There is always a lot of confusing terminology within the beauty industry and certainly when it comes to skincare, it’s a complete minefield when trying to separate the jargon from what you actually need to incorporate into your routine.
Recently we have seen more and more products coming in that are targeted towards pollution protection, antioxidants and free radicals. We all know that our skin is under continuous threat from environmental aggressors but how do these products really benefit us and how do they work?
I write the majority of the blogs for Sam and Nic (this is Stacey incase you didn’t know) and for the last year I have been studying Skin Science, am currently nervously awaiting my exam results! I learnt a lot about environmental stress on the skin and wanted to talk you through what I have learnt in the hope that it may explain some of the more technical aspects of this type of skincare.
What are Free radicals and why do we need protecting from them?
Essentially a Free Radical is an un charged molecule within the skin. You’ll probably remember from your Science lessons that a molecule requires two electrons (or maybe not, I also had forgotten until studying again).
An un-charged molecule means that it’s floating about with only one electron, a bit like a little one armed baddie! This little guy is desperate to find his other arm (second electron) so he tries to steal arms from other molecules. This creates a domino effect, as each molecule has to steal electrons to replace the one it has just lost. Eventually this causes cell damage and can result in cell death, skin ageing or mutation into something nasty.
So how do we stop these pesky molecules from stealing electrons? We give them antioxidants. Antioxidants are like little electron donors that willingly hand over an extra electron to the uncharged molecules. Once the un charged molecule (free radical) receives its second electron it becomes neutralised and is now content to continue on his merry way!
How do we get antioxidants?
Diet is essential as it provides us with nutrients and Vitamins, such as Vitamin C & E that protect us from the inside but it’s also beneficial to have a little assistance from our skincare to tackle the problem externally also.
We can do this by firstly always using a broad-spectrum sunscreen but also through the use of specialized spritzes or serums.
Here are some facial spritzes we have tested over the last few months, which tackle this problem and take up seconds as a final step in your skincare routine.
Sarah Chapman Skinesis Liquid Facial D-Stress is a micro mist containing hydrators and peptides as well as antioxidant glycofilm protectors. It’s a mini shield against pollution whilst replenishing the natural barriers of the skin
Ren flash Defence Anti-pollution Mist protects against free radicals and also contains Zinc to strengthen the skin’s barrier and Quercetin which stimulates the defence cells of the skin.
There are also various cleansers and moisturisers now emerging with this anti-pollution technology so it’s worth checking out if you are concerned or live in areas with high pollution.