Free radical damage also known as oxidative stress or oxidisation. It makes a huge contribution to the ageing process, destroying cells that affect our sight, hearing and organs. It causes our skin to, sag wrinkle and age prematurely and our hair to grey. When free radical damage affects DNA cells it is thought to cause Cancer. It is also implicated in Alzheimer’s and Heart Disease.
Free radical damage starts with a chemical reaction, eg when two chemical particles join to form another different chemical. Often a bit of particle is left over. If the left over bit has at least one unpaired electron it will be a free radical. The unpaired electron(s) cause the particle to be unstable.
These particles long to stabilise. To do so they must obtain an electron from another particle. When an electron is taken from another particle, the donor itself becomes an unstable free radical. It must then too steal an electron. Thus the chain reaction continues and can be thousands of events long. All particles in the chain are damaged, eventually leading to break down and failure.
You may recognise the term oxidisation in relation to rusting metal. This is the same process and oxidisation is just as damaging to us as it is to metal.
Antioxidants stop free radical damage by safely offering up an electron to the free radical scavenger, thereby breaking the chain of destruction.
Supplementation of antioxidants through diet and in skin creams will dramatically improve your body’s efforts to fend off free radical damage.
Antioxidants are very prevalent in fruit, vegetables, herbal extracts, essential oils and natural oils or butters extracted from plants and nuts without the use of heat or solvents.
Because our products are water-free and 100% Natural, they contain an extraordinary amount and variation of helpful antioxidants. Our Body Butter and Beauty Balm are daily treatments for body and face that will help your skin fight the daily battle against free radical damage and premature ageing.
Some oxidisation occurs naturally in the body as a result of chemical reactions that are necessary to our survival, however extraneous free radical damage can be significantly reduced by avoiding:
Avoiding these triggers as much as possible and applying and consuming plenty of antioxidants will considerably reduce the free radical damage in your body and skin
Trans fats are created by unnatural processes such as hydrogenation. Hydrogenated fats are used widely in the beauty industry (and were used widely in food, although not so much these days).
Trans fats are also created when unstable natural fats are subjected to sunlight, excessive heat or oxygen.
Unstable natural fats are those high in poly-unsaturates. These fats come from plants that grow in cooler climates, They have not evolved to be sun-stable. Fats originating from tropical plants are laden with stable saturated fatty acids. Fats from warmer temperate areas are high in stable mono-unsaturated fatty acids.
It is now widely acknowledged that is is not good to cook with poly-unsaturated fats such as sunflower oil because of the dangers of consuming oxidised fats. (unless it is high oliec sunflower oil which is high in mono-unsaturates). Saturated fats such as animal fat and coconut oil are recently seeing a renaissance after decades banished from the laders of health conscious individuals.
Natural fats and oils are often subjected to heat in the extraction process. Heat destroys the theraputic compounds in natural oils and creates dangerous trans fats. For this reason we only use cold pressed natural oils and butters in our skin care to avoid trans fats in our products.
We also use a very high percentage of sun-stable saturated and mono-unsaturated oils and butters. These fats do not oxidise easily and will not cause free radical damage in your skin. They are are also laden with antioxidants, so they will actually massively increase your skins own ability to protect itself free radical damage. For this reason our beauty balm and body butter can actually prevent long-term photo damage and the associated premature ageing even though it does not contain a sun block. (Be aware it will not stop you getting sun burned).
We feel using natural sun-stable oils to protect your skin is a sensible strategy (along with avoiding excessive exposure in the first place) because sun-block and sun-screen products actually contain chemicals that will cause free radical damage.
It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 chemicals in use in our daily lives and less than 5 percent have been thoroughly tested. Many of these chemicals are easily absorbed into our bloodstream and build up in our system. When they bump into each other they cause all sorts of free radicals that have no place in our bodies and skin.
We are not Ludites, when it comes to skin care we are not, in theory, completely against anything made in a lab or a test tube, but the fact is we cannot find a single synthetically produced ingredient that does not have some doubt hanging over it regarding it’s safety.
For this reason we have opted for a 100% natural approach. We naturally avoid synthetic fragrance and colour, but avoiding preservatives like Phalates, Parabens, Phenoxyethonol is not so easy and there is no safe alternative. We have opted for water free formulations which negates the need for any preservative and means you are getting 100% Pure unadulterated natural oils bursting with a myriad of age busting antioxidants.
To understand more about how your skin works see our Glowing Skin page.
Lyonsleaf Ltd • Registered address: Cheddarlea Farm, Cheddar Road, Compton Martin, Bristol. BS40 6LD • Tel: 01761 221 267
Company Number: 09749596