Gym Bunnies, Lets Talk Free Radical Damage

November 5th, 2019


Whilst doing a sprint session in the gym I started thinking about the free radical damage I was causing my skin cells – I’m literally sprinting and accelerating the ageing process increasing oxidative stress within my skin, now how do I keep my glow on!!!!

What is Free Radical Damage?

There are many ageing theories and by many, I mean over 300. These theories can be put into two main categories

Error Theories – (Free Radical Damage)

Programmed theories

The free radical damage theory of aging was originally described by Denham Harman in the 1950s. It proposes that organisms age because they accumulate oxidative damage. This damage comes from reactive oxygen species (ROS)

*ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) are produced as a normal product of cellular metabolism but they have the potential to damage lipid, DNA, RNA and proteins which in theory is a contributory factor in physiology of ageing.  

Exercise is an important intervention to improve and promote healthy body ageing and general wellbeing. However, the elevation of oxygen consumption through strenuous exercise increases oxidative stress, free radical damage and inflammation

The skin is the largest organ that regulates excretion of metabolic waste products, protects against environmental, physical and chemical aggressors. An increased amount of ROS oxidants is known as oxidative stress. This oxidative stress leads to inflammation causing collagen degradation.

Exercise promotes the attack of oxidative stress. The increased oxygen in the body splits into a single atom leaving an unpaired electron, the unpairing charges the electron called a free radical’ scavenger. These scavengers cause damage to other surrounding cells whilst trying to find other electrons to become pairs. Antioxidants donate electrons to neutralise free radicals or stop them from forming in the first place.

Now, before you put your trainers away for us mere mortals who don’t run Ultra’s (excessively long marathons) or partake in acute exercise our bodies produce plenty of endogenous antioxidant enzymes to deal with this free radical overload. However, the skin is the last organ within our bodies to receive the nutrients, water and anti-oxidants it requires to function. The upper most layer of our body is the epidermis this visible thin layer will appear pigmented, blemished, dehydrated and dull without use of anti-oxidants to reduce the attack of oxidative stress. Other factors which increase free radical damage and oxidative stress include smoking, pollution, sun and radiation.

The most effective way is to increase anti-oxidants by eating plenty of vegetables and fruit. This will not only improve the effects of ageing but help with stress induced acne too. I have noticed a link over the years with over exercise and low-calorie diets increasing stress induced acne around the jawline and cheeks. 80% of what you put in your body will improve the skin but for that important last 20% and external glow these are my top ingredients to include in your skin care

Vitamin C – Accelerates the synthesis of collagen, it is a strong antioxidant and resists inflammations. It eliminates free radicals, improves skin’s lustre and reduces the number of spots.

Vitamin A – not only an antioxidant but a skin restoration ingredient. Promotes healthy skin, reduces breakouts, enlarged pores, fine lines and wrinkles, skin texture and tone.

Vitamin E -  Natural anti-oxidant ingredient, of plant origin that fights free radicals. It also contributes in skin elasticity preservation

With daily use these ingredients can protect and limit free radical production, improve texture, pigmentation, visible signs of ageing and calm inflammations.

My favourite 2 products from the Juliette Armand range protect against oxidative stress increasing antioxidants within the top layers of the skin.

Retinoid C Cream

Revitalizing, antioxidant facial cream for all skin types.

Combines the repairing effect of skin imperfections, damage and pigmentation with the synergy of Retinoid and stabilized vitamin C, with the moisturizing effect of hyaluronic acid. Enriched with the ingredients Vitamin E, Jojoba Oil, Apricot Oil, Shea Butter, centella Extract and Panthenol, it strengthens and protects the natural process of renewal and hydration.

Retinoid C Serum

Repairing, antioxidant serum for all skin types.

Serum that combines two powerful active ingredients: Retinoid HPR (retinoic acid derivative) and stabilized form of Vitamin C, thus offering multiple actions without irritating the skin. Reduces fine lines, wrinkles, neutralizes the action of free radicals and protects the skin from oxidative stress. In addition, it improves the roughness, imperfections and texture of the epidermis. Skin discolorations and age spots are reduced, delivering a uniform, luminous and shiny appearance to the epidermis.

I will go back to my damaging, stress releasing and enjoyable sprint session.

Will I even care with all the endorphins I’m releasing – check out my blog damage of stress on ageing coming soon...







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Gym Bunnies, Lets Talk Free Radical Damage

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