The Lowdown on Free Radicals
They sound...ominous. Time to clear up the mystery of what, exactly, free radicals are―and learn how to combat them.
What You Can Do
“If a cell is damaged by free radicals, it wants to repair itself and will if it’s stimulated,” says Chapas. Kick-start the
process by working antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals, into your skin-care routine and diet. The best antioxidant-rich
ingredients in skin-care treatments include idebenone; coenzyme Q10; kinetin; botanicals such as green tea, soy, and coffeeberry;
and vitamins C and E. Vitamin E especially has been shown to penetrate deep into the skin, where damage happens. Apply an
antioxidant-rich face lotion with SPF in the morning (try Neutrogena Ageless Restoratives Anti-Oxidant Moisture SPF 20, $20
at drugstores), consider using a spray with free radical–fighting properties in the afternoon (try Kinerase Hydrating Anti-Oxidant
Mist, $35 at kinerase.com), and wear a cream containing one of the above ingredients at night (try Prevage Anti-Aging Night Cream, $132 at elizabetharden.com). And you can reduce free radicals in your body by consuming a few servings of vibrantly colored foods and drinks each day.
Taking a multivitamin is a smart way to boost antioxidants internally, too.
Try These Free Radical-Fighting Foods
These nine foods and one drink contain high concentrations of antioxidants, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- Apples, unpeeled
- Dark chocolate
- Dried plums
- Red wine