What Is a Free Radical, Anyway?
Alarming words haunt the skincare community like eerie ghosts, their meanings threatening to sabotage our efforts to achieve poreless, wrinkle-free complexions. In actuality, some aren’t so bad and are too quickly condemned, such as “chemicals” (hello, water is a chemical) and “preservatives” (they’re essential and come in many forms).
Other terms, however, are generally misunderstood and, as a result, we might not take them as seriously as we should. Free radicals — which sound more like a nickname for a ‘70s wild child — are a perfect example. It’s a nebulous, woo-woo-sounding term that holds little meaning to many. But just because so few people understand them doesn’t mean they can’t do real, negative damage to our skin.
So you’ve already seen the effects of free radicals (including fine lines and wrinkles) — what now? While prevention is ideal when it comes to all skin damage, sometimes you have to rely on more advanced methods to correct what’s already occurred. “It is very difficult to reverse the damage, but there are cosmetic procedures that can help rebuild,” notes Dr. Nava Greenfield, a board-certified dermatologist with the Schweiger Dermatology Group™ in Brooklyn. “[For example], ablative laser procedures deliver a specific wavelength of light to the skin which stimulates collagen formation and improves the appearance of skin which has been damaged by oxidative damage.”
Source: Spotlyte – What Is a Free Radical, Anyway? By, Wendy Rose Gould