Skin Care and Treatments of Melbourne Dermatology - In Summary: Oxidation/Reduction and Tanning

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In Summary: Oxidation/Reduction and Tanning


Oxidation is defined as the loss of electrons from one atom or molecule to another.

Reduction is thus the gain of electrons.

The best known oxidizing atom is oxygen (02), but it does not have to be involved.

The best known reducing atom is hydrogen.

Oxygen can add two electrons to the six it already has to complete the set.

By withdrawing these electrons the molecule which has lost them is said to be oxidized.

Oxygen first adds one electron.

If another is not added we have an activated molecule or free radical which has a much greater tendency to extract another electron from any electron donor.

In living tissue almost every molecule can be a donor, but in giving up an electron to the 02 it will be altered and may become pathological.

Thus lipids in membranes lose their essential properties by being oxidized.

But if other molecules are freely available which have a greater avidity for these free radicals, there will be a reaction between the two.

The antioxidant and the free radical destroy each other.

The antioxidant is destroyed, but in doing so protects other molecules from harm.

Thus one vitamin E molecule will defend 1000 lipid molecules in a membrane against excessive oxidation (peroxidation).

Antioxidants have two beneficial effects by destroying the free radical:

  1. they prevent a chain reaction whereby one free radical induces more than one new free radical;

  2. they protect membranes, protein and other easily oxidized substances such as vitamins, from damage; thus selenium will spare vitamin E.

Both oxidizers and antioxidants can be classed into natural molecules such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), or xenobiotic molecules.

A xenobiotic molecule is one naturally not found in the body.

Free radicals have a very transient existence in the presence of electron donor molecules.

In a pure state some may be stable, but they may be trapped by electron traps.

Melanin is such an electron trap.

It can quickly soak up and deactivate free radicals.

When one tans in the sun, the amount of melanin is increased to protect the skin against the free radicals induced by ultraviolet light.

Free radicals react with membranes, particularly lipid ones.

They will be less able to carry on their function of protecting cell contents, transferring molecules and communicating with other cells.

They also attack other protein-associated membranes.

One can see the effect of peroxidation on human by looking at those over-tanned people who do not know enough to come in from the sun.

The skin is brown, dry, wrinkled and has lost its elasticity.

One can visualize similar changes in internal membranes.


Mad Dogs and Englishmen (go out in the midday sun). Performed by Ian Bostridge. Written by Noël Coward, 1932.

Skin Care and Dermatological Glossary :

