Free radicals are one of our biggest enemies when it comes to fine lines and wrinkles. These unstable molecules cause aging and tissue damage and are present in our every day environment. The instability of these molecules causes them to with other molecules, and as a result deteriorates them. In our environment, free radicals are present in pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke, herbicides and more. While it’s not possible to completely protect yourself from damage by free radicals, there are certain measures you can take to minimize their effect.
1. Eat lots of fruits and veggies!
Antioxidants are present in many fruits and veggies and can help prevent free radicals from causing harm. Choose fruits and veggies high in Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Foods high in Vitamin E include tomatoes, spinach, and almonds. Foods high in Vitamin C include citrus fruits, broccoli, and strawberries.
2. Quit Smoking
The ingredients in cigarettes create free radicals that damage the lungs, age the skin, and yellow the nails. Smoky environments also expose you to high levels of free radicals as well.
3. Wear UV Protective Sunblock
Exposure to UV radiation in sunlight also exposes you to damage from free radicals. Free radicals break down the skin’s collagen and cause premature aging. The sun is at it’s most intense between the hours of 10am and 3pm, so if you are outdoors be sure to wear SPF 36 or higher.
* Picture “Antioxidants Doing Their Job” courtesy of “http://www.encognitive.com/node/10660”