Skin treatment

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By far and away the most effective thing you can do to assist in any skin treatment of your skin, is to make sure you protect your skin from sun damage, and then to make doubly sure that you are not adding to the problem by applying free radicals directly onto the skin, through any of the skin products you use.

In today's world, the skin, (as the largest human organ), must be hugely grateful for any additional skin treatment help we can provide it to combat:

  • Harmful effects of the toxic environment around us
  • Increases in pollution adding to these toxins
  • Ever increasing radiation from the sun
  • Social and work stresses
  • Poor diet
  • Smoking
  • Natural aging processes

When looking for your choice of skin treatment product, pretty much all of them out there make promises to nourish, protect and maintain a healthy, beautiful and youthful skin. There is an ever increasing consumer awareness however, that it is not possible for governments or any of the various policing bodies to mandate controlling legislation. Further to this, it is almost impossible to police them.

The hard truth is that we consumers need to be more diligent about becoming aware of what the skin treatment products we are using contain, and therefore, what we are exposing ourselves to by using them. This entails becoming more aware of what harmful chemicals, fragrance, colorants, preservatives and animal extracts there may be within the products.

Beyond this, and probably the most important aspect to be mindful of when choosing a skin treatment, is not to under-estimate the damage to your skin by free radicals. As we are exposed to what seems to be ever increasing levels of toxins in our environment, as well as the sun's potentially harmful ultra-violet rays, to give your skin some help through daily protection can only reap rewards.

Aging, Free Radicals and skin treatment

The harm done by free radicals has been linked to the premature aging of our skin and those dreaded wrinkles through the damage caused to the collagen and elastin in our skin. This damage causes the skin to become less resilient, lose elasticity, 'crepe' and then start to wrinkle.

The key creators of free radicals in the skin are:

  • A natural by-product of the skins' normal every day functions of producing and using energy, as well as producing skin components such as lipids
  • Unprotected over exposure to the sun's UV rays, causing sunburn
  • Skin treatment products applied to the skin that contain ingredients that actually help produce free radicals
  • Toxic atmosphere created through various forms of pollution. This can be absorbed directly through the skin, or through the air we breathe, food we eat, or water we drink

So, if you want to boost the health of your skin, or slow the aging process, a key would be to focus on reducing any of the above 4 creators of free radicals. Ie. reduce the volume of all non-essential free radical activity in your skin.

Or, by eliminating just one source of free radical production, like protecting yourself against sunburn, should assist in slowing the skin aging process.

Add to this an awareness of the contents of your skin treatment products so you can avoid any products that actually assist in producing the dreaded free radicals, will further contribute towards that youthful skin.

Lastly, which is sometimes the most difficult as you don't have complete control... reduce your exposure to pollution.

This is an excellent start!

Free Radical combat through Antioxidants

Most of the chemical processes that occur in the skin, emit free radicals. In the body, the processing of food, producing energy and using energy creates free radicals. Breathing and using our muscles to perform functions creates free radicals. Manufacturing collagen or lipids or pigment produces free radicals. These free radicals can create damage to the components of the skin as they steal an electron from another component to make themselves complete and stable.

Antioxidants magic is performed as follows:

  • Antioxidants are chemicals that are able to donate an electron to a free radical, thereby stabilizing the free radical and stopping the chain of chemical reactions and potential damage
  • Also, antioxidants are able to donate that missing electron to a free radical without the antioxidant becoming a free radical itself

It is estimated that each keratinocyte (cells in the skin's outer epidermal layer) in our skin has 5,000 exposures to free radicals every day. As a result, the skin has the potential to age faster than any other organ in the body, and because of a decreased supply of antioxidants, the aging process becomes faster every year.

However, in its own defense, the body also manufactures antioxidants every day as part of it's normal functioning. Examples are superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase.

By adding antioxidants to the body through the skin treatment products you apply daily you boost the anti-aging mechanisms of the body and enhance the youthful appearance of the skin for longer than would be sustained by the body alone.

Eating a diet that is rich in antioxidants is also an excellent skin treatment strategy. However, it is estimated that only about 2-3% of the antioxidants we eat, will reach the skin because of the body's demand for antioxidants. So topically applied antioxidants can reduce skin damage significantly by reaching the epidermis more directly. The epidermis has no direct supply of blood to provide antioxidants as well as being the first in line to the sun and pollution generated free radicals. This way, the skin can benefit from a wonderful supply of its own antioxidants, hopefully enabling the skin's aging process to slow tremendously.

Knowing that it is increasingly difficult to reduce free radicals, antioxidants have started to play an increasingly positive role in not only treatment of the skin, but in every day skin treatment products. They will inhibit or restrict the damage caused by excess free radicals. Thus the use of skin treatment products that are rich in antioxidants is proving to be key and highly effective in anti-aging or skin health strategies.

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