Sunscreen and Vitamin C: A Synergistic Partnership

Are you aware that sunscreen and vitamin C form a synergistic partnership in the protection of your skin? We know that a broad spectrum sunscreen is a must for every day, rain or shine, but by pairing it with a vitamin C serum, you’ve just created a sum that’s greater than its parts!

A stable, broad spectrum sunscreen will protect against both the UVB rays that can burn the skin as well as the longer UVA rays that penetrate deeper, contributing to wrinkles, premature aging and some types of skin cancer. When skin is exposed to UV rays (as well as other environmental elements such as pollution and cigarette smoke) free radicals are created.  These highly charged and unstable molecules start a chain reaction that, in the long term, can result in damaged and dysfunctional cells. In the skin, this shows up as fine lines, wrinkles, the breakdown of elastin and collagen and sagging skin.

While sunscreen does the lion’s share of UV protection, vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights free radical damage caused by UV exposure. Adding a vitamin C serum under your sunscreen is actually boosting the power of your sun protection!

Let’s be perfectly clear: vitamin C is not a replacement for sunscreen. It provides protection by interacting with and neutralizing the free radicals before they can damage the body’s cells. Using a topical vitamin C treatment is only half the equation of protecting yourself against UV rays. And contrary to the misguided belief that vitamin C will provide protection against the damaging UV rays while allowing you to safely tan, the truth is that there is no such thing as a safe tan. When the skin is exposed the UV rays, it produces melanin to darken the skin in an attempt to protect itself. Far from being innocuous, a tan is a sign of damaged skin.

When used in the evening, vitamin C’s admirable reparative properties come to the forefront in reversing the signs of UV damage. Vitamin C has been shown to fade hyperpigmentation, promote the production of collagen for plumper skin and stimulate fibroblasts, the cells that are responsible for producing collagen and elastin that provide tightness to the skin.

Our favorite combination is Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Ultralight Fluide (with our preferred trio of sun filters: Mexoryl SX, Mexoryl XL and Tinosorb S) along with Apothekari Bespoke Vitamin C serum, made to order and formulated with a range of antioxidants including stabilized L-ascorbic acid, the form of vitamin C backed by the most clinical studies showing its effectiveness in skin care.