Ever feel like you lather on the sunscreen but somehow you can just feel your skin prematurely aging in spite of your best efforts to protect it? First, remember, sunscreen alone is not enough. Second, sunscreen must be applied BEFORE you go outside so it can chemically bond with your skin. This is a case where “a little dab’ll do ya” will not be the protection you need and a giant hat becomes your skin’s best friend.
So what happens when your skin isn’t properly protected? Besides the obvious redness of a sunburn, from a cellular point of view, the creation of a free radical hailstorm is what happens.
Free radicals! What pesky little buggers they are! Latching on to your collagen layer and damaging it like some freaky kudzu vine smothering a tree.
These unstable molecules are formed when UVA and UVB rays contact your skin. They need to stabilize themselves so they look for a nice big attractive molecule to hook up with – that’s where your collagen molecule comes in. Yep- free radicals are swiping right every single time a collagen molecule shows up nearby.
So why is that a problem? When free radicals hook up with your collagen molecules, they damage them. The result is thin, crepe-y looking skin.
“Hanson found that the stratum corneum – the skin’s main protective barrier against environmental assault – generated a tremendous number of free radicals when exposed to ultraviolet light. “These free radicals caused considerable damage to both the cytoplasm and the lipid matrix,” she said. “The cytoplasm of the lower epidermis was also dramatically damaged.”
Study Shows Antioxidants Play Vital Role In Protecting Skin, Date: September 3, 2001, Source:University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
So what can you do about it? Well, first, as we have mentioned many times (think broken record), use a good physical sunscreen so the UV radiation doesn’t come into contact with your skin.
Can we ever be sure that we’ve completely covered every square inch of skin? Nope.
That’s where antioxidants (sunscreen super-boosters) enter the scene. Where your sunscreen fails to protect and block UV radiation, antioxidants step in as your plan B, kicking butt on the free radicals that are formed.
Which antioxidants boost your sunscreen protection the most? Studies show that vitamin C is the hands-down winner but vitamin E is powerful as well – and both perform better with a helping of ferulic acid.
“CONCLUSION: CEFer (C, E, and Ferulic Acid) provided substantial UV photoprotection for skin. It is particularly effective for reducing thymine dimer mutations known to be associated with skin cancer. Its mechanism of action is different from sunscreens and would be expected to supplement the sun protection provided by sunscreens.”
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 Sep;59(3):418-25. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2008.05.004. Epub 2008 Jul 7.A topical antioxidant solution containing vitamins C and E stabilized by ferulic acid provides protection for human skin against damage caused by ultraviolet irradiation.
Murray JC1, Burch JA, Streilein RD, Iannacchione MA, Hall RP, Pinnell SR.
So YES, never forget your sunscreen but make sure you’ve got some antioxidant back-up to keep the free radicals out of your life along with the wrinkles and brown spots and lack of elasticity that come with them.
We offer a variety of antioxidant products that will act as your security detail when the cray-cray free radicals come calling: Vitamin C+ Firming serum. F*a*C*E Synergy serum (C, E and Ferulic Acid, Niacinamide), CSRx Antioxidant Defense Complex, all of our Transforming Infusion product line plus Antioxidant Perfecting Cleanser and Toner.
Each of these layer perfectly under sunscreen. No balling up or weird texture changes – just a big added boost of free radical protection.
“Theoretically, supplementing sunscreens with antioxidants could boost the body’s natural defense against the formation of UVA-induced free radicals; therefore serving as a second layer of protection against UV radiation that passes through the first layer of UV protection.””
04 August 2011 American Academy of Dermatology New study supports recommendation to use broad-spectrum sunscreen for protection against skin cancer and early aging
Remember to apply your antioxidant favorite first then your favorite physical sunscreen BEFORE you go out in the sun so it can properly bond with your skin.
As always, comments and questions are welcomed and appreciated.