During summer we are all well aware that we should be using high SPF sunblock to protect our skin, not only from burning, but from the UVA rays that cause wrinkling, aging of the skin and brown spots. In addition to sunscreen however, it is also important to increase our use of antioxidants during the summer months. Antioxidants are able to provide increased protection for the skin as much as eight times more than with sunscreen alone. Common antioxidants include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, coffee berry, alpha-lipoic acid, green tea, etc. These can be applied topically to the skin to help protect it from oxidation by free radicals. Free radicals are charged oxygen molecules that react with the skin causing a breakdown of collagen and potentially skin cancer. It’s just like when metal rusts or when an avocado turns brown, this is oxidation.
To protect the skin apply antioxidants to help fight free radicals and prevent them from reaching our delicate collagen. This is particularly important during the summer time when we have increased exposure to the sun. The sun is the main source of the free radicals that damage the skin, but things such as cigarette smoke or pollution can also cause an increase in free radicals which damages the skin as well. During summer we recommend you start your day with an antioxidant serum under your sunblock. These only have to be used in the morning; they do not have to be used in the evening when we are not exposed to the sun. The evening is a perfect time to use a richer moisturizer during summer as well as Retin-A or growth factor products. Some of our favorite antioxidant products include SkinCeuticals Vitamin C. E. and Ferulic Acid, Hydropeptide HydroStem +6, and SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum. If you’re interested in starting a product with antioxidants for the summer months, please contact our office and we can guide you towards the best one for your skin type.