The Role of Antioxidants in Sunscreens

By Heather Woolery-Lloyd

The role of Antioxidants in Sunscreen

Recently you may have noticed that many sunscreens are adding antioxidants to their formulations. This is a trend that is based on interesting new research. Recent research has shown that when antioxidants are applied topically to the skin they protect the skin from free radical damage caused by the sun. These studies have been done with many antioxidants including green tea and emblica, a natural fruit extract. They have been able to show that the skin gets less red (and therefore less damage) when you add an antioxidant to the sunscreen. It is important to understand that antioxidants don’t replace sunblock because they don’t block the sun’s rays from entering the skin. However, they are excellent when combined with sunscreens because they minimize the damage caused by the ultraviolet light that does get through to the skin. So for those of you with hyperpigmentation, melasma, or uneven skin tone, using a sunscreen with an antioxidant is the best first defense.

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