Everything you ever wanted to know about Free Radicals

Free radicals

What are Free Radicals?

Free radicals are highly reactive and unstable atoms, ions, or molecules that can damage the cells in our body. They form when a molecule loses or gain electrons, this lack of balance makes them unstable.

Free radicals and


To become stable again they scavenger other molecules and steal their electrons.
When a free radical molecule attacks another molecule to steal its electron it is called “oxidation”.

Stealing Electrons .

The molecule that was attacked and lost its electron is now unstable and becomes a free radical, this molecule is now “oxidized” and it will attack other molecules so it can replace its missing electron. This can cause a chain reaction and the molecules become in oxidative stress and damaged, which can cause the cell to weaken, die, or mutate.

Are All Free Radicals Bad?

No. Free radicals are produced naturally in the body, and they do have a purpose. They can help us fight infection, help repair tissue injury, they attack foreign invaders in the blood, and they help our immune system. However, lifestyle factors can accelerate their production and this can cause havoc to our cells.

What Are the Harmful Sources of Free Radicals?

  • Exposure to UV radiation
  • Exposure to other environmental pollutants (cigarette smoke, air and water pollution, pesticides and herbicides in the food we eat)
  • Cigarettes or tobacco, drugs, and alcohol consumption
  • Certain medications or high use of antibiotics, which leads to antibiotic resistance
  • A poor diet (unhealthy fats, excessive sugar, pesticides, herbicides or synthetic additives)
  • Too much exercise (overtraining) generates added free radicals
  • High amounts of emotional or physical stress. Stress hormones (excessive cortisol) can generate free radicals

What is Oxidation, Oxidized, and Oxidative Stress and Why They Matter?

  • Oxidation is when a free radical steals electrons from another molecule and damage parts of the cell, such as proteins, DNA, cell membranes and more.
  • The molecule that lost its electrons becomes Oxidized.
  • Oxidative stress is when the body has gone to more oxidation than it can combat.

The body combats oxidative stress with antioxidants. When the amount of free radicals exceeds the amount of antioxidants, oxidative stress happensThat’s when oxidation damages our cells, proteins and our DNA.

What Can Oxidative Stress Cause?

  • Central nervous system diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and other dementias
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and cancer
  • Cataracts and age-related vision decline
  • Diabetes
  • Genetic degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s or Huntington’s Disease
  • Atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the blood vessels
  • High blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension
  • Accelerated skin aging which causes changes in our skin such as loss of elasticity, compromised skin barrier, wrinkles, dryness, texture irregularities, pigmentation, skin cancer and more
  • Hair loss and hair texture changes

How does Free Radical Damage affect your skin?

Free radical damage can cause deterioration of the collagen, elastin fibers and DNA within the cells and they can accelerate cell death. As we age we slow down and even stop the production of collagen and elastin. Once they are weak or damaged the skin loses elasticity, plumpness, and moisture which causes fine lines, wrinkles, saggy skin, texture irregularities, and dryness. The dead cells, in turn, stay on the surface of the skin longer because the cell turnover rate slows down. This causes rough skin, hyperpigmentation, dry and dull skin.

How Can You Minimize Free Radical Damage?

  • Eat a diet rich in antioxidants. Some foods rich in antioxidants are berries, cherries, citrus fruits, prunes, dark leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, olives, fish, nuts, turmeric, green tea, melatonin, onion, garlic, cinnamon, foods rich in vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, CoQ10
  • Apply broad-spectrum sun protection daily
  • Add an antioxidant-rich serum, cream or lotion to your skincare regimen
  • Don’t smoke or get exposed to second-hand smoking
  • Beware of chemical exposure such as pesticides on food or gardening
  • Decrease your alcohol intake
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Participate in a regular, moderate exercise routine
  • Avoid overeating or eating too much sugar, fats, artificial flavorings, preservatives, synthetic or processed foods
  • Regular Meditation and diaphragmatic breathing

How Can Antioxidants Help Fight Free Radical Damage?

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating an electron and ending the electron-stealing chain reaction.
They are thought of as “self-sacrificing soldiers” and help prevent oxidative stress.

Antioxidants donate electrons to stabilize free radicals

As we age, the skin’s own antioxidant defense system weakens, losing its capacity to fight the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. An antioxidant-rich diet and a concentrated antioxidant skincare routine can help boost your antioxidant defense!

What Products Rich in Antioxidants does Rejuvent Recommend?

We recommend adding an antioxidant-rich serum, cream or lotion to your skincare routine in the AM and PM and we recommend applying a broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days.

Antioxidant Serums, Lotions, and Creams:

  • SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
    – Protects against free radical damage, brightens, and firms the skin. Ideal for all skin types even sensitive and dry skin.
  • SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF
    – Protects against free radical damage and helps brighten pigmentation. Ideal for normal, oily, combination, and aging skin types. Liquid formula.
  • SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Gel
    – Protects against free radical damage and helps brighten pigmentation. Ideal for normal, oily, combination, and aging skin types. Light gel formula.
  • SkinCeuticals Serum 10 AOX+
    – Protects against free radical damage and helps brighten pigmentation. Ideal all types including sensitive skin.
  • SkinCeuticals Resveratrol B E
    – Nighttime formula neutralizes free radicals and improves the appearance of skin radiance, firmness, and density, Ideal for all skin types.
  • SkinCeuticals AOX + Eye Gel
    – Specially formulated for the eye area. Protects against free radical damage and helps reduce the appearance of puffiness and under-eye bags. Ideal for all skin types.
  • ZO Daily Power Defense
    – Combats free radicals help tighten and brighten the skin. Contains peptides and retinol. Ideal for all skin types.
  • Jan Marini C-ESTA Face Serum
    – Protects against free radical damage, helps firm and tone the skin. Serum formulation. Ideal for all skin types.
  • Jan Marini C-ESTA Face Cream
    – Protects against free radical damage, helps firm and tone the skin. Creamy formulation. Ideal for all skin types.
  • Jan Marini C-ESTA Eye Repair Concentrate
    – Specially formulated for the eye area, contains DMAE to help tighten the skin. Use around the lips to help prevent lip lines! Ideal for all skin types.
  • SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum
    – All in one product. Contains 7 antioxidants, growth factors, peptides. Ideal for all skin types.

Broad-Spectrum Sunscreens:


For a skin analysis and consultation, please call Rejuvent Scottsdale at 480-889-8880.