How Do I Prevent Sun Damage?
Antioxidants - The A in GRASS
Sunshine, beach vacations, pool parties, barbecues….ahh they all bring a smile to my face. My skin, however, will beg to differ. While sunshine makes my heart happy, it wreaks havoc on my skin. UVA and Infrared waves cause free radical damage to our skin. Let me break it down for you.
What are free radicals? To really explain I briefly need to take you back to high school physics (it wasn’t fun I know, but bear with me). Free radicals are atoms which have an unpaired electron in their outer shell. They travel through the body stealing electrons from healthy cells. In turn the cells function poorly or die. When free radicals affect the cells of the skin, it results in pigmentation, wrinkles, acne, and loss of structure. Antioxidants are the James Bond of the body (sexy I know). They neutralize rogue free radicals before they have a chance to alter a cell’s DNA.
Just like the different men of James Bond, there are many different antioxidants found in the skin as well as in our foods. Modern medicine has allowed us to study these antioxidants and harness their power into the right skin care. The big players are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid, Resveratrol,and Phloretin. All of these antioxidants can be found in food, and my personal favorite, wine. It gets a little tricky though when we talk about antioxidants in skin care.
When I eat an orange or drink a glass of wine, I know it goes into my stomach, gets absorbed into the bloodstream and gets the mission accomplished. With topical application, antioxidants need to be formulated in such a way that they get absorbed to the layer of the skin where it’s needed and stay in the skin as long as possible. This is where the different skin care options defer.
Medical grade skin care products such as the ones we carry in our office (Obagi, SkinCeuticals, and Neocutis) are backed by studies that prove these antioxidants are penetrating to the correct layer of the skin and staying there as long as possible. So when you put on that bathing suit or get dressed for your neighbor’s BBQ, don’t forget to make your skin happy as well as your heart. Come in and let us help you find the right antioxidant to defend your skin against those pesky free radicals.