The Regimen

Vitamins C + E: Your UV Protection Power Couple

Asian looking woman leaning on a marble surface, with wet hair, and holding a orange slice while looking directly to the camera.

UV damage is the number one age accelerator and the leading cause of skin cancer. So, of course, you're wearing sunscreen and limiting exposure. But is there more you can do? Let's talk antioxidants: specifically, vitamins C and E. 

While sunscreen blocks much of UV radiation, it doesn't stop it all. Residual light that penetrates the skin creates free radicals, highly reactive molecules that can weaken or destroy cell membranes to create dark spots and wrinkles. Free radicals can also damage DNA and depress the immune system, increasing the risk of skin cancer. 

We've long known that antioxidants combat free radicals, but you might not be aware of just how profound their influence can be.

It's been nearly two decades since research chemist Kerry Hanson, then a researcher at the University of Illinois, developed a technique to peer into the skin and study how it is affected by ultraviolet radiation. Her two-photon fluorescence imaging system revealed in visceral terms how ultraviolet light kicks off a free radical cascade in the stratum corneum (the skin's main protective barrier against environmental assault).

Hanson's work was a catalyst for a deeper understanding of how antioxidants neutralize free radicals, help prevent skin cancer, and keep skin firm and young-looking. She determined that among antioxidants, Vitamin C is "by far the best quencher" of free radicals and that regular use creates a beneficial antioxidant reservoir in the skin.

"The best results," according to Hanson, "were achieved after multiple applications of the antioxidants when a significant amount of vitamin C accumulated within the skin. Any free radicals that are generated will be quenched by the vitamin C stored in your skin."

In years since her work made headlines, Hanson has been joined by many other skin health experts in recommending applying topical antioxidants in conjunction with sunscreen to optimize UV protection. The greatest benefit comes from the combination of vitamin C and vitamin E. The scientific consensus: vitamins C and E are the unbeatable power couple for top-level photoprotection.


How do vitamins C and E work together to enhance photoprotection?

Vitamin C and vitamin E combat UV rays in complementary ways. Vitamin C protects against free radical damage and initiates repair to cells. Vitamin C is effective against both UVA (the deep penetrating, cell-damaging rays) and UVB (the rays that primarily affect the epidermis and are responsible for burns and epidermal mutations). Vitamin E mainly combats burns, UVB-induced skin damage, and photocarcinogenesis.

They have dual roles in cell protection. Vitamin C is hydrophilic, while vitamin E is lipophilic. Together, they protect both the hydrophilic and lipophilic compartments of the cell to prevent chronic UV damage. 

Vitamin C regenerates vitamin E. Vitamin E boosts the action of vitamin C four-fold.


How should I incorporate vitamins C and E into my skincare regimen?

Every skin care regimen should include a vitamin C and E serum. In addition to the immense photoprotective benefits, vitamins C and E offer multiple other benefits for the skin. Vitamin C is essential to the synthesis of collagen and a tyrosinase inhibitor to aid in achieving even tone. Vitamin E nourishes and protects cells and initiates repair. It's also hydrating and anti-inflammatory.

Vivant's Pure C + E takes advantage of the potent synergy of vitamins C and E by combining the two antioxidant heroes in one highly effective formula to neutralize free radicals, protect from damaging UV and environmental stressors, and promote regeneration of healthier, glowing skin.

Pure C + E can be applied every morning as a booster in your regimen step four, corrective serums. If you are using other serums, layer by weight and allow each to dry before applying the next. Pure C + E is a medium viscosity serum that is slightly heavier than our mandelic acid and most of our vitamin A therapies. Apply Day Treatment Lotion SPF 15 or Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 on top of Pure C + E after it has dried.

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