Along with these two processes, we have to deal with oxidative stress, a major cause of skin ageing. This biological phenomenon is generated by free radicals that damage the structure of cells like those in our DNA, membranes, proteins, etc. Our body naturally produces free radicals and our cells normally have a defence mechanism. With age, an imbalance grows between the external stressors (oxidation) and the body’s defence capabilities (antioxidants).
The number of potential stressors increases with age and life experiences (UV radiation, pollution, smoking, etc.), the body’s defences are overwhelmed and ageing accelerates… This is why antioxidants play a crucial role in fighting ageing. They are molecules that inhibit free radicals, either by trapping them (vitamins C and E) or by strengthening the skin’s anti-free radical systems (selenium, zinc, coenzyme Q 10 and superoxide-dismutase). They limit the harmful impact of oxidative stress on the skin’s cells, which is responsible for cutaneous ageing.