Antioxidants: A Defense Against Aging
By Myrna Beardshear,
Director of Spa & Wellness
The number one cause of unnecessary aging and of several other diseases indirectly is Free Radicals.
Free Radicals are oxygen molecules that are incomplete since they are missing an electron. Oxidation is a chemical reaction whereby one atom or molecule (usually oxygen and thus the name oxidation) robs an electron of another molecule.
These Free Radicals will attack any one of its neighbors, stealing one of their electrons. This molecule is useless to us, as it is not performing its function any more, plus it has created another free radical to repeat the process over and over again, inflicting damage on the components of the healthy cells, including their genetic information system (DNA).
It is a known fact that our cells reproduce themselves as they die. Through that cycle, the new generation should be the same genetic makeup as the previous cells have been. However, because the cell has suffered damage from the Free Radicals the cells are not able to give correct replication information to newly forming cells. As these new deformed cells carry on through their lifetime they are exposed to additional damage from Free Radicals and your own defense mechanism is unable to control or limit the damage caused by the intruders. With further exposure to Free Radicals over time, the damage will accumulate within the cells at each cycle of generation, making the tissues and the body over all less perfect over time. This is what is called the self-destruction of the body or in other words - aging.
Sources of Free Radicals
Radiation, air pollution, pesticides, anesthetics, gasoline vapors, fried foods, drugs, solvents, alcohol, lead, and mercury, are just some of the offenders we deal with. The damage of sunburn is caused by the free radicals formed by the UV light. One of the worst offenders is primary and second hand cigarette smoke.
The most effective natural protector of the body against free radicals is nutrients called antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent free radical damage by completing the free radical with the missing electrons therefore neutralizing the free radical and making it harmless.
Where do they come from?
Some antioxidants are proteins made by the body, and many are delivered to us in the food we eat. The most important of these are vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, zinc, and some amino acids.
While they are readily available from our foods, our antioxidant defense systems are vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies and many health practitioners do believe that supplements are needed to compensate.
As the skin is the largest organ and the organ furthest away from the blood circulation, most nutrition and antioxidants do not reach the skin. This may in fact explain why the skin is our fastest aging organ. Thus, it becomes obvious to have the cleanest and highest quality of nutrients such as plant based antioxidants in your skin care products, to support your skin and to protect it from the negative effects of free radical exposure.
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- PHA: A recently discovered biocompatible POLYHYDROXY ACID called gluconolactonate, which stimulates cellular turnover, but also provides intensive, long lasting hydration and superior anti-oxidant action.
- PERFECTION PEPTIDE P3: A tri-peptide ingredient which activates skin regeneration, while accelerating exfoliation and optimizing the benefits of PHA.
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- VITAMIN C: A powerful anti-oxidant, with protective and reparative actions reduces cellular degeneration during the peeling process.