What Actually ARE Free Radicals and Toxins?

Today we have the low-down on what exactly a free radical is, how to prevent their destructive ways, and how cocokind products can help!

But first, what is a free radical?

To understand what exactly free radicals are, we first need a quick chemistry refresher. Atoms are surrounded by electrons, which orbit the atom in shells. Each shell contains a specific number of electrons, and to be stable the shell must be full. If the outer shell is not full, it’s particularly reactive as it attempts to fulfill its shell. This type of atom is called a free radical.

…And what is a toxin?

As for toxins, it’s anything that the body can’t digest or dispose of on its own, which can differentiate from person to person. Examples of toxins are environmental products, cellular waste, or bacteria. When toxins start to build up in the body, that’s when symptoms start to appear. However, its important to remember that toxins are not necessarily bad, but merely a type of waste that doesn’t serve the body.

 

What common things create free radicals and / or toxins in the body?

-Stress

-Poor diet and alcohol

-Smoking

-Illness

-UV and sun exposure

-Pollution / environmental factors, etc.

 

What do free radicals do specifically to the skin / body?

Free radicals damage, weaken, or even destroy connective tissue, such as collagen or elastin in the skin. As the body matures, it loses its ability to fight the effects of free radicals. This results not only in more free radicals and oxidative stress, but also increased damage to the cells. This process is what we know as “natural aging.” The result of free radicals, when coupled with natural aging, can be uneven skin tone, blemishes, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles.

 

What are some solutions to fighting off free radicals or toxins?

Regular removal of waste via your liver, lymph nodes, and skin

As the main detox centers in the body, the liver, lymph nodes, and skin work to filter out the debris our bodies don’t need.

Liver

The liver helps use or dispose of metabolic waste, as well as environmental toxins and substances.

Lymph nodes

Instead, lymph nodes collect and filter unwanted waste in the body such as fats, bacteria, and other harmful materials. Eating fibrous foods and ensuring that you have regular bowel movements will be critical here.

Skin

Our skin is our largest organ, and therefore the largest detox system. So when other detox organs are compromised or overworked, toxins rise through the skin. These toxins manifest in the form of acne, blemishes, pimples, or sores. However, sweat can help remove impurities from the skin – so working out and sweating is helpful!

However, it is important to note that if you notice various skin issues as your body is detoxing through this organ, this could be a strong indicator that your first two waste removal systems (liver and lymph nodes) are not functioning as strongly as they could be! Working on your lifestyle and diet to encourage regular removal of waste could help remove toxins before they reach your skin!

 

Consuming Antioxidants

As molecules that prevent the oxidation of other molecules, antioxidants directly combat the process that creates reactive free radicals. Antioxidants donate an electron to free radicals, which makes them less reactive. This process neutralizes free radicals, which lessens their intensity and impact on your skin!

Antioxidants are most abundant in fruits and vegetables, but can also be found in nuts, whole grains, and some meats, poultry, and fish. They include vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E and can be consumed via food and liquids (such as tomatoes, grapes and green tea) or applied topically. But not all antioxidants are made equal. Due to varying chemical properties, different antioxidants effect different areas of the body. For this reason, a diverse diet based on whole foods is crucial to protect the skin. When free radicals are fended off, you better the chances that your skin will remain firm, even, and smooth.

Antioxidants are more than just berries! With so many natural sources to choose from, your daily intake (and application!) is not only vital, but easy to do.

 

Antioxidant-rich skincare products

To protect against free radical damage, your body and skin need antioxidants. Lucky for you, they can be easily found in oil-based skincare products. For example, dense in the antioxidants Vitamin A and E, our Golden Elixircan hydrate both the face and body, as well as protect your hair from heat. A good, nutrient-rich moisturizer will also help protect against free radicals from the environment.

Famous for its antioxidant and catechin power, matcha is another key ingredient in our skincare products. Whether it be the Organic Matcha Face Moisturizer or the MYMATCHA All-Over Moisture Stick, these products both hydrate the skin and maintain the health of the skin. If you’re in need of a cleanser or toner, you can turn to our Organic Rosewater Facial Toner, which is made with pure rose water and packed with antioxidants!

Since mushrooms are also a significant source of super antioxidants, adding in our mushroom-charged highlightersto your routine could be especially helpful. This will be particularly helpful on thinner areas of skin, like on the upper cheekbone area, brow bone, and surrounding eye area.

Additionally, when it comes to your daily AM skincare routine, wearing SPF is always a critical step to reducing free radical damage from UV rays.

We know the terms free radicals and toxins and thrown out regularly, so we hope this post helps explain exactly what they are and why it is so important to feed your body in and out with good ingredients!