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Summer has a rep for being the laid back, carefree season. But if you care about your skin (and we suspect you do because you’re reading this blog), you probably already know it’s not the time to relax when it comes to your skin-care routine.
Summer is prime time for sun damage—and all the spots, wrinkles, and texture changes that come along with it.
It’s not that you can’t have your fun in the sun. You can. But you also need to protect your skin—and counteract any potential damage—with the right ingredients (like vitamin c) and treatments, including one of Perricone MD’s signature sciences ingredient, Vitamin C Ester.
But first, let’s talk about that summer sun damage.
Why does it happen? UV rays from the sun can cause some pretty dramatic changes to your cells beneath the skin's surface.
Your skin cells do have a protection plan in place to scatter and absorb the light before it can cause trouble: it’s called melanin.
Yes, the same stuff responsible for a dark skin tone, a tan, or freckles also exist to protect your cells from UV damage. But it’s not 100 percent effective. Research suggests that melanin only has the protective equivalent of an SPF 4, absorbing 50 to 75 percent of UV rays. Plus, some people just make less of it. They’re the ones who turn pink and burn in the sun.
When triggered by UV light, melanin production can also misfire, causing an overproduction of pigment, a.k.a., hyperpigmentation. As a result, you’re left with a splotchy, uneven complexion and dark spots that don’t fade away over time.
So, what happens to the UV rays that don’t get absorbed by your skin’s melanin? They can wreak havoc on a cellular level. UV light gives way to what’s called reactive oxygen species, or free radicals. Free radicals are highly unstable molecules looking to neutralize themselves, latching onto whatever they can in order to do this, including healthy skin molecules. That’s where the damage happens. If free radicals attack the skin's support system—collagen and elastin, the stuff that helps keep skin firm and smooth—skin’s structure can start to break down. Over time, you’re left with thin, fragile, and crepey-looking skin and fine lines and wrinkles.
Bottom line: The sun’s rays can damage your skin, and contrary to popular belief, a deep tan doesn’t necessarily protect you from cellular damage.
How can you prevent and reverse the damage?
Aside from being smart about your time in the sun during summer months (and, really, all year long)—avoiding the strongest rays of the day between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., wearing sun protective clothing and hats, and always wearing sunscreen (the best way to prevent the sun’s damaging effects on your skin)—you should also include a very specific superhero ingredient in your summertime regimen: vitamin C.
The vitamin is the ultimate multitasker and a powerful antidote to sun damage. Here’s why vitamin C should be your go-to this summer:
It’s a glow-getter:
When applied topically, it can help visibly brighten and even out your complexion, softening the look of discoloration, dark spots, and redness. It leaves skin looking more radiant.
It helps visibly firm skin:
Topical vitamin C also promotes the appearance of firmer and smoother skin. It’s essential for the look of collagen-rich skin.
Vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant, which means it neutralizes free radicals before they can damage skin cells. A study in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology has shown that when combined with vitamin E, vitamin C is even more effective at protecting your skin from UV rays.
Bottom line: There’s no question the importance of using a daily sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF (like that found in Face Finishing & Firming Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30), but it’s equally important to incorporate vitamin C as an essential part of your summer skin-care regimen to protect skin and visibly reverse the signs of sun damage.
Not all vitamin C serums are the same
So, now that you know you need a vitamin C product, you also need to know that it will work. Vitamin C is a highly unstable molecule, which means it breaks down easily when exposed to air and light.
It can also be irritating due to its acidic nature. Once it degrades, it’s completely ineffective. So, while it may sting when it hits your skin, it’s not actually doing anything to help with the appearance of sun damage.
Fortunately, not all vitamin C molecules are created equally. There are two common types used in topical treatments: Ascorbic Acid and Vitamin C Ester. Ascorbic Acid tends to break down easily while Vitamin C Ester is designed by scientists to be more stable and tolerable for skin. Perricone MD products are formulated with Vitamin C Ester. You’ll see it on our ingredient lists as ”Ascorbyl” and it’s a fat-soluble molecule, which means it plays nicely with your skin’s own lipid barrier. There’s no irritation, so even those with delicate skin can use this type of vitamin C.
Bottom line: Vitamin C Ester is far more superior to its cousin Ascorbic Acid because it’s a more potent and version of vitamin C.
What are the best vitamin C serums?
While there are a lot of vitamin C serums on the skin-care market, you don’t necessarily have to get the powerhouse vitamin in serum form. Perricone MD offers Vitamin C Ester in a variety of different topical treatments ranging from luxurious face cream to a silky lightweight serum, so you can choose what works for your skin’s needs or your preference. You can also create an entire vitamin C skin-care regimen to maximize the brightening and firming results. Here’s are some of the ways you can get your daily dose of Vitamin C Ester:
Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Brightening Serum: Get a hefty dose of vitamin C in a product that feels anything but heavy. The silky-smooth serum is lightweight on skin and layers easily over makeup and under moisturizer. Vitamin C Ester is combined with squalene, a super hydrating ingredient that doesn’t leave skin greasy. Tip: On hot, sticky summer days, you can skip the moisturizing creams and use this hydrating serum alone, especially if you have oily skin.
Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Intensive Brightening Regimen 15%: This tube contains the highest amount of Vitamin C Ester that you can find in a Perricone MD product—a whopping 15 percent. Vitamin C Ester is coupled with vitamin E, another antioxidant known for its ability to help visibly minimize scars and discoloration and protect skin against free radicals. Tip: Apply it with along with a few drops of Vitamin C Ester Serum to help it spread it all over your facial skin. Then top it with your moisturizer.
Perricone Brightening Amine Face Lift: A powerhouse when it comes to fighting the signs of wrinkles. This lightweight, fast-absorbing serum combines the brightening effects of Vitamin C Ester, with the gentle exfoliating qualities of glycolic acid. Add in the skin firming benefits of Copper Complex, and you have a potent formula that tackles skin’s dullness, dryness and sagging.
Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Brightening Overnight Treatment: This intensive night cream puts Vitamin C Ester in a rich, thick hydrating base. It fights the visible signs of sun damage while you sleep. Here, potent Vitamin C Ester is paired with glycolic acid to exfoliate dull skin, and amino acids to promote firmness. Tip: Apply your nighttime products from thinnest to thickest, ending with the Vitamin C Ester Brightening Overnight Treatment. It forms a barrier on the skin's surface, locking in all the skin-nourishing ingredients.
Bottom line: If you’re going to get some vitamin D this summer, don’t forget your vitamin C. Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester line has all your skin’s needs covered—whether you’re looking for hydration to go along with the vitamin’s skin-brightening and firming benefits, or you simply want a potent dose of vitamin C to mix in with your existing products.