There’s a lot of talk about free radicals in the skin care world, but do you know for sure what they are, and how they can impact your skin?
What are free radicals?
The term ‘free radicals’ might sound like the name of a band, but you actually need to understand a little bit of chemistry to know what free radicals are and how they can affect your skin.
How are free radicals formed?
Every atom is surrounded by a shell of electrons, which needs to be full to make the atom stable.
Sometimes, there can be a gap in this shell, which makes the atom unstable. To try to fill that gap, the unstable atom may latch onto another similar atom – and the result will be a free radical.
If this process continues over time on a particular surface – such as our skin – oxidative stress can occur, damaging cells and causing signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles.
As we get older, our bodies become less resistant to free radicals, which is why our skin begins to age. But by taking action to fight free radicals and their effects, you can help to keep your skin looking younger for longer.
What causes free radicals?
Free radicals can be naturally present in our bodies, but they can also be caused by:
- Air pollution
- Toxic chemicals
- Cigarette smoke
- Alcohol consumption
- Eating fried foods
This is why natural, plant-based, and sustainably sourced is always best – when it comes to your skin care regimen, and your diet.
At Snowberry, we pride ourselves on sourcing our natural ingredients sustainably from our very own patch of paradise, Snowberry Gardens, and we’ve taken steps to ensure that all of our products are 100% carbon-neutral.
How to fight free radicals
Antioxidants are the biggest enemy of free radicals; as their name suggests, these are minerals that can fight oxidation. Antioxidants do this by donating one of their own electrons to free radicals, which helps to stabilize them.
While you can’t counter the effects of every free radical that you come into contact with, you can limit their impact by incorporating more antioxidants into your day-to-day lifestyle.
Eating foods rich in antioxidants is one way to fight free radicals, so look at adding more into your diet.
Antioxidant-rich foods include:
- Goji berries
- Dark chocolate (yes, really!)
Antioxidant skin care ingredients
Some of the antioxidants that we use in Snowberry skin care include:
Sustainably sourced from the deadwood of the totara tree, Totarol is powerfully antioxidant. The Maori even believed that totara trees had self-healing properties, which may have seemed the case due to their incredibly antioxidant nature.
Totarol brings some of these qualities to skin care products, by fighting free radicals and associated signs of aging, and helping to repair damage on the surface of the skin.
Harakeke seed oil
Harakeke seed, also known as New Zealand flax, is another natural skin care ingredient that’s rich in antioxidants. We source our Harakeke seed oil from our own New Zealand flax plants at Snowberry Gardens, hand-picking the seeds before they are cold-pressed into oil.
The skin care benefits of Harakeke include soothing dry skin, strengthening the skin barrier, and tackling early signs of aging by fighting free radicals.
Goji berries naturally contain a high concentration of antioxidants, and can help your skin to retain moisture, fight premature signs of aging, and tackle hyperpigmentation or uneven skin tone.
A free radical-fighting skin care routine
Consistency is the secret to any good skin care routine, so we recommend a 3-step regimen of cleansing, applying a serum, and moisturizing twice a day to help combat free radicals.
Start with our Gentle Cleanse & Tone Soft Foaming Cleanser to get rid of excess dirt and bacteria from the surface of your skin, thanks to its cleansing formula of hydrating kiwifruit and anti-inflammatory Kanuka honey, sourced from Snowberry Gardens.