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Free Radicals and Antioxidants Explained

Free Radicals and Antioxidants Explained

“Anti-oxidant” is a term that refers to compounds that counteract harmful, insoluble molecules known as “free radicals”, which damage cellular processes, DNA, and cell membranes.  These free radicals are responsible for breaking down our skin's collagen production, resulting in blemishes such as wrinkling, dark spots, fine lines and loose skin. There is a science behind our skincare… but it doesn’t have to be complicated. We have curated a straight-forward explanation of free radicals and antioxidants, that will assist you in maintaining a youthful and glowing complexion!


FREE RADICALS - What are they?

 "Free radicals exist in our environment and can be generated from substances in the food we eat, the medicines we take, the air we breathe and the water we drink," Dr. Joyce Imahiyerobo, Dermatologist.


Free radicals are harmful molecules that cannot be absorbed or broken down by the body. They lack a full complement of electrons, meaning they attract, or “steal” electrons from surrounding molecules - in doing so, damaging those molecules in the process. It is important for there to be a balance between antioxidants and free radicals in the body - if free radicals accumulate in larger amounts, the body can go into a state we know as “oxidative stress”. Oxidative stress on the skin can speed up the signs of premature ageing and increase the frequency of unwanted blemishes. Since the skin is our largest organ, it is constantly exposed to environmental free radicals, common causes of free radical damage include:

  • Air pollution
  • Sunlight (UV radiation)
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Pesticides
  • Poor nutrition



ANTIOXIDANTS - What are they?

Antioxidants are molecules that prevent oxidation within the body, remember oxidation is the process of free radicals “stealing” electrons and causing cellular damage. Never fear! Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals by “giving up” their own electrons. By doing this, they stabilise the free radicals, breaking the chain reaction that affects other cells and molecules in the skin. This allows antioxidants to minimise oxidative stress caused by these free radicals, meaning they are able to prevent signs of premature ageing, and reduce the frequency and severity of acne breakouts. 

There are a variety of antioxidants, however the most prevalent are Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, copper, and zinc. Not only do antioxidants provide protection against free radicals, they also have many transformative properties that hydrate and brighten the skin, to maintain a glowing complexion.



You are now well-equipped in the functioning’s of free radicals and antioxidants… and it’s clear how necessary they are to maintain your wellbeing on both the outside and the inside! Aside from receiving antioxidants from your diet, applying active antioxidants directly to the skin will minimise the effect of oxidative stress and protect your skin against environmental free radicals in the future.

Our donkey milk skincare range is curated from certified organic agriculture, containing a dense nutrient profile of vitamins, minerals and active antioxidants; including vitamin A; vitamin C; and vitamin E. Our products contain powerful anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory and healing properties that are sure to hydrate and protect your glowing complexion. Click here to view our wide range of skincare products.


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