FREE RADICALS- atoms or molecules with an unpaired electron. The oxygen molecule, necessary for an organism's survival, is a primary producer of free radicals in the body. Internally, free radicals are produced by metabolic reactions. Externally, they are result of UV radiation, pesticides, air pollution, drugs, and unhealthy lifstyle. The body has its own natural mechanism of protection against free radical- induced damage. This protective ability diminishes with age. Free radicals are considered to be the most active compounds in the aging process. They damage DNA, the cellular membrane, and the connective tissue components of the dermis, particularly collagen. This results in cellular damage, alter- actions in the structure of the cellular membrane, and decreased skin elasticity and pliability. Thereby antioxidants have the ability to counteract or block the damaging effects of free radical activity. The most common antioxidants are vitamin E, and Vitamin C.
FLAVONOIDS- considered active substances extracted from plants and capable of acting as free radical scavengers (antioxidants).