There’s a reason you’re told over and over again to wear sunblock and wash your face every night before bed. But no matter how careful you are, pollution and UV exposure take their toll over the years. In part 4 of our mature skin series, learn how environmental damage affects your skin, and what you can do about it.
UV Rays and Pollution
Environmental damage from things like UV rays and pollution can cause oxidative stress in your skin. Oxidative stress happens when your cells are overwhelmed by more free radicals than their antioxidant defenses are able to handle.
As a refresher, free radicals are the bad guys. They are highly reactive molecules that can wreak havoc on the cells. When the body is balanced, your natural systems neutralize them. But over time, and after years of exposure to the sun and environmental pollution, it becomes harder for your body to beat them. Free radicals can damage the DNA of the skin and even break down collagen. This can lead to dark spots, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
What Can You Do?
Your first defense is sunscreen. You’ve heard it a million times before, and hopefully you’ve been following this advice for years. If not: START NOW. You can finish this article first, THEN sunblock. Sunblock helps prevent your skin from experiencing further UV damage.
Wash your face twice a day. Even if you aren’t wearing makeup, your skin gets covered with sweat, oil, and pollutants. Clean it, then apply your favorite skincare products.
You can also work on adding antioxidant-rich foods to your diet. Studies have shown that having an optimal intake of antioxidant nutrients may contribute to enhanced quality of life and even influence life span.[i] Vitamin C and E are both powerful antioxidants, so adding foods rich in those vitamins is a great place to start. Olives and green and black teas are also excellent sources of antioxidants.
A Targeted Approach
In addition to focusing on nutrition and prevention, you can help decrease the visible damage you already see on the skin’s surface with a good dark spot corrector. The best formulas not only help noticeably reduce the spots you already have, but also fight the emergence of future spots.
Most dark spot correctors include vitamin C, since it’s a gold-standard antioxidant. Some include additional antioxidants to help boost their effectiveness. VitaCorrect™ Solution includes triple dose antioxidants: vitamin C, kojic and ferulic acids, as well as a free-radical-quenching dipeptide. It visibly reduces both the size and number of the dark spots you already have, helps fight the emergence of future dark spots, and addresses the visible signs of photoaging from years in the sun.
Taking extra good care of maturing skin is so important, and a great way of showing love to yourself. We hope this 4-part series has taught you that you no longer have to settle for looking good “for your age.” With these tips, you can look good, period. Your best years are still to come. Now go apply some sunblock!