WTF Are Free Radicals?

by | 8 November 2019

It’s coming up to that time of year again, where oxidative stress in skin peaks – we’re outside more exposing ourselves to the sun and pollution and we tend to socialise with drinks/party food to celebrate summer and the festive season. As we always want empower you with knowledge, we have turned to our dermaviduals Founder and Chief Scientist, Dr Hans Lautenschläger, to help explain free radicals and oxidative stress in a little more depth.


The bad news is oxidative stress is something that will affect your skin to some extent, no matter what you do. Oxidative stress occurs when free radical production is higher than your body can effectively process to detoxify their destructive effects. Free radicals are created in your body from a range of things such as consuming alcohol & excessive junk food, smoking, and exposure to pollution & the sun. Some of these things are in our power to control our intake/exposure, but some are just part of life. When these free radicals are combined with oxygen, they become your skin’s enemy. Free radicals detract from healthy cells, causing premature ageing.


Dr Hans explains that “free radicals are aggressive chemical individuals that destroy the organic substances in their environment by means of oxidation. If antioxidants are in the vicinity, they are the first to be attacked. The radicals lose their damaging potential in this process and harmless reaction products are formed. In chemical-physical terms it means that an electron is transferred from the antioxidant to the radical.”


“Outside the body, radicals form through radiation on the skin (sun, cosmic radiation), a process that also induces melanin formation and thus establishes a protective barrier against radiation. Melanin is an excellent UV filter – it completely converts sun radiation into heat without formation of further radicals. Melanin, however, should not be overcharged with this task.” This is why sun protection and avoidance is vital, especially in our warmer climates.


The good news is, your dermaviduals skin treatment therapist will be able to guide you and your skin to equilibrium. Besides sun protection, vitamins and antioxidants in skincare are essential to combat oxidative stress. Our leave-on vitamin masks (DMS Mask with Vitamins and Vitamin Cream Mask) are perfect to provide your skin with essential antioxidants, whilst strengthening your skin barrier. They are made up of skin nourishing and protecting ingredients, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and D-Panthenol.


Co-Managing Director, Reika, says “The dermaviduals DMS Mask with Vitamins is my superstar product recommendation – I actually use it most nights of the week as a night cream and leave it on while I sleep so that my skin soaks up all the skin-loving goodness of the Vitamins A, C, E & D-Panthenol!”


Have you got your daily dose of vitamins covered in your skincare routine? You know where to go if you don’t!