains? Green tea and its carotenoids, EGCG, the list goes on. It's a skin-protecting serum & daytime moisturizer in-one go, suitable for all skin types.
Among all antioxidants include vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E and can be consumed via food and liquids (such as tomatoes, grapes, and green tea) or applied topically. There’s a wide variety of creams, serums, and lotions on the market containing antioxidants to help you fight skin damage but it's important for you to know that not all antioxidant containing ingredients are created the same: the size of the molecule matters and some brands out there are in fact selling products with antioxidants with a molecular size too large to even get into deeper levels of your skin. If the ingredients contain a "bioavailable form" of nutrients this means the nutrients, in this case, antioxidants, can effectively be absorbed and serve your cells as free radical protection. Our Muse Oil was formulated to contain an extremely high content of all three A, C and vitamin E carried out by oils that are easily absorbed into deeper levels of your skin making it an effective protection from oxidative stress and free radical damage. Applying antioxidants the night before can also boost the skin's ability to protect itself the following day when encountering free-radical stressors.