Do you need an antioxidant serum?
So, you wear sunscreen every day, and you re-apply regularly. Wonderful! You’ve made the first step in preventing aging. After all, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, 90% of preventable aging is caused by UV exposure. But just wearing sunscreen may not be enough to prevent damage from the sun.
Sunscreens protect our skin from UVA and UVB rays. These rays cause sunburn, skin cancer and sun damage. But they only make up 7% of the energy that we absorb from the sun. New research shows that infrared radiation A (IRA) penetrates even deeper into the skin than UVA rays. It damages skin cells and causes sun damage and aging by producing free radicals.
WHAT’S A FREE RADICAL?
Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons, causing them to be unstable and highly chemically reactive. These unstable molecules are generated by UV rays, pollution, and lifestyle factors like alcohol and cigarette smoke. Over time, free radical damage leads to visible signs of accelerated skin aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, laxity, discoloration, and even skin cancer.
While sunscreen is the first line of defense and essential for protecting skin from UVA and UVB rays, sunscreen rays filters may only protect skin from up to 55% of free radicals. Topical antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals and protect against UV damage. Incorporating a topical antioxidant and sunscreen into a daily skincare regimen provides complete protection from environmental damage.
WHAT DOES AN ANTIOXIDANT DO?
An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a type of damage that occurs when molecules lose electrons. Five types of antioxidants found naturally in the body that protect against cellular damage are: glutathione, ubiquinone, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), alpha tocopherol (vitamin E), and alpha lipoic acid. Antioxidants work by different mechanisms to stop or neutralize damage. Out of the five antioxidants found in the body only vitamins C and E have been proven to get into skin. Additionally, there are a few plant antioxidants known to work in skin.
WHY USE AN ANTIOXIDANT SERUM?
Sometimes antioxidants are added to makeup, sunscreens and moisturizers. So why use an additional serum?
1. Concentration: Antioxidants are added in such tiny quantities to products like sunscreen and moisturizers that they have very little effect.
2. Stability: Many antioxidant ingredients are unstable, and when combined with competing active ingredients, like sunscreen, they lose their potency.
3. Penetration: It’s important to deliver the antioxidants to the skin in a way that they can be absorbed and used. An antioxidant serum is the first thing you should put on your skin every morning!
MAXIMIZE YOUR ANTIOXIDANT INTAKE!
Your whole body needs antioxidants, not just your skin! In addition to using an antioxidant serum, eat a diet rich in antioxidants (beans, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and artichokes are all rich in antioxidants), and consider taking a supplement like Co-Enzyme Q10.
SKIN CHIC'S PICKS For dry skin with fine lines and wrinkles: C E Ferulic Serum For oily skin or pigmented skin: Phloretin CF Serum
For sensitive, pigmented skin: Phloretin CF Gel