Free Radical Protection

Dermatologist explains why free radicals are bad for your skin.

Free radicals attack and destroy skin structures. They are involved in all aspects of skin misadventures that lead to complexion problems including sun damage, wrinkles, inflammation and more.

Free radicals are chemical species possessing an unpaired electron, meaning they are a half of a molecule. This is inherently unstable and they rabidly look to grab another electron off of neighboring chemicals. In the process, they damage things - like components of precious skin structures. 

What causes free radicals in the skin?

It is estimated that 80% of skin free radicals come from UV sun exposure. They also form from stressors such as poor nutrition, physical and psychological stress, overeating, alcohol intake and environmental pollution. They are produced as part of normal physiologic processes too. 

How do you fight free radicals in your skin?

The unstable free radicals are neutralized by your skin's antioxidant reserve. When free radical formation exceeds your antioxidants, damage happens. Your skin gets its antioxidants mostly from your diet - hopefully! We now have topical antioxidants that have been shown to help too. 

How do you get more antioxidants into your skin to fight skin aging and damage? 

Replenish your antioxidant supply daily to fight free radical health and complexion damage with a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and veggies. Load your skin with more than you can supply from your diet using antioxidant-rich skin care products.

What are the best skin care antioxidants for your skin?

Skin care antioxidants with the best scientific evidence for fighting complexion problems and skin aging include vitamin C and green tea polyphenols. Antioxidants such as vitamin E are often added to sunscreens because they have shown synergy for preventing sun damage.

Know, however, that most antioxidants are destroyed by contact with oxygen. So, for serious antioxidant loading, you want to use products protected from oxygen in airtight containers and formulated by pharmaceutical chemists who know how to stabilize and deliver the antioxidants through the skin. This means that you need to be a savvy consumer and not fooled by what I call a “fairy dusting” of antioxidants added to products for marketing appeal.

My Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy™ is loaded with the right green tea polyphenol antioxidants - the equivalent of 500 cups worth per ounce of cream. My Retinol Night Cream™ has this same amount too, along with retinol, as does Advanced Corrective Eye Cream™. My Vitamin C Anti-Wrinkle Professional Treatment Serum™ has high concentration, stable vitamin C in the right L-ascorbic form. All of these products are dispensed in air tight containers. They are the superstars of my antioxidant skin care products and I've watched them help my patients for many, many years. I use them daily on my own face too.

Many of my other products also contain antioxidants. The levels are good, but lower, and the containers are not airtight. For real antioxidant powerhouse products, you want to use one or all of the 4 products I mentioned above.    

Reference,

Poljsak B, Dahmane R, Free Radicals and Extrinsic Skin Aging, Dermatol Res Pract., 2012; 13526. Feb 29, 2012

Katayar SK, Green tea prevents non-melanoma skin cancer by enhancing DNA repair. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2011 Apr 15;508(2):152-8.

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  1. Dr. Bailey's Ultimate Pigment and Sun Damage Repair Kit

    Ultimate Pigment and Sun Damage Repair Kit

    Fade an uneven complexion almost instantly with the best pigment lightening products. Reverse fine lines and wrinkles and return your appearance to younger days. This kit has everything proven to do the job!

    $365.85
  2. Dr. Bailey's Sheer Strength Pure Physical Spray Sunscreen SPF 50+™

    Sheer Strength Pure Physical Spray Sunscreen SPF 50+™

    At last, an ultra-light sunscreen spray that’s pure mineral protection with micro (not nano) zinc oxide for the best anti-aging broad spectrum protection. 

    $44.00
  3. Dr. Bailey's Sheer Strength Pure Physical Invisible Sunscreen, SPF 50™ Broad Spectrum Protection

    Sheer Strength Pure Physical Invisible Sunscreen, SPF 50™ Broad Spectrum Protection

    Enjoy an oil free, non-whitening and “light as air” feel on your skin. Pure mineral zinc-oxide protection that’s perfect for even the most sensitive skin.

