Essential oils are great for skincare, and with their high antioxidant content they protect the skin from free radicals and thus from ageing and wrinkling. The main cause of a premature ageing process has long been known: a strong imbalance between harmful free radicals and their counterparts, the antioxidants. This phenomenon is also known as “oxidative stress”.
This produces so many free radicals that they can no longer be comprehensively neutralised by the body. As a result, they damage cell components, the body’s own proteins and even our genetic material. This is understandable when the cells become less and less efficient and – as far as the skin cells are concerned – are no longer able to maintain the skin’s elasticity and freshness. Wrinkles develop and the raging process is accelerated.
Especially many free radicals are caused by diseases and infections, stress or environmental pollution. Even if too much food, or the wrong food is eaten, the level of free radicals in the body increases. The same applies when smoking or drinking alcohol, when taking medication or when mercury dissolves from dental fillings – to name just a few examples.
Free radicals are molecules that lack an electron. They are therefore always on the lookout for an electron that they could snatch from another compound. Antioxidants, the antagonists of free radicals, are molecules that in turn have some excess electrons and like to release them, often without themselves being damaged. In this way, they can inactivate the free radicals so that they can no longer do any damage to our body.
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