The best product-related helpers to prevent damage to the skin are arguably antioxidants and sunscreens, which both help prevent the formation of free radicals in the first place, and also help neutralize these offenders.
Picture a knight in shining armor, swinging a sword at an evil free radical, he'd be considered the antioxidant.
My go-to, long-standing favorite antioxidants are topical Vitamin C's.
Topical vitamin C's are known to have many benefits, including:
- Neutralizing free radicals, preventing skin aging
- Helping to maintain normal cellular turnover
- Helping to build collagen
- Lightening and brightening the skin
- Reducing inflammation
- Decreasing transepidermal water loss (your skin won't leak moisture so much)
Here are just a few I love:
- Skinmedica C & E Complex This creamy, silky formulation has a satin-like consistency... Just like those makeup primers we all love. I tend to like it because of its cosmetic elegance and the lipid-soluble Vitamin C feature. Also, if you are as clumsy as I can be, the pump is very helpful. No spills! Read more about this one in my post, 3 Fast Facts: Skinmedica C and E Complex
- Skinceuticals CE Ferulic This L-ascorbic classic has been often imitated, never duplicated! Read More about it in my post, 3 Fast Facts: Skinceuticals CE Ferulic
- Skinmedica TNS Essential Serum My clients know that I refer to this one as 'the Mercedes Benz of anti-aging products'. Because, not only is there C, but lots of other potent goodies, too. Namely, growth factors, antioxidants, peptides, and alpha arbutin. Read more about it in my post, 3 Fast Facts: SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum
- Obagi C-clarifying Serum This little powerhouse is the first and the only of its kind on the market. It's really under-rated, in my opinion. Read more about it in my post, 3 Fast Facts: Obagi C-Clarifying Serum
How to Use Vitamin C: Use Vitamin C in the mornings after toner and before moisturizers and sunscreens to help defend skin from the onslaught of pollutants, sun, and all kinds of other threats that you'll meet out there during your busy day.
Think: I'm drinking my OJ in the morning, My skin needs its Vitamin C in the morning, too!
Buyer Beware: Even though Vitamin C is a sort of 'knight in shining armor', it's also really unstable... always about to oxidize and die. Be sure that you don't go with just ANY vitamin C. Those that have published research or from reputable companies are the best bet.
Oxidation: If you've got a water-based C (L-ascorbic) like CE Ferulic, for example, be sure you toss it when it starts to turn orange/amber in color. This assures that your product isn't weakened or *GASP* causing oxidation. This is an ANTI-OXIDANT, for goodness sake.
Acne Patients Beware: Vitamin C's are great for many people, but acne patients should avoid: even though Vitamin C's are great to lighten acne marks from old breakouts, they are not the best choice for those currently breaking out. If you currently have active acne, get your breakouts under control first, and then consider choosing a formula meant for all or oily skin types.
Stay safe in the sun out there - and Until Next Time, Stay Fabulous My Friends!