\nUNDERSTAND YOUR SKIN AND THE POWER OF ANTIOXIDANTSOur skin is the largest organ in our body and is made up of three layers which contain water, protein, lipids, and minerals. Its job is to keep our bodies safe from infection and environmental injury. The outermost layer is called the epidermis which is the part of the skin we see. New cells are being fabricated beneath the surface and work their way upward, as the old cells on the surface die. This process takes about one month. The epidermis contains a protein called keratin which protect the skin from harmful substances such as bacteria. Melanin is also present in the epidermis which is what gives our skin color. The deepest layer of the epidermis contains basal cells which are responsible for skin renewal. The epidermis is responsible for the look and health of your skin and contains a large amount of water. As we age, the ability of the skin to retain water, decreases and can easily become dehydrated. Proper skin care is essential to maintaining the health of this protective organ.The middle layer of skin is the Dermis which has two types of fiber, elastin and collagen. Elastin provides elasticity to the skin while collagen provides strength. Collagen keeps us youthful and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. Fibroblasts are specialized cells located in the dermis which produce collagen, elastin, and glucosaminoglycans (GACs). Glucosaminoglycans are sugars which attract water and help the skin retain moisture and stay hydrated. Collagen synthesis occurs throughout our lives to replace and repair damaged collagen tissue or build new cellular structures. Fibroblasts need Vitamin C to facilitate the productions of collagen and without Vitamin C, collagen formation is disrupted and it begins to fall apart and deteriorate. Aging and environmental factors reduce our body’s ability to produce collagen and elastin. It is important to protect our current levels of collagen and prevent future degradation. Reducing your exposure to UVA and UVB radiation and preventing free radical damage are essential for healthy skin maintenance. You should avoid intentional tanning such as going to indoor tanning facilities and deliberately lying in the sun. It is important to cover up in the sun with long sleeved clothing and hats or wear sunscreen. Read more about how exfoliation and peptides can improve the synthesis and production of collagen in our skin.Oxidation is a natural process and occurs daily in our bodies. Have you ever seen a piece of fruit begin to turn dark after it has been sliced or out skin get red and irritated with a paper cut? This is oxidation and is part of the healing process which occurs in our skin cells and throughout our bodies. During this process, a small percentage of our cells get damaged and turn into free radicals. Free radicals are also formed during UVA and UVB exposure. A free radical is a cell which is “damaged” because it is missing an electron. These cells will steal from healthy cells to try and balance themselves which damages the DNA of the cells. These mutated cells begin to duplicate and set off chain reactions making more free radicals ultimately causing disease in the body and skin.Nature has provided us with Antioxidants to fight these free radicals. The most common antioxidants are Vitamins A, C, E, Coenzyme Q10 (found naturally in our cells, however, decreases after age 20), Alpha lipoic Acid (found in plants and animals), Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE, found in fish), carotenoids (found in red, yellow, and orange plants), beta carotene, and Flavanoids (found in green tea, soy, red wine and other foods). Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and quench minor inflammation by sacrificing one of their electrons to balance the free radical without an adverse affect. Levels of free radical producing substances in our environment have exploded so it is more important than ever to feed your skin on the inside and out.\nIt is important to have a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, legumes, nuts, whole grains and green tea for the health of your body and skin. It is equally important to protect your skin from harsh environmental forces and to feed it with antioxidant rich skin care products. LaBruna Skin Care products are packed with plant based vitamins, antioxidants, humectants, peptides and exfoliants to fight free radicals and boost collagen synthesis and cellular repair. Please take a moment to read about the Key Ingredients found in our products and how they can help your skin achieve a healthy, youthful glow.