Oxidative stress on the skin – impact and protection

In simple terms, oxidative stress can be prevented or reduced by altering lifestyle and making dietary changes.
Representative image; (inset) Dr Subhashini Mohan
Representative image; (inset) Dr Subhashini Mohan

CHENNAI: Oxidative stress is another agent that heavily adds on skin’s ageing process. Oxidative stress is nothing but an imbalance between the production of free radicals and antioxidants. Whenever there is any kind of suffering by the skin, which includes anything from DNA damage because of UV rays or smoking, reactive oxidative species are generated by your skin cells. These reactive oxygen species (ROS) tempt the formation of an enzyme called matrix metalloproteinases responsible for degrading collagen and elastin. Reactive oxygen species disrupt the antioxidants in body resulting in oxidative stress.

In simple terms, oxidative stress can be prevented or reduced by altering lifestyle and making dietary changes.

Include relevant antioxidants in your skincare routine. Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, acts as a ROS scavenger by acting as an electron donor. Out of all the antioxidants, vitamin C is the most effective. It has a potent and strong effect on reversing and preventing signs of ageing.

Vitamin E is another compound that protects the skin against oxidative damage. This lipid-soluble vitamin is abundant in plant oils. It induces detoxification, as well as decrease the occurrence of cancer caused by sun rays.

Beta carotene, which is a form of Vitamin A, scavenges free radicals and inhibits the oxidation of cell membranes. By directly combining with the free radicals and forming a product that is decomposed and protects the cell membranes from oxidation. Glutathione gets oxidiszed by reactive oxygen radicals giving its contribution to detoxifying the body and protects skin cells. It is best to include them in skincare.

Dr Subhashini Mohan, Consultant Dermatologist, Fortis Malar

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