We all know that stress has negative effects on the body and mind, and can lead to unwanted skin conditions such as acne and premature aging. But, what about a lesser-known type of stress- oxidative stress? You may have heard the term before, but oxidative stress is not caused by a looming work deadline or financial troubles. It is a phenomenon caused by skin imbalances in cells and tissues and can lead to early signs of aging, and more sensitivity and dryness of the skin.
So, what is Oxidative Stress?
Let’s start from the beginning. Oxidative stress begins with exposure to external stimuli such as UV, radiation, air pollution, cigarette smoke, etc. Exposure to these factors leads to the production of free radicals, which are already naturally produced in the skin as byproducts of cell metabolism. When our skin is exposed to such harmful chemicals, free radicals affect the healthy cells of our skin. They take their electrons, thus destabilizing them. This causes a chain reaction and leads to further production of free radicals and so on.
You may be wondering if our body naturally produces free radicals, can they be all that bad? And the answer is not necessarily. In small amounts, free radicals can actually help our body fight off skin invaders. However, the problem arises when there are more free radicals being produced than controlled by the body. This leads to the breakdown of cellular and DNA membranes– this is oxidative stress.
What does Oxidative Stress Look Like?
Upon repeated exposure to external factors more free radicals are produced. As a result, collagen and elastin stores begin to deplete. A lack of collagen and elastin production creates a loss of volume in the face, sagging, wrinkles, fine lines, discolouration– the whole gamut of aging skin. Unfortunately, it can lead to signs of aging earlier than we would expect.
Prevention & Treatment
While some damaging external factors are avoidable, some are just an inevitable part of our everyday lives. However, we can take actions to reduce their potency and harm.
- Use SPF! I sound like a broken record, but this one is always really important. The more exposure to UV rays your skin has, the more free radicals are produced. Which leads to– you guessed it– early signs of aging and potential for skin cancer.
- Incorporate antioxidants into your diet and skincare routine. Antioxidants stabilize free radicals. So, eating them through fruits and vegetables, as well as topically applying serums or creams that have niacinamide or vitamins A, C, and E will fight some of the free radicals.
- Do your best to stay away from cigarette smoke or overly polluted places. This is not just for your skin, your body will thank you!
Some treatments to reverse signs of aging can be done at a dermatologist’s office such as through lasers, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, etc. However, your best bet would be a personalized, comprehensive treatment that can target your specific problem areas. The Divine Pyramid Facelift has four personalized combination treatments that target each layer of the skin. This increases collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid production, improves discoloration, restores volume loss, and more.