Protecting Against Skin Cancer with Topical Antioxidants and Sunscreen
Looking to protect your skin from skin cancer and aging? When building a regimen that does both, AM’s top recommendations are sunscreen and antioxidants!
These two classes of skin care products are quite buzzed about in the industry, and rightfully so! Choosing the right sunscreen can protect your skin and DNA from the damaging rays of the sun, and selecting a great antioxidant product can provide further protection to the skin cells and even lend a hand in repairing damage that has already been done. All that protecting and repairing is hard work, so what should you look for in a sunscreen and antioxidant?
Finding a great sunscreen for everyday facial wear is a pretty big deal! When we are selecting a good sunscreen for our patients, our most important criteria include optimal main ingredients and the wearablity of the product.
Ingredients – We prefer a sunscreen that is mostly zinc oxide, a physical sunscreen. This means that light is reflected off the sunscreen and doesn’t get through the barrier created by the particles on your skin. Most of the sunscreens at AM contain this ingredient, and some do contain small amounts of chemical sunscreens to help add to the “broad spectrum” protection. Wearability – formulating a physical sunscreen is hard. Zinc Oxide is naturally white, so it can end up looking chalky or pasty on some. If you are going to wear something every day, you need to love how it feels on your skin – and AM has a variety of sunscreens to select from!
Like sunscreen, we have a few non-negotiables for antioxidants. These compounds are naturally very reactive – their job is to find and bind to damaging molecules to neutralize them – so formulating antioxidants is tricky for stability reasons.
Packaging – A good antioxidant product should be well-packaged. We like antioxidants in airless pumps and opaque containers so no air or light can get to them, because if the active ingredients react with air or light, that means they are inactive once they get to your skin! Be wary of antioxidant serums in glass bottles with droppers, every time they are opened they are exposed to light and air.
Ingredients – Of course ingredients are always very important, but how they are combined and what form they are in come in to play here, as we are looking for stable forms of antioxidants that will only react once they are applied to your skin! Vitamin C is the gold-standard antioxidant in skin care, we like the form Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate found in several of our antioxidant products for its superior stability. Green Tea Extract, Vitamin E, and Vitamin A are commonly found in antioxidant products, and some products have added bonuses of DNA repair enzymes and peptides.
When assessing the level of protection and repair you need, your AM aesthetician considers your sun exposure history, your skin heritage and tone/color, your family history and your lifestyle to help select the right products for you! If you have a history of skin cancer or pre- cancers, and are interested in learning more about protecting your skin, schedule an appointment with our aestheticians for more information.