Free radical attacks operate a little like a love saga: each atom possesses two electrons and must be coupled up to be stable. Free radicals act as Don Juan; alone, they attack the cells and try to separate the pair of electrons. As a result, we are left with only three electrons, so, even more free radicals which, in turn, try to break up another couple, and so on and so forth causing skin aging.
Antioxidants neutralize free radical attacks to maintain harmony and reconstruct electron pairs thus prevent further degeneration. The best antioxidant is ascorbic acid, a stable derivative of Vitamin C.
Certain factors aggravate this phenomenon: poor diet, smoking, stress, pollution and unprotected exposure to sunlight.