When it comes to sun protection, antioxidants + sunscreen are a winning combination. No one disputes the importance of sun protection in minimizing the damaging impact of ultraviolet (UV) rays on skin.
And while daily sunscreen use is one of the best defenses we have to help keep our skin looking young and healthy, you may not be as aware about the role that antioxidants play as well.
Antioxidants + Sunscreen: Here’s Why
While sunscreens protect from sun damage by either blocking or reflecting UV rays that can lead to sunburn and contribute to sagging skin, wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer, antioxidants help protect skin in a different way. When our skin comes into contact with UV rays, destructive particles called free radicals are created. Free radicals are highly active and unstable molecules that can start a chain reaction of skin inflammation and damage, leading to premature skin ageing and even serious skin health issues.
Several studies, including this one have found that antioxidants fight against free radical damage by helping to neutralize them and thereby minimizing their negative impact on skin. While the consumption of high-antioxidant foods delivers them internally, topical application is the most effective way to increase their concentration in the skin. Antioxidants within the skin are depleted when our skin is exposed to the sun during times of sun exposure, but they can (and should) be replaced with topical formulas.
Antioxidants. Lots to Choose From
There are a number of effective antioxidants to choose from including well known and well-studied Vitamins C and E. Other topical choices include Coenzyme Q10, green tea, lycopene, lutein and lipoic acid. You can find Vitamins C, E, ferulic acid, green tea extract, lutein, lipoic acid and a range of additional antioxidants in made to order Bespoke Vitamin C 15% Serum. Ergothioneine, a naturally occurring amino acid and antioxidant and is included in our new Shade SPF 30 Sunscreen (coming soon!) to help prevent UV damage in conjunction with zinc oxide and red algae extract.
Although sunscreens and antioxidants should be part of your UV protection strategy, keep in mind that wearing sunglasses and hats, covering up, seeking shade and staying out of the sun during its peak hours (10 am – 4 pm) are just as important in helping to keep your skin safe.
Apply them during the morning to clean, dry skin to ensure protection from daytime sun alongside your sunscreen. Are you down with antioxidants – what’s your favourite?