Aside from the well-known broad spectrum sunscreen, antioxidants represent a different path to boost our skin’s defense against UV rays. What are their role? How can we supply our body with antioxidants in order to prevent premature aging?
Most of us enjoy various kinds of outdoor activities, especially when it’s nice and sunny outside, we feel better and happier, but we are also concerned with sun damage prevention.
Sun exposure produces a number of healthy effects however there are harmful consequences that we need to minimize. They range from premature aging to sun burns, and in some cases to skin cancer. If you love your skin, you would want to take the necessary steps to protect it.
Using a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, provided you’re applying enough of it, and replenishing every 2 hours or so, is a radical solution. In doing so, the sunscreen will block the UV rays and prevent them from penetrating your skin, but together with the negative effects’ prevention, you will miss out on the health benefits of sunlight as well. And truth is… there’s no research that actually proves that sunscreen prevents the development of skin cancer.
The antioxidants and how they help with sun protection
Antioxidants represent a different path, and provide a powerful boost to your skin’s defense against UV damage.
UV radiation, whether coming from natural sunlight or tanning beds, causes the production of free radicals that hurt the skin cells through oxidative stress. This damage occurs when the critical balance between free radical generation and the skin’s antioxidant defenses becomes unfavorable. In short, the visible results of oxidative stress is redness, rashes (and more), while the not so visible effects are the deterioration of collagen, leading to premature aging.
This is where antioxidants come into play. They reinforce the skin’s own “stock” of antioxidants and equip it to better fight the environmental aggressors, including UV radiation.
Antioxidants from food or directly on the skin?
The biggest natural antioxidants-suppliers in food are berries, leafy greens, watermelon, tomatoes, turmeric, green tea, and carrots. They contain an abundance of antioxidant ingredients like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, lycopene, catechin, beta carotene and more.
In skin care, there is plenty of options. Go for organic or at least “clean beauty” products, and look for Vitamin C, mixed with Vitamin E. Vitamin C 20% concentration is the best, more is potentially harmful, and less is ineffective. Ferulic acid, grapeseed extract, CoQ10 (or its somewhat synthetic equivalent Idebenone), Alpha Lipoic Acid, Green tea, are all safe bets.
So you can look and feel better, and always remember to stay mindful about your sun exposure.