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You most likely know that the sun can damage and prematurely age your surface skin, but did you know that there are other aggressors in the environment that can also negatively impact your skin too? Free radicals are unstable molecules triggered by various environmental factors, including sun exposure, pollution, and smoke. When free radicals come into contact with your surface skin, they can break down the fibers that help keep your skin looking full and plump. With the weakening of these fibers, your likely to notice visible signs of skin aging like the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and skin dryness – and it could happen earlier than if you had given your skin the protection it needed.
Sure, SPF with broad spectrum protection is one of the fundamental ways to help protect your skin on a daily basis. But, typically products formulated with broad spectrum SPF are designed to shield your skin from only one stressor: The sun’s UVA and UVB rays. So, what about those other free radical elements, like smoke and car fumes? Skin care products formulated with antioxidants, including cleansers, facial wipes, day creams, and even some sunscreens, can give your skin an extra line of defense. And one natural antioxidant to look for in the formulas of skin care products is vitamin C. Since the outermost layer of your skin acts as the initial barrier to oxidant assaults, it makes sense that it contains the highest levels of antioxidants in the skin.
When topically applied, vitamin C has been shown to display antioxidant properties. Look for skin care products formulated with vitamin C that you can use in the morning and pair it with a product that is formulated with broad-spectrum SPF protection to help protect skin’s surface from UVA, UVB rays and free radicals too. Keep in mind that like other skin care formulas, not all vitamin C products are created equal, so look for products that use a dark bottle to avoid exposure to light, which can make it less effective.