Let’s bask in the knowledge that summer is a great time to add an antioxidant serum to our skincare routine to neutralize the free radical mayhem caused by sunlight. The sun causes about 90% of skin damage. And because UV rays are most intense during summer, it’s peak season for free radical injury.  

The Origin Of Free Radicals
The sun is a major source of skin-hurting free radicals, but it’s not the only thing we need to consider. Our bodies make free radicals naturally. They’re a byproduct of metabolism (oxidation). The bigger problem is that we’re also exposed to a barrage of free radicals through air pollution, pesticides, smoking, ionizing radiation, inflammation, fried foods, and alcohol. Add intense UV rays to the list of sources, and it’s easy to see we have a lot of skin-harming free radicals to deal with this summer.

What Is A Free radical?
A free radical is a molecule with unpaired electron that scavenges our body looking for an electron to bind with. If it pairs with a regular electron, it oxidizes, and causes damage. Just as a freshly cut apple oxidizes and browns, our skin oxidizes and ages from free radicals. Oxidation breaks down our vital dermal proteins—collagen and elastin. The result is damaged skin that sags, wrinkles, discolors and ages prematurely.

Antioxidants Neutralize Free Radicals
The exciting thing is that nature gave us “radical” protection in the form of the amazing antioxidant. An antioxidant can bind harmlessly with a free radical’s unpaired electron. This pairing neutralizes the free radical and stops (or slows) the threat of skin damage. Adding an antioxidant serum to your skin care routine can go a long way to protect you from free radical damage. Plus, antioxidants have the added benefit of reducing inflammation. So, if you have acne or rosacea, massaging an antioxidant serum into your skin will calm the redness. 

Type of antioxidants
There’s a variety of anti-oxidant topicals to choose from but our board-certified dermatologists tell us the best type of antioxidants contain vitamins A, C, or E. The high quality, medical-grade products we recommend are SkinCeuticals – C E Ferulic, Phloretin and Silymarin.

Can’t You Just Get Antioxidants From Food
It’s true that food, especially fruits and vegetables, are filled with skin-benefiting antioxidants. But when you consume antioxidants through food, you share them with your entire body. Topical antioxidants, on the other hand, protect the skin where they’re applied. This lets you direct your protection to the places on your body where you need it most—like the face, neck and chest and back of the hands.

Summer is the most impactful time of year to add antioxidant topicals to our skin care routine. Just knowing we have this extra protection makes us feel like we’re glowing inside. Actually adding the protection to our skin means we’ll glow on the outside, too. Our staff and dermatologists are always here to help you find the right antioxidant for you and answer any questions you have. Reach out to us today if you’d like to schedule an appointment and come in for a visit. 
Rachelle Riley