What Is Oxidative Damage?

One of the questions that I have been asked the most is what is oxidative stress? And why should we be so careful about that? Well, keep reading and clarify your doubts. Pollution, rays of the sun, snuff, alcohol, stress, lack of sleep, finally, many aggressors and all have the same goal: Rusting.


Oxidation is a process in which unstable molecules are formed that steal electrons from cells that are stable and cause damage such as mutations and cytotoxicity. In the case of the skin, it can cause premature aging, and even skin cancer. This process occurs when a molecule is unstable, that is, when it has an unpaired electron in its outermost orbital that seeks to capture a second electron. In clearer words, oxidation occurs in the presence of molecules that steal electrons from others, causing them damage.

These molecules are called “free radicals.” By stealing a foreign electron, these molecules become stable but leave oxidative damage to the structures with which they react. In addition, as they steal electrons from molecules that are stable, they convert them into free radicals, generating a domino effect.

Oxidative stress affects not only the skin, but also:

  • Lipids
  • Proteins (collagen, elastin)
  • DNA



The role of antioxidants is to balance the electrons stolen by free radicals. Antioxidants restore stability to molecules. It is important to clarify that there is no organism that is free from oxidative damage. What exists in the body is a constant balance between free radicals and antioxidants that can unbalance.

The damage occurs when there is an excess of exposure to the aggressors mentioned above, without forgetting the poor diet. But the main factor that the skin is exposed to is the sun. That is why it is essential to maintain a young and radiant skin, the use of sunscreen daily even if you are indoors. Our skin naturally has antioxidants, mainly vitamin C and vitamin E. Vitamin C is the main antioxidant in the water phase of the skin, while vitamin E protects the lipid layer.



Daily use of antioxidant-rich creams, the use of sunscreen, eating a good diet rich in vegetables and fruits, are the things that protect the body and organism from oxidative damage.


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