Tag Archives: free radicals

Helping Your Skin Deal With Gravity and Free Radicals

In the book, Nature Stories, by Balachandher Krishan Guru, it reads, “Gravity is the force that attracts everything towards the center of the earth. Who or what is the cause of this force of gravity?…The best answer I can come up with is Mother Nature….Similarly, the sun shines on everyone regardless of any form of discrimination. By the way, what is the sun? It is just another part of Mother Nature.”

Ok, Guru, so it may be true that gravity and the sun are two great gifts, but, appealing to Mother Nature as a woman, why did she have to provide us with the two biggest natural components of premature aging?

Woman looking at skin
Effects of Aging on Skin
The aging of skin depends on various factor including diet, lifestyle, personal habits, and heredity. Smoking is an example of a personal habit that can produce free radicals that damage cells and cause wrinkles. Other things that cause aging? Stress, facial movement, obesity, sleep position and, of course, gravity.

Changes Occurring with age
As the skin ages, it is common to experience roughening of skin, development of lesions and benign tumors, slackening of skin and the loss of elastin tissue, increased skin transparency caused by the thinning of the epidermis, increased fragility caused by the flattening of the part of the skin where the dermis and epidermis meet, and, lastly, tendency to bruise more easily.

Changes may also occur beneath the skin. There may be a loss of fat beneath the skin in the temples, nose and eye area resulting in a sunken eyed, skeletal appearance. Bone loss, usually occurring after the age of 60, may become apparent around the chin and mouth causing the skin to pucker around the mouth. Loss of cartilage in the nose may cause the nasal tip to drip and enhance the nose’s bony structure.

Woman in the sun
Sun and Skin
Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun damages the skin’s elastin, causing skin to stretch, sag, and lose its resilience. It also bruises and loses its ability to heal quickly. Sun exposure early in life may lead to damage later in life. The best ways to protect yourself from skin cancer and sun exposure are by covering up, wearing a hat, applying sunscreen, and staying out of the sun in general.

Other Changes
Secondary factors contributing to changes in skin are facial movement, gravity, and sleep. As skin elasticity decreases, gravity leads to drooping of the eyelids and eyebrows and the looseness go the skin under the jaw, chin, and earlobes. Facial movement causes lines to become more visible and may appear vertically over the root of the nose, horizontally on the forehead or as curved lines on the upper cheeks, temples and around the mouth.

The position in which you sleep may also influence the way your skin ages. Sleep creases are most commonly found not the side of the forehead, above the eyebrows to the hairline and on the middle of the cheeks. Sleeping on your back may be one way to prevent them, or stop them from becoming worse.

Bottom line: gravity and free radicals are bad news for your skin! Stay away from cigarettes, protect yourself from the sun, eat well and sleep on your back! Let us know how you resist gravity! We love to hear from you!

Free Radical Question and Answer

Free radicals illustration

If you have even the smallest active interest in anti-aging products, you’ve likely heard no shortage of information on antioxidants. These allegedly magical compounds are reputed to do everything from extending one’s lifespan to reversing the signs of aging to preventing diseases like cancer and heart disease.

And if you’ve heard much about antioxidants, chances are you also know at least a thing or two about free radicals. This is because the very reason that antioxidants have so much hype tied to them is predicated on the existence of free radicals, what they do to the body, and how antioxidants interact with them. The damage caused by free radicals is often demonized, and antioxidants’ ability to fight them off sometimes over-extolled, as if they were a preternatural fountain of youth. That said, there is some truth to health claims regarding antioxidants, but it’s mixed up with a lot of overblown exaggerations and some outright falsehoods. So, what is true about free radicals and antioxidants? Keep reading, and you’ll find out.

What Are Free Radicals?
A free radical is an atom or a molecule that has a single unpaired electron in its outer electron shell. Free radicals tend to be very reactive, with some exceptions (such as melanin, which is, chemically speaking, a free radical, but which is entirely nonreactive and harmless), and many can cause damage to cellular structures, which is known as ”oxidative stress.” When discussing the impact on aging, the free radicals of most relevance are superoxide (O2-), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and peroxynitrite (OONO-), as not all free radicals actually cause damage.

