Stressed skin? - what does this mean and what on earth can I do about it?!
Oxidative stress relates to the creation of ‘free radicals’ in the skin, which are molecules that can damage DNA. Many things can stimulate oxidative stress, including UV radiation from the sun, hypoxia (low oxygen levels) related to smoking and inflammation, for example. Oxidative stress also can reduce levels of collagen and elastin in tissues. The best way to tackle oxidative stress is with antioxidants, which include vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E resveratrol and glutathione, among others.
Inflammation goes hand in hand with oxidative stress. It relates to tissue injury of any type, with the release of growth factors in tissues which cause increased blood flow and activation of cells that can cause a reduction in collagen and elastin levels. Skincare to reduce inflammation centres mostly around Vitamin E, which also has an antioxidant effect, vitamin B5 (panthenol) and gentle antioxidants that reduce redness such as azelaic acid.
Glycation refers to the process where body proteins (such as collagen and elastin) are damaged by excess glucose molecules in the bloodstream binding to the proteins and causing their structure to change. The body then recognises the proteins as abnormal and stimulates an inflammatory reaction around them. Skincare to reduce glycation mostly includes antioxidants but supplements to control glucose levels and deliver high levels of antioxidants via the bloodstream are important to consider.
DNA mutation ageing
DNA mutation is caused largely by inflammation, ageing and UV damage. Protection against damage is the main thing here, so choosing a good, broad-spectrum SPF that both protects against UVA and UVB is extremely important. The combination of vitamin C and E together has been shown also to have a protective effect against future damage.