There are two primary ways to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. The first you are probably already familiar with: sunscreen. This product can be very effective at shielding vulnerable skin; however, lotions, creams, and sprays are surprisingly easy to wash, sweat, or rub off. The second option for skin protection is less well known. Antioxidants. Designed to work on top of the skin as well as within it, antioxidants cannot be quickly removed by rubbing or washing. Dr. Shehla Ebrahim, our experienced physician, explains how products with antioxidants can help keep you safe from sun damage:
Ideally, sunblock products provide a broad-spectrum sunscreen and may contain a combination of antioxidants, including Vitamins C and E and ferulic acid. Each one addresses sun damage through different means, therefore together they can offer layered protection.
By borrowing the mechanism that plants use to protect themselves from sunlight—Vitamins C and E—humans can also safeguard their skin. We used to manufacture our own Vitamin C, as many animals still do, but over time we lost this ability due to changes in our genes. As a result, we ingest the Vitamin C we need through foods we eat or supplements we take, but this is an imperfect system. There’s a limit to how much Vitamin C can be absorbed, metabolized, and distributed to the skin. Furthermore, once the vitamins (C and E) have neutralized as many free radicals as they can, they’re all used up. Therefore, it makes sense to approach this in two ways, with supplements and topical application of both vitamins.
The most advanced sunscreen formulas include Vitamin C and E to help protect the skin from sun damage. Supplements and a healthy diet typically aren’t enough to properly safeguard your skin, but this extra step can reduce the risk of sun damage beyond what was capable through nutrition.
The hard science behind this technique describes a specific amount of each vitamin. For instance, a solution of 15 percent Vitamin C (also known as L-ascorbic acid) and 1 percent Vitamin E (which is also found under the name X-tocopherol) potentially can provide four times as much sun protection. This mixture must be created with a specific pH level to be effective. To enhance the stability, ferulic acid—another type of plant-derived antioxidant—can be added. Additionally, this third antioxidant increases the protective power of the formula again, from four times to eight times!
Dr. Ebrahim is pleased to carry the SkinCeuticals® line of Cosmeceuticals, including the antioxidant CE FERULIC® and Physical Fusion UV Defense for powerful protection of your skin.
Contact us today for more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Ebrahim.