Thursday, June 23, 2011

Down and Out Beauty: Antioxidants + Suncreen

My inspiration for this post was a rash of clients and one of my front desk girls coming for pre Bonnaroo facials and skincare advice. They all said they wanted me to "save" their skin from the harsh conditions of the festival. I advised all of them to use an antioxidant and sunscreen cocktail to get the most protection from the sun.

Recent studies have shown that adding antioxidants to sunscreen significantly helps to protect against UV damage. UV exposure can damage skin cells and cause the formation of free radicals, molecules missing an electron, that will then rob other molecules to replace the missing electron. This process, called oxidation, doesn't kill cells, but can mutate their DNA. When these mutated cells divide, their daughter cells will contain copies of the altered DNA. With repeated free radical attacks, the body's natural antioxidant defense is overwhelmed and the cumulative damage can cause a host of chronic diseases, such as cancer, and lead to photo aging by attacking collagen and elastin fibers in the skin.  Oxidation happens even if you're wearing sunscreen, so by adding antioxidants, either orally or topically, you fill the "oxidation hole" left by your sunblock.

Personally, I prefer an antioxidant based serum (vitamins C, E, and A) worn under an SPF 50 sunscreen. These vitamins stop the oxidation chain reaction by supplying free radicals with the missing electron they need. They also neutralize enzymes that attack collagen and elastin fibers.  Since it takes four hours for antioxidants to be absorbed topically in the skin its best to apply your serum both morning and night.

My favorite serum at the moment is the Naturopathica Ultra-lite Vitamin C Revitalizing Complex. Since I have dry skin I apply one pump of the serum and then moisturizer and sunscreen over the top. Normal to oily skin types can use the serum as a moisturizer as it has a light gel to cream texture with a very clean finish.

This simple addition to your routine can be your best defense against photo aging and keep your skin looking healthy and young.

Layne is a licensed esthetician and makeup artist working at Urban Sanctuary in Athens, GA. She writes the bi-weekly column, Down and Out Beauty.


Alysson said...

thank you thank you for sharing this!! I love knowing more about skin care. xo

mary shouvlin said...

great tips! I am definitely going to pick these up. thanks! xo

Kathysue said...

Great advice!!! I will have to try this combination, Kathysue

Elizabeth said...

Isn't vitamin A a huge no-no when spending time out in the sun? This is why we look for suncare products without vitamin A...and why we stay out of the sun if we've used retin-A on our faces in the last 48 hours.

This column is a great idea--but I would hope for something a bit for eco-friendly and healthy, especially in light of the FDA's crackdown on sunscreen labelling.

I'm not writing in to attack, just hoping people use the safest products--for ourselves and the environment--possible. Thank you!

carly mary said...

i need some moisturizer with some sort of spf in it. my skin burns so easily. this totally helps me think about my skin care regimen.

Down and Out Chic said...

@elizabeth- I wanted to give Layne a chance to respond to your concerns.Below is Layne's response:

"The sunscreen I recommended is a physical blocker meaning it uses naturally occurring zinc and titanium to repeal uv rays. Vitamin A is
used in some skincare in very small quantities as an antioxidant and the serum I recommended is 100% organic and naturally sourced. When vitamin A is used with retin A or orally with accutene those are very high concentrations and can be harmful or dangerous to some people. Being an esthetician in a organic spa I would never recommend that
someone use prescription skin thinners and then spend time in the sun."

(This is Christina now)- I do agree that featuring eco-friendly products (like Naturopathica) is important and I strive to incude eco-friendly and ethically conscious products in my posts when I can, however, if you read this blog regularly, you are probably aware that the products featured are very diverse and will not always carry the "eco-friendly" label.

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