How Do Free Radicals Cause Damage?
The free radical theory of aging—which is not necessarily definitive, but has substantial evidence—states that free radicals cause damage due to being highly reactive. According to this theory, when they come in contact with another molecule and seek to stabilize themselves by pulling an electron from a neighboring molecule. In doing so, the affected molecule itself becomes a free radical, because it now has an unpaired valence electron, and will then seek to pull an electron from another molecule, which will them itself become a free radical, and so on. This chain reaction can ultimately cause what is known as “cross-linking.” Cross-linking is often harmless, but when cross-linking of DNA strands happens, the result causes mutations which can result in various aging symptoms, and cross-linking between proteins and fats can cause wrinkles.

How Do You Prevent Damage from Free Radicals?
Enter Antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that seem to be able to stop oxidative chain reactions in their tracks and stop free radicals before they do real damage. Proponents of antioxidant therapy to slow aging or reverse signs of aging believe that preventing oxidative damage through cross-linking alone can help greatly in this regard, lengthen lifespan and slow the aging process, but it is important to remember that definitive studies are largely inconclusive; there may be something to the notion of increasing antioxidant intake to slow aging, but then again, there may not. We need to wait for further reputable, academic studies to be sure one way or the other.

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Green Tea

You probably know by now that you can drink green tea for the best internal health, whether it’s for weight loss, an increased immune system or a lower risk of cancer. But the benefits aren’t only internal. Your skin can benefit tremendously from green tea’s healing properties with external application.

Many skin products are made with the benefits of green tea, from creams to body treatments. You may be asking yourself why this ingredient is so popular among the skin care industry. The truth is that there are multiple benefits from this potent ingredient that you may not necessarily be aware of. vine vera

CAFFEINE. Although it has been decried in the past as being bad for you, it’s actually one of the best things for your skin, particularly for your eyes. Caffeine increases circulation in the eye area to help reduce puffiness and dark circles. Meanwhile, on the rest of your face it helps the blood flow, which means that your skin can maintain that healthy glow.

ANTIOXIDANTS. The antioxidants in green tea have a powerful effect on the inside of your body, so it’s only natural that it has the same effect on your skin. The polyphenols in green tea fight free radicals that can cause skin damage and make your skin appear sagging and lifeless. Studies are still being conducted by various research institutions, but green tea has been shown in the past to improve skin elasticity and reduce certain signs of aging. These are also combined to help inhibit the growth of proteins that can lead to cancerous cell growths.

ECGC. Epigallocatechin gallate, commonly known as ECGC, is known for its properties in reducing disease and inflammation. This can be helpful with treating a variety of skin conditions beyond just simple anti-aging, such as rosacea, psoriasis and possibly different types of skin cancer. This chemical can also help rejuvenate skin growth and help prevent acne. vine vera

VITAMINS. The healthy vitamins C, E and K all make their presence known in green tea. Vitamin C is incredibly helpful in aiding the body in producing collagen, which restores plumpness to sagging skin and is an important building block for that youthful glow. Vitamin E interacts with cells to help destroy free radicals and prevent cancer. The less commonly known vitamin, Vitamin K, helps boost the clotting factor in the skin and helps reduce redness. Put them all together, and you have a potent mix.

The best part about green tea is that it is readily accessible and easy to incorporate into your skincare routine. It’s not only simple to do but can be downright refreshing, particularly on a warm summer day. Here are some of the best ways to include this potent ingredient into your skincare routine:

-Your doctor says to always wear sunscreen, but you can combine green tea with a zinc oxide-based sunblock formula in order to give you the maximum sun protection. Put green tea into a spray bottle and let it cool in the refrigerator. Spray onto your skin and let dry before applying your sunscreen.

-You can use that same spray as a refreshing toner. After cleansing, spritz on your face before you apply your favorite moisturizer.

-Reduce the puffiness of your eyes with the green tea teabags. Run two under warm water to release the tea’s healing properties.  Apply to eyes and allow to rest on your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes. vine vera

-Pair with your favorite facial cleanser for antioxidant properties. Run the teabag under the warm water and open the bag. Combine with your favorite cream cleanser and apply to your face, leaving on for five minutes and then rinsing.

-Use it for a steam facial. Make green tea in a bowl, put a towel over your face and put your face over the bowl. This method will open your pores and allow the toxins to escape. Leave on for five minutes, then wash face with cleanser.

-Look for Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, green tea’s technical name, on the ingredient label of your favorite skin care products. The cosmetics industry has caught onto the massive benefits of green tea and is including it in skin care products especially those focused on eyes.

Are you ready to incorporate some green tea into your skin care routine? How are you planning to do it?