Free radicals are naturally produced continuously and are essential to the body.
In fact, every time we breathe, the use of oxygen by the body causes the formation of free radicals. They go into energy production processes, for example. They intervene not only in cellular respiration, but also in the immune mechanisms in order to fight against invasion by bacteria or viruses. These are oxygen molecules comprising a single electron. These molecules are therefore ready to do anything to find a partner and in particular to search permanently in their surroundings for other molecules with which they can combine, by ripping away the electron that they lack, so stripped and oxidized, the molecule in turn becomes a free radical and rushes to go and strip its neighbour, making the latter unstable in turn. These chain reactions are dangerous to the body. When free radicals are produced in excess, they start to degrade cell walls, proteins or DNA. They then cause many damage and in particular, at the level of skin aging. This is referred to as “oxidation” or “oxidative stress”.
Many factors are responsible for the excess of free radicals in the body such as certain stressful situations related to the environment or poor lifestyle. Other exogenous factors such as pollution, tobacco, alcohol and solar radiation increase their accumulation.
Fortunately, to protect against excess free radicals and neutralize them, there is a defence system: the antioxidants. They are either made by the body, or they come in the form of vitamins and oligo elements and will be responsible for permanently eliminating excess free radicals.