Free radicals are destructive molecules that contribute to aging and disease by the tissue damage that they produce. Unfortunately, every time we go outdoors, free radicals are generated in our skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. A significant part of the aging process is actually the continued progression of damage caused by free radicals. The presence of these unstable molecules results in an ongoing cycle in which they seek to become more stable by stealing an electron from other molecules in the body. Collagen that has been damaged by free radicals will eventually weaken and lead to a loss of elasticity and sagging of the skin.
An essential component of our effort to combat premature aging is to reduce free radical damage through a combination of sunscreen use and antioxidant protection. A broad spectrum sunscreen alone only shields you from about half of the free radical damage produced by UV exposure. The addition of a topical antioxidant to your daily regimen provides up to eight times the skin’s own natural protection from the harmful effects of UV rays not blocked by sunscreen. Antioxidants are able to neutralize the destructive free radical molecules by donating an electron without becoming free radicals themselves, thereby preventing further damage to the skin’s matrix and slowing the aging process.
SkinCeuticals is an industry leader in topical antioxidant protection. C E Ferulic and Phloretin CF provide an advanced environmental defense against UV rays with a synergistic antioxidant combination of Vitamins C and E to both optimize protection and stimulate collagen production. UV induced collagen breakdown is reduced by the penetration of these antioxidant products into the deep layer of the skin. We recommend the highly effective protection provided by the combined daily use of a topical antioxidant and a broad-spectrum zinc-based sunscreen. Our next blog will address the multitude of sunscreens available and give you advice on finding the ideal combination for your skin type and lifestyle.
Written by Dr. Forley on May 25, 2011