8 ways to protect your skin from free radicals
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IF you're someone who's super into skincare, then you would have seen the term 'free radicals', and know how dangerous they are for your skin. Aesthetician Nicola Meredith said free radicals are highly reactive molecules that are produced as a natural by-product of various metabolic processes in the body, as well as from external sources like pollution, UV radiation and smoking.

"They cause damage to cells, proteins and DNA," she said. "When free radicals interact with skin cells, they can lead to oxidative stress, which can damage collagen and elastin fibres, causing the skin to lose its elasticity and firmness. This can result in fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin."

Women's skin might be more susceptible to the effects of free radicals due to hormonal changes, environmental factors and lifestyle choices. To protect your skin from the damaging effects of free radicals, Meredith said to consider these steps:

Use antioxidant-rich products

Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and coenzyme Q10 can help neutralise free radicals and prevent oxidative stress. Look for skincare products containing these ingredients.

Sun protection

Use broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily, even on cloudy days, and wear protective clothing and sunglasses.

Healthy diet and hydration

Consume a diet rich in antioxidants through fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Also, drinking enough water keeps your skin hydrated and supports its natural barrier function.

Limit smoking and alcohol

Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption generate free radicals in the body. Reducing or quitting these habits can significantly benefit your skin.

Manage stress

Chronic stress can lead to increased production of free radicals. Practise stress management techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing.

Regular skincare routine

Cleanse, exfoliate, moisturise and use targeted treatments suitable for your skin type. This helps maintain a healthy skin barrier and combats free radical damage.


Use a moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated. Hydrated skin is better equipped to protect itself from external factors.

Get enough sleep

Quality sleep allows your body to repair itself, including the damage caused by free radicals.


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