Pollution is a constant issue communities are fighting against, not only the visible pollution like trash that clutters the streets and city areas but pollution we can't see as well. Air pollution like smog, smoke, radiation, chemicals, etc. generate things called free radicals which exist alongside the pollution already in the air.
What is a free radical?
Free radicals are essentially unstable molecules that are looking for another molecule to attach to. During this process they can cause damage to other cells they come into contact with, causing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress weakens cells and can make them more susceptible to damage and issues.
Think of an apple, after you cut into an apple it begins to brown. This is oxidative stress happening in real time -- exposure to free radicals and other pollutants in the air cause the oxidative process and the visible deterioration of the apples cells. This same process happens to our skin, exposure to free radicals in the air causes stress on the skin which can lead to accelerated aging. Obviously not as quickly as it happens to an apple, but the same idea.
Free radicals are also produced inside our bodies as our oxygen molecules break apart, this is a normal process but something that is worth slowing down.
You may think of air pollution as something that only affects our lungs, but our skin is the largest organ and is therefore extremely vulnerable to free radicals and pollution. It is almost impossible to avoid free radical exposure as they are in the air and in our bodies, but you can take precautions to keep yourself healthy, for example Antioxidants!
Antioxidants work their magic by binding to free radicals to keep them from binding to your healthy cells and damaging them. Lets go back to the apple, you can squeeze lemon juice onto a cut apple to avoid the browning, this is an antioxidant at work.
You can incorporate antioxidants into your life very easily, through skincare, your diet, etc. Eating antioxidant rich foods, protecting yourself from UV radiation and avoiding things like pesticides, excess alcohol, and smoking all can help to defend you from free radical damage.
Antioxidants and Skincare
Vitamin C, Niacinamide, Vitamin E, and Green Tea are all great examples of antioxidants you can find in skincare. Using products that contain antioxidants extremely is beneficial - it can help to fight free radicals you may come into contact with that day and help repair ongoing damage.
You can incorporate antioxidants into all aspects of your skincare! But choose products that are the best for your skin type, sometimes ingredients founds in facial oils can be problematic to people who struggle with acne. In general there is no reason to avoid using antioxidants, if you struggle with oily or acne prone skin, reach for a serum. If you have dry skin then you can choose a creme or oil that contains antioxidants.
At SUR we try to incorporate antioxidants in most of our products, making sure we have something that works for every skin type. Try out our Repairing Serum with Vitamin C or our Antioxidant Creme. They contain powerful antioxidants and apple stem cells to boost collagen production and fight any ongoing skin damage.