Phospholipids : Alcohols : Dietary Antioxidants : Glycolic Acid : Rosacea : ATP : About Trehalose : Accutane (Isotretinoin) : Acidic : Actinic : Alkaline : Alopecia : Amino Acids : Amphoteric : Angiogenesis : Angioma : Antioxidants : Aqueous : Arc : Arteriole : Artery : Ascorbic Acid / Vitamin C : Atherogenic : Atopic : Benzene : Bioavailability : Bioflavonoid : Biopsy : Biotechnology : Blackhead : Cadaver : Calcium : Capillary : Carboxyl : Carcinogenicity : Carcinoma : Cartilage : Catechins : Cell Division : Cellulitis : Chromatography : Cicatrix : Citric Acid : Citronellol : Coccidioidomycosis : Colitis : Collagen : Colourimetre : Comedo/Comedone : Compound : Connective Tissue : Contusion : Corpus Luteum : Cosmesis : Cyst : Cytochrome : Cytotoxin : Denature : Dermatitis : Dermis : Diabetes : Dibasic Acid : Diploidy/Diploid : Diuretic : Eczema : Edema/Oedema : Elastase: The Unrestrained Thief of Skin Elasticity : Elastin : Electrolysis : Electrophoresis : Emollient : Enantiomer : Endothelium : Environmental Stressors : Enzymes : Eosin : Epidermal Necrosis : Epidermis : Epithelium : Erythema : Essential Fatty Acids : Essential Oils : Esters : Eugenol : Eukaryote/Eukaryotic : Exanthem/Exanthema : Extirpation : Fatty Acids : Ferulic Acid : Fibroblast : Flavonolignan : Flora : Folic Acid (Pteroylglutamic Acid/Vitamin M) : Follicle : Free Radical : Fullerene : Galapagos Tortoise : Gamete : Gene : Genistein : Genome : Genomic DNA : Genotoxin : Glasswort : Glucagon : Glutamic Acid : Glycation : Glycerin : Glycopeptide : Glycoprotein : Glycosaminoglycans : Haploidy/Haploid : Hematoxylin : High Frequency Glass Electrode Beauty Devices : Histology/Histologic : Hives : Hormone : Humectant : Hyaluronic Acid/Sodium Hyaluronate : Hydrocarbon : Hydrolysis : Hydrophilic : Hydrophobic : Hydroxyl (OH) : Hygroscopic : Hypertrophic Scar : Hypochlorous Acid : Hypopigmentation : Immunosuppression : In Summary: Oxidation/Reduction and Tanning : In Vitro : In Vivo : Insulin : Interleukins : Ischemia : Islet : Islets of Langerhans/Islands of Langerhans : Isoprene : Keloid : Keratin : Keratinocytes : Kinase : Lactic Acid : Lactoferrin : Lignin : Limonene : Lipids : Lipophilic : Lymphatic System : MMPs (Matrix Metalloproteinases) : Macromolecule : Malic Acid : Mandelic Acid : Melanin : Melanoma : Membrane : Membrane : Mermaid : Metabolism : Metalloproteinases : Metastatic : Methionine : Micellization : Microtubule : Mineral : Molecular/Cellular Biology: Skin Functioning at the most Essential Level : Molecule : Moles (Blemishes)/Moles Per Litre : Monomer : Mucin : Mucoproteins : Myelin : Nanotechnology : Neurotoxin : Nitrogen : Nodule : Nymph : ORAC : Occlusive : Optic : Otorhinolaryngology : Oxygen : Oxytalan Fibers/Fibres : Ozone : Palmitic Acid : Papain : Papillary Dermis : Papule : Pentacyclic : Pentapeptides GM and GD : Pentose : Peptidases : Peptides : Perichondrium : Peroxidase : Peroxide : Phenol : Phlebitis : Photosensitivity : Phytostimulines : Pigmentation : Pimple : Pledget : Polymer : Polymer/Polymeric : Polypeptide : Polyquaterium-51 : Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation : Pro-Collagen : Prodrug : Proenzymes : Prophylaxis : Propionibacterium / P. Acnes Bacteria : Proteases : Protein : Proteoglycans : Proteolytic Enzymes : Proteome : Pruritus : Psoriasis : Pure/Purity : Pustule : Radiation : Radical : Redox : Reductase : Reperfusion : Restenosis : Reticular Dermis : Retinol : Rhinoplasty : Rockfish : Saccharides : Sebum : Selenium (Definition) : Selenosis : Senescence : Sentinel : Skin Resurfacing by Laser : Skin Structure Diagram : Sodium PCA : Squamous : Stable/Stability : Stenosis : Stratum Corneum : Subclinical Inflammation : Subcutis : Sulfur : Surfactant : Synovial : Tannins : Tartaric Acid : Telomere : Temporal Bones : Thermoregulation / Thermoregulate : Thymine Dimer : Tocopherol : Transferase : Tribasic Acid : Triterpenoid : Tropoelastin : Tubulin : Ubiquinone — Co-Enzyme Q-10 : Vascular : Vascular Epithelial Growth Factor : Vein : Venule : Vestibule : Viscous : Vitamin K : Vitamin PP/Nicotinate : Vitamins : Whitehead : Xerosis : Zygoma : Zygote : pH :

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Skin Care and Dermatological Glossary :

