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Oxidative Stress / Causes

The skin’s aging process can be attributed to various factors falling into two categories – either intrinsic or extrinsic. Also referred to as the natural aging process, intrinsic aging is an inevitable and genetically determined process mainly caused by the shortening of telomeres. Small DNA sequences that are present at the end of each chromosome, these compounds essentially act as the aging clock in our cells.

Extrinsic aging is a result of controllable lifestyle choices such as smoking, chronic stress and excessive alcohol consumption, as well as environmental components including exposure to the sun’s UV rays, visible light, infrared radiation and air pollution. All of these factors can lead the body to experience oxidative stress, ultimately contributing to signs of aging.

Oxidant-Antioxidant Balance in Skin

The skin is equipped with a variety of antioxidants forming an antioxidant defense system that intervenes at different levels of the oxidative process by scavenging and neutralizing free radicals to counteract oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress or oxidative cell damage occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants that are naturally made in the skin. This loss of balance plays a major role in premature skin aging, hyperpigmentation, uneven tone and can trigger inflammatory conditions. Increasing levels of antioxidants is key to reducing oxidative stress.