Every man’s skin ages naturally as they do, but who do some age more gracefully then others? Some may blame their genetics or bad luck for their skin worries and to some extent they may be right, but how skin ages has a lot to do with habits and lifestyle. Some activities and habits can cause more free radical damage then others and should be avoided if possible. First, though, what are free radicals?
What are Free Radicals?
Free Radicals are molecules produced after a chemical reaction occurs that are unstable because they contain unpaired electrons. Because they are unstable, they are likely to steal electrons from other atoms to make themselves stable. Where do they get these electrons from?
Often free radicals take electrons from the collagen molecules in the skin causing them to break down thus leaving the skin less elastic and less supple. This results in wrinkles and aging of the skin. All free radical damage cannot be avoided, but some can. Certain activities that some men engage in produce free radicals and cause the skin to age more quickly.
Smoking Produces Free Radicals
Habitual smoking can cause great damage to the skin. It produces free radicals that can produce deep wrinkles over time, especially around the mouth, eyes and cheeks. It can also cause the skin to lose its natural color and become dull and grayish in appearance. It also causes the skin to thin which makes it look older then it is.
Excessive Drinking of Alcohol Causes Premature Aging
Excessive drinking of alcohol acts much like smoking does on the skin causing wrinkles and discoloration. Another major side effect of excessive drinking on the skin is broken capillaries. These often show up around the nose and on the cheeks and look like small red or purple veins. These cause the skin to lose the clarity of youth and look aged. Excessive alcohol intake may also aggravate acne or rosacea causing it to look more pronounced. A few drinks a week or on weekends will not harm the skin to this extent, but excessive intake will and should be avoided.
Sun Exposure without the Protection of SPF Creates Wrinkles
Sun exposure is something that cannot be completely avoided, but it can be less harmful to the skin with the help of SPF. Many men resist the use of SPF for one reason or another, but it can really reduce the risk of prematurely aged skin. Excessive exposure to the sun without the protection of SPF can cause free radical damage. It leads to wrinkles, sun spots and discoloration which all age skin. Even more importantly it can lead to skin cancer. Men need to apply SPF whenever they will be out in the sun.
Stress Leads to Unhealthy Skin
Stress is an often forgotten factor in premature aging skin, but it can be very harmful because it causes free radicals. Along with wrinkles, it can cause clogged pores, discoloration and make skin prone to breakouts. Stress from work or from taking care of a family can take a toll on a man’s skin and they should try to relax and de-stress as often as they can even though it may be hard.
Aging of the skin can’t be avoided, but it can be slowed. Men should keep these anti aging tips in mind and reduce free radical damage on their skin.
For a quick and easy skincare routine for men check out this article and for tips on choosing skincare products for men look here.
Vitamin E Heals & Repairs Skin
For the human body, protection against free radical damage comes in the form of powerful, natural antioxidants such as Vitamin E. The benefits to the skin and general health care of Vitamin E are numerous, and constantly being researched by health industry professionals. In terms of the skin, Vitamin E can help reduce signs of aging, protect against sun and pollutant damage, and have many other visible results.
The Sun & AgingThe blame for premature aging lies with the UVA rays produced by the sun. Ultraviolet radiation can penetrate the skin, breaking up molecules of oxygen and creating unstable free radicals. These toxic cells attack nearby cells, breaking them down into more and more free radicals, and a violent cycle of cell destruction results. Lipids, proteins, and DNA are all susceptible, leading to leathery looking skin that lacks collagen and elasticity (Vitamin and Supplement).
The visible results aren’t pretty: wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer. But the cure, Vitamin E, is very simple to obtain and use. The protective antioxidant barrier created by Vitamin E applied topically to the skin acts like an invisible bubble, where free radical cells are destroyed and deflected. The cycle never begins, therefore, the aging never results.
Finding Vitamin ELots of natural fruits and vegetables contain Vitamin E: nuts, seeds, vegetable and fish oils, whole grains (especially wheat germ), fortified cereals, and apricots (Rice). It can also be taken orally as a supplement, providing many internal health benefits.
Still, studies have shown that Vitamin E absorbs easily through the skin and should be applied topically for best protection from free radicals. Many skin care retailers now offer lotions, creams, and other skin care products enriched with Vitamin E.
Many Benefits to the SkinThrough its antioxidant properties, Vitamin E has many benefits to the skin, including:
- Anti-aging. It can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while counteracting future damage from free radicals.
- Sun burns. If applied 20 minutes before sun exposure, Vitamin E has been shown to reduce the damage done to the epidermis layer of skin from the early stages of UV damage (Healthy Skin). It can also increase the effectiveness of sunscreens.
- Skin diseases. Psoriasis and erythema (a skin inflammation) can be treated with Vitamin E.
- Scars. Many claim to have softened the appearance of scarring by applying Vitamin E.
- Cancer prevention. As mentioned, protecting from free radicals helps to protect the body from skin cancer.
- Stretch marks
- Age spot prevention.
- Balances skin’s oil production during the cleansing process (Healthy Skin).
- Reduces water loss from the skin and strengthens the skin’s natural moisture barrier (Healthy Skin).