Phospholipids : Alcohols : Dietary Antioxidants : Glycolic Acid : Rosacea : ATP : About Trehalose : Accutane (Isotretinoin) : Acidic : Actinic : Alkaline : Alopecia : Amino Acids : Amphoteric : Angiogenesis : Angioma : Antioxidants : Aqueous : Arc : Arteriole : Artery : Ascorbic Acid / Vitamin C : Atherogenic : Atopic : Benzene : Bioavailability : Bioflavonoid : Biopsy : Biotechnology : Blackhead : Cadaver : Calcium : Capillary : Carboxyl : Carcinogenicity : Carcinoma : Cartilage : Catechins : Cell Division : Cellulitis : Chromatography : Cicatrix : Citric Acid : Citronellol : Coccidioidomycosis : Colitis : Collagen : Colourimetre : Comedo/Comedone : Compound : Connective Tissue : Contusion : Corpus Luteum : Cosmesis : Cyst : Cytochrome : Cytotoxin : Denature : Dermatitis : Dermis : Diabetes : Dibasic Acid : Diploidy/Diploid : Diuretic : Eczema : Edema/Oedema : Elastase: The Unrestrained Thief of Skin Elasticity : Elastin : Electrolysis : Electrophoresis : Emollient : Enantiomer : Endothelium : Environmental Stressors : Enzymes : Eosin : Epidermal Necrosis : Epidermis : Epithelium : Erythema : Essential Fatty Acids : Essential Oils : Esters : Eugenol : Eukaryote/Eukaryotic : Exanthem/Exanthema : Extirpation : Fatty Acids : Ferulic Acid : Fibroblast : Flavonolignan : Flora : Folic Acid (Pteroylglutamic Acid/Vitamin M) : Follicle : Free Radical : Fullerene : Galapagos Tortoise : Gamete : Gene : Genistein : Genome : Genomic DNA : Genotoxin : Glasswort : Glucagon : Glutamic Acid : Glycation : Glycerin : Glycopeptide : Glycoprotein : Glycosaminoglycans : Haploidy/Haploid : Hematoxylin : High Frequency Glass Electrode Beauty Devices : Histology/Histologic : Hives : Hormone : Humectant : Hyaluronic Acid/Sodium Hyaluronate : Hydrocarbon : Hydrolysis : Hydrophilic : Hydrophobic : Hydroxyl (OH) : Hygroscopic : Hypertrophic Scar : Hypochlorous Acid : Hypopigmentation : Immunosuppression : In Summary: Oxidation/Reduction and Tanning : In Vitro : In Vivo : Insulin : Interleukins : Ischemia : Islet : Islets of Langerhans/Islands of Langerhans : Isoprene : Keloid : Keratin : Keratinocytes : Kinase : Lactic Acid : Lactoferrin : Lignin : Limonene : Lipids : Lipophilic : Lymphatic System : MMPs (Matrix Metalloproteinases) : Macromolecule : Malic Acid : Mandelic Acid : Melanin : Melanoma : Membrane : Membrane : Mermaid : Metabolism : Metalloproteinases : Metastatic : Methionine : Micellization : Microtubule : Mineral : Molecular/Cellular Biology: Skin Functioning at the most Essential Level : Molecule : Moles (Blemishes)/Moles Per Litre : Monomer : Mucin : Mucoproteins : Myelin : Nanotechnology : Neurotoxin : Nitrogen : Nodule : Nymph : ORAC : Occlusive : Optic : Otorhinolaryngology : Oxygen : Oxytalan Fibers/Fibres : Ozone : Palmitic Acid : Papain : Papillary Dermis : Papule : Pentacyclic : Pentapeptides GM and GD : Pentose : Peptidases : Peptides : Perichondrium : Peroxidase : Peroxide : Phenol : Phlebitis : Photosensitivity : Phytostimulines : Pigmentation : Pimple : Pledget : Polymer : Polymer/Polymeric : Polypeptide : Polyquaterium-51 : Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation : Pro-Collagen : Prodrug : Proenzymes : Prophylaxis : Propionibacterium / P. Acnes Bacteria : Proteases : Protein : Proteoglycans : Proteolytic Enzymes : Proteome : Pruritus : Psoriasis : Pure/Purity : Pustule : Radiation : Radical : Redox : Reductase : Reperfusion : Restenosis : Reticular Dermis : Retinol : Rhinoplasty : Rockfish : Saccharides : Sebum : Selenium (Definition) : Selenosis : Senescence : Sentinel : Skin Resurfacing by Laser : Skin Structure Diagram : Sodium PCA : Squamous : Stable/Stability : Stenosis : Stratum Corneum : Subclinical Inflammation : Subcutis : Sulfur : Surfactant : Synovial : Tannins : Tartaric Acid : Telomere : Temporal Bones : Thermoregulation / Thermoregulate : Thymine Dimer : Tocopherol : Transferase : Tribasic Acid : Triterpenoid : Tropoelastin : Tubulin : Ubiquinone — Co-Enzyme Q-10 : Vascular : Vascular Epithelial Growth Factor : Vein : Venule : Vestibule : Viscous : Vitamin K : Vitamin PP/Nicotinate : Vitamins : Whitehead : Xerosis : Zygoma : Zygote : pH :


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