Ten thousand Americans are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer every day, nearly four million every year. With smoke and pollution on the rise and Earth’s protective ozone layer growing thinner, the skincare crisis could become even worse in years to come. The best way to prevent this–perhaps the only way–is to adjust our habits by washing more effectively, using a good sunscreen, trying not to overdo our exposure to the sun, and incorporating antioxidant products into our skincare regimen. In this new era of skincare, a cream or lotion must do more than just moisturize–it must also help repair our skin and effectively defend it against the buildup of free radical cells.
Free radicals are cells that have lost a molecule from environmental or other factors and attack healthy cells to steal that molecule back. They’re like pirates, looting our healthy cells and turning them into free radical “zombies” that attack other healthy cells, a process that if left unchecked can result in a serious buildup of free radical cells, leading to illness and aging.
Antioxidants check this process by donating a molecule to a free radical, effectively making it whole again. Our body manufactures some antioxidants but not nearly enough to counter the challenges of our day. We have to supplement this process with antioxidants in our skincare products and in our diet (blueberries, strawberries, nuts, and dark green veggies are all high in antioxidants).
For years, the most common antioxidants were vitamins C and E. More recently, we’ve begun to see cannabidiol (CBD) used for this purpose.