Free Radicals and Antioxidants: An Inside Job

We all understand that the skin must age at some point but do you know how this process occurs and what simple steps you can take to diminish aging effects? Oxidation is the culprit and its henchmen are free radicals. When a cell begins to break down, the electron is lost. The cell then latches to another cell in attempts of gaining its electron. These cells lacking the electron are known as reactive oxygen species (ROS), or free radicals, and are the main determinant in aging.

Certainly, like most things concerning skin, the susceptibility to free radicals are genetic. Other primary causes? You guessed it: over exposure to sun and dehydration.

Antioxidants are the best defense for the skin. Some work through different mechanisms of action, either preventing the formation of free radicals or binding existing free radicals so they think they've gained an electron and stop attacking other cells.

The antioxidants for the skin are Vitamins A, C, and E.

Vitamin A, retinoic acid, supports the overall health of the skin and aids in the functioning and repair of skin cells. It's also been shown to improve the skin's elasticity.

Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is needed for proper repair of the skin and tissues and promotes collagen production.

Vitamin E, tocopherol, helps to heal damage to tissues and, when, used with vitamin A, helps protect the skin from sun damage.

And don't forget the boosters, such as Alpha Lipoic Acid. It is one of the most powerful antioxidant supplements available, helping to combat the signs of aging by maintaining a cell's metabolic function so it can perform at optimal levels. It also increases the positive effects of other antioxidants present in the body such as Vitamin C and E by protecting them and supporting their function.

There is one more thing I have to say while on the topic of aging. I hear throughout the week concerns about looking older. It is my honest appraisal that until you recognize your own beauty, there isn't a cream, a treatment, a procedure, or a vitamin that is going to give this to you. Focus on health because health is beauty. I understand you can't go around all day saying "I'm beautiful, I'm beautiful" and be content about letting it rest at that.

But why not?