Young skin and as few wrinkles as possible, but we don’t skimp on care products because beautiful skin is worth it. This is because skin aging processes begin long before the noticeable wrinkles.
Often it is inconspicuous influences that disrupt the metabolism and represent the origin of aging skin. One primary reason is oxidative stress. This could be due to alcohol consumption, smoking, lack of sleep, emotional stress, intense sport, and psychological stress.
The most visible expression of oxidative stress is the one that involves the skin. It causes deep wrinkles, dark spots, and loss of firmness to appear and causing premature and accelerated aging. By leading a healthy lifestyle and activating preventive measures, you can fight it.
What Is Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals overwhelm the body’s defense against its harmful effects. In the case of oxidative stress, the composition of the body’s cells becomes unbalanced.
This results in so-called free radicals – particularly reactive oxygen compounds. Free radicals can attack the cells and promote their aging. Ultimately, this is reflected in the health of your skin, hair, and nails.
Can Oxidative Stress Be Avoided?
We cannot avoid oxidative stress because the process is part of being human. However, we can minimize its effects by balancing the cells with suitable nutrients (also called biomolecules).
Essential ingredients such as vitamins C, E, and zinc are found in fruits and vegetables. Other nutrients such as selenium or vitamin B12 also support the balance of the cells. They are the perfect antagonists of free radicals and are called antioxidants.
How Oxidative Stress Causes Skin Aging
Human skin consists of two primary layers: the outer layer and the inner. Skin aging can occur on both layers but giving a different effect, depending on the layer considered. In the outer layer, oxidative stress and damage can disrupt the skin matrix. This causes a reduction in collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles.
In the inner layer, oxidative stress can cause a variety of imbalances, which contribute to aging. The influx of calcium leads to excessive collagen formation, which causes stiffness, calcification, and fibrosis of the skin tissue. This stress can lead to chronic inflammation, potentially generating serious diseases, including skin cancer. As complex as oxidative stress may seem, preventing it is quite simple.
Increase Your Antioxidant Intake
Fortunately, the skin has its natural defense mechanism for coping with free radicals. The skin tissue of the epidermis has a high concentration of antioxidants. However, over time, aging and stress can reduce the accumulation of antioxidants on the skin, making it more susceptible to damage.
That is why it is essential not only to avoid exposure to free radicals but also to provide additional antioxidants to the skin through the diet. Some of our favorite skin-protecting antioxidants are substances like CoQ10, retinol, Vitamins E and C, and Zinc, to name a few.
Avoid Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
Among the many sources of free radicals, our modern diet is among the top criminals. The most “modern” foods are full of various reactive substances that increase free radicals’ production in the body.
Some of the worst include canola and soybean oils, which are rich in harmful polyunsaturated fatty acids. Consuming a lot of polyunsaturated foods can increase the accumulation of arachidonic acid in the skin. Thereby leading to inflammatory skin diseases, such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and eventually aging.
Reduce Your Iron Intake
There is a lot of confusion regarding the roles and requirements of dietary iron. Iron is a very reactive heavy metal and can increase lipid oxidation and reduce its antioxidant capacity. For example, iron destroys vitamin E, one of the most protective antioxidants the body produces.
Also, the general oxidative effects of iron and its destructive impact on antioxidants make it a contributing factor to oxidative stress. Therefore, we recommend avoiding excessive consumption of iron. Both copper and zinc will help regulate iron and prevent it from causing oxidative damage to the skin.
If you want to preserve your skin’s youth and health, fight and prevent oxidative stress, this is one of the most important things you can do. Oxidative stress impairs our cells’ ability to produce energy.
However, without energy, the cells that make up every tissue in our body become weak, damaged, and eventually atrophic. The good news is that simple dietary changes can help reduce it dramatically. Also, it can increase the body’s resistance to it, ensuring healthy, firm skin on a cellular level.