Free radicals are bad news due to the fact that they damage the skin. In fact, scientists have linked free radicals to the causes of cancer, aging and other illnesses.
Free radicals harm the skin by triggering the deterioration of its structural support. This in turn reduces the skin’s elasticity, suppleness and resilience. Free radicals are often identified as the main suspects in causing wrinkles, loss of skin suppleness and elasticity.
The damage that free radicals do occurs on an atomic level. When oxygen molecules are involved in chemical reactions, they typically lose one of their electrons. These electrons are referred to as free-radicals which take electrons from other molecules. This in turn sets off a chain reaction which is referred to as free radical damage which can occur due to pretty much anything that contains oxygen including hydrogen peroxide and carbon monoxide.
In most cases, adverse free radical damage occurs in the natural world as a result of too much sun, exhaust fumes and other oxygen-containing sources.
Free radical damage to the skin generally occurs due to the following:
- Radiation – Radiation may result in a buildup of free radicals.
- Cigarette Smoking – Smoking has been studied for its potential to promote the presence of free radicals in the body.
- Inorganic Particles – Inorganic substances such as quartz, asbestos and silica have also been known to result in the presence of free radicals in the body.
- Gases – Free radicals can be formed when ozone is degraded and decomposition occurs.