While there is no denying the vital role sunscreen plays in safeguarding against skin cancer and premature aging, there is another hero when it comes to SPF enhancement—antioxidants. The synergy between the two is real so let’s shed some light on how antioxidants can elevate your sun defense (and skincare routine) by protecting and nourishing your skin.
Powering Sun Protection with Antioxidants
Although broad-spectrum sunscreen shields against approximately 93% of UV rays, SPF 30 97%, and SPF 50+ offers around 98% of protection, all too often, sunscreen is applied sparingly or just once a day, leaving room for UV exposure. This can trigger free radicals, accelerating skin damage and aging through wrinkles, dark spots, and sagging. That’s why it’s good to know you can add protection through skin-nourishing antioxidants, which are pivotal in addressing havoc wreaked by free radicals due to sun exposure.
Whether from additional sun exposure or human error when applying sunscreen, Antioxidants provide an additional protective barrier against harmful rays, shielding the skin from various sources of free radicals such as HEV and blue light from electronic devices. Plus, antioxidants possess soothing properties for the skin and improve the stability of sunscreen, enhancing its ability to protect the skin.
Your Antioxidant Lineup
While there is no single "best" antioxidant, as many will help step up your sunscreen game, there are a few standout antioxidants that are skin protection winners. Some of our favorites include:
- Green Tea: Harnesses the power of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) to neutralize UV-induced free radicals. Look for an antioxidant-packed soothing moisturizer to incorporate into your skincare routine.
- Vitamin C: A vitamin C serum can be powerful enough to reverse sun damage. Studies show it may even protect your skin from UV rays, making it the ideal partner for your daily sunscreen application. Combined with the right SPF, it can help minimize sun damage beneath the surface, potentially giving a brighter, more even skin tone.
- Vitamin E: vitamin E can absorb the energy from ultraviolet (UV) light, which is important in preventing UV-induced free radical damage to the skin.
- Niacinamide: Vitamin B3, also called niacinamide, supports healthy DNA repair, accelerates cellular reproduction, and contributes to more youthful skin by reducing healing time and interfering with melanin production.
Incorporating Antioxidants into Your Daily Skincare Routine
To amp up your sun protection while nourishing your skin, opt to add cleansers, serums, and moisturizers that contain these antioxidants into your daily skincare routine before applying sunscreen, as your skin will readily embrace the multiple benefits. The good news is overdoing it with antioxidants is nearly impossible, so go ahead and reap the rewards. At night, consider an antioxidant-rich moisturizer to aid in skin repair post-sun exposure.