Inflammation is something you can’t avoid. In fact, when the inflammatory process works properly in the body, it actually helps to stimulate collagen production. Think of retinoids, or treatments like radio frequency, which work by slightly damaging the skin to elicit an inflammatory response in order to spike the production of collagen.
Often, when we think of inflammation in the body, it’s related to the stress experienced by our bodies — be it from your diet, factors like pollution or UV exposure as well as anxiety. When this happens, your body struggles to cope with the amount of inflammation and it can lead to chronic inflammation. It becomes too much for your body to handle and in turn, can affect your skin. According to Shape, this can speed up the ageing process thanks to free radicals.
“If your cells are constantly putting out fires, they have no time or energy to turn over dead cells or build the collagen and elastin that creates a youthful-looking complexion,” Barbara Close, the founder of holistic skincare brand Naturopathica, told Shape.
While you might not see the damage right now, chances are you could start to see the effect of free radical damage in years to come. In order to help avoid this outcome, you need to look at your lifestyle and the balance you currently hold in your life.
Mindbodygreen recommends looking at the way you manage stress, what movement you’re doing, the food you’re eating and environmental stressors you’re exposed to, as these are all key factors in inflammaging. To offset free radicals, try incorporating antixoidants into your skincare regime.
“People often ask how many antioxidants you should be using regularly; the answer is: the more the better,” says board-certified dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, M.D., of Schweiger Dermatology Group, told mindbodygreen. “The more you can help neutralise unstable molecules caused by free radical formation, the longer you can salvage the health of your cells and skin. There’s really no limit to how much you can protect and repair your body!”
Look for products like vitamin C serums, which are filled with antioxidants, as well as ingredients like niacinamide and vitamin E. As for your lifestyle, look at ways you can reduce stress, move your body more and consume healthy foods that neutralise free radicals.