The collagen and connective tissue fibers are abundant as evidenced by the pink swirls in the dermis. The surface of the skin or stratum corneum is uniform and smooth.
The brick and mortar structure of the stratum corneum is the surface of the skin is uneven. The protective barrier of the skin is breaking down. The collagen and elastin fibers are degenerating, thinning out and becoming sparse.
Antioxidants are molecules with extra electrons that are used to neutralize free radicals. They donate electrons but remain stable. This neutralizes the negative effects of free radicals. When applied topically, antioxidants can help to slow down the processes which break down the proteins in the skin, such as collagen and elastin fibers.