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:
Here are just a few I love:
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!Oh, and don’t forget the neck, chest, and the backs of the hands… they need protection, 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!
I started 3 fast facts because I could go on forever about some of these products… which can make writing about them a little daunting. Instead of overthinking (and therefore procrastinating), I’ll just use this category to finally touch on some of my favorite products & three reasons you might love them too!
This fantastic product is a topical antioxidant used to protect the skin from future damage, promote cell renewal, and increase the build of collagen. Distinguished Duke professor, faculty-member, chemist, and Dermatologist, Dr Sheldon Pinnell published more than 200 articles and studies on topical antioxidants.
Known (by me, at least!) as the grandfather of topical antioxidants, Dr Pinnell developed this product based on much of his research. This serum has gone on to become and remain the cornerstone of Skinceuticals collection. Dr Pinnell had formulated the perfect C Serum: the right PH, the right percentage of C, and the perfect C-stabilizers: Vitamin E and Ferulic acid.
This emollient-like serum can be perfect for normal-to-dry skin types. Side note: Most reviews on the product describe it as ‘featherweight’, but I find that most oily- types find it too heavy, likely because of the Vitamin E.
I love this formulation in particular because of its reservoir effect: once it is in the skin, it stays there for about 3 days- which makes it great for sweating runners and outdoor-lovers. This also says to me: “It really gets in there!”
(Keep things consistent and apply every day though).
It also reduces inflammation in UV-irradiated cells. Slather this on afterwards if you happen to get a sunburn on vacay in Barbados. (But I know you won’t get a sunburn, right?!)
Until Next time, Stay Fabulous, My Friends!
Word on the Street/Company Claims:
“This groundbreaking, weightless, 100% physical sunscreen provides water-resistant broad spectrum protection with transparent titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (Z-Cote®*). Enhanced with artemia salina, a plankton extract, this lightweight sunscreen increases skin defenses and resistance to UV and heat stress.
Color-infused technology enhances natural skin tone and boosts daily radiance.”Appropriate for who?:
Normal, Combination, Oily, Sensitive… pretty much everyone!
NOT so good for:
For the darkest Fitzpatrick skin types, I suppose the powder-finish would be less ideal, as it could look a bit light/dry-ish. This being said, it is still better than almost any other physical-only formulation I’ve used on dark skin.
Those who desire a dewey, super-hydrated finish may not prefer the mattefying quality of this product.
Totally Fabuliz: (Favorite part):
Copy-Cats have tried with similar consistencies and claims, but product is unique and fabulous because of it’s PHYSICAL-ONLY, chemical-sunscreen-FREE formulation. This means more broad-spectrum protection with less irritation- this is normally only achieved with HEAVY, white creams!
I wish the larger, limited-edition 4.2 fl oz size could be available all year round!!Needs work:
The smaller, ‘regular’ 1.7 fl oz has a screw-on top. I’d love to see the flip top from the limited edition size make it’s way to this always-available version.
★1 Star: Might pass this one up
★★2 Stars: Okay for the money
★★★3 Stars: Really nice product, I’d buy it
★★★★4 Stars: Pretty much deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, want it/need it/ have to have it!
Misc Notes/Other need-to-know’s:
-Shake it before you use it, so it mixes up thoroughly.
-I’m obsessed with this very-slightly tinted formulation because takes the “white” out of a titanium/zinc sunscreen. This product may also be the only sunscreen that men will readily use, because of the clean/non-goopy finish. It leaves a silky, natural and texture afterward, and almost feels like a favorite makeup primer.
No, it doesn’t smell like coconuts, and it won’t make your eyes sting either- all of our usual sunscreen-skipping excuses are flattened. Well done, Skinceuticals!