Sunscreen with Antioxidants
In a study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, supplementation of sunscreens with efficacious antioxidants represents an effective strategy to help minimize accelerated aging and cancer in UV-exposed skin and could represent the next generation of sunscreens (15).
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, up to 80 percent of preventable aging is caused by UV exposure — and that means smoking, diet, and sleep barely matter by comparison. For the last few decades, everyone from dermatologists to beauty editors have been stressing the importance of SPF. But here’s the thing: SPF is not enough to protect you from sun damage. Sunscreens block UVA and UVB rays, but those rays only account for seven percent of solar energy. New research finds that infrared radiation, which makes up 54 percent of solar energy, also causes aging — and it might even be worse than UV rays. While there is no product that can totally guard you from infrared radiation, studies show that antioxidants in skincare may help. More and more dermatologists and skin care experts now recommend wearing an antioxidant serum and a sunscreen — and many of them believe the antioxidant is the more important half of the duo.
It is well-documented that sunscreens reduce erythema. However, their ability to also reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals in UV-exposed skin has only recently been researched (1–14). Through their ability to scavenge free radicals, antioxidants with, or without sunscreens have been found to provide extra benefits against several different types of skin damage, including: lipid peroxidation, Langerhans cell depletion, cytokeratin 15 induction, epidermal thickening, upregulation of matrix metalloproteinase-1 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 and immune supression (4, 5, 7-14). Similarly, it has previously been shown that the addition of bioconvertible antioxidants to a sunscreen lowered UV-induced reaction oxygen species (ROS) levels, compared with the sunscreen alone (20).
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- C Oresajo, M Yatskayer, A Galdi, P Folstis and S Pillai, Complementary effects of AOX and sunscreens in reducing UV-induced skin damage as demonstrated by skin biomarker expression, J Cosm Las Therap 12 157–162 (2010)
- Y Wu et al, Antioxidants add protection to a broadspectrum sunscreen, Clinical and Exp Dermatol 1–10 (2010)
- KM Hanson and RM Clegg, Bioconvertible vitamin antioxidants improve sunscreen photoprotection against UV induced ROS, J Cosm Sci 54 589–598 (2003)
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