    $47.00
  4. Dr. Bailey's Sheer Strength Pure Physical Tinted Matte Sunscreen, SPF 50™

    Sheer Strength Pure Physical Tinted Matte Sunscreen, SPF 50™

    Oil-free and oil control ultra-light and tinted matte technology in a hypoallergenic sunscreen – it’s the holy grail for oily and sensitive skin AND it’s elegant for all skin types too! Contains iron oxide too making it the best sunscreen for melasma. 

    $47.00
  5. Suntegrity 5-in-1 BB Cream SPF 30 Tinted Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen

    Suntegrity 5-in-1 BB Cream SPF 30 Tinted Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen

    This luscious and all natural face cream is my absolute new favorite face sunscreen! Natural, broad-spectrum mineral zinc oxide protection that feels and looks so good on your skin that you'll want to wear it 24/7.

    $45.00
  6. Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30

    Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30

    Non-greasy natural non-nano zinc oxide mineral sunscreen for every day sun protection. This is a lovely natural mineral sunscreen made with organic ingredients - and it's not just for babies!

    $24.00
  7. Suntegrity Lip C.P.R. SPF Sunscreen Lipstick

    Suntegrity Lip C.P.R. SPF Sunscreen Lipstick

    Natural non-nano mineral zinc oxide sun protection in a deeply hydrating base for your delicate lip skin. Prevent skin cancer and future wrinkles with daily use of sunscreen. That means lips too. Ever notice older lips are pale, shriveled, dry and chapped all the time. That’s sun damage. Just say no by wearing lip sun protection 365 days a year.

    $28.00
  8. SunSavvy Kit, Ultimate Protection

    SunSavvy Kit, Ultimate Protection

    The Ultimate Sun Protection Kit provides everything you'll need to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.This kit includes Sun Guard Laundry Treatment, UV Ray Detecto Ring, Vanicream Lip Protectant, Solbar Zinc SPF 38 Sunscreen and Citrix Sunscreen SPF 40 and a mesh travel bag for your products.

    $56.25
  9. SunSavvy Kit, Daily Wear Protection

    SunSavvy Kit, Daily Wear Protection

    The best dermatologist recommended mineral sunscreen products for everyday protection. This kit includes Citrix Sunscreen SPF 40 for the face, ears, and neck, along with Solbar Zinc Sunscreen SPF 38 for the chest, hands, and other areas that need sun protection.

    $43.20
  10. Dr. Bailey's Glycolix Elite SPF 30 Sunscreen

    Glycolix Elite SPF 30 Sunscreen

    This is the ultimate in 'nonchemical', mineral, physical sun protection. It is perfect for people with extremely sensitive skin.

    Regular Price: $38.00

    Special Price $30.40

  11. EltaMD UV Daily SPF 40

    EltaMD UV Daily SPF 40

    Broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection in a lovely moisturizing lotion that's sheer and elegant of the skin. Perfect for normal to dry skin with it's hyaluronic acid and just a little light oil to moisturize your skin without leaving a heavy feel.

    $26.50
  12. EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Sunscreen

    EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Sunscreen

    Completely oil free and ultra light feel on the skin make this sunscreen a marvel. Perfect for oily to normal and acne prone skin. Comes with either a clear or tinted option to help soften complexion flaws for all skin types.

    $32.50
  13. EltaMD UV Lip Balm Broad-Spectrum SPF 31

    EltaMD UV Lip Balm Broad-Spectrum SPF 31

    Protect your delicate lips from the sun every day with a sunscreen lip balm you will love to use. Treats and prevents chapped lips with its uniquely effective moisturizing ingredients.

    $10.00
  14. Raw Elements Eco Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen Untinted

    Raw Elements Eco Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen Untinted

    The highest performance sunscreen I’ve ever found. A product that’s perfect for the most active kids, high powered athletes and sensitive skin all in one! Reef safe too.

    $20.00
  15. Raw Elements Tinted SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

    Raw Elements Tinted SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

    Raw Elements is the highest performance sunscreen I’ve ever found. A product that’s perfect for your most rigorous athletic activities in intense sun exposure circumstances. Reef safe too.

    $19.00
  16. Raw Elements Eco Stick SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

    Raw Elements Eco Stick SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

    At last, the best mineral zinc oxide sunscreen product proven not to run into and sting your eyes - even when you're wet! Reef safe too.

    $16.00

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