Vitamin C + Sunscreen: Summer’s Power Couple

This summer is the season to double down when it comes to protecting your skin from invisible, but incredibly real, enemies in the environment. And the best way to power up your protection is to combine sunscreen and vitamin C and add them to your daily routine.

Let’s start with sunscreen. It’s the heart and soul of sun protection because doctors know its key in preventing skin cancer, bad sunburns, fine lines and wrinkles, discoloration and premature aging. Most people think that applying sunscreen daily takes care of all the harmful elements in the atmosphere and keep skin safe and sound.

But, have you heard about free radicals?

Understanding Free Radicals

Many skin care products point to “free radicals” as something you need to fight against. If you’re not sure why, keep reading as we take just a slightly deeper dive! Free radicals are unstable molecules. They are missing electrons (that other molecules have) from their outer shell. Their missing electron means they go on a search for other atoms or molecules that contain electrons in an effort to feel whole again and become stable. All of that sounds reasonable – until they land on your skin.

When free radicals land on skin they wreak havoc when they try to bond with your skin’s stable atoms or molecules and cause a condition known as “oxidative stress.” Oxidative stress weakens living cells and tissue and leave both vulnerable. Picture the brown skin of a pear or avocado left out on the countertop for too long. The fruit you’re seeing in your mind’s eye, and your skin, are experiencing oxidation that leads to damage ranging from premature aging to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

Apart from the damage that free radicals can inflict upon skin, they’re also thought to be a cause of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

Unfortunately, free radicals live everywhere in the environment. You can be exposed to them in a number of ways – from sunlight, air pollution, cigarette smoke, pesticides, and as a side effect of poor nutrition, just to name a few. Your own body even produces free radicals as a byproduct of metabolism as you age.

Antioxidants Protect Your Skin, Too

Because avoiding free radicals is pretty much impossible unless you live in a bubble, protection is the key. Like sunscreen, antioxidants are products that protect your skin and prevent damage before it happens. Antioxidants work their magic by binding to unstable molecules, preventing them from reaching your healthy, unsuspecting skin.

Let’s take another look at that pear on the countertop and consider how you might prevent it from browning up when exposed to free radicals. Did your mom tell you to squeeze a little lemon juice on fruit to keep it looking fresh? Voila! This is an example of an antioxidant in action. So what if scientists took that citrus magic and made it into an elegant, gentle-to-the- skin product that you could apply daily to your own skin? (Hint: they’ve done just that!)

What we’re describing is the essential prevention power of antioxidant Vitamin C serums.  Dermatologists and aestheticians agree across the board about the positive impact that adding a daily antioxidant serum to your sunscreen regimen can have.

At Midwest Dermatology, we’re so passionate about vitamin C serum that we sell it at all of our Omaha and Norfolk locations. We also make it easy to order online at For more information about vitamin C protection from free radicals, schedule a skin care consultation with our aesthetician in our Lakeside office.

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