What are free radicals and how do they affect your skin?
So many experts talk about free radicals and their damaging effect on your skin, but what exactly are they? Essentially, free radicals are molecules containing oxygen that have an uneven number of electrons. This makes them exceptionally reactive to other molecules in the body.
How does it work?
A free radical is produced naturally in the body due to the metabolic process. They can come out both when the body is exposed to a carcinogen, or when the body is naturally breaking down nutrients that create energy. Once they are out, they can do some damage.
They create what we know as oxidative stress which is a process that can involve a series of reactions. Essentially, when one free radical “steals” an electron from a molecule, that molecule then becomes a free radical because it is missing its electron.
Free radicals can do a bit of damage to your DNA as well as cell membrane, proteins, and lipids. It can cause disease and is also thought to cause pre-mature ageing.
To keep them in balance, antioxidants are going to be your superpower when it comes to keeping the effects of free-radicals at bay and they come from eating a variety of colourful fruit and vegetables. You can also use a high-quality supplement or power which is packed for of antioxidants to help keep oxidative stress at bay. INTU WELLNESS for example contains a host of ingredients that are rich in antioxidants, from astaxanthin which is 65 x stronger than vitamin C.
What is Astaxanthin?
Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant found in nature that can neutralise the free radicals responsible for all the premature damage. Studies have found it’s 65 times the strength of vitamin C and 1000 times more potent than vitamin E which is great for promoting better skin health and slow down the ageing process.
Not only can Astaxanthin slow down oxidative stress, but it’s also been found to help reduce damage from deadly UV rays, decrease skin pigmentation and help boost collagen and elastin.
Clinical studies revealed that Astaxanthin supplements improved the skin’s resilience to UV light—an internal sunscreen. It should not replace topical sunscreen but used in conjunction with sun-smart behaviour (Slip on a t-shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat). Controlled trials have recently concluded that after two months of astaxanthin supplements, UV skin damage was significantly reduced.
The powerful antioxidant also acts like an internal moisturiser and those with sensitive skin prone to rosacea or inflammatory skin issues are likely to see a reduction in redness and irritation.
One of the largest sources of Astaxanthin is red microalgae, but it’s also what red microalgae (the same one that gives prawns, salmon, and trout their pink-ish colour!).
At INTU WELLNESS, only ingredients backed by traditional and scientific evidence are used. For these reasons, astaxanthin is a star ingredient in the INTU WELLNESS products.