Oxidativer Stress: Ursachen, Symptome und Maßnahmen für gestresste Haut

Stress on the skin is like stress on the soul: ignoring it causes long-term scars. In this context, the terms oxidative stress and free radicals play a crucial role. But what exactly is it, what causes promote oxidative stress and how can you protect your skin against external stress triggers? We'll give you an overview.

What is oxidative stress?

Causes of oxidative stress

Symptoms: What does oxidative stress do to the skin?

This is how you can protect yourself against oxidative stress

What is oxidative stress?

In short: healthy body cells are created by free radicals attacked and damaged, they are under attack oxidative stress . In this sense, oxidative stress works in a very similar way to mental stress: the body has to struggle with demands that it can no longer cope with. The culprits are free radicals – Molecule fragments that our organism experiences during numerous periods Metabolic processes produced naturally. They are extremely reactive and can react with cell components such as Proteins, fats, amino acids and ours DNA to massive damage lead.


Cell damage caused by oxidative stress caused by an excess of free radicals.

But before any misunderstandings arise: free radicals are not evil per se. Because basically our body has these troublemakers well under control. Is the organism in balance , they can even ward off pathogens. Ensure this natural balance the body's own antioxidants How . They render free radicals harmless and thereby protect our cells.

However, it becomes problematic when there are more free radicals than the antioxidants can neutralize: In the majority present, the free radicals can healthy body and skin cells namely permanently damage . This imbalance is called oxidative stress. pollutants from the environment such as UV rays, exhaust gases or cigarette smoke promote the excess of free radicals - and thus the formation of Skin damage , which manifest themselves in the form of impurities, premature aging of the skin, dryness or inflammatory reactions.

In a nutshell

One speaks of oxidative stress for the skin when, due to psychological, physical or external stress, more free radicals are produced in the body than can be neutralized by the body's own antioxidants . This overpopulation can lead to cell and tissue damage . In this respect, oxidative stress promotes premature skin aging and dryness as well as the development of impurities or serious skin inflammation.

Causes of oxidative stress

The inconvenient truth is: we are potential causes exposed to oxidative stress more or less constantly. The causes are varied and usually cannot be easily avoided. This makes it all the more important to have the different ones internal (endogenous) and external (exogenous) factors to know in order to be able to actively counteract them.

One of the biggest exogenous influencing factors is the often criticized one UV radiation . Unfortunately, rightly so, even if none of us would probably want to do without the Mood Booster Sun. Still, one short irradiation is enough to unleash free radicals and thereby trigger oxidative stress serious cell damage arrange and thereby, among other things, that Risk of skin cancer can increase significantly. And even if staunch sun worshipers don't like to hear it: the skin doesn't just get better because of you sunburn long-term damage.

Also psychological or physical Overload, lack of sleep or false Nutrition can cause increased oxidative stress and thereby impair the skin's protective function.

In addition to damage to the skin caused by external factors, there are also cases in which the body's own radical defense system does not function sufficiently well. This hypofunction occurs, for example, when the body lacks antioxidant vitamins or there is an enzyme defect.

These triggers promote oxidative stress:

Internal (endogenous) factors
- psychological stress
- Lack of sleep
- Overuse of the body, e.g. B. through competitive sports
- Dysfunction of certain organs (e.g. liver, intestines)
- Inflammatory diseases
- Metabolic disorders
- Operations or injuries

External (exogenous) factors
- UV radiation
- Environmental pollution & pollutants, e.g. E.g. exhaust gases, ozone, heavy metals
- Nicotine, alcohol and drug consumption
- certain medications (please consult your doctor about this)
- Vitamin deficiency due to poor diet

Symptoms: What does oxidative stress do to the skin?

Some of the damage that oxidative stress can cause to the skin is long-term and lasting.

UV-A rays for example, you can connective tissue weaken considerably. Due to their intensity, they penetrate into the subcutaneous tissue, where they prevent oxidation and thus the Breakdown of important proteins such as keratin, elastin and collagen. The result: yours skin becomes slacker, ages faster and the pores and vessels expand.

Oxidative stress impaired Also ours natural skin protection function . Because free radicals attack them too skin's own lipids (fats and fat-like substances) that normally thicken our skin barrier and protect it from invaders such as bacteria and germs. At the same time loses our skin important, tent-preserving substances . For example, if the skin protective barrier is no longer fully functional, we note this symptoms such as itching, pimples, redness, flaking or a dull complexion due to dehydration.


In this article we focus on the dermatological consequences of oxidative stress. For the sake of completeness, we would like to point out that oxidative stress is also associated with other serious illnesses such as depression, arteriosclerosis and certain cancers. It is also being discussed whether oxidative stress can also trigger obesity or diabetes.

This is how you can protect yourself against oxidative stress

Luckily, after all the gloomy pictures, we can still provide you with one happy end reward. The good news is: Your body has a few tricks up its sleeve to protect itself against oxidative stress - and you can proactively support it.

Our Miracle body has diverse protective mechanisms , through which he can arm himself against oxidative stress. The body's own protective system works on many levels, from a scientific point of view Prevention, repair and adaptation processes differentiated: For example, the skin protects itself against harmful sunlight through a natural filter made up of various proteins and enzymes in the epidermis. Repair mechanisms are triggered by enzymes that break down or restore damaged collagen or elastin. And by adapting certain cell types to sunlight, the skin is protected from harmful iron ions.

You can specifically support these natural defense mechanisms

  • We can't stress this enough, but if you don't already, be sure to wear sunscreen every day , even if it's cloudy outside. UV rays show no mercy.
  • Even if it sounds like a panacea, but: Enough sleep and a balanced diet are also extremely important when it comes to skin protection.
  • In addition, you can specifically target your skin care products protect against oxidative stress:
    • Products that Antioxidants such as vitamin C or Green tea extract contain help to restore the balance to free radicals.
    • Active ingredients like Ceramides, hyaluronic acid or Glycerin provide additional moisture and strengthen the Skin barrier .
    • Anti-inflammatory ingredients such as green tea counteract the formation of pimples and redness.
    • In addition, the application of a light chemical peels recommended, which removes dead skin cells and thereby Cell renewal stimulates.


September 27, 2023 — Tina