Good news: Damage caused by free radicals can be prevented (or lessened)
Living in Australia, protecting our skin from the harmful effects of the environment is paramount, especially if we want to prevent early (and often unnecessary) signs of ageing. We all know the dangers of not protecting our skin from the sun, yet free-radical damage is often misunderstood.
To make things clearer, we’ve called on endota’s skin expert and education coordinator Kimberley Conboy to help break down what free radicals are, the effect they have on the skin, and most importantly, the steps, products and ingredients that can prevent them from wreaking havoc.
What are free radicals?
Kimberley explains that free radicals are “compounds that result in damage to the proteins of the skin”. A simplified explanation is to think of them as unstable molecules that look to ‘steal’ from stable molecules in order to stabilise themselves. This causes a chain reaction and can lead to irreversible damage of healthy cells (namely, those that make up our skin).
Kimberley explains that it’s important to note free radicals are in fact naturally produced in the body as a metabolic by-product, but external triggers like UV rays (including UVA or skin ‘ageing’ rays, and UVB or ‘burning’ rays), environmental aggressors, pollution, radiation and toxins from cigarette smoke can lead to an oversupply.
In short, this is bad news for our skin.
What are they doing to our complexion?
Because free radicals damage healthy skin cells, they can disrupt normal cellular functions and accelerate ageing by:
Decreasing cell barrier function, which affects how molecules flow in and out of the cells.
Decreasing the ability of the cells to retain water and remain hydrated.
Breaking down collagen and elastin.
Here’s what you can do
The good news is that damage caused by free radicals can be prevented (or lessened) – you just need to neutralise them. This is where antioxidants come into play. In essence, antioxidants work to stabilise free radicals, mitigate the damage they do and restore balance within the skin.
To help, we asked Kimberley to share her go-to antioxidants and free-radical-fighting skincare ingredients, and some endota product picks to match:
Vitamin A: Known to help reduce visible damage to the skin.
Find it in:
Deep Cleansing Cream: A luxurious, comforting cleanser that sweeps away dirt, makeup and sunscreen while simultaneously conditioning the skin.
Two-Step Micro Polish and Peel: This duo starts with a thermal micro-polishing exfoliant to resurface and refine, followed by a peptide-rich treatment serum to smooth and firm.
Instant Revival Power Mask: Enriched with vitamin A, vitamin B5 and oat extract, this mask softens and cares for skin while strengthening the cell barrier.
Vitamin C: This much-loved antioxidant is excellent for boosting skin radiance and reducing free radicals, slowing down the ageing process.
Find it in:
Super C Firming Serum: Formulated with an encapsulated form of vitamin C, this lightweight serum brightens, protects and firms the skin.
Powerful C Complexion Booster: A concentrated blend of pure vitamin C and salicylic acid, this booster is a great addition to your routine if you’re looking to clarify the complexion and reduce the look of pigmentation.
Vitamin E: Helps to scavenge free radicals and repair damaged skin cells.
Find it in:
Triple Defence Eye Cream: The delicate skin around the eye area is also prone to free radical damage, but this softening cream comes with vitamin E, caffeine and peptides to neutralise, firm and smooth.
Cellular Repair Face Cream: Peptides, vitamin E and niacinamide work to deeply hydrate and nourish the skin, protecting it from the environment and restoring skin integrity.
Polyphenols: Neutralise free radicals and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Find it in:
Priming Treatment Toner: Designed to gently resurface and soothe, this toner is the key to calm, refined, protected skin.
Potent Brightening Serum: Eliminate dark spots and clarify the skin with this brightening serum. Rich in antioxidants, it both prevents and corrects against free radical damage.
Zinc: An antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
Find it in:
Mineral Protect SPF 50 Sunscreen: Sunscreen is essential to protect us from UV damage and free-radical overexposure. Mineral Protect contains zinc oxide to offer broad spectrum coverage that doesn’t irritate or sting.
Clear Zinc: Packed with zinc and nourishing coconut oil, this creamy formula offers protection, hydration and serious glow.