Many of you know how I love the convenience and utility of combination products, such as combination sunscreens and moisturizers, and even sunscreens with exfoliants. One combination product however that may seem a little odd, if you’ve heard my message about how important it is to apply antioxidants at bedtime, is sunscreens with antioxidants. Well… you obviously need sunscreen only during the day, and since I believe that antioxidants work best at bedtime, then what would be the point of having a product with sunscreens and antioxidants? And more importantly, is it actually harmful to the sunscreen if it’s combined with antioxidants?
As you recall, the role of antioxidants is to protect the vital parts inside your cells like DNA, cell-membranes and so on, from high energy compounds like free radicals and ultraviolet energy that inflict very harmful damage inside the cells. To protect your cells, the antioxidants must have time to be absorbed into your cells so that they can then absorb the free radical energy and neutralize it. In the process, the antioxidants get destroyed. However, antioxidants on the surface of the skin also absorb and neutralize the sun’s ultraviolet rays. In that case, the antioxidant is destroyed before it gets inside your skin cells. So sunscreens that contain antioxidants most probably will have their antioxidant protection inactivated by the sun’s ultraviolet light during the day before they have a chance to be absorbed into your cells.
However, that doesn’t in any way compromise the sunscreen, and in fact, the antioxidants actually synergize with the sunscreen to give you added protection on the surface of your skin from UVA and UVB.
But remember that many antioxidants also have anti-inflammatory powers which are not inactivated by UV radiation. So with a combination sunscreen antioxidant, you still get the added benefit of the anti-inflammatory effects of the antioxidant during the day.
The bottom line is that combination products with antioxidants and sunscreens do nothing to compromise the sunscreen, and in fact, the antioxidant may actually increase the potency of the sunscreen since the antioxidant is also helping to absorb and neutralize dangerous ultraviolet light from the sun, and here’s the payoff… At the same time, you still get the benefit of the anti-inflammatory power of the antioxidant.
I really love